2014: The year of going sideways (again)

They say when you are happy you can hear the music. When you’re sad you hear the lyrics.It feels like I’ve been hearing the music and the lyrics in the past few weeks.I could especially hear the words to every song on the day Madiba died.2013 was a confusing year for many people, including me….

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Why Wi-Fi is ideal for low income communities

Some people are asking is Wi-Fi the best technology for the masses in Africa to access the Internet. Here are 3 reasons:1.             Network equipmentThe disintegration of Motorola resulted in the world’s best radio engineers breaking off and starting their own companies, Ubiquiti being chief amongst these. The result, 5 years later, is a paradigm shift in…

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The secret to taking risk

Taking risk is partly a matter of mind-over-matter, but mostly about environment. It’s more about being in a position to take risk than having the willpower to do so.The following factors create the environment for risk-taking:Financial risk Marry rich Professional qualification to fall back on Savings Wealthy parents (that love you) Low personal overheads (the…

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3 kinds of social networks

This is obvious to some people, but it bears summing up for us laymen… There are three kinds of social networks:1.    Broadcast – Twitter This is about telling the world what you think, and finding out what other people think. It’s more like watching TV than having a conversation in that you don’t have to…

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The difference between excellent and mediocre

The difference between excellent and mediocre is price. And the difference between the haves and have-nots is affordability.To make something available to everyone means to compromise. Its only through compromise that you can the economics work (ie: cheap enough for everyone to afford).To make something excellent is to inevitably raise the price such that only…

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The major flaw of Wi-Fi over TV white space

There seems to be a fair bit of excitement of the potential for using the soon-to-be-freed TV white space spectrum for providing Wi-Fi in Africa.Whilst there is no arguing with the awesomeness of this spectrum, we should all be aware a major flaw:There are no devices in the world, outside of prototypes, that can operate…

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The 3 unloved ingredients of start-up success

We all hear of the big factors for business success, ie: IQ, hard work, perseverance, luck, etc.But there are a couple traits that are as important but get less of the limelight:1.             Tolerance for uncertaintyStart-up life is all about not knowing what the future holds, being ready for curveballs, and being cool with that uncertainty….

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A letter from entrepreneur to employee

Dear John,I think I finally have a small inkling of why you’re choosing to start your own business.I hear you when you say the corporate beast is killing your soul, but is that enough to take the path less travelled?Perhaps it is because you know you can be great. I’m sure many people have complimented…

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The best people are like your chest

When I was 13 years old I had to have a chest operation. The bones had overlapped and were now growing into my heart, so the doctors had to saw away 8cm on both sides and let the bones regrow.I lay in a hospital bed for 8 weeks unable to walk, sit, or laugh. Who…

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7 tips for setting up your new business

Here is a short list for setting up your own business, especially for those coming out of big companies in the brave new world of start-ups… use it, don’t use it… Do not hire an IT guy. Especially when coming out of corporate, the world of IT seems so intimidating that it feels absolutely necessary…

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Sometimes business is like flying a plane

Imagine you’re flying a plane and the engine stalls. You start slowly losing altitude, with no landing spot in sight and a mountain in the distance you know you are destined to crash. You have three options: Carry on as before, break out the champagne and try enjoy the last few hours of life. Eject….

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The most important reason to ignore your parents

Fact: Your parents love you. They do not want you to be hurt.Having lived life, they will know the only way to avoid pain is to avoid taking risk.That’s why your parents will always give you bad advice.Taking risk is the only path to growth. Personal, social and financial growth. Your growth is a function…

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