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All posts by Ronan Steyn: Staff Reporter

  • Here are 6 South African startups worth watching in 2014

    Ventureburn, with our focus on emerging markets, covered a fare amount of startups from the BRIC countries and the likes in 2013. With our eye on 2014, let's take a look at seven startups from South Africa specifically, with Africa to follow, that caught our eye then, and are worth following into 2014. Mellowcabs There are a plethora of taxi startups coming out of South Africa, all hoping to secure the market and get a piece the country's multi billion rand industry. With international players like Uber entering the country it's becoming tougher for local startups to compete, which is...

  • The best gadgets of CES 2014 [Burning Hot]

    CES 2014 was an interesting affair. Gadget makers went crazy for wearable technology, or gizmos that we can strap to our bodies, much like the Pebble Steel or the Neptune Pine which is more akin to a smartphone for the wrist. In Las Vegas, iOS 7 gaming also finally grew up with the reveal of gamer-friendly controllers for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. As mobile games slowly creep towards console quality, it'll be up to these pricey controllers, like the RP One, to help evolve it. While it's hard to pick a gadget that defined CES, mostly everyone can...

  • Top 10 messaging apps in the world [Infographic]

    "Hey, why don't you send me a text?" said no one ever in 2013. That might not be an accurate, or even true statement, but it's just a matter of time before it is, if you go by the prevalence of instant messaging apps. That's right, text is dead (or dying very quickly), and instant messaging apps are the killer. In 2012 alone, it's purported that mobile operators lost US$23-billion because teens used instant messaging apps rather than text messages. For the user, it's a no-brainer, why pay to send a text message (at hiked prices too) when you can...

  • From Yelling Goats to Doge: the top memes of 2013

    2013 marked a strong year for memes, mostly thanks to the antics of Miley Cyrus and the internet's healthy sense of humour. Below we've compiled what we consider to be the best of the best of 2013, but feel free to tell us what you would add to the list in the comments. Fake Interpreter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hCdtUxnOG8 Probably the boldest man of the year award goes to "sign language interpreter" Thami Jantjie, the man who stood next to the world's most powerful people at Nelson Mandela's funeral for hours on end and signed absolute gibberish. He might have offended deaf communities the world...

  • Community builder Every1Mobile makes social impact its business

    The social economy: the world of aid, philanthropy, non-profits and development programmes was worth over US$128-billion in 2012 (Official Development Assistance). The United Nations Development Programme alone had a US$5.7-billion budget for 2013, and spent over US$3.2-billion of that on 5551 projects in countries such as Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It’s a big industry, and it’s only set to grow over the next decade. At first glance ‘social impact’ doesn’t appear to be a game startups can play easily though, as big budgets and infrastructure seem to be the order of the day. Read more...

  • The next 10 years: shots of the third day of #LeWeb 2013 [Gallery]

    LeWeb 2013 is over, and with it ends a thrilling three days of talks covering 'The Next 10 Years' in technology. Day three covered topics such as the future of television, female entrepreneurship, what the French government can do to spur the growth of the local startup scene, as well as the wired brain. It even featured the LeWeb startup competition finalists and a show from the magician Marco Tempest. Check out the gallery below for highlights from Day 3 -- click on an image to see the larger size. 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");

  • Carmine Gallo’s 3 unbreakable laws of communication [#LeWeb]

    Communication is potentially the most valuable trait you can develop in your career, argues communication coach Carmine Gallo. Speaking at the LeWeb 2013 tech conference, Gallo says that it doesn't matter whether you're an entrepreneur, investor, writer, or an employee at a corporate because, "you're always communicating." How to persuasively communicate is an imperative in this day and age. Luckily, there is a science to persuasion, which Gallo shared during his enlightening talk. So how do you connect with people? On the surface it's quite simple, you just need to follow these three unbreakable laws of communication. 1. Emotional "Touch the...

