Monday, May 27, 2013

The easiest way to make money as an entrepreneur is do what government does but better!

Many entrepreneurs try and think of that really big idea....that awesome IT product...that great innovation. However some of the most successful businesses have been those entrepreneurs who have filled the gap in government services and just done it better, with better staff, better service and more accountability to the ultimate paying customer.
In South Africa (SA) there are many examples of entrepreneurs just doing it better and coining it.
Postnet is an alternative post office with hundreds of branches.
SA has many successful and world class private hospitals because state hospitals have weak services.
SA has a massive security sector that works in parallel to a very dismal police force.
One of the largest private growth sectors in the country is private education and the number of private companies getting into the game and making huge profits is astonishing as the state education sector just doesnt cut the mustard.
The list goes on! The brilliant facet of these business sectors is they are very easily exported to other countries who need these services and thus brand and profit and profits grow. Everyone benefits from a better quality service.
So I started to think where there are still gaps in the SA market.
What about all those municipal services, fire services,  private morgues and private burial spaces.
Municipal services such as trash collection are already privatised. But what about water and electricty service provision. When a water pipe bursts or electricity wires get damaged why not have private companies take on this role? But the big one must be morgues and private burial spaces. Death is an industry that everyone will pay for and this could be the next big private enterprise opportunity.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Why Sport is evolving rapidly, Why failure is really important and why dont i start the party of one in the next government elections!

I have been following and playing sport all my life. I have noticed massive shifts in sports. From amateurs , to professionalism, to entertainment specialists. I also love surfing and surfing has shown massive change. Amateurs and enthusiasts started the sport for its purity and thrill and a bit of the alternative side of society, then pro's started and i think this is where surfing is at now, and the age of entertainment will still come. In rugby, cricket and soccer for example entertainment is now the priority. Surfing has lagged behind a bit and they haven't been able to innovate beyond being a pro!
So who watches a  surfing competition? well surfers mostly. Who watches a soccer game? everyone! The whole family! My son does karate and its basically the same but still on an amateur level mostly. I suppose one day they will go pro, and then become entertainers like MMA fighters. Karate ninja kings! I am truly fascinated by all this progression but none so in women's netball. Mostly an amateur sport for so long all of a sudden we had pro's, and even quicker we had entertainment. To my amazement all the glitz and glamour where all to show in a fast pace tournament involving the best of the best, rule changes, and very entertaining. Now if you can entertain me watching women's netball you can probably entertain me watching any sport. My question is what comes after entertainment?
I hate failing. At anything. But i do understand that to be a successfull sportsman or entrepreneur you have to fail....learn....not make the same mistakes again....drop what you are doing and do something different...and above all move on....yikes its tough.
And lastly. Im thinking of starting my own political party. The Party of One! To start a party you only need R500 in South Africa and fill in the forms and apply. My party will not represent all the other party of one's, but will support them with funding and skills. The Party of One will not have a single manifesto or a set of rules....all the one's have their own. Anyone want to become a oner?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Old school VS New School

You've heard the term old school vs new school? It basically means that some products, services or even attitudes are old school or antiquated and really behind the times or irrelevant and new school means something new, fresh, change, energetic and world changing. When i think of old school i think of products where everyone basically uses it but doesn't think why except that everyone else uses it or does it! A great example is that everyone used candles and oil, while Edison developed electricity. Old school was the oil and candle because no one really questioned it. Then electricty became new school. Now electricity is becoming old school as renewable energy slowly starts to take over...and it will!
When i think of old school i think of golfers and the holes they make called divets. Now millions of golfers make millions of divets daily. Golfers carry sand. Now thats seriously old school. Someone will design a product that can fill those holes so golfers dont need to carry a bag of sand any more. Like a spray can of grass?
The masses eat bread as one of their staple diets or wheat products. Now this is old school. Diets will change and are changing but what of the masses and their eating habits. Something affordable and tasty into something new school, healthy etc. Old school is when the majority of people do something without really thinking why they do it, and new school becomes the alternative and then everyone changes.
It becomes a constant and endless circle of change, adaption, evolution and innovation.
Other old school things that need solutions include:
1. Marriage
2. Political systems
3. Fridges
4. TV
5. Insurance
and so on and so on!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Are you a loser if you enter a entrepreneurship competition and lose?

I was a judge at an entrepreneurship competition this weekend and i listened to the 8 finalists. So I asked the orgnaisers how many people entered the competition. 1000! Jeez thats a lot of entries. I happened to be sitting next to the founder of The BIG Break TV program that is also a competition. So i asked him the same question. He said that 12,000 people entered his show and of course there is only 1 winner and 12 finalists. Then i looked around at the many many competitions that are now available to entrepreneurs across the world. Thousands of people enter these competitions, a few are finalists and the rest?? My opinion is that no one should be a loser in an entrepreneurship competition. So How would i run an entrepreneurship competition?

