Monday, July 29, 2013

Hair Credit, Stickers for car hire firms in foreign countries and spectator whistles

One thing is certain. People love doing their hair. In a country like South Africa where men and women love doing their hair and looking good why not develop a system of hair credit with a large retailer like Edgars that sells hair products and has advanced credit systems in place. The system would be developed with local hair salons that purchase from the retailers their hair products and individuals who also purchase hair products but get a hair credit for the local salon later or get their hair done on credit and pay for it later at the larger retailer. This will change the hair industry forever!
have you even wondered when you arrive in another country and want to hire a car that the car hire industry should have funky stickers on the back windows warning local motorists what country the driver is in to prevent accidents but also to foster goodwill. So if you are in Italy, Italian signs will show the driver is from France, and says hello and hopes the Italian is having a great day. This could be a really interesting way to make new friends and keep motorists amused on the roads.
At local soccer games in South Africa many people take whistles to games and own whistles but they also have cell phones. It would be much easier to get a whistle app on the cell phone although this might be quite confusing to referees.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Why a great brand and a great name means so much to a startup business!

Clickbones, Ambidex, Crutch collective, Espinaca, Hlaza Pools, Iyeza Express all have fantastic looking brands and names. You may not know these brands yet as they are new but you may in the future. I am completely convinced that a great looking brand and a great name for a startup company makes a huge difference to the success of that startup. Sometimes I feel that a great name look and feel makes the difference between getting investment and media attention. I remember launching many businesses and or projects and it was often the brand and name of that initiative that made the difference between other similar businesses. I have also seen the difference in competitions and the difference between winning and losing and i have seen the difference with investors when businesses are pitched to them. The immediate effect of a strong and confident brand that catches the eye on all levels can make the difference between success and failure. This does not matter wether it is a social enterprise or non profit or a commercial business. Non profits in particular are very weak on branding and yet the competition to raise funds is worse than raising capital for commercial businesses. Commercial companies especially when they are startups need to stand out and the best way is with a brand. i use a small little outfit in Cape Town called Neon Grey to do all my brands and this is a lesson in itself. I feel small companies are more cutting edge and can deliver within days fantastic quality and quirky brands that stand out and affordable. Larger brand companies are more risk averse and too expensive which a startup doesnt need. A startup needs something quick, simple, cutting edge, stands out and will create attention asap! When Neon Grey gets too big they will lose that edge and I will need to find another bunch of small guys who want to push the envelope of brand with a startup mentality. What I have learnt is that a great brand is more often worth more than the value of the company ( not always) and that the value of the company sits with the brand. Its amazing to me how a change of name and look and feel can change the chances of a company or social project instantaneously.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A condom with teeth to prevent rape: Believe it!

The reality for many women and girls in a country like South Africa is that violence and rape as extreme violence is a large problem. I suppose the rest of the world is no different.
The other reality is that few people have found a compelling and innovative  solution…..
Something radical needs to be done and only entrepreneurs willing to try different things can make a difference.
In South Africa a Dr Sonnet Ehlers has designed the Rape-axe a female condom with teeth. When it is activated if a rape occurs then the contraption hooks onto the penis and does not come off.
Many people will analyse and criticize the good Dr, but I salute her, not only because of thinking to become a doer when it comes to rape, but also thinking of a product that may work. There will always be detractors and yes the prevention falls into the arms of the woman again BUT if you were attacked in the street by anyone and had the technique to protect yourself then this can only be a good thing.
I hope that others will develop more and more products that may make a difference to this terrible crime.
Other ideas I have read about are technology applications such as “circle of 6” and “onwatch”.
Now I have heard some crazy ideas in my time but I think I have something that may be worth trying as I wont shy away from being a bit controversial as well.
After seeing people protest using shit ( “we call it the toilet wars where people throw human shit in public places to protest against not having a proper flush toilet”) in Cape Town,  I realized that human shit really does disgust us ( unless we are 3 years old and in “that” phase)
I would like to develop a range of water pistols ( cheap ones off the shelf), and develop the most vile smells for the liquids that will be sprayed that I can find. They could be shit, fishy, bile, and vomit. I’m feeling a bit disgusted thinking about it. So women or men can purchase the cheap water pistol, with a range of the vile smells. If someone attacks them spray them. The smell will act as a deterrent and will last on the person for a very long time. The sense of smell is a powerful force and like sound can bring people to their knees….
Does this sound too crazy?....well let me make it and try it out and then we can decide!