• 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!
  • 4 very different mobile payment services

    Mobile payments may be the next big tech gold rush, depending on who you listen to. For something getting so much hype, and with so many start-ups popping up in the field, it is a surprisingly vague term. There are at least a half dozen different approaches competing to become the de facto format. All of them share one thing: the use of mobile devices – mostly cell phones, but increasingly other devices such as tablets – to exchange money. But that's just about where the similarities end. Here are four different services with four very different routes to...

  • Company Office

    Geeks Online SA to launch soon

    Brand new education startup Geeks Online SA (GOSA) based in Cape Town, South Africa, looks to bring an innovative solution in the education space. It’s an idea inspired by the self-proclaimed “Geek” himself, one of the co-founders. The company has been founded by two chief enthusiasts, Anele Geqiwe and Busisiwe Ngxande. What they lack in years of experience, the pair has vision and passion for education. The concept driving GOSA is very simple: it requires strong relationship between high school students and tertiary institutions. We aim to introduce and prepare Grade 10-12 students to academic competency standards expected in tertiary level. Of course there are so many solutions...

  • Why most startups fail … and here’s how not to

    It’s easy to think of the latest startup like a pimple in the middle of your forehead: you wake up one morning and it’s all you can see. And then, one day, for no specific reason, it’s gone. “Anyone know what happened to Whatchamacallit?” After some enquiry, all you’ve got is a handful of rumours and a bucket of spin. All we know for sure is that it’s over. Truth is, most of the time, it failed because of the same reasons so many other startups fail. There will always be special individuals who find exceptional ways...

  • Myows: managing your copyright online

    Creative people are generally not well known for being legally switched on. But the challenges of protecting original work in the digital age means bloggers, freelance writers, photographers and web designers should all be prepared to interact with the law to protect their intellectual efforts -- and their businesses. Luckily, the concept of copyright is pretty straightforward: as soon as a work is created in a tangible form – be it on paper, film, online or in sound – it is eligible for copyright. It is automatic and, unlike patents or trademarks, official registration is not required. If, however, there is...

  • Visa snaps up SA mobile financial services company Fundamo for $110m

    Visa, the world's largest credit and debit card network, has snapped up South African mobile financial services company Fundamo for $110-million in cash. The Cape Town-based Fundamo is a privately-held company which has more than 50 active mobile financial services deployments across 40 countries, including 27 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The company has been operating since 1999 and has a number of funders which include Cape Town venture capitalists and emerging market investment group PoweredByVC, investment company Remgro and financial services corporate Sanlam. PoweredByVC is also linked to dot.com billionaire Mark Shuttleworth. Fundamo’s deployments currently have...

  • Work the look: 5 tips for online clothing retailers

    Clothing is one of the biggest growth markets for online retail, with more people welcoming the obvious benefits of online clothes shopping: no battling the crowds, saving time and often money; not having to faff around in changing rooms; and the confidence of knowing you can always return it if it doesn’t fit just right. And yet apparel is still one of the most difficult things to sell online — a hard truth not helped by the fact that, for the most part, online fashion retailers still don’t do it really well. Reading some of the headlines around the fashion/tech...

  • M-Pesa’s rollercoaster ride

    M-Pesa, the world-famous mobile payment system, has effectively become a type of credit card for poor communities in East Africa. The payment system has had unbelievable success in this region and other emerging market regions, prompting interest in it from many sectors in the world. But M-Pesa is much more than a mobile payment system. It's a blueprint for a future mobile-based currency, used by every corner and every community in the world. It's also testament to how emerging market countries are using technology and innovation to overcome barriers. It's an example of how countries, that are largely behind the...

  • What the web thinks of eBay’s Magento buyout

    When auction giant eBay announced this week that it was buying out the well-known ecommerce platform Magento, reaction was varied. In announcing the buyout eBay President and CEO John Donahoe stated that Magento would merge with the company’s own open source, online retailing platform X.Commerce. Precisely how X.Commerce will work, and what part Magento has to play in it will only be revealed in October during eBay’s X.Commerce Innovate Conference. Here’s what some of the web’s commentators had to say: Mashable: Mashable’s Christina Warren noted the uncertainty around the fate of Magento’s open-source Community Edition, which is currently a...

  • M-Pesa, Google Wallet & PayPal: How do they stack up?

    Last week Google added to a busy period of big product releases with the launch of Google Offers. The Google Offers launch followed hot on the heels of the launch of Google Wallet. Added to this, PayPal is suing former employees for giving away trade secrets to Google which allegedly fueled the development of Google Wallet. So what exactly is Google Wallet? Google Wallet is a new point-of-sale ecosystem that will allow users to use their smartphone as their wallet. This does however require a smartphone with an NFC (near field communications) chip. Currently three forms of payment are supported by the system...

  • Silicon Valley: There’s no bubble but there could be a bust…

    Are we in a bubble? This is the common question as I chat with people at various events around Silicon Valley. The concern that many are expressing is that if it's a bubble, then a crash is not far off. But that's a misdirection of concern, I'm far more worried that the economy will crash long before Silicon Valley's boom has had a chance to bubble and burst. I see the current boom as a resumption of where Silicon Valley was in mid-2008. Finally, after the bubble burst in 2000, funding was coming back and so were jobs and optimism about...

  • Groupon IPO on shaky legs

    One wonders how this happened -- Groupon being called the fastest growing company in history, and then going for an IPO, only to find almost every single blogger and journalist shooting them down. But that is exactly the answer to how it has transpired. The company has grown too fast and is now listing at the wrong time. It is a good and bad day for group buying. Hopefully people will not lose any interest and faith in the world's busiest new online sector, yet on the other hand, many online sources are quoted as being tired of Groupon's antics....