  • The future of innovation is disruption says Brian Solis [#LeWeb]

    New apps, technologies and trends -- 'ideas' -- are a dime a dozen these days, says Brian Solis, Principal, Altimeter Group. What this means, he tells the audience at LeWeb, is that innovation is now a constant, and you need to think differently about technology to create for the next 10 years. You need to disrupt. Disruption as a concept has been, and will be, interpreted in many ways some more accurate than others. For Solis though, disruption is technology that changes markets. The prime example he gives: sliced bread. Sliced bread created an entire marketplace for spreads, accompaniments etc....

  • The Next 10 years: shots of the second day of #LeWeb 2013 [Gallery]

    The Paris-based technology conference Le Web (Paris) celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Founded by French entrepreneurs Loic and Geraldine Le Meur, the 2013 edition is all about the next ten years. Day two's topics covered everything from the future of wearable tech, to the demands of the cloud, all the way to overcoming fears as an entrepreneur and how empathy is the key to disrupting markets. Check out the gallery below for highlights from day two of the three-day conference. 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");

  • The Next 10 years: shots of the first day of #LeWeb 2013 [Gallery]

    As the first day of Le Web draws to a close here are some shots that showcase the day's events. Le Web is a technology conference based in Paris, France founded 10 years ago by French entrepreneur Loic Le Meur. This year it hopes to explore what will happen in the next 10 years in the tech space, while reflecting on the key trends that have defined the previous decade. 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");

  • Is your company ready for the next ten years? Asks Jeremiah Owyang #LeWeb

    "The physical world is becoming democratised," says Jeremiah Owyang, Chief Catalyst & Founder of the newly launched Crowd Companies. Addressing the audience at the 10th edition of the tech conference Le Web, Owyang's illuminating talk aimed to contextualise the direction in which the world is moving thanks to innovations such as 3D-printing, Bitcoin, crowd funding and social sharing. Examples of this new, shared economy have disrupted both governments (Wikileaks), and media (Napster), going back as far as the mid 1990s. Owyang argues that because of the impact of social media, people -- the 'crowd' -- have become increasingly empowered, so...

  • Gamebase delivers mail-order console gaming to South Africa’s doorstep

    The global video game market was valued at US$65-billion in 2011, US$79 billion in 2012, and is expected to reach US$93 billion this year. As an industry, gaming is simply booming, holding some of the hottest intellectual properties (read: GTA 5) in entertainment right now. However, as a gamer, and specifically as a gamer in South Africa, having gaming as your hobby is an expensive outing -- the latest console titles clock in at around US$70, never mind the price of the console systems themselves and the necessary peripheries. 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");

  • Want to become an authority in your industry? Try blogging

    If there’s one thing you could argue is more important than your startup’s brand it’s your personal brand as a founder and entrepreneur. This is the brand that will transcend whatever companies you start or work for, and will be with you until the end of your career. Establishing your personal brand is hard work though, because it doesn’t start tomorrow, it started yesterday, and it’s an ongoing process. So what’s the right way to go about it? How do you establish yourself as an authority or thoughtleader in your respective industry? It’s a multi-faceted answer sure, but one strategy...

  • Startups keep it personal: build your company for people

    There is a plethora of startup advice out there: find your market need, get an MVP (minimal viable product), find funding, expand, go global, rinse, repeat. However, most advice (and I say most, not all) seems to ignore a fundamental aspect of not only where business is heading, but also the internet -- to the more personal and human. You just have to look at the impact of social media to get a clear picture of this: gone are the days of hiding behind pseudonyms and pictures of your favourite cartoon characters, people are who they say they are now...

  • How Google clamps down on Android’s open-source: the key is Google apps

    Google is often seen as the good guy of the big corporations operating in the world today. Its informal motto is "Don't be evil" after all. Without shouting conspiracy at the top of my lungs, a recent article by Ron Amadeo on Arstechnica brings to light just how Google is starting to close the source so to say, on its Android platform, and perhaps its behaviour could be seen as less "Don't be evil" and more that of the schoolyard bully. When Android was first brought to market, the mobile landscape had different textures. iPhone was on its way to...