Monthly Archives: February 2014

Quick Update

Far out of the comfort zone…

Walking up Lions Head
Walking up Lions Head
  • Not going to lie, I took some strain this week.
  • Monday, woke up at Aiden’s house in Sea Point, quick Promenade walk, email scrubbing at Wembley Square, gym, swim, booked in my camera at Photographic Repairs (Park rd) – holding thumbs, lunch at Wellness Warehouse, death by email, vitB shot – more painful than usual, back to Wembley Square, sunset walk around Kloof st, Startupbootcamp related Skype meeting.
  • Living out of a suitcase for a month really gets you to trim down on the things you don’t need.
  • Still homeless, but at least I think I’ve figured out that I need to move to Cape Town again.
  • Tuesday, woke up in Tamboerskloof, early morning blogging and photo processing, gym, swim, Skype call to .nl, we managed to make it into the top 17 for Startupbootcamp Amsterdam, a beer at La Perla with Johann and Victoria – for some reason I remember them playing this song: “Until the night closes in…” (seems to capture the general La Perla experience nicely), spotted two of my photos on the wall at Call-a-Pizza in Sea Point, Sgt. Peppers in Long St with Johann and Victoria.
  • Had a chat with Victoria, seems RTD2012 created a few ripples.
  • I suspect I spend too much time in the past in my head.
  • Wednesday, woke up in Sea Point, not the best day – visa issues, Mia’s girls relay swimming gala – she swam freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke – Mia’s school won (most points), ribs at the Spur with Francis and Mia – they have a pretty epic play area, dropped the girls at Naulene’s house, sunset walk around Tamboerskloof.
  • SA passports really sucks, could not get a visa quick enough for Startupbootcamp.
  • Thursday, a bit of aquaponics research, awesome sunset walk around Lions Head – it’s been too long, Kloof st conveyer belt sushi, watched Escape Plan… entertaining.
  • Friday, lunch with Cath at Sababa (Bree St), fetched my camera – seems a loose screw blew a fuse rolling around a circuit board, a glass of wine at Brampton with Jan and Werner, fetched Mia, drove to Bettys.
  • Lessons for the week: reliable, cheap and generally available internet access is _still_ a problem in Cape Town.
  • Anton’s “bek, hek, nek” jokes seem to never get old.
  • Satuardy, epic weekend with Anton and family in Bettys, a pretty big wave crashed over Mia, Louise and Anton while near the rock pools, braai, beach time, sundowners on the rocks with Chris, nice dinner, perfect day.
  • Sunday, leg of lamb for Sunday lunch, walked around the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden with Mia and Petr, met up with Charl and family at the garden’s restaurant, dropped Petr off at his gran’s house, hake, calamari and chess with Mia at Surfside in Strand, dropped Mia off at Naulene’s house, some photo processing.
  • Appreciate the little things – like a fully charged toothbrush.
  • Happy to have my camera back. I seem to average about 150 albums (moments worth taking a camera to) per year – a bit sad that I missed the recent Amesterdam moments, but maybe also a nice reminder to keep taking photos.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

A’DAM…

A'DAM
Amsterdam
  • Week of 10-16 Feb.
  • Monday, woke up in Dublin at 7:00ish, death warmed up, bus ride to the airport, my DSLR died, Jacques missed his flight, Aer Lingus flight to Amsterdam, train ride to central station, sunset walk around Amsterdam – beautiful city.
  • Tuesday, woke up at the Ibis hotel, met Jordan at the Amsterdam central station, meeting with PayLogic, lunch at a Chinese place, met with guys from Adyen, met with StartupBootcamp Amsterdam, rainy walk to the hotel, frites and mayo, a beer at a Bavarian bar (got the timezone wrong and was a bit early), party at the Paymentwall offices (waitresses in air hostess outfits and baby tigers on display), Heineken seems to be the beer of choice – in metal bottles, a party at some other company function related to the Casual Connect conference – Jordan (who is a bit like the Amsterdam version of Paul Carr without the drinking problem) got in as some bigcorp (could have been PayPal) exec, I got in as Jordan, talked event photography with a pretty photographer from Kiev named Sasha, cold and windy walk back to the hotel, all in all a fun day.
  • Wednesday, up at 6:00, train to the airport, 11 hour KLM flight to Cape Town, watched Rush… pretty good, watched Runner Runner… not bad, Werner fetched me at the airport.
  • It sucks flying through the day – night time flights are much better.
  • Thursday, woke up in Stellenbosch, fetched my car at Paul’s house, omelette at Basic Bistro with Werner, Carlyles with Georg, a beer at Il Leone.
  • Friday, woke up in Sea Point, salad at La Perla with Georg, met up with Paul in Cape Town, Mia’s school swimming gala with Naulene and family, as I arrived Mia started her freestyle heat, but forgot her goggles so swam into the lane barriers – mild sense of humour failure, then she came 2nd in the breaststroke and won the backstroke race – she won the trophy for Grade 2 with the most points in the gala and she was very happy, full moon sunset valentines supper with Mia overlooking the Stellenbosch mountains with a glass of Longridge Chardonnay (JOMO: Georg and Aiden went to Ultra festival).
  • Saturday, woke up on Paul’s farm around 7:00 feeling nicely rested, I made some (photo) backups for the first time in too long, took Mia to Zara’s 8th birthday party in Erinvale, stopped by Naulene’s house, crazy hot day – 45deg, nap, sunset walk with Mia around Paul’s farm, salad, in bed early.
  • Note to self: make Mia drink 1L of water before going to a kids party.
  • Mia liked her Swiss chocolates, tshirt and model KLM plane.
  • Seems Clone Wars Season 6 will be out early in March.
  • Sunday, we watched Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, omelette at Basic Bistro, met up with Dirk and Jan briefly, dropped Mia at her gran’s house, afternoon with Georg in Cape Town – heat wave in town had to stop for a beer at a few places, La Perla, La Vie, Wakami with Aiden, pizza at Posticino, a great evening swim to cool down.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Geneva and Dublin…

