Archive | August, 2013

mobile phone penetration across africa

From Inspiration To Innovation: The SpellAfrica Story

SpellAfrica Initiative founder Elvis Austins says he was functionally illiterate at age 20. What education Austins received did not prepare him to achieve his full potential. In a country know better-known for Internet scams than International non-profits, Austins is a bootstrapped founder whose vision and tireless determination is challenging perceptions and, helping to unlock the [...]

Science Shows Why Broke Founders Make Stupid Decisions

Poor people make bad decisions. It’s not conjecture, it’s science. While the goal of a disruptive startup is to make it big and cash in, reaching the ramen profitable stage is usually an accomplishment worth celebrating. There’s also dangerous notion that entrepreneurs need to be as scrappy as possible, and founders should live below the poverty line. This [...]

The Journey Is The Reward

The road to success is long and perilous. Most of us won’t make it. Few entrepreneurs of any substance made it on their first attempt, their second, or even their third. My uncle once told me, “Nothing easy is ever worth a damn.” The harder we fight, the sweeter the reward. The harder we work, [...]

The Art of Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs are visionaries. Like artists, who look at a blank canvas, and can imagine a beautiful scene, entrepreneurs see uncertainty, inefficiency, and struggle as the key ingredients to success. Unlike artists, who use color, sound, texture and words to communicate their vision, the process of entrepreneurship is slow, full of risk, and lacks a guarantee. [...]

targeted media exposure for your startup

How To Avoid “Bad Press” And Court Investors With Targeted Media

A skywriter appeared overhead today as we walked past San Francisco’s famous Painted Ladies. The plane towed a banner which read “Save money,”  along with the image of an insurance company’s well-known reptillian mascot. Thanks. I guess. Could there possibly be a less effective way to reach your audience? Maybe it’s because I’m not in the [...]

recruiting a technical cofounder is one of the most important steps in the life of your business

Cofounder Chemistry

Co-founder chemistry is a beautiful thing. You know it when you have. Call it bromance or just good fortune, but the right co-founder makes all the difference in the world. When you and your business partner can finish each other’s sentences, you’ve got the foundation for a company that is going places. If you’re blessed with [...]

a little controversy is good for public relations

Three Ways To Stir Up Controversy Without Getting Burned

Budget carrier Ryanair has a reputation for grabbing headlines worldwide due to outlandish cost-cutting antics of CEO Michael O’Leary. Ryanair caused quite a stir when O’Leary proposed to equip planes with only one toilet, and charge passengers to access the facilities. Would they actually charge people to use the loo? While it’s permissible under the [...]

If You Can’t Be Sexy, Be Smart

If you can’t be good looking, be smart. If you can’t be smart, be tough. People are swooning over Elon Musk’s recently-revealed Hyperloop transportation system, but breakthroughs of this nature are few and far between. Rockstar, serial entrepreneurs like Elon may be a source of inspiration, but he’s truly one in a million. Many of [...]

Don’t Invent Your Message, Steal It

One of the hardest things for startups to do is to communicate a clear value proposition. Your value proposition, or unique selling point (USP) is the thing you do better than anyone else. And it’s something that people need. But it’s not as hard as you think to be an effective communicator.Often startups have difficulty [...]