Monthly Archives: April 2010

Quick Update

Went to bed after 2am every night this week..

  • Monday, gym, swim, smoothie, dropped Mia off, photo publishing, lasagne at Daily Deli with Georg.
  • Mia’s sister has a fringe which makes her look a lot like Yolandi Vi$$er.
  • Seems Mia’s granddad is now in Afghanistan, he’s in sales, military vehicle sales, sounds a bit like something from Three Kings.
  • Tuesday, gym, swim, TF dev meeting at Crush, a run to Clifton and a beach walk, blog theme shopping and a new site.
  • Gerhard seems to think it’s very funny that I have a Mac and use mutt.
  • I was pondering a post on the SA political situation, but I figured it’s not worth it.
  • Wednesday, gym, shopping, made a very nice pasta, discovered Californication (season 1).
  • I really like Californication, maybe it’s because I find the plot a bit uncomfortably familiar. I even woke up thinking I should ask Naulene to marry me, haha.. just because I never asked before.
  • Georg quit Facebook. I suspect it’s more like a holiday.
  • Thursday, meetings and more meetings, a run to Clifton, Californication.
  • Tune of the week: Songbird, Fleetwood Mac
  • “I’m more like a Delta male” — Paul V

  • My view on business plan competitions: “I play real sports, I’m not trying to be the best at exercise”.. while some people are busy winning business plan competitions, others are busy changing the world.
  • Friday, interesting meeting, property viewing, signed (my first) offer to purchase.. for two properties, Mia time, Beta Beach sunset walk, more Californication.
  • “Energy goes where energy flows.” — seen of Facebook

  • “Wow, look at you. I know what you’re thinking: first day in prison, you want to take down the toughest guy in the yard? Well, I’d like to see you try.” — The Missing Link

  • Saturday, tea and cupcakes at Lezari (Waterkant), gym, swim, shopping for aquarium snacks, picked up some pistachio macaroons, aquarium sleep over.. fabric painting, story reading, Planet51… the life aquatic with Joe and Mia, we had a prime camping spot in front of the predator tank.
  • Sunday, woke up at the aquarium (at 6:30), bacon and eggs breakfast, mid morning nap, brunch with Ingi and Debby at Neo.. bumped into Toby, Mouille Point play area and kite watching, nap, Sinn’s burgers with PW, bath, we read “Oh! The Places You’ll Go!”.. birthday gift from Jonathan.
  • “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go. Oh the Places You’ll Go!” — Dr Seuss

Have a fun week crazy kids.

Quick Update

Seven days of dad-mode.. week of: 5-11Apr

  • Yeah, this is late again, seems I can either have my photos up or a blog post, but not both.
  • Monday, got up at 1pm, watched I am Legend.. not bad, Mia time, pad thai gai at Simply Asia, some shopping at the waterfront.
  • Tuesday, eggs in a basket (V style), fresh juice, gym, swim, toy shop, aquarium, shopping at the waterfront again, TF meeting.. chicken burgers.
  • We made some drink coasters at the aquarium.. first useful thing we made there I think.
  • Played with iMovie.. making home movies with soundtracks.
  • Wednesday, figured out Mia had head lice (really awesome, sense of humour failure) so we went to buy lice shampoo, quick Jonathan visit, mini-break time, DeliCatEssen at Tokara, drove to Franschhoek with the roof down and some Mia music, Rae Lou Guest House.. same place from 2006 days, swim, pizza for supper.
  • “There is a good reason they call it nit picking mate.” — Andy.

  • Thursday, woke up in Franschhoek, swim, big breakfast including boiled egg with strips of toast for dipping, met George again, Haute Cabriere visit, lunch at Bread & Wine, back and neck massage at Le Quartier Francais, Dieu Donne panoramic views, dinner at Le Quartier Francais.
  • Seems a deep massage means stop just before you cry.
  • Franschhoek is the perfect two day get away.
  • Friday, guest house breakfast, Butterfly World, lunch at Knead.. where Mia fell asleep, watched Tarzan, sand art, Beta Beach walk, photo processing.
  • Pet hate of the week, people who say they will do something and then don’t.. and then me having to explain to Mia why.
  • Saturday, Ella’s 1st birthday party, Mia haircut at Bianca’s, back to Ella’s party, good to see Andy and Lauren again, Buzz Cafe (Kloof st) supper.. aka the monkey place.. our fav late night dining establishment.. try the Mafioso Beef Burger.
  • Sunday, chilling in the sun room, chilli chocolate smoothie, gym, swim, Mouille Point jumping castle (pirate jumping), blue train, tea at Neo, sunset pizza on Camps Bay beach.
  • Tune of the week: Three Little Birds, Bob Marley

New Design Brewing

It’s time this blog got a new look. The old look was about the old Joe.

