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All posts by Alan Knott-Craig Jr

Alan Knott-Craig Jr
Alan Knott-Craig Jr is a South African mobile entrepreneur with a passion for business opportunities. He is the former CEO of iBurst and now runs World of Avatar, which acquired Mxit in 2011.
  • How do we accelerate internet access in Africa?

    If bandwidth is like water, then Africa is a desert with Perrier vending machines everywhere. If you have money, you’re fine. If you don’t have money, you’re dying of thirst. Although over 70% of Africans have a mobile phone, and over 90% are covered by mobile networks, less than 10% use the internet. That means most Africans can’t email CVs, research Wikipedia, self-diagnose health problems, or generally find out what is happening in the world. We all know that mobile phones have revolutionised Africa. For the first time in history most Africans can speak to one another,...

  • What is the state of Silicon Valley today?

    There is always a vibe in the Valley. Something is in, something is out. Someone is the shit, someone is shit. It doesn't matter what reality is, the vibe overcomes all in its way... I wrote a piece in 2010, briefly summarizing the web then, and subsequently wrote something on the supposed re-inflated internet bubble. The question is: What is the vibe today? Ecommerce, collaborative consumption and enterprise software. These are the top three hot categories. Growth. Revenue and users are not important, only your growth rate is relevant. Which makes sense... the compounding effect of growth (or the lack...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Jnr: 7 career lessons learnt thus far

    Alan Knott Craig Junior is mobile entrepreneur, who was previously the CEO of wireless internet provider iBurst. He recently stepped down as CEO of Mxit, after buying it in 2011, and World of Avatar, the startup group he co-founded. In this post, he explores some of the lessons his various ventures have taught him. When I think of the factors that led to any successes (or failures) in my career thus far,...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Jr on birthing World of Avatar, sealing the Mxit deal

    In the third and final extract from his book "Mobinomics", South African entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Jr details how he took World of Avatar from concept to company. As was the case with some of his previous ventures, there were speedbumps along the way. At one point Knott-Craig had less than R2 000 to his name and kept the business afloat with emergency loans. Slowly though, things began to turn around, until he was ready to make another play for Mxit: Africa's largest social network. Things began to move at the speed of lightning. Pete’s development team moved to Stellenbosch, bringing...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Jr on missing his first shot at Mxit, founding World of Avatar

    In the second in a series of extracts from his book "Mobinomics", South African entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Jr reflects on the first encounter he had with Mxit founder Herman Heunis. At that stage the company was worth a lot less than Knott-Craig would eventually end up paying for it. He also describes the bits of luck, opportunities, cups of coffee, and marital difficulties that put him on the path to leaving wireless broadband company iBurst and starting World of Avatar -- the group of startups that would come to include Mxit in its list of properties. ...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Jr: How I nearly missed out on buying Mxit

    In the first of a series of extracts from the opening chapter of his new book "Mobinomics", South African-based entrepreneur Alan Knott Craig Jr speaks about what it was about Mxit -- the massively popular youth-based social network he now owns -- that turned him into "an evangelist, an unpaid, unofficial ambassador for the network". He also offers a glimpse of the respect he has for the company's former owner Herman Heunis and how difficult it was to turn down opportunities for a stake in Mxit. Twice. Run a small business. Find a job. Educate a child....