Monthly Archives: October 2014

Navigating The Entrepreneur’s Path


Editor’s note:Tim Chen is the CEO and co-founder of NerdWallet, which helps consumers make financial decisions.

The mystique around starting your own business is thick. The romanticized view of founders slaving away in garages ready to unleash their “great idea” upon an adoring public and fawning investors is the stuff of American dreams.

The reality is businesses are often born in desperation, fueled by loneliness and doubt. The distance between starting your own firm in your bedroom and hiring your first employees is a long stretch filled with empty Dominoes boxes, dwindling bank accounts and unreturned calls. But the myth is right when it comes to job satisfaction – once you earn your first dollar under your own steam, you can’t imagine working for anyone else again.

I doubt I would have started my own business had I not been let go as a hedge fund manager at the height…

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The Beats. The Bose. And An Apple

Something kind of funny is going on. I’m not sure if it’s me who enjoys a laugh or the world is orbiting so fast that things are really happening. Earlier in the year, Apple splashed $3 billion (R33 billion) on buying Beats from Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre and company. The Beats acquisition comprised of the Beats by Dre headphones line and the newly established subscription music app, Beats Music. Things went well. Both Jimmy and Dre joined Apple (while some people are still waiting on the Detox album Dr. Dre once said to look out for many moons ago).


Fast forward five months later, to recent times. It’s done. Apple owns Beats Electronics. It’s one of their own now, they’re them – anything affecting the Beats brand, affects the Apple brand. While I can’t tell you all of the products or brands sold at Apple stores, I can tell you this; I’ve only been inside Apple stores two or three times ever since they’ve launched in South Africa, I don’t own any Apple product nor any Beats headphones, and I’ll admit it I’m a fan of their work. On my very few and brief visits inside the store, I don’t remember spotting any hardware with another brand’s logo (of cause, I could’ve been looking in the wrong way).
Apparently, before the acquisition of the Beats business, Apple sold Bose speakers and headphones in both their offline and online stores. That’s until recently. Now, the latest on the internet streets: Apple is preparing to remove all Bose audio products from their retail stores. And I’ve checked the online store, Bose is not the only audio product sold by Apple.


In July, two moths after Apple closed the Beats deal, Bose filed a lawsuit against Beats for patent infringement, claiming Beats copied their noise-cancelling technology. During this week, American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick was fined $10 000 (R110 000) by the National Football League for appearing on TV wearing a pair of pink Beats headphones in support of breast cancer awareness. Guess what. Bose is the official sponsor of the NFL and had imposed on their T&Cs that players are prohibited from endorsing (unapproved) products when making interviews.


I always believed the world is some sort of playground and we’re all kids playing in it.

Free WhatsApp?



Last week while I was home reading Russell Brand’s book My Booky Wook, with a R0.00 and 0.00MB balance on my smartphone plan, I started noticing something weird; I was receiving WhatsApp messages from a number of conversations in real time. And they kept coming, especially from a certain group I was part of. I tried responding but my message was not delivered. So later that day, doing what I usually do everyday – browsing tech news on my Google Play Newsstand app, I ran to an article titled Free WhatsApp access on Cell C – Kinda, which instantaneously became interesting since one of my three sim cards is Cell C.

Yep, like most South Africans I have multiple sim cards for a single purpose; to take advantage of the competitive data bundle deals. One contract (MTN), the other two prepaid (Telkom Mobile and Cell C). MTN was…

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