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  • Yammer founder on PayPal: Understanding the power of virality…

    I spent an evening last week with the founders of the private social network Yammer, Box.net, and Zendesk, and I wanted to share a conversation I had with Yammer co-founder David Sacks and his pedigree at PayPal. I have a fascination with PayPal and its alumni because they have gone on to build and invest in some of Silicon Valley's top companies: YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Zynga and many more. Here's a partial list of PayPal's founders and their achievements: - Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and a very successful angel investor: Facebook, Ironport, Digg, Flickr, Ping.fm, Last.fm, Zynga. - Peter Thiel and his...

  • Company Office

    Hurry, Bookmark Award entries close this Sunday!

    The annual IAB SA Bookmark Awards reward excellence in the digital advertising space and have, within less than a decade, entrenched its position as one of the most prestigious events on the South African digital marketing calendar. Awards are presented across eight categories that provide an inclusive overview of the best work performed in the local digital space, as determined by a team of expert local and international judges. Entries for next year’s event, to be held at the Turbine Hall in Newtown, Johannesburg, on March 3, 2016 close on November 15, 2015. “The categories were determined through extensive engagement with...

  • Why Angel funding is killing innovation

    I'm a fan of Max Levchin and his fellow Paypal alumni because this group has spent the past five years creating many of the more interesting Silicon Valley startups. Levchin recently sold Slide to Google and he is an investor in Yelp and several other startups. And he is still young and has a lot more to add to his Wikipedia page before he is done. Levchin writes on his blog, but only very occasionally. One such occasion was fairly recently, his first since mid-2008, a critique of Silicon Valley's angel community. Angels have done very well for themselves over the past...

  • Tynt: A business built on ‘copy and paste’

    Who would think that there is a business in providing an online copy and paste service? Tynt believes that there is a very large opportunity even though it hasn't yet figured out how best to monetise it. Tynt provides publishers with a way of monitoring how and where content is being shared. A reader highlights some text and pastes it into an email or a blog post and Tynt automatically adds a link to the original content. A dashboard shows publishers what has been copied and where it is being shared. Multiply this simple action across tens of millions of web...

  • CREATORmakers.com: Unlock your potential

    To dream is as easy as breathing; it is one of the things that make us quintessentially human. But sometimes hopes and dreams get pushed aside due to time pressures and the daily grind. Now there is a social media solution that allows you to keep your dreams alive and in focus. Launched September 9th 2010, the self funded project CREATORmakers.com wants to help people make their dreams come true. It is both a website and an iPhone application that provides various fun tools which help people organise and connect their passions and create the type of life they wish...

  • Paper.li makes you editor-in-chief of your online newspaper

    There is no longer any doubt about the awesome impact that Twitter is having on the media landscape. Every day, the micro-blogging phenomenon cements its place at the center of news gathering, social networking and information dissemination. But while its basic functionality has been widely accepted, the delivery mechanisms employed are being challenged on various fronts, most notably by the Flipboard app on the iPad, and now by paper.li. What paper.li does is organise links shared on Twitter by your social network into an easy to read newspaper-style format for readers to consume. Developed by a Swiss startup called...

  • How to find the right lawyer for your startup

    Choosing a tech-savvy lawyer for your startup isn't easy, but it's critical that you find the right person. Not all-self proclaimed web startup lawyers are equal, and some can do more harm than good. Figuring out how code and law fit together requires a great deal of curiosity and experience, and an ability to see the big picture. You will often find 21st-century lawyers playing with new technologies that don't have an obvious business case for lawyers, yet. They are just curious. The best lawyers for startups that I know move easily between worlds; helping non-profits that fight for a...

  • Viewdle gives mobile phones the ability to ‘see’

    High-powered players are pumping US$10-million into Viewdle, a technology startup crafting ways that enable smartphones "see" things the same way people do and identify faces. The influx of cash announced this week is coming from Qualcomm, BlackBerry Partners Fund, US electronics retail chain Best Buy, and Anthem Venture Partners, an investment firm that has backed Viewdle from the outset. "We are giving smartphones human eyes," said Viewdle co-founder and chief executive Laurent Gil. "Letting them see the world the way people do... it is artificial intelligence," he said. "It is happening." Northern California-based Viewdle bills itself as the leading independent facial recognition company...

  • VC: ‘If you can’t describe your business in a tweet, it’s not a business’

    PoweredbyVC is a venture capital fund based in Cape Town, initially established in 2010 by members of emerging market investment group Here Be Dragons (HBD) -- the company created by famous internet entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth. PoweredbyVC now runs HBD's portfolio, and is always on the lookout for businesses to invest in. Keet Van Zyl, executive director at PoweredbyVC spoke to Memeburn about what he looks out for in a startup, discusses the investment environment right now and delivers some sound advice for young entrepreneurs looking to attract venture capital. MB: Is this a bad time to be looking for...

  • Thinkup: A web app to help analyse your social network

    ThinkUp, a free software project founded by Gina Trapani of Lifehacker fame, helps you harvest insights from the conversations you have on social networks like Twitter and Facebook. One of ThinkUp's most compelling features is its ability to collect and organise replies to the questions you pose to your friends and followers on your social networks. The free, installable web-application is still in beta testing but has received a lot of positive acclaim already. With ThinkUp, you are able to store your social data such as posts, replies, retweets, friends, followers, and links from Twitter and Facebook in your own...

  • iSigned.com: A new age of digital storage

    Storing a document to last for a long period of time in one physical location is not only difficult, but risky as well. Secure digital file storage is also problematic, with risks of lost external drives, corrupt hard-drives, missing discs amongst the many potential problems. The easier and supposedly safer option is cloud storage, which involves storing the document on a network online for easy, secure access from anywhere. iSigned.com, launched in July 2010, is an online file storage platform that offers secure, permanent storage for legal records and other important documents with the aim of "helping individuals and...