Touch the box

Chatting to a mate yesterday, we reflected on the spawning multitude of companies in SA that can provide you with cool web design services, whilst there is a dearth of companies that include the grit of logistics (for example, design an online shopping site, and include delivery, customer care and returns in the product.)Touching the…

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USA vs SA 2012

Ok, so I’ve just finished a roadtrip though the USA: 41 days, 13 states, 10,000km.This is my 9th trip to the USA since 1999, during which I’ve worked, lived, studied and holidayed through California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, DC, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and New…

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In defense of big families

You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around – and why his parents will always wave back.  ~William D. TammeusFor a couple of decades now (maybe longer), rich/educated people have been telling poor/uneducated people, “Stop having so many children!”It got…

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7 rules for RV’ing in America

RV rule #1: Be careful where you park. Parking spots are like the mafia. It’s hard getting in; it’s much harder getting out.RV rule #2: Be sure to firmly secure far end of sewage drainpipe. Trust me, things can go truly pear-shaped if the pipe pops loose.RV rule #3: Never make eye contact with other…

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Inflation in America

“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both brings temporary prosperity; both brings a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunities.” Ernest HemingwayInflation: The rate at which your currency loses purchasing power over timeThe official inflation rate in the States is…

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The more customers you have, the safer you are

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Robert FrostIt’s easier to build a business with only one big customer. The alternative is something like Facebook, with a billion customers! Cash flow is easier. Only one invoice to send each…

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The best way to say Yes

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. VoltaireAs a manager, people are only ever trying to persuade you to “Yes” to their request. If your initial reply is “Yes”, they leave the room happy.If your initial answer is “No”, they immediately try to persuade you to say “Yes”.No one ever tries to…

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Creativity creates competitiveness, process creates jobs

Ideally, you want both in your business. Apple is the master of combining these attributes (or at least it was whilst Jobs was around.) It changes the game whenever it launches a new product, whilst the Tim Cooks of the world gives it a virtually unrivalled competitive advantage in logistics (a fundamentally process-driven world). The…

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Business is about money. Businesses do not make money.

In business you must imprint the following on your brain: Business is about making money Businesses do not make money The first point is key for understanding where your priorities lie. Politics is about serving the people, journalism is about the truth, NGOs are about helping the less fortunate.Business is about making money.The second point…

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The danger of discriminating based on location

I’ve just read There’s A Bantu In My Bathroom by Eusebius McKaiser. Highly recommended if you’re comfortable with some unspoken truths in South Africa.In one of his essays he discusses the difference between racialism and racism.Racialism is a belief in the existence and significance of racial categories, and social and cultural differences among races.Racism relates…

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Target market: Location is everything

I’ve been in the field of location-based services since 2003. At Cellfind we launched one of the first cellphone tracking services in the world, and since then I’ve been lucky enough to see the location datasets at a telco (iBurst) and a social network (Mxit).Conclusion:  Location is the single most useful piece of data for…

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4 arguments for less gun control

Here I am, in Arizona, gun country… and, it just so happens that the USA is once again boiling with fear and outrage after a shooting tragedy, this time in a Connecticut primary school where a 20-year old shot six teachers (including his mom) and twenty children, and then shot himself.   His weapons? Three…

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