Monthly Archives: July 2011

DMASA Muppets

There was a poll on the DMASA’s website this week. It read:

“The DMASA has been nominated as preferred supplier to the National Consumer Commission to manage the official Do Not Contact Database. Do you support this move by the NCC?”

I first looked at it yesterday morning. The results were: Yes=33% – No=66%

A few people mentioned the poll on Twitter.

Around mid-day I made a screenshot showing the results as: Yes=6% – No=94%

Then, magically, the poll got archived and the results changed to Yes=87% with a creative date range of 2011-07-19 to 2011-07-12.

I’d love to know what logic they used to “correct” the results. Creative ethics in that organisation.

Here is a log of the poll data over the day and another blog post on the topic.

NCC Opt-Out Registry Comments

If you feel it’s not a good idea letting the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) run the national opt-out registry, please send an email with your comments as follows:

The National Commissioner,
National Consumer Commission
Email: Ms Prudence Moilwa –
Reference number: NCC/EOI/0003

Well, it’s probably not smart letting the people representing the interests of the direct marketing industry run something designed to stop direct marketing… read: spammers running the anti-spam list. Also, their track record with protecting personal information is far from good.

This Friday the 29th 2011

Please don’t just cut and paste something. Email them your honest comments. Thanks.

You can find the full story here. And the government notice is here.

Quick Update

This week was good fun…

  • Monday, work, a walk to Bantry Bay, Mia went for her first eye test.. tip-top.
  • Tuesday, a meeting in the form of a walk around Bakoven, lectured Deryck’s photography students, lunch with Ingi at Manna, tea with Andrew at Wembley, gym, Short and Sweet film festival with Cath, burger in a bowl with Cath and Ollie at Da Vinci’s.
  • Wednesday, two strategy meetings, we made it to the top of Hacker News with this post – meeting with Jon and Jaap, pigandbeer at &Union with Cath, played photographer at Rob’s party at Bilobaroma – Rondebosch with Etienne and Lea.
  • Wednesday was the day I think we realised we had product market fit.
  • Office workers watch clocks. Startup founders watch signup numbers.
  • “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized.” — Daniel Burnham

  • Every story needs a beginning and a bad guy, sometimes the bad guy is a bit like Darth Helmet from Spaceballs.
  • Thursday, meeting with Stu at Caprice, played dad-photographer at Mia’s first gymnastics class, tea and lupper at Manuka with Naulene and family.
  • I’ve been asked to shoot my 3rd wedding. This time as main photographer it seems.
  • Friday, work, a walk to buy the paper, I was quoted in a M&G article, gym, photo processing.
  • Know what you love.
  • Saturday, Georg’s birthday weekend in the Cedarberg, drove to Clanwilliam with Ollie and Georg, (kinda) watched the rugby at the golf club with Anton and Kloppies, drove to the farm.. no electricity or cellphone reception, nice.
  • Sunsday, woke up in the Cedarberg, potjiekos, nap.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Tech startups in 6 easy steps

Business is an art, not a science. That’s even more true in early stage ventures… but there is some science or at least a recipe to apply to your tech startup.

You read this stuff over and over, but you don’t really “get it” until you reach product market fit.

0.) Start with a geek and a hustler, or two geeks, but you have to be able to design, code and sell.
1.) Passion-Market fit – enough passion to stay in the space, especially if you are early.
2.) Minimum Viable Product – if you are not embarrassed by it, you did not launch it quick enough, BUT it must have obvious value.
3.) Product-Market Fit – do people like it? if you are not signing up users at a rate you are happy with, go back to step 1.
4.) Growth – figure out how to keep new users signing up.
5.) Sales – figure out how to profitably get paying clients.
6.) Scale – figure out where you can have the most impact on improving your metrics.

Notes: It’s easy to build a hobby, the idea is to build a business. What gets measured gets managed. I would strongly suggest you make an explainer video early on – make sure it’s in plain English without any tech speak. Think agile. Learn on the job. Build things people want. Build a business, not a product. Think big.

Good luck, and remember: nobody knows anything.

Oh, and sign up here (-;

Quick Update

Our photography exhibition opening week…

  • Monday, backup day, design session with Michel, visited Stu, printed some photography business cards, gym, fetched our photo book, sunset walk, made supper for Cath.
  • Tuesday, work, sunset walk to Clifton.
  • Wednesday, morning walk to Bantry Bay, fetched prints with Stu, took our art to the gallery, signed it all and figured out where to hang each piece, Lions Head walk, steamed veg and a glass of wine.
  • Thursday, meeting with Jonathan, lunch at Hello Sailor in Obs, gallery prep, STOMP opening night, pizza with Cath, Georg and Naulene at Carlyles.
  • STOMP: We had two opening nights. We had over 1000 positive RSVPs for our exhibition on Facebook. Press here and here.
  • Two thoughts after opening night: 1.) Real artists ship. 2.) It takes 20% of the time to gain 80% of the knowledge and 80% of the time to get the remaining 20%.
  • Friday, made Mia and Francis breakfast, tea with Naulene, launched our new video, post office visit, took Mia for a tour of the Cape Town flower market, pizza at Knead, gallery visit.. to show Mia our work, 2nd opening night, Mia spent some time with Fiona and played Bingo – she claims to have won twice.
  • “The 5 year old who knows everything.” — Naulene, about Mia.

  • Saturday, tea, light saber battle, Mia watched Mamma Mia, gym, swimming lessons, off to Franschhoek for Bastille Day, we visited Nikki at Bread and Wine, late lunch at Deli Cat – Tokara, a beer with Georg at Die Akker, Mia watched Mamma Mia again, some photo processing, we read Evil Weasel, sleep.
  • “Swimming, art and dressing up.” — Mia, listing her favourite things.

