Death is the default for startups, and your little idea means nothing

SIMONE BRUNOZZI (650 x 300) (1000 x 462) Death is the default for startups, reckons Amazon Web Services Technology Evangelist Simone Brunozzi. Apart from having a really cool Twitter handle @Simon, Brunozzi has founded a few startups himself, so speaks with some authority. Speaking at a Tech4Africa conference in Johannesburg he mentioned that there was quite a bit of confusion at what constituted a "startup". He emphasised that most new businesses in the world were actually not startups, but were "service companies". I guess they like to call themselves "startups" ...


Angry Birds means Nokia will win in emerging markets

Angry Bird The headlines from Nokia World in London have centred around two things: Its new smartphones running Windows Phone (the new Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710), and a persistent message around "connecting the next billion". While its marketing message has the convenience of a Really Big Number, connecting a healthy portion of those next billion will keep Nokia relevant. This is not about smartphones. It needs to attract those customers in "high-growth" markets (its term for describing emerging markets) because ...


Sony buys Sony Ericsson for $1.5-billion

Sony has announced that it will buy out Erricsson's 50% stake in Sony Erricsson and turn it into a subsidiary by January 2012. In an official press release, Sony said that Ericsson will receive US$1.5-billion for its stake in Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications. The transaction will most likely be completed by the beginning of 2012. Included in the deal are sets of related patents as well as cross-licensing agreements for various intellectual properties. Since 2001, both brands have released their line-up of ...

Africa, Interviews

Africa’s ‘Bill Gates’ on technological innovation

HERMAN CHINERY-HESSE (650 x 293) As the co-founder of SOFTtribe limited, one of the leading software houses in West Africa, Herman Chinery-Hesse has been described by the BBC as "Africa's Bill Gates". Chinery-Hesse is known for designing software that is "tropically tolerant" in that it takes into consideration Africa's specific environmental, political and societal challenges. In a recent interview with the BBC, Chinery-Hesse said: "I think that there is so much opportunity in Africa, there is so much underdevelopment, there is so much that hasn't been ...

Advertising & Marketing

Seven rules for writing a stellar email subject line

hotel-email-marketing-600-300 Writing the subject line is often the last and most hurried step before sending an email, when it should actually be the other way around. These are very much a mission-critical element of your communications strategy that you shouldn't leave until deadlines are looming. In fact, those first few characters are the doorstep to your emailing success; since it’s all you have to catch the attention of your reader, entice them to open your message and take action. As you plan ...

Advertising & Marketing, Interviews

Social media fatigue, Radiohead and QR Codes: Q&A with Josh Spear

josh spear As one of the youngest and most influential marketing strategists in the world, Josh Spear owns Undercurrent, a New York-based consultancy that applies a digital worldview to the challenges and ambitions of complex corporate organisations. Nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, Spear serves on the Global Agenda Council on Marketing and Branding. He has been an active participant in the World Economic Forum in Davos since 2008. Most recently, he has been advising Millennium Promise, ...

Africa, Future Trends

Africa: Turning the tech world upside down (Part 1)

Africa turning the world upside down (650 x 437) In business white space is defined as a place, "...where rules are vague, authority is fuzzy, budgets are non existent, and strategy is unclear..." It's the space between the organisational chart, where the real innovation happens. It's also a great definition for what we see in Africa, and it's one reason why it's one of the most exciting places to be a technology entrepreneur today. Recently, I gave with a talk at PopTech where I talked about "The Idea of Africa" ...


BlackBerry delays PlayBook OS update

playbook BlackBerry manufacturer RIM has decided to delay the release of an update to its PlayBook OS until further notice. In a blog post, senior VP of the PlayBook tablets, David Smith said: As much as we'd love to have it in your hands today, we've made the difficult decision to wait to launch BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 until we are confident we have met the expectations of our developers, enterprise customers and end-users. For the enterprise, we're addressing many barriers to ...

Emerging Markets, Social media

MXit primarily used by adults finds SA social media study

south_africa_internet No longer the forgotten step-child of South African internet activity, a study by Fuseware and World Wide Worx has found that along with e-mail, news, and banking, South Africans have now also embraced social media as a core pillar of their internet activity. The study, titled South African Social Media Landscape 2011 as Memeburn has previously reported, found that MXit and Facebook lead the way in user numbers. When it comes to growth, Twitter and BlackBerry's instant messaging service -- which also ...


Nokia unveils Lumia 800: The ‘first real’ Windows Phone

nokia-lumia-800_group Finnish communications giant Nokia has unveiled what it calls the "first real" Windows phone. The Lumia 800, it says, is designed entirely around the Windows Phone operating system. Addressing the audience at Nokia World 2011, currently underway in London, Nokia’s Kevin Shields called the phone "a beauty on the outside and beast on the inside". The Lumia 800 borrows heavily from the design of the Nokia N9. Its insides are held together by a single piece, injection moulded polycarbonate ...






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