Comedy Club
Comedy Club
  • The week of 3-9 Feb.
  • Monday, woke up in Geneva, bus ride to IMG (business school) in Lousanne, made good progress on my GUST presentation and pitch, semi-final pitches, a moving conversation on the bus ride home, sad to read about John’s car accident.
  • For some reason I can’t seem to force my Macbook wifi radio to 2.4Ghz – just could not get it to connect on 5Ghz to a Cisco AP. Painful.
  • They seem to really like their bread in Geneva.
  • Tuesday, SSW final at CICG, long trade show day, met a lot of people – from Spain, France, Dubai etc. – also a pretty French girl – who was interested in Bitcoin, QS, JOMO (digital detox) and AfrikaBurn, Flitto won SSW (a 9 year overnight success) – Simon (the founder) is an awesome guy, watched a pretty epic documentary about ten years of Alibaba.com, dead tired, drinks with the SSW people at Scandals, ended up at a Hookah lounge in the red light area of Genava with some of the other SSW founders: an Armenian guy from Dubai (Rafael) and two guys from Denmark living in Thailand – and a London based R&D guy for Visa – who says he read about GUST a while ago.
  • “The biggest risk in life is not taking any risk.”

  • 40% of the SSW founders were not from the country they represent, many of them were on startup 2 or more.
  • It was great to meet the SSW team and all the founders – good network, which I think was the real value.
  • Geneva: wax museum with a pulse.
  • Note to self: preparing for these startup pitching events takes a lot of time, some of these guys have been working on their pitches for months. I hope I did a good job at representing Cape Town and SA.
  • Wednesday, walked to the Lift14 conference at CICG, finally managed to sit still for the first time in 4 days and fully charge my laptop and phone, tired, very cool talk about (not) hiding complexity and our relationship with devices by @alexislloyd from nytlabs, tram ride, steak at Le Relais de l’Entrocote with Thomas and Casper – Thailand sounds pretty cool, taxi ride, an iki beer (with green tea) at Lola’s bar with the SSW crew.
  • Lots of hot woman around Lift14 – in a non-obvious way, the geeky designer types.
  • Had a long chat with a KDE hacker about Xorg, Wayland and Mir. Interesting. In summary: you probably want to keep your Macbook for one more year before thinking of switching (back) to Linux. At least Intel has committed to Wayland.
  • Thursday, last (full) day in Geneva – first sunny day, Lift14 day2 (future of work session), walked passed the ITU building, played with an Oculus Rift, attended the LEGO serious play workshop (built a “my nightmare date” LEGO model), Indian food with the SSW crew – chats about Jolla phones (I want one), South Korea, xmas lights powered by sprouts, a goodbye Leffe Draught at Duke Pub with Thomas.
  • Rabbit. Carrot. Pistol. (Rock. Paper. Scissors.)
  • DFTBA
  • Realised again that language can be a bitch – a real barrier.
  • Friday, very cold and wet walk to the train station, train to the airport, SAS flight to Copenhagen, watched The Great Gatsby… meh – the brunette was hot, awesome salad and a Carlsberg in Copenhagen, flight to Dublin for Jacques’ birthday weekend, met Jacques in the passport queue at the airport, thank you Ireland for not needing a visa, bus ride into town, found our hotel, cold and wet walk to Temple Bar for some live traditional Irish music, some Connamera Irish single malt.
  • Very little fear of flying at the moment, which is good.
  • The NSA is sitting on the biggest set of useful online dating data.
  • Saturday, hotel breakfast buffet, Dublin (hop-on-off city) bus, Guinness factory tour, had an idea to grow aquaponic hops, a great tasting Guinness at gravity bar, bus ride to the Jameson factory, watched some of the Ireland vs Whales game over an Irish coffee, met Pletz for a drink, good show at the International Comedy Club, Nando’s.
  • Seems Bram Stoker used to write children’s books, until he got married.
  • Jacques is planning on becoming a shake and bake house husband – remotely, in under three weeks. Level 9 skills.
  • Jacques reminded me that Naulene got herself some other valentines date in 2008, while we were still together. Strange but true.
  • Sunday, bacon and eggs brunch with Jacques, walked to the train station, Bitcoin chats on the way to Pletz’s house (who we know from Stellenbosch underwater hockey days), we missed our stop, Pletz fetched us, catch-up and braai, awesome family day, more than one Jameson, train back to the city, out and about.
  • I’m happy we waited a year with Mia’s immunisation shots.
  • Children are awesome.
  • Lessons of the week: 1) no chance of getting international funding for an SA business 2) find and join a well respected startup accelerator.
  • I really liked Dublin. Nice vibe. Good fun.
  • Big thanks to Seedstars World team, Jacques and Pletz.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Homeless…

