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mix4tune

A fusing of Tech, Entrepreneurship, Failures, Success, Gadgets and My Thoughts

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Startups

Dear startups,

I think it is time someone spelled out a few truths. There are many ideas floating about. Some are really good, others not so much. Not every idea warrants a company and not everyone can run a good business.

Before deciding to turn an idea into a business, approaching investors or squandering the family fortunes, it is important ask yourself some very serious questions about what you are about to build and the company you intend to start.

Any journalism student will tell you that the first rule of new writing is understanding the five Ws and one H. It is the Bible of news writing and without it the story makes no sense. When applying the same rules to starting a company, there are six questions you should be able to answer before starting your business.

So for those ideas that are good, that can be a business and for those of you think you can run a business, it’s time we chatted about the Ws and H.

What, why, who, where, when and how:

What am I building?

A clear idea of your product is incredibly important. You have to be able tell people exactly what it is your company does, builds or provides. The big “what is it?” is a question buyers will ask, investors need to know and consumers need to be clear on. If you can’t give a straight simple answer to this question, then perhaps it is time rethink that great idea.

Why am I building this?

It’s all good and well to have an idea that you believe in and think will make billions and billions in revenue but why? Does this product or service fill a gap in the market? Have you identified a specific need for it and the most important of all, is it solving a real problem?

Innovation comes in many forms. It can be a new idea that targets a need that consumers didn’t know they had. Henry Ford said that if he had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses so he built them a car instead. Other forms of innovation take something that already exists and improve on it dramatically. Think about what Mark Zuckerberg did with Facebook. He took Friendster, Hi5 and MySpace and created a social network that capitalised on individuals’ personal networks. Why are you building this? Are you innovating? So what?

Who am I building it for?

You know what you are building and why you doing it but who is it for? Who is your target audience? Are they willing to pay for your product or service? Can they afford to? Are you business to consumer (B2C) or business to business (B2B)? Understanding your audience helps you understand the type of business you’re building and how to sell it to your target market.

Where will I distribute this?

Global or local? Very important. Nobody wants a schizophrenic business that isn’t sure what its market is. Building for international markets means taking a lot of things into consideration, especially in the tech space, where it is becoming more and more important to protect your idea and technology. Also the way you present your product might need to change for different markets depending on what your competition is.

When am I going to market?

Do you have a plan of action for this business venture of yours? Too many people underestimate the power of a well set out Excel document with tasks and timelines. Giving yourself actionable deadlines tells investors you are ready and serious. It builds expectations with your target market and most importantly it gives you drive. It says this is a real business and there are plans in place to make it work.

How am I going to build and sell this?

All the Ws have been answered, and you are pretty certain your family fortune isn’t about to go waste. Great. How are you going to build the billion dollar revenue product? Are you building hardware, a web service, a software product? Have you made plans for marketing? Knowing how you are going to build your business is vital but more so is how you are going to market once it is out there. Also keep in mind how much this will sell for. How much are you going to ask people to pay? Is it free?

Credits

This was a word document that I found inside my pc. It had no details of the author or origin of the article. I will just call the author Unknown. Great article though

The birth of a startup

2012 ended on a high. I was part of a team called Bookbay and we had just won Startup Weekend 2012 which was sponsored by Africa.2.0 & hosted at Microsoft South Africa. So you can only imagine how pumped up we were for 2013

Fresh from holiday and amped up by the previous year I decided that it was time to move my “IT community” idea into a startup. I had spent most part of 2012 learning about startups & attending tech events related to startups so I felt ready to step up and dive in. So I thought.

I will be sharing some of the challenges,  experience and success that I went through with Geekulcha in its first 9 months.

Your name is your brand

The first major task was deciding on a name for my new startup. Never thought that coming up with a name would be such a hassle. I wanted a fresh name, something that can speak to the tech community. I searched the dictionary, googled, translated from other languages. Geek Culture sounded right but didn’t look fresh enough. I eventually came up with Geekulcha and love that name so much.

Sometimes your startup name doesn’t have to mean anything so I learned. Many such examples are Google, Yahoo, kiip, twitter. Just make it work

With the help of the creatives of JataMobile we managed to come up with a cool branding for Geekulcha. I was my usual self during this process, very picky and constantly changing things. We finally nailed it and got great feedback from a lot of “geeks” who loved it

It’s always important to find a look that will represent you, your company and give it that imagine that your customers/community can relate to. Just don’t spend way too much time in this department because you might even change it

Make yourself known
The decision to change from INNOvatorz.IT to Geekulcha wasn’t easy considering that we already had a following of around 1200 on our Facebook group. We had to create new image & make our community aware of it. That meant talking about the new name everyday until it stuck. Now Geekulcha has 1259 Facebook likes, 1200 twitter followers,  and 2000 views on our Geekulcha Youtube channel with 50 videos and 2255 views

One lesson I learned from this is that always engage with your audience and don’t just tell them to go jump if they wont accept change. You need to let them know the reason for change and the benefits of it. It’s not an easy process but worth doing it the right way if you still want to have them and retain their trust

Get a domain name
Never really new the importance of checking if your domain is available. This had a massive influence in the naming and spelling of Geekulcha. You dont want to have a name for your company only to find that you can’t create a website with that name.