  • Sunday, arts and crafts, gym, swim, dropped Mia off at her mom’s, watched The Bank Job again… good movie.
  • Naulene still refuses to be my Facebook friend.

“Until such time may the winds be at your back, the dice be kind, and the Gods turn the occasional blind eye.” — Koop

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Help us Grow

It’s been about a month since we launched TrustFabric Connect. Just over 300 people have signed up so far. We’re very happy with that number. We’ve had some good feedback and helpful comments. Thank you.

What is TrustFabric Connect?

Let me ask you two questions:

1) How many businesses are you a customer of? – or, how many businesses do you think consider you to be their customer? 20, 100, 2000?

2) If you change your contact details (address, phone number, email address), in how many different places do you need to go update your details?

With TrustFabric Connect you would know the number of business relationships you have, you would have more control and you would be able to easily manage your contact details. Best of all, you would have less interruptions in your life, because the businesses around you would know your communication preferences and would respect your (legal) right to privacy.

Sounds good? Help us make this a reality:

1) Sign up
2) Invite your friends (see screenshot below)
3) Suggest businesses that you would like to see on TrustFabric

Invite your Friends
If you would like to invite your friends from LinkedIn, Facebook (see notes below), Google+ or maybe your Address Book application, just export their details in vCard format. Go to your TrustFabric Connect home page and follow the “upload a file” link under the “Tell Your Friends” section.

We will only send one invite per email address, so don’t worry that your friend is going to get the same invite email from ten other people.

Win an iPad2
You’ll notice some stats on your home page: the number of friends you invited, the number who joined and the number of businesses you suggested.

We are giving away an iPad2, to somebody randomly selected from the list of our top 100 supporters. The more friends you invite the higher your supporter ranking.

The Early Adopter Hall of Fame
We will list the top 20 supporters on our website as soon as we reach 1000 users.

Pass it on.

Notes on the how to get vCard data out of Facebook via Yahoo!

1) Go to and click on the Sign in with Facebook button.

2) Click on the Facebook logo and select OK when asked if you want to share your contacts with Yahoo.

3) Go to Tools > Export (top right nav)

4) Select “vCard Single File” and click “Export Now”

This video shows you the process.. but don’t select MS Outlook, select vCard Single File.

Quick Update

I turned 34: so it seems I’m a tech startup guy, a photographer.. who cooks for 20 and we travel as a family of five…

  • Monday, my birthday, woke up with 5 people in my bed, Mia and Francis sang happy birthday for me, breakfast at Neo, aquarium, Naulene made us lunch at home, Mia and family went back to Naulene’s house, an awesome nap, got a lot of kind birthday wishes.. thank you, took a long bath, watched Casanova.. entertaining.
  • Tuesday, final photograhpy selection, meeting with Fances at Crush, gym, sunset walk.
  • Wednesday, raw smoothie, visited Studio22 with Shu and Shelley to go check our colour proofs, sunset walk to Clifton, Gary’s exhibition opening at The Photographers Gallery, popped into Van Hunks to say Hi to Etienne and Lea, The Hudson at Hudson’s for supper.
  • Stu asked me why I invest time in photography. I guess the best answer is: to get me out of my comfort zone.
  • I have an idea for a future exhibition theme. Aiden likes it.
  • Tech startups used to be: Facebook, Youtube, eBay – but for cats, now they are Facebook, Youtube, eBay – but for mobile.
  • Thursday, a long sunset walk past Bantry Bay, supper at Saboroso in Bakoven.
  • Friday, drove to Somerset West to fetch Mia, gift shopping, we watched Mr Popper’s Penguins.. not bad, Paul’s 30th birthday party at Trumpet Tree in Stellenbosch.
  • Saturday, woke up in Somerset West, drove through to Riebeek Wes for Will and VJ’s birthday party.
  • Sunday, woke up in Riebeek Wes, breakfast at the guest house, back to Carl and VJ’s house, a late lunch, drove back to SSW to drop off Mia and family, Cath’s 30th bday drinks at Wakame.
  • Now we just need to plan Naulene’s 30th birthday party.
  • Friendly reminder to signup for TrustFabric Connect.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

My birthday weekend…

  • Monday, Mia and I had grapefruit and cherries, gym, swim, Moussaka for lunch with Naulene and family at Neo, meeting with Stu, sunset walk to Glen Beach.
  • Tuesday, I made Cath a fresh juice, lunch with Sarah at Wembley Square, gym, sunset walk on the Promenade, ribs special and Chateau Libertas at Hussar Grill with Georg, watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.. it’s like a slow version of Forrest Gump.
  • “I live the way I type; fast, with a lot of mistakes.” — BSD fortune

  • Wednesday, some photography exhibition planning, raw chocolate green smoothie, dev meeting with Jonathan, sunset run in the rain to Clifton, Georg cooked filet and veg, watched I’m Not There again, not bad.
  • STOMP – A joint photographic exhibition by Joe Botha and Stu Shapiro.
  • Thursday, admin day, worked on my exhibition photos, updated my photo blog:
  • Friday, early nurse visit, vitB shot, haircut at Bianca’s, upgraded my Mac to 8GB memory, fetched some photo prints at Orms, a few beers at Col’Cacchio Foreshore with Alan, photo processing.
  • Saturday, my birthday weekend, breakfast pizza with Georg, food shopping, rugby at Newlands with Nick, started cooking my (Will’s) famous Thai Green Curry.
  • “Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.” — Einstein

  • “If he’s here, who’s running hell?” — Van Wilder

  • Sunday, more curry cooking, had 20 friends over for my birthday lunch.. and three children and a puppy, we managed to drink 10 bottles of bubbly, watched Deception.. not bad.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.