Geneva
Geneva
  • Monday, gym, vitB shot, started packing, drove to Somerset West to give Mia her maths workbook, packed The Death Star in Ziploc bags.
  • Tuesday, gym, backups – before going travelling for two weeks make sure you have five backups in four locations, fetched my passport/visa in Cape Town, had a Whopper with Werner (the complete opposite of the regular Zucchini’s lunch), lots of last minute things to sort out before leaving, packing to move (FML!), Paul and Janna popped over.
  • Moving house + mom heart attack + startup negotiations + startup competition and overseas trip plannnig… *sigh*.
  • Wednesday, up at 5:00, moar packing, moved my stuff to storage – everything still fits in 3x3x2.5m fairly easily, found a 3 page diary entry Naulene wrote about a day walking around Cape Town with Ernst and a walk up Lions Head with Ernst and me – a great day (25 Sept 2005) – I still have the photos, watched Mia’s swimming training at school – backstroke day – she’s making good progress, we went shopping for a shammy swimming towel and a bigger swimsuit for Mia, had some red wine biltong (very good), ninja ice cream, Helderberg (strawberry) farm visit – Mia played in the sprinklers and managed to get very wet, I took some 1/8000sec water droplet photos, we had supper at the new Greek restaurant near the farm – George’s, the usual tasty meze stuff followed by (a bit too) exotic dishes (White Bait and Baby Octopus legs – which Mia ordered), dropped Mia at Naulene’s house with three bags full of (pre 5yo) toys, dead tired, watched some Top Gear in an empty house.
  • The idea of spending an afternoon with Mia after all the packing and moving was good motivation.
  • Note to self: do not move house and pack for two weeks overseas on the same day.
  • Thursday, woke up in a sleeping bag, bought three AfrikaBurn tickets, packed up my kitchen – which took longer than planned, Werner helped me move my last stuff to storage, interesting feeling being homeless, a burger and a bottle of unfilted Fleur De Cap Chardonnay at De Oewer with Werner, dropped my car off at Paul’s house, Bitcoin meeting with Jan and Werner in Claremont – I guess that was the first meetup of/about the South African Bitcoin Foundation (a bit meh), Jan dropped me off at the airport, killing
    time with G&D’s (Gin and Dry Lemon) at the airport wondering if I packed everything, KLM flight to Amsterdam at 0:25, fairly comfy flight – got some sleep.
  • Almost 40deg in Stellenbosch on Thursday, about 4deg in Geneva on Friday.
  • Friday, woke up over Europe somewhere, watched The 5th Estate (WikiLeaks movie) – pretty good, walked around Schipol airport for a bit, spoke to my mom, KLM flight to Geneva, I was greeted by the SeedstarsWorld people at the airport, found my hostel (after a bit of a train ride and a walk), laptop charge and shower, sunset photography walk around Geneva – followed my nose for about 4 hours – beautiful city, a bit nippy outside, lamb shawarma at a street cafe 8 CHF (~R100) – this city is not cheap, picked up a Wired mag and read it over a beer, met up with the SSW crew at a bar called Les Brasseurs.
  • “Courage is contagious.”, “Revolution is the struggle between the past and the future.” — from The 5th Estate

  • Interesting that Snowden did not use WikiLeaks – but seems so closely tied to them afterwords.
  • Note to self: donate some Bitcoin to WikiPedia and WikiLeaks.
  • Saturday, first day of Feb, woke up in a youth hostel in Geneva, first day of SSW Bootcamp at EPFL in Lausanne, visit to the Rolex Learning Centre – impressive building, mentor sessions, made my presentation from scratch in 30min, first pitching session – some impressive business ideas around, wine tasting evening – nice French Chardonnay, traditional Raclette for supper (three plates of melted cheese with charcuterie and gerkins) at a local restaurant with the Seedstars crew.
  • “The UN of startups.” — about SSW in Geneva, o/h on the bus.

  • Every time I have a text editor open to make notes people ask me if I’m busy coding.
  • Sunday, up early, full day of startup coaching and pitches in Lousanne, beer-ping-pong pitches, in bed early.
  • Good article about the Zappos CEO in Las Vegas in Wired.
  • Looking forward to seeing Jacques in Dublin.

Have a fun week, startup kids.