1. All the entrants are looked at as possible entrepreneurs rather than there ideas alone.
2. Everyone must receive feedback that will encourage them to keep perseverance is so important being an entrepreneur.
3. Everyone should be encouraged to come back and pitch again and again and again....until they get it!
4. The databases of all the losers should be compiled into one massive database and this should be the foundation for training, encouragement and motivation for wanna be entrepreneurs.

So at the moment we have winners and losers.

In my system i want only winners and winners.

I will begin by compiling a list of all the "losers" and start the long process of getting them up to speed, Who knows the judges may have missed quite a few diamonds on the way.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I am on the war path!

So how can the government increase employment amongst the unemployed and service delivery to the people who voted for them?

In a heated discussion with an old friend she challenged me outright on the issue of unemployment and together with that service delivery.

For me the two issues are completely connected and I will tell you why.

First get rid of the unions in all government departments. I mean why should people who work for government have access to a union mentality. These are people who are paid by taxpayers and taxpayers are the actual employers not government. When government employees don’t deliver on their targets or their mandate then they should be fired. All people in government should serve the people who actually pay their salaries...the taxpayer.

A radical view. But for gods sake the government recognizes as Trevor Manual does and Ibrahim Patel the drivers of economic change will be a great education system. Then the unions drive strikes for better wages and who suffers. The kids! This is a government paradox. This is a ridiculous situation to be in. Nurses, Prison warders, police, army, public servants on all levels should not be allowed to strike and they should have no union representation.

Now my real point is that service delivery will be based on targets for all government employees not based on just getting a monthly salary. If they don’t deliver then they must be fired.

If they don’t like this system then they can get a job in the private sector where they will have to deliver on targets anyway! People need to learn that there are consequences for under-performing.

Most of the jobs that will be created in the future will be through government interventions and this is clearly a cop out as the jobs are not sustainable and are not based on profits but taxpayers money.

Now this is my real point. Why cant some people do this? I believe that people are not taught to set targets and then keep them as well as the consequences of not sticking to these targets. This is the true measure of success and often means you need to work 110% rather than 100%. This means that a union wage and work week is simply ridiculous if the country wants to reach lofty targets of job creation, employment and service delivery. The extra 10% is what will make people successful and the country. It’s the same with the 1000 hour rule. You need to spend 1000 hours to be masterfull!

This is the same for any work, school studies, any vocation, sport, music etc. The person who works the most will be the most successful, and often work for nothing.

This is why my son will be succesfull! He trains in sport like a demon and sets his targets very high. He achieves! He works so hard at school and achieves! He works on everything at 110%, sometimes 120%. There is no magic bullet.

If kids at school set targets and work at 130% they will all achieve good results. If municipal workers work at 110% then we will have service delivery. This is the ethos we need in this country. If targets are not reached then there should be consequences. For gods sake how can we let students through to higher grades if they haven’t achieved their targets in lower grades and how can we lets them have such low standards. Government complains about education but they are often the problem talking the talk but not walking the walk. They need to get rid of the union mentality once and for all and not stand for second best!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Ice Cream cones, potato sacks and 3D binocular glasses

Firstly I would like to thank everyone for their kind words on the value of reading this blog.

I think all of you have a yearning for Innovation like I do wether you are a student, working in a corporate, unemployed, living in a city or a slum.

Innovation makes us who we are….human and inquisitive…in need of stimulation and improvement…excited and full of potential. I have mentioned this before in my blog somewhere that I believe in the human spirit to adapt and change and develop. Those humans that can change will always be more successful than those who don’t. And of course we can learn from nature all the time. The ultimate adaptable system.

Now I am a surfer and I want to paddle faster. So I looked at a duck and I looked at the webbing on their feet. And I thought why don’t I make these web based gloves for my hands so I can paddle faster. This is adaption and will make my surfing more fun and who knows I may make money as well.

And money is important BUT Innovating is much to much like fun. Innovating only for money is a wasted pre-occupation. Fun is important too!

When a kid wants ice cream in a cone the cone is nice but the ice cream is better. A re-usable cone is a very practical way to eat as much ice cream (in a cone ) as possible without wasting a cone every time.

The problem with potato sacks is that they are either paper ( really lame) or some type of plastic mesh ( bad for the environment). Why not produce a plastic bag with pockets for each potato that is reusable.

How many times have you been to a movie and bought the 3D glasses. Then you come to the next movie and buy them again. And so the wastage continues. So why don’t they take the 3D glasses and turn them into cheap binoculars for use at sports events, at game farms, and Justin Bieber concerts.

I suppose wastage is also an issue for me. I do hate wastage. What if I told you all that there are R50 tokens in the litter on the beach in Milnerton Cape Town. Will you pick up the litter? For R50? Wait for my call to action.