Rob Smorfitt

Racist SME conference

Rob Smorfitt

Bloem SME conference waste of time – incompetent speakers selected by race

Had tea with Dr Rob Smorfitt this morning. Wonderful mind, intellectually honest and a natural business disruptor. He’s a serial entrepreneur turned academic who focuses on Small and Medium Enterprises. Rob believes in telling the truth as this brutally honest blog about a recent SME conference attests.

Read moreRacist SME conference


Rikesh Parthab


Entrepreneurship lessons: An example of how starting early, self-discipline works

An inspiring story of a young Durbanite that provides key lessons in entrepreneurship for everyone. Rikesh Parthab’s passion for business was nurtured early on, encouraging him to make the sacrifices that created a springboard for today’s sizeable operation. I’ve got the feeling we’ll be hearing a lot more about this young man.

Read moreRikesh Parthab


Steve Jobs Bio – Part Two: True brilliance was in sweating the small stuff


Baruch Lurie was spot on. In a comment posted beneath my first review he said the Steve Jobs book started slowly. But from page 150 he was “totally engulfed.” Ditto for me. If those first few chapters were a titbit, the next couple hundred pages have been like Sunday’s roast after a long walk and no breakfast. Hard to keep myself in check.
The deeper I delved, though, the more Isaacson’s work reminding me of The Snowball, Alice Schroeder’s biography about Warren Buffett.

Read moreSteve Jobs Bio – Part Two: True brilliance was in sweating the small stuff

Steve book

Steve Jobs Bio – Part One: Slow unravelling of a flawed genius

Steve bookSome books are meant to be savoured. Consumed slowly. Every page cherished. Enjoyed at leisure.
For me, Walter Isaacson’s long awaited biography on Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs is one such book. It’s like that last juicy mouthful, kept one side as an incentive to clear the bedside table of half-read orphans.
These past few days proved it has been worth the wait.
To prolong the experience, I’ll also be treating my book review differently. Instead of flashing through the pages and scribbling random thoughts at the end, this will be a review in instalments. Revisited after digesting chunks of around 150 pages at a time – so four “reviews” in all. Here’s the first.

Read moreSteve Jobs Bio – Part One: Slow unravelling of a flawed genius

Garth Griffin

Maybe Absa’s troubles have only started

Garth Griffin

UPDATE NOVEMBER 2012: At the time this article was written, Absa’s share price had dropped in a week from R157 to R135. The setback wasn’t temporary. In five months since the price has remained at the lower level, marking time. At the end of August, Absa’s parent Barclays appointed Antony Jenkins as its new CEO. He has spent his first few months grappling with a group-wide review of Barclays, focusing on how to change its culture and strategy.

Read moreMaybe Absa’s troubles have only started

Trevor Manuel

South African life assurance industry’s Hiroshima

Trevor Manuel

December 14, 2005

Her face was one big snarl. Although dutifully recording my responses her whole look shouted out: who do you think you are, you upstart know-nothing? Actuaries, doctors, other people infinitely smarter that you have calculated our commission structures. Who are you to criticize them?

This was 1984, the year of Orwell’s Big Brother. The power of life offices was at its zenith. A time before Robin McGregor sold out to the Evil Empire, when he still railed about four groups controlling 80% of corporate South Africa. And how three of them were assurance companies.

Read moreSouth African life assurance industry’s Hiroshima

malcolm gladwell

Leadership lessons from Gladwell, Hamel and more

malcolm gladwell

August 17, 2009

Working in the media has its benefits. By the nature of news, you get exposed to the exceptional. That uniquely positions you to think. To absorb. Pity it’s taken me a couple decades to work this out.

Only recently did the penny drop that actually understanding what interviewees are trying to communicate is more important that getting the story out fast. It’s what makes the difference quality and quantity. Especially when tackling topics where there are no concrete answers. Places where everyone has an opinion. Like Leadership.

Read moreLeadership lessons from Gladwell, Hamel and more