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All posts by Nicholas Haralambous

Nicholas Haralambous
Nic a mobile entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of Motribe, a mobile platform for publishing on the web. He has previously worked at Vodacom in the social media division launching a mobile alternative reality game, Legends of Echo as well as location based social network, The Grid. He has also worked at the Mail&Guardian as the head of the mobile division.
  • Here’s why failure is a rite of passage to success

    Winning the first time, every time and all the time is unrealistic and harmful to your continued success. Entrepreneurial delusion is a real thing. If it isn’t an official thing, it really should be. We (the entrepreneurs) believe that we will succeed no matter. We’re different, we’re unique, we’re in the top percentile of companies that actually make it beyond the first 18 months. We convince ourselves so intensely that this is the case that failure becomes the enemy. But it isn't. Read more on Ventureburn.var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • A handshake isn’t enough: what happens when investors back out

    Recently I had the opportunity to raise a small round of seed funding for my subscription sock company, NicSocks.com. The figure was about US$25 000 and I was raising it from an angel investor. We had an aligned vision, we spent months discussing where the business going, how we were going to move the company towards our next goal and what we would use the funds for. Everything was on track. We had a handshake agreement that I thought was as good as gold. It wasn’t and the deal fell through after months and months of work. Here’s the...

  • Y Combinator: Investors should back the jockey not the horse

    Y Combinator, a leading seed investment incubator, recently announced that it would be accepting startup applications for this years fund from startup founders WITHOUT an idea. Here's how the incubator describes itself on its website: Y Combinator does seed funding for startups. Seed funding is the earliest stage of venture funding. It pays your expenses while you're getting started. Some companies may need no more than seed funding. Others will go through several rounds. There is no right answer. How much funding you need depends on the kind of company you start. It appears that the technology investment market arrived...

  • The hows and the whats — 5 tough questions VCs ask

    Over the past six months I have spoken with a wide variety of people who have shown, in varying degrees, interest in investing in my company. Many of these VCs have specific ways that they conduct a call, interview or meeting. Many of them have lead me down long and wasteful due diligence processes, many have been kind, some have been blunt and harsh but all have been pedantic and specific about the types of questions they ask. I have found that, on the whole, the questions are standard and the steps straight-forward but there are always the tough questions...

  • Social is not defensible

    The concept of being social is inherent and should be a part of everything that a company does, in any industry. Social is just the nature of things and people. When you're in the grocery store and you bump in to someone you know, that's social. When you ask for directions: social. When you talk to a petrol attendant: social. When you get advice from a friend on a dinner venue: social. Everything is social. Therefore nothing that claims to be social as a unique selling proposition is defensible or, in fact, unique. What do I mean by defensible? It's...

  • A second glance: Nokia’s Lumia 800

    Nokia has had a rough couple of years in the eye of the public but in the emerging markets it's still the king of the castle. Their dominance in markets such as Africa has remained mostly unchallenged in recent times. Nokia was the phone that taught me about mobile. I had the Nokia 6310 back in the day and that was definitely the most stable and effective communication device I've ever used,...

  • 8 Reasons hiring at a technology startup is tough

    I like to define a startup in a way that goes something like this: A startup in my world is a young company in a new, fast growing and evolving industry that could swing, change or be disrupted very quickly. The reason that it's relevant for me to lay out how I define a startup is because this definition is extremely important when considering hiring a team. It is often not as simple as hiring the best person for the job. It's much deeper and more complicated than a simple contract with leave allowances and a stable income. Hiring is tough...

  • Smartphones are cool but feature phones are smart

    In case you don't know what the Nokia S40 is, here's the Wikipedia page and a brief intro from that entry: Series 40 is a software platform and application user interface (UI) software on Nokia's broad range of mid-tier feature phones I bet many reading this have never heard of S40. I am willing to guess that without knowing it though, many (if not most) of you have used an S40 device. The first of which came in to the market as early as 1999. Recently there has been a ton of hype placed on the shoulders of the "Smartphone...

  • Mobile West vs Mobile Rest

    Mobile is the next big thing. Have you heard that before? I have. In fact lately that is all I've heard from every direction and every guru or evangelist out there. And I use the words guru and evangelist very, very loosely. Trying to figure out why everyone is saying that mobile is the next best thing, is actually the next best thing. Everyone is talking about mobile, but no one is being specific. All the big guns: TechCrunch, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, TheNextWeb and many others have constantly been batting around mobile ideas, thoughts and concepts over the past 12 months, but...