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All posts by Matthew Buckland

Matthew Buckland
Matthew Buckland is a web guy who has over the years worked in a programming, editorial and business capacity within the online media environment. He is the founder of the Burn Media Group. He founded Creative Spark(Ventureburn.com's former parent company), of which he sold a majority share to M&C Saatchi Abel in 2015, before exiting the business in 2018 to form the Burn Media Group in the same year. He was previously General Manager of Publishing at news24.com, and then went on to found and head up award-winning innovation startup called 20FourLabs.com. He is the former General Manager of Mail & Guardian Online and co-founder of political think-tank site Thought Leader -- a Webby Award Honoree. One of his proudest moments was when some of the world's biggest blogs, Techcrunch and Mashable, his favourite site Wired.com and technology site Techmeme tried to break his servers by linking to his personal blog matthewbuckland.com in the space of a few days. He was named one of "SA’s top 100 most influential media and advertising people" by the The Annual in 2009 and one of "300 Young South Africans you should take out to lunch" by his former employer, Mail & Guardian. His favourite colour is red.
  • Indonesian unicorn shows Silicon Valley model can’t beat going local [Opinion]

    It is said that Jakartans spend 10 years of their life in traffic. The populous and fast growing Indonesian capital city is a sweaty, gridlocked cacophony of just about every type of vehicle you can think of. It’s a problem that has been noticed, and tackled, by the region’s tech entrepreneurs. To this end, two massive tech “unicorns” dominate the ride-hailing market there. Both companies, Go-Jek and the Singaporean Grab, are effectively the Ubers of that region. In fact, both companies have been so successful that they brought the worldwide ride-hailing leader Uber to its knees, forcing the San Francisco company to...

  • What’s the secret ingredient that makes entrepreneurs successful? [Opinion]

    Am I an entrepreneur? It’s the question asked of me the most. It’s the question I thought would be the perfect start to this regular column on entrepreneurship, venture capital and the world of startups – a sector of our economy which is booming. Despite the economic and political challenges we face in the country, our startup scene is a parallel universe of overwhelming optimism, innovation, job creation, creativity and wealth creation. When we were in the midst of downgrades, juxtaposed was the country’s startup sector with positive news of new funds coming online, startups winning funding, and entrepreneurs exiting from...

  • The unwavering persistence of entrepreneurs

    The following is a transcription of a keynote speech made by Memeburn publisher and Creative Spark founder Matthew Buckland at the Youth Entrepreneurs Connect Conference at the Cape Town ICC on 28 September. In the speech, Buckland explores how the internet has helped bring entrepreneurship to the fore, and the impact it has had on South Africa. Drawing on his own experiences, he also describes how vital it is that universities support entrepreneurship and allow students, who are so inclined, to follow their own destinies. Moreover he dissects the qualities that make up a successful entrepreneur. Few apply to...

  • 12 absolutely incredible lessons for entrepreneurs from Bill Gross [LeWeb]

    It's rare that you see a talk that resonates so deeply and makes complete, fundamental sense. You have the realisation that experience, genius and truth is in the same room as you and you are having those "aha" moments every minute -- and it's exhilarating. Bill Gross is an entrepreneurial genius. He runs a company called Idealab, started in 1996. He founded the company to create and build successful businesses that capitalise on innovations in areas with growth opportunities. Naturally the internet is a key focus for the company. Idealab has been busy: It has started about 100 companies, had more...

  • Death is the default for startups, and your little idea means nothing

    Death is the default for startups, reckons Amazon Web Services Technology Evangelist Simone Brunozzi. Apart from having a really cool Twitter handle @Simon, Brunozzi has founded a few startups himself, so speaks with some authority. Speaking at a Tech4Africa conference in Johannesburg he mentioned that there was quite a bit of confusion at what constituted a "startup". He emphasised that most new businesses in the world were actually not startups, but were "service companies". I guess they like to call themselves "startups" because it's very funky and trendy to call yourself one these days. But to qualify as a startup, says...

  • What a startup can learn from a restaurant menu

    It's often said that one of the biggest challenges for an entrepreneur is focus. Naturally, this is coupled with multiple challenges like cash flow, growth management, and your general sanity. It's also said that the great thing about being an entrepreneur is the freedom that comes with it. However, that freedom is largely illusionary unless you are running a lifestyle company or you've hit the megabucks early. Most entrepreneurs find themselves shackled by other responsibilities: Responsibility for the talent in the organisation, strategic direction of the company, trying to build more with less, the demanding pace of the new startup...

  • SA study: More people banking with their mobiles than PCs

    According to respected market research organisation World Wide Worx, the number of people banking from their cellphones has exceeded that of people banking from their PCs in South Africa. More than a quarter of bank customers are turning to their cellphones for services ranging from informational transaction types such as balance enquiries to financial transaction types which include account payments. This was one of the key findings from the consumer phase of the...

  • A short word on innovation

    Innovation in a business context is one of the most misunderstood concepts around. I have to admit that I've misunderstood it for most of my life too. I've grown to realise that ideas by themselves are pretty much worthless -- and innovation really arises out of a process of execution of those ideas that tests and combines other ideas, technologies and theories. It's common sense really. It's why Venture Capitalists will rarely invest...

  • The surprising science of motivation

    Fascinating TED talk on what motivates people in companies, challenging traditional notions of management. Very relevant to many online companies who are looking at building new and different cultures. (via Wendy Robb @ 20fourlabs)

  • Survey claims 80% of SA users shop online

    A survey by Master Card claims that 80% of South African users are shopping online. CDs, DVDs and VCDs” emerged as the most sought after item category, with 58% of online shoppers saying that they frequently shopped for these items online. “Airline tickets” and “books and arts” emerged as the next most sought after items, with 45% of online shoppers saying that they had frequently shopped for these items in the three months prior...