I’ll probably be playing with the new look for the next week or so.. so, just stick to reading the atom feed for a while and ignore the blog theme.

Yesterday I was somebody else (-:

Gift of Software

Been listening to Three Little Birds. Mia likes it. Bob Marley died at 36. How do you become a legend at 36?

Music, like ideas and religion and software is about reach. How many people can you touch?

We forget just how cool software can be. With a bit of luck software can have the same impact as music. It can spread almost as easily.

Okay, I don’t think you’ll end up on the cover of Rolling Stone with software, but maybe.

I think the better the music, the software or the idea, the less you own it, the more it wants to be free.

Ideas and Execution

I hear this often these days: ideas are easy, they are nothing without execution. People also like to say that innovation is an idea+execution in a new and interesting way.. and not just an idea.

“8. Ideas are like Carbon Monoxide:
They are increasingly abundant and of little use. Don’t be married to your idea and don’t think your idea is worth money. Ideas are worth nothing without execution. Ensure you spend time unpacking your idea and formulating a business plan. The devil is always in the details. Most great businesses started off with an idea that was, at best, only loosely-related to what made them successful. Such is the evolutionary nature of business.” — 10 lessons for tech startups

Sure. I can’t disagree, but ponder this: in my experience you can execute the hell out of a pretty good idea.. but still achieve very little or have a very small impact. Very good ideas have their own momentum. They just have.. no need to keep pushing. They glide.

So, before people convince you it’s all about execution, go have a very good, very big, idea.

Quick Update

Started hacking the social fabric..

  • This is Quick Update number 100.
  • Monday, tea, smoothie, Naulene meeting, Jonathan meeting, photo publishing, fetched Aeron.
  • Tuesday, HPV meeting, massage, swim, GeekDinner and TrustFabric Alpha1 launch presentation.
  • Products of the week, Aeron and Time Machine. I think I’ve had this chair for so long I’ve forgotten that bad posture can screw with your back.
  • Wednesday, gym, swim, Silicon Cape 60 seconds pitch about TrustFabric.. and some photography.
  • April 1, Henk and I launched IQAPTCHA.
  • Thursday, office space shopping with Lyle, Mac keyboard service, meeting with Sian at Greens, sushi and tempura prawns at Sevruga with Georg.
  • Happily surprised with the service at Digicape.
  • Interesting to hear that a VC’s been keeping an eye on you for a while.
  • Friday, nothing in my notes.
  • Saturday, Beta Beach sunset walk, ostrich burger in a bowl at Da Vinci’s and Asoka with Georg.
  • Sunday, watched V for Vendetta and Dodgeball.. not bad.
  • “Violence can be used for good…. A building is a symbol, as is the act of destroying it. Symbols are given power by people. A symbol, in and of itself is powerless, but with enough people behind it, blowing up a building can change the world.” — V for Vendetta

  • I started writing some content for the TrustFabric blog.

Have a fun week kids. This is a holiday week for me.

Quick Update

This post is very late, well one week late. I was busy.

  • Monday, tea, made fresh juice, photo processing, gym, swim, dropped Mia off, sushi at Beluga with Georg, nap, work.
  • Tuesday, just TrustFabric meetings.
  • Wednesday, gym, Mac shop.. sticky space bar issue, bought Aperture 3.0, Orms visit, shopping, Glen Beach walk.
  • I think Aperture 3.0 is the second box of software I’ve ever bought. The first was Civilization 2.
  • Thanks to Aperture I’m having fun with photography again.
  • Thursday, Macbook keyboard service, business card design session.. round 2, bobotie wrap at Crush.. bumped into Alex and Elan, gym, haircut at B’s, fetched new business cards, a quick Long Street shopping session.. got a birthday party dress for Mia, a run to Bantry Bay, Royale fish burger.. try the strawberry lassy.
  • Friday, Audi MVP day #3, lunch at the Cape Grace, Naulene meeting, photo processing.
  • Rawlinson is a speed demon.. actually Amanda is too, that road between Gordons Bay and Rooiels is awesome, even more so in an A5, I won the R8 test drive but gave it up.
  • Saturday, fetched the Fantastic Mr Fox cake at Charly’s, toy shopping, Bircher Muesli at Knead.. Mia seems to like the stuff, gym, swim, party shopping, watched Tarzan.
  • “Don’t want one. I can’t read.” — Mia, to the waiter at Knead offering her a menu.

