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  • Not all traffic is created equal – a guide to ecommerce

    While recently preparing a report on the annual traffic to a large corporate website, I had many opportunities to pause and reflect on the nature of Internet traffic and the difficult job businesses have in procuring this traffic, holding on to it, channelling it in the right ways, and turning browsing into the business that will help the company increase profits and improve its bottom line. A successful online business transaction has so many variables -- some technological, but most human, that make the process of conversion less than an exact science. Web metrics have gone some way towards providing...

  • Company Office

    The Bookmark Awards announces entry submission extension

    The IAB SA announced today that the deadline for submissions to the prestigious Bookmark Awards would be extended from 15 November 2015 to 30 November 2015, providing entrants with a further opportunity to present their work at the country’s premier digital marketing showcase. “We have already received a large amount of entries, but we have also received a number of requests for a deadline extension. We understand that November is much of the industry’s pitch season, so we have decided to give entrants a weekend and let them come back on Monday with fresh minds to create their best...

  • Fear of failure is robbing South Africa of great thinkers

    Fear is the greatest energy sapper. Fear of failure, fear of ridicule and fear that things might never happen as you would like them to. As someone wisely said, fear is also the parent of cruelty. Cruelty to yourself. With fear paralysis sets in, and failure, which is so necessary for rapid innovation, is lost. Find your own way by getting things done. An idea does not have to be crafted into perfection to be worthy of an audience. In fact, the mere act of speaking it will allow it to emerge as better than it currently is. Ideas are...

  • 7 tips for starting up small

    There's no formula for guaranteeing the success of a startup and each new venture comes with its own story and own personal ideas of how to make it work. Still, there are some commonalities that you can learn from and prepare to encounter before heading into the great unknown. Here are seven simple and easy things to watch out for before and during the first few months of your startup's life, particularly if you're starting up without an investment or strategy partner. 1. The younger you are, the better If you have an idea for a startup but are not inclined...

  • Establishing your international startup anywhere

    There’s been a growing trend for startups to base themselves anywhere and have their employees scattered across the world, and in the process erase the concept of the old-school HQ. This trend seems to be even more prevalent for startups that operate online, with the WordPress/Automattic team being a great example. Over at WooThemes, our team is scattered across five different countries and we have a central office (which houses half of the team) in Cape Town, South Africa. Our whole business is online and we’re able to manage all of our daily activities from the comfort of our chosen...

  • Startups: What VCs look for

    Venture capitalists and entrepreneurs often don't see eye-to-eye, and in South Africa in particular, there seems to be a very real gap in meeting the needs and expectations of both parties. While we know the path of the entrepreneur can be a frightfully fun but rocky one, at some stage venture capital becomes a real option to consider, and when you get to that stage, make sure you know exactly what we are looking for. As funders, we really look for four basic things and your pitch must answer the following: 1. What is the burning need you are taking away?...

  • BetTech secures multi-million rand seed funding

    Software development startup BetTech Gaming has announced that it has secured a multi-million rand seed funding packet from South African venture capital firm, 4Di Capital. Founded in 2009, BetTech develops gaming software, the first of which is their sports book package which will be licensed through bet.co.za’s web and mobile interfaces. When asked what persuaded 4Di to invest in BetTech, 4Di Director Justin Stanford cited the "marriage of a great idea with a capable team", namely directors Jesse Hemson-Struthers and Mark Bosman. "Jesse is already a very successful entrepreneur, with two successful online businesses to his name already, so that was definitely...

  • 10 easy ways to fail as an entrepreneur

    Many people dream of starting their own businesses and becoming financially independent, but while the idea of organising and operating your own business venture may be thrilling, there’s a good chance that your fledgling company won’t survive unless you identify potential pitfalls and plan to circumnavigate them. Here are 10 ways that you could fail as an entrepreneur: 1. Poor market research Make sure there’s a need for your product or service. Ideally, your offering should be unique and fill a gap in the market, but if there’s already competition in your intended sector, research ways to position yourself uniquely to improve...

  • 10 lessons for tech startups

    Having been involved in a number of web and tech startups from Vottle.com to a VoIP mobile startup under the auspices of Internet Solutions' ISLabs, I have been lucky enough to have worked with some very bright entrepreneurs, and have learnt some valuable lessons along the way. From Two-Minute noodles, to Darwin, to Ham-and-Egging, here are my 10 lessons for founders. 1. The Boot: Almost every business can be bootstrapped to start, and should be. Not even Google needed outside financing for its first couple of years. Superstar entrepreneurs have an uncanny knack of making money go...

  • 5 tips about the e-commerce gold rush

    It’s a brave world out there for the intrepid that roll the dice in the hopes of cashing in on the ecommerce 2.0 goldmine. My business partner recently equated the advent of the internet as akin to just that – the great gold rush. Have you used internet banking recently? Did you order your groceries online? 10 years ago these simple tasks we take for granted every day as being “just there” did not exist. Think of the gold rush – sure, the prospectors mined away and some struck it rich, but around the miners and their industry, sprung...

  • New SA crowd-source fund hits R1-million

    Crowdfund is the South African tech industry’s latest step toward fostering a culture of angel investment for online start ups in South Africa, and it’s taken off at rocket pace. After launching in March of this year, the fund has banded together 229 investors to raise a total of R1-million in capital for budding online start ups. After less than thirty days since its inception, Crowdfund is already primed to spark new entrepreneurial life in South Africa. The investors enthusiasm about Crowdfund  illustrates a wide-spread recognition that South Africa has the potential to become major player in the global tech industry if...