• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Entrepreneurship

  • How innovative companies should capitalise B2B ecommerce

    Ecommerce in South Africa -- while still just a slice of the overall retail pie -- is growing as much as 35% per year. However, of this, the lion’s share still operates in the B2C space, suggesting that B2B companies -- those that use the web to sell goods and services to other businesses -- have yet to cotton-on to its very lucrative potential. B2B is perceived as the less sexy sister of B2C, despite having a massive traditional footprint in South Africa. It’s also been slower to respond to customers’ new digital diets that sees them -- be it...

  • 7 things startups should look for in their legal services

    In the last few years there has been a fair amount of commentary in business forums on digital disruption, and how technology is changing the way we interact with our service providers, friends and customers. A few well-known examples are Uber (taxi company that owns no taxies), AirBnB (accommodation provider that owns no real estate), Slack, Skype, Wechat (communication providers that own no telecoms infrastructure), Google and Apple (software vendors that don't develop the majority of the apps they sell), Kickstarter (funding provider that provides none of the funding), Twitter and YouTube (media and content providers who don't produce their...

  • 18 mistakes every startup should seriously avoid [Infographic]

    Many estimate that between 25% and 30% of all startups fail within their first year. The reasons why they are unique to each company, though there are 18 very common causes that we all should avoid. In 2007, founder of the successful Y Combinator incubator in the US, Paul Graham, jotted down a list of notorious things startups tend to do that end up leading to their awful defeat. Now, the folks at Funders and Founders have illustrated this beautiful infographic for all of us to remember. Read more: Fail fast, succeed faster: Lean Startup Machine finally kicks-off in Joburg Graham wrote: In...

  • Is 2016 the best year to start a business in SA?

    As a new year begins, many aspiring entrepreneurs will flirt with the idea of leaving their full time employment and starting their own businesses. However, the current slowdown in economic growth and uncertainty will be enough to discourage even the most determined people from taking a leap of faith. The reality is that times are tough. Therefore, entrepreneurs that are strong-willed to forge ahead with their business ideas will have to tread cautiously and be prepared to deal with the many risks and challenges associated with starting a new business. A question I often get from entrepreneurs is -- when is...

  • Does my startup need a health and safety guy? Yes. Yes, it does

    When first starting out in business, the temptation can be to run headlong into making your product and your brand as popular as possible and just hoping that the "non-business" issues (such as safety) will iron themselves out. As a result, it is far too often the case that some startups forget about workplace safety altogether. This is surprising when you consider that startups don't tend to have many employees so implementing safety protocols should be easier. However, it is not surprising when you consider that a person's motivation for starting a business is rarely "to make the world's...

  • A Day in the Life of: LulaLend startup CEO Trevor Gosling [Native Article]

    A Day in the Life of... Being an entrepreneur is as tough as it is rewarding. Your career is filled with risks, but also an incredible amount of opportunities. For the second edition of our A Day in the Life of... series, we're following Trevor Gosling, the co-founder and CEO of South African fintech outfit LulaLend. After a good few years in the investment banking space, working for the likes of Rand Merchant Bank and Goldman Sachs, Gosling built his own premium wine and gourmet food venture. The company, 5ounces, as it was called, then got acquired by South Africa's media...

  • Startups, try doing things that don’t scale [Infographic]

    Startups are often defined as lean businesses that can scale, reaching new markets easily far and wide. While this might be the case, it doesn't mean that all startups should scale in everything they do. In an essay by Y Combinator founder Paul Graham, he argues that startups should focus on doing things that don't scale. According to Graham, startups should, for instance, approach their first customers physically to make a sale happen. Graham recalls how Stripe used to physically set up its service onto other startup founders' computers at the Y Combinator incubator, instead of just blasting out hundreds...

  • How this Accra-based incubator is nurturing entrepreneurs to build pan-African products

    A few months ago, I wrote a piece on the contrasting views of some African tech stakeholders, including Lagos-based CcHub’s Bosun Tijani, on the usefulness of entrepreneurship training programmes in ensuring the success of startups in the various African markets. While there are some who don’t entirely believe in entrepreneurship training, some institutions and incubators do have various programmes for entrepreneurs. Ghana, Accra-based Meltwater School of Entrepreneurship (MEST) is probably the continent’s most revered institution that equips tech entrepreneurs to compete in the pan-African mobile and to scale globally. With numerous success stories in its company profile page, Neal Hansch,...

  • A Day in the Life of: Launchlab operations manager Brandon Paschal [Native Article]

    Behind every incubator or accelerator you'll find a dedicated individual, keeping the gears turning. Whether that means helping a startup formulate its business plan or showing off product demos to visitors, operations managers play a pivotal role in any startup ecosystem. For the first article of our A Day in the Life of... series, we're following Brandon Paschal, the operations manager at the Nedbank Launchlab in Stellenbosch. After finishing his Business Science degree in the US, Brandon Paschal moved to Johannesburg in 2004 where he started working for Campus Outreach, focusing on leadership development. Seven years later he moved over to...

  • Here’s why execution is the most important commodity for your startup’s success

    Wikipedia, that wealth of internet answers, defines execution as “the act or mode or result of performance”. It also has the bits about chopping off heads and ending existence but we’ll leave that for journalists to discuss. Execution is a word I’ve grown to appreciate and use more and more frequently. Not the premature cause of death for bad guys, but the satisfaction of getting things done and seeing them finished. It expresses decisiveness and achievement. In the world of startups and young businesses, that’s so much harder than it seems and thus so satisfying when accomplished. In my years...