  • Sunday, tea, juice, gym, swim, Mia’s 4th birthday party on little Beta Beach.. the 2nd of her three birthday parties this year.
  • The logistics of having a children’s party on a beach is not as trivial as you would imagine.
  • Funny how your worst investment can lead to your best investment… not hard to figure out who I’m talking about.
  • I figure serial entrepreneurs are like perpetual adolescent monkeys. Monkeys leave the pack, they take risks, they discover new things. I’d bet there are a lot of rich people sitting around, wondering if they could do it again.
  • Been pondering orthogonal lifestyle elements. I figure something like photography is in line with my lifestyle. Great hobby for a single dad. Surfing, for example is orthogonal. It’s just easier and more efficient to do things which are in line with the rest of what you are busy with.
  • Tune of the week, hmm.. I think it could have been that acoustic theme song from True Romance.
  • Realised that before I met Jonathan I did not use the word “awesome” very often (-:

Next week to follow soon… that will be week 100.

Muppet of the Week

The muppet of the week is, wait for it…

After some honest reflection, I feel like I got my ass whipped this week.

Why do I think I was a muppet? My Silicon Cape pitch sucked. I pretty much made a fool of myself in front of about 450 people. Sure, it reads ok, but it’s not going to convince anybody to use it or invest in it and I got the format totally wrong.

What can you tell 450 people, who have all had a drink or two, in only 60 seconds that is going to stick with them?

Obviously, what’s going on in my head (I think about this stuff most of the day), is a whole orchestra of ideas. How do I get a single instrument to play a note in the heads of people who are new to these ideas?

Well, it’s not by explaining how it works. It’s by asking the right question. Let me try that pitch again (I’ll just image the 450 people for now).

Hi, I’m Joe and I’m here to tell you about TrustFabric.

How might we, allow you, to take back control of your personal information and allow you to selectively share that information in a way you will trust?

This is our challenge. Let me say that again.. (a bit slower this time)

How might we, allow you, to take back control of your personal information and allow you to selectively share that information in a way you will trust?

We have solved this problem. We are currently running an invite-only alpha service. Come ask me for a business card if you would like to check it out.


This is all you can do in 60 seconds. Now I know (-;

I figure it’s good to get your ass kicked every now and again. Somebody told me it’s the best time to learn about yourself.

I’m happy this happened now, 3 month in.

There is a slightly deeper reason why I think I felt like a muppet and I only realised it now. In the life of a tech start-up there is an interesting mode-change when you start making your idea public. It’s cool to be working away and having a small number of people ask about your little brainchild.. they want to know. It’s a whole different sport to try and get a big number of people interested.

I figure an idea like ours is not something people just jump on when they hear it for the first time. They have to realise the problem first and the problem may be hidden to them for a while. It’s a process of discovery and triangulating the hints that there is something very wrong with the world as it works today.

I’m taking a week off to spend time with Mia.. and then the next 3 month phase begins.


Two Cape Town Entrepreneurs today launched a Cognitive Comment Processing System for blogs & online publications.

Cape Town based Henk Kleynhans (of Skyrove) and Joe Botha (of TrustFabric) today announced that they have launched a new service they’ve been working on for the last year.

This new service is called iQAPTCHA, and, similar to a CAPTCHA which allows blogs and websites to see if a commenter is human, iQAPTCHA will make it easy to verify that a commenter is intelligent, or can make intelligent comments.

“Kleynhans and Botha invented this product after becoming jaded with the low quality of comments by readers on MoneyWeb, and, 3 of their favorite online publicattions.

iQAPTCHA understands online reputation, but for new users it will do basic language checks to start and may ask a short & simple (to smart people) question or two.

Says Kleynhans: “If you answer it wrong, you will be given another chance to answer a second, but slightly more difficult question. In this way, the only way for unintelligent comments to appear would be if an unwanted reader works all night trying to find out the answers to the questions. We hope they will eventually give up or smarten up enough to leave a constructive comment.”

In addition to integrating traditional IQ test-like question, the system will also combine smart Heuristics. Says Botha: “Gone are the days of having to manually remove comments left by ‘muppets’. Comments that are racist, bigoted or simply not well thought out will no longer be a problem. By letting the community vote Up or Down comments, iQAPTCHA learns what qualifies as good comments and can pattern recognize inappropriate ones without having to make the user fill out the iQAPTCHA questions.”

iQAPTCHA will be available as a free service for non-commercial blogs but at a price per comment iQAPTCHA’d for commercial websites. iQAPTCHA is easy to integrate into any existing online publication or content management system. It is currently in Beta.

For more information, please visit: