Monthly Archives: November 2012

Standard Bank Muppets

Standard Bank is special.

The story starts with me standing in a queue for 30 min. I’m there trying to get a new “ATM PIN”. Not that I’m EVER planning to use the card in my hand at an ATM.

In September we opened an extra business account and promptly got a debit card with a PIN in the envelope. Cool. Easy. Only, the card just would not let me complete the online banking registration process. I visited the Stellenbosch branch THREE times to figure out the problem, get a new card, do the registration…

After the online banking registration worked and I set up a new PIN and password I put the tiny transparent ATM PIN paper in the bin. Not sure why I even need a debit card number to log into online banking anyway – even less an ATM PIN.

Let’s pause here and remember the days before internet banking – the days when flat bits of plastic with magnetic strips made sense.

Moving on..

Last week I try to log into online banking and I see something like: “sorry you have not been registered for self-service banking”. I phone the call centre. Seems my online banking profile was deleted. They can’t tell me why. The solution is to re-register – with the ATM PIN. I ask them to investigate – they log a “technical query” and tell me they will phone me back.

Sense of humour failure.

At the bank they tell me the card I have is not linked to ANY bank account. No logs. Just gone.

The lady behind the counter does not really seem surprised. Oh, well, another random magically unlinked card. “Usually it does not let me re-link them, I have to issue a new one.” Usually?



ps. Do you think the call centre ever phoned me back to tell me why things were magically deleted?

Quick Update

Startup Dad…

  • Monday, woke up in Betty’s Bay, awesome morning drive between Rooi Els and Gordon’s Bay, dropped Mia off at school (on time), car service day, omelette with Werner and Janette, sunset podcast walk, photo processing.
  • Writing emails to US VCs in Afrikaans – who would have thought.
  • My phone notes system is out of control.
  • More than 500 photos of me on Facebook now, 1050 FB friends, 723 Twitter followers.
  • Tuesday, morning walk, fetched my car, lunch at De Oewer, supper at Simply Asia with Parri, photo processing.
  • “Happy girls are the prettiest girls” — Audrey Hepburn

  • Wednesday, house cleaning day, took some photos to the print shop, Gust meeting in Cape Town with Parri, Naulene meeting at Manuka, fetched Mia from school, fetched photos, biltong and wine, kicked a rugby ball around Coetzenburg with Mia and Petr, supper at Piet’s house, bath, read, sleep.
  • Tune of the week: I Can’t Stay – The Killers.
  • Thursday, dropped Mia at school, gym, lunch with Peter in Technopark, haircut – shorter than usual, Stellenbosch Innovation District ICT working group meeting, Mxit Thursday at Gino’s.
  • Had lunch with my room mate from 1st year at varsity. Nothing much changed.
  • “Your highs are super high. Crack. Your lows are unexplainably low and lonely. It’s the startup roller coaster world. And I miss it.” “Please make sure to enjoy the ride (up and down) while you’re there.”

  • Friday, morning podcast walk, fetched Mia, watched Castle in the Sky, sunset walk around the Stellenbosch – centre of town and campus, watched The Cat Returns – very good, salad, punnet of cherries for dessert.
  • Mia now installs her own iPad games.
  • Saturday, tea, watched Kiki’s Delivery Service, played with Lego trains, watched the rugby at Morituri with Werner, Janette and Dirk, watched Howl’s Moving Castle – pretty good, a glass of The Big Easy, bath, read, sleep.
  • I wonder what Mia is going to say about this when she’s 21? — Dirk

  • Sunday, tea, watched The Cat Returns again, made omelettes, gym (Wembley Square), swim, Cape Town Festival of Beer with Etienne, nap, watched Ponyo – pretty good, calamari at CTFM, a glass of wine with Paul.
  • Avoid Cape Town Fish Market in Stellenbosch – bad service, b-rate food.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

The Big Picture

Something I needed to draw after a morning walk.

Ordered by time, (potential) scale and inverse “Oh, I get it” levels. So it expands and contracts. Note the two pivots.

Quick Update

Kreef season…

  • Monday, woke up in De Zalze, took a day off, a glass of wine at Trumpet Tree with Werner and Parri, a burger at Hussar Grill with Paul.
  • Tuesday, BlackBerry meeting, Alan’s fairwell dinner at Gino’s.
  • Wednesday, meetings in Cape Town, AfricaCom at the CTICC, talked to Naulene again for the first time, Silicon Cape committee election evening at The (new) Bandwidth Barn.
  • Maybe we were too busy to talk about the future.
  • “Stress fok alles op.” — Conrad

  • “Gateway bier.” — Werner, about light beer in health month.

  • 3yrs into my 2nd act. Now I know how little I knew about web startups and mobile apps back then. Not to mention payment systems.
  • In many ways we built a product in three weeks.
  • Thursday, meetings session at the Big Easy, got a Crayfish diving permit – first day of the season, got a weight belt and belly-bag, drove to Betty’s Bay with Parri.
  • Friday, first crayfish dive of the season with Werner at Rooi Els, nap, braai.
  • Saturday, crayfish dive at De Wetsbaai, fetched Mia at a children’s party, watched the rugby, braai.
  • Sunday, crayfish dive, nap, sunset walk, braai – wind-still night.
  • Awesome weekend. Quality time with Mia. Three days in a house without electricity. Slept on the top bunk (bed) – Mia slept on the bottom bunk – very Royal Tenenbaums.

Have a fun week, crazy kids. (Thinks have gotten a bit more crazy again.)


Notes from a conversation last night…

Two things you learn about money when you start building payment systems:

  1. Money is just a gate. When a transaction happens the gate can open or stay closed. Sometimes the gate is pretty simple – do you have enough money in your wallet? Sometimes the gate is a bit more interesting – do you have money? should we give you credit? do we trust you? what does your data patterns and reputation say?
  2. Don’t confuse value flow with money flow. Payment systems record transactions – the flow of value. This is usually aggregated daily before actual money flows between bank accounts.

Quick Update

Got un-engaged…

  • Monday, sunset jog, steamed some broccoli (bringing out the big guns).
  • Remember, remember, the fifth of November.
  • Tuesday, Lientjie’s bday party at Trumpet Tree with Paul, Parri and Werner, Bo with Paul.
  • “Not saying she is ugly…just saying she would make someone a great best friend.” – Pete

  • Wednesday, made an omelette, launched the new Gust website with the new video for our events product, paid for a movie ticket with Gust, watched Cloud Atlas, pretty good – never really liked Tom Hanks movies, but this was interesting, press release writing.
  • New Gust site.
  • New video.
  • “The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends.” — Anton Ego, Ratatouille

  • Thursday, PR day, sunset walk, watched Castle in the Sky, pretty good.
  • Gust PR: BandwidthBlog, VentureBurn, Gadget Maven, HumanIPO.
  • “We’re always in the office. The whole Stellenbosch is our office.” – Werner

  • Friday, morning walk, internet was down, Brampton Wine bar with Werner, missed a babysitting arrangement, x marks the spot, watched Oldboy again.
  • Office internet went down. As a direct result: I managed to get un-engaged on Saturday morning, via text message.
  • Saturday, Bilton Wines with Georg and Ches, lunch at The Long Table with Andrew, Rust en Vrede, Peter Falke Wines, rugby at Brazen Head.
  • “May your limits be unknown – and may your efforts be your own.” — The Killers

  • Sunday, a day with Paul and Al. (Groovy Troopers)
  • Tune of the week: Florence And The Machine – Dog Days Are Over.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Health Month begins…

  • Monday, photo processing, fetched Mia from school, Audi visit, shopping, kicked a ball around Coetzenburg with Mia and Francis, cooked some pasta and salad, bath, read, sleep.
  • Tuesday, dropped Mia and Francis at school, gym, meetings in Cape Town, a beer with Werner and Parri at Trumpet Tree, played with Mia and Francis in the garden, bath, read, sleep.
  • Wednesday, dropped Mia at school, gym, content writing, Buro meeting, Caroline’s White Wine Review at The Table Bay Hotel with Paul – good fun, a burger at Apres.
  • Grim Furdango 2.0 video.
  • Thursday, start of a whole new month, hair cut, house cleaning, sunset walk, Mxit Thursdays at Gino’s.
  • October was crazy, long and busy. November needs to be more chill. November is health month.. company effort: we have all our starting weights on the office whiteboard.
  • Friday, meeting day in Cape Town, Trumpet Tree, braai at Parri’s house.
  • Tunes of the week: Battle Born – The Killers.
  • Saturday, admin and backups, played photographer at the Beaumont Fun Day, afternoon with the family at La Pineta.
  • Sunday, made myself an omelette, nap, rocket salad, afternoon with Mia an Francis, played with a tennis and soccer ball at Radloff Park, bath, read, sleep.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

“Prioriteit nommer een: kom lewendig hier uit…”

  • One of the most crazy, busy, challenging and fun weeks ever.
  • Monday, woke up at Paul’s house, worked late.
  • You can now tip with Gust PayTags.
  • Tuesday, testing day at KLT, Grim Furdango signups at Trumpet Tree.
  • Wednesday, woke up at Naulene’s house, Grim Furdango 2.0 at Klein Libertas Theatre, awesome show. Great fun. Pretty spectacular actually.
  • “Dankie vir Joe en Parri van Mxit” — Francois van Coke, on stage.

  • Thursday, woke up at Parri’s house, fish and chips in Gordon’s Bay, art stuff shopping with Mia.
  • Friday, woke up at Naulene’s house, Mia’s school sports day, a burger at Trumpet with Werner and Parri, watched The Dictator, ok – nice to sleep at home.
  • Saturday, photo processing, watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes, not bad, family time, children’s party, full moon picnic at the Taal Monument in Paarl.
  • Sunday, a beer at Old Bridge Tavern with Andrew, afternoon at La Penita with Andrew, Marcia and Paul.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.