Steve Blank

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Steve Jobs, Stanford University commencement speech, 2005

Last week one of our mentors abruptly resigned from coaching one of the Lean LaunchPad student teams after claiming the students were ignoring his practical advice and years of expertise in the field.

His reaction reminded me one more time why entrepreneurship is an art, why VC’s manage portfolios of companies and why new ideas come from those who don’t respect the status quo.

I’m a Domain Expert Damn It
We always assign experienced…

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Help wanted in Kigali

So how could this happen? A newspaper in Kigali gets a sudden increase in traffic. May be it is because they are measuring hits not unique visitors. The website is full of ads, each of which generates several hits for each visitor. The website is actually quite good. But the reasoning is faulty. Don’t go into a boast about hits…it will end in tears.

KIGALI – Shortly after featuring among the most visited websites on the African continent, The New Times web portal registered 13,178,261 hits last month alone.

It literally means that readers of The New Times exceeded the country’s total population by over 2 million, as the newspaper’s online version grows by the day.
At the beginning of this week, 8,254,317 had visited the website this month.

The January statistics show the second biggest number of hits following the over 14 million hits in September and October 2010.

February statistics indicate that on average, Wednesday is the day in the week when the is most visited registering 563,575.33 hits, followed by Thursday with 510, 998.33 hits and Monday with 501,337.50 hits.

The busiest time on website is between 7 a.m., and 9 a.m., 705,290 hits at 7am, 802,789 hits at 8 am and slightly dropping to 655,492 at 9am, indicating that most people in the country and region read the website first thing in the morning.

Rwanda leads the pack of countries where The New Times is widely read, registering 3,231,720 hits, followed by United States with 1,246, 607 and Canada at 647,449 in January and February.

Great Britain followed closely with 540,622, while on the African continent, South Africa leads with 164,793 hits. In the region, Uganda leads 18,216 followed by Kenya with 14,722.

According to The New Times IT and Production Manager, Jean Pierre Twizeyimana, the growing trend is a result of the improved quality in content and a redesigned website.

“Our website has continued to register a considerable amount of traffic in terms of visits and hits, whereby in December 2010 it had 12 million hits and more than 13 million in January 2011,” he said.

“The trend keeps going up by the day. We hope by the end of this year we will have moved to the top 15 of the most visited websites on the continent,” said Twizeyimana.

“The reason behind this growth is because the content has greatly improved in terms of quality and accuracy, and the new design implemented last year is more user-friendly. We are continuing to add more features to make it even better.”

The New Times emerged among the top 25 news website in Africa in a survey conducted by 4International Media & Newspapers (4IMN) of Australia, this year.

Intellgient, cheap USA charger. Unplug and it switches itself off

I have a power block that closes itself down when current is not being drawn. But this is the first time I have seen the technology in a USB charger. The video seems to be an over-the-top promotion for a 13 US dollar charge, but still. When you unplug the phone, the power consumption of the charger drops to near zero.

IPad Killers – Enter LG in Barcelona

I have not really been a fan of LG so far. Bought a phone a few years back and although it has great software and features, it was mechanically poorly constructed and fell apart in my pocket. Now, introducing the LG Optimus Pad designed to be a direct competitor to the Apple iPad. Sleek stuff. Curious to see how Apple is going to react with their iPad2. One point that surprises me is the fact that this iPad seems to have two cameras in it for 3D capture..if I understand the trailer completely.

For the moment I am going to wait and see. And take good note of the what the telecom guys add to the plan. The Motorola iPad likker called the ‘Xoom’ is still supposed to be launched in the US in a few weeks time on 24th February. Rumoured to cost 800 US dollars, look at the details of the 3G/Wifi plan. There were rumours that you had to buy a 3G plan in order to switch the wifi on! If true, its bonkers. So Xoom is off my shopping list from the start and I don’t believe they are going to make the Feb 24th deadline. And the LG …it is so fresh at Mobile World Congress that I need time to take it all in. It will live of die by the strength of the apps, not just the beauty of the hardware. LG still win the prizes for rebranding. Remember when LG meant Lucky Goldstar and it was a plastics brand that also made toothpaste? I am sure that LG hope you don’t.


Now why can’t audio recorders also incorporate GPS?

iPad for Presenters

It is inspiring to see what’s happening in live event studios and the type of technology that is now being put in front of the presenter. During live sports or elections, you now see many anchors standing up and wandering around between tables of guests. So is there a need for them to be in control of the graphics or video sequences by tapping an iPad with a special app on it? You be the judge. I actually would find it useful as an autocue or memory jogger during live stand-ups. Beats a notepad.

Fraunhofer and the Future of Radio on Vimeo

Fraunhofer, the German labs that develop all kinds of coding technology are probably the best known for their MP3 audio encoding system used to squeeze lots of music onto portable music players in the 90’s and 00’s. They also developed a way to compress the audio onto the now defunct Worldspace satellite system. So what are they up to now? It seems from this interview on the Fraunhofer stand at the recent IBC that they are putting video and text into low bandwidth audio transmission systems. Whilst I see that they have managed to squeeze video into a very tiny pipe, I don’t share the sort of Open University for Africa dream that I see demonstrated here. With the number of shortwave transmitters in the region being reduced, and few DRM capable transmitters in the region, that video option may have come too late. So what do you think?