Make use of Godaddy to check the availability of your domain name

Company registration is a hectic process
Try and get as much info on the process of registering your company. You will need around 3 possible names. If money isn’t a big issue then find someone to do everything for you. It makes life a whole lot easier

Prepare to receive money
One huge mistake I probably made was taking forever to open a business account for Geekulcha. Open a business account and start saving. If possible try to document all your receipts so you can keep track of your expenses. While you are waiting to get funding or making your first sale get yourself educated on money. It is your business after all

If you have any other tip or advice regarding this section of starting your business then feel free to share so we can all learn

What is next?

Next up I will talk about “Having the idea”, what to do with it and also the importance of a team

 

About Me

“So what do you actually do?” A question that I am constantly asked by lots of different people that I come across. Some see the activities that I do but are not quite sure of what exactly it is that I do. Pretty sure many would expect me to answer this question with so much ease since I’m constantly asked about it. Well sorry to disappoint you. I still struggle to answer that question since I am horrible at talking about myself. I prefer my work to do the talking. Anyway it can’t really be avoided. I have to eventually get used to explaining what it is that I actually do. Not just for the sake of others but for my own sake. Let me give it a try.

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Who Am i?

My name is Mixo, pronounced as Misho or Me-sho. I am not mixzo, Tumisho nor Mixo (with Xhosa sound). Mixo is my full name, not a short version for whatever people think I am. It is also not my nickname.

Fortune is my other name, not my surname. Fortune is also what I believe I am destined to have, God willingly. My surname is Ngoveni

So if you didn’t know NOW you know. I am Mixo Fortune Ngoveni

What do I do?

Now comes the really difficult part. Main reason for this is that I do a lot of things, well so it seems. I enjoy experimenting, challenging myself and just love a whole bunch of things. Some I’m good at, some I “Fake it until I make it”, and others I just flop at them. I do not like titles but for the sake of this post I will give myself a few titles. My own versions off-cause

I am a Microsoft Student Partner representing Tshwane University of Technology where I am currently doing my Btech in IT with a focus on Business Informatics.  Within TUT I work with different IT Departments and help some of their students with their in-service training while introducing others to the world of mobile technology and exposing them to the IT world. As MSP’s would say, “Geek is the new ROCKSTAR!!!”

I run a startup called Geekulcha which is based at mLab within The Innovation Hub. I am also part of the CoachLab programme at the Innovation Hub with Standard Bank being my sponsor at CoachLab. One of my strong characteristics is connecting people with things, things with people and people with other people. I guess the right title for that is called “The Connector”. Not only am I a connector but I am also a Growth Hacker. I am able to spread the word on something and make it reach as many people as possible like a wild fire. Some credit should be given to social media and its capabilities…..when used properly.

Below is a summary of the things that I enjoy doing . You can read further or stop here. It’s all up to you. However I do advice that the best way of getting to know me is to actually spend time with me.

The YoungTrepreneur

I am the Founder/CEO of Geekulcha which is a tech startup/platform for connecting IT students from all parts of South Africa so they can share ideas, collaborate, learn, put their skills to work and connect with the ICT industry. More about Geekulcha in future posts or check us on Facebook if you really cant wait https://www.facebook.com/Geekulcha

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I like calling myself an Under30CEO simply because that’s what I aspire to be and that is what I am working towards every day. I have already had 8 different businesses from a young age. I sold marbles, Pokémon, homework in primary, Cell phone covers (thank you Nokia 3310). In tertiary I expanded my business skills and sold second hand textbooks, airtime and empty CD’s. So it’s pretty obvious that I enjoy the risky yet exciting world of business. You can just call me a Hustler. I will definitely share the highs and lows of the Hustling world. It is a whole lot of fun, unpredictable but not as glamorous as people make it out to look like. I am no expert but just simply want to share what I have come cross so it can help someone out there. Hopefully they wont make the same mistakes that I made .I made a lot of mistakes but learning from them.

The techie aka Geek

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I have this thing for gadgets especially mobile devices.If i’m not owning it then I am either testing it or reading about it. So you can just imagine the number of devices that I have played with,all ranging from the fruit phones (iphone and Blackberry), the robots (Android), Windows Phones and all kinds of Nokia’s.

My appetite for mobile devices was made worse by Microsoft South Africa and mLab. In 2011 Microsoft SA selected me to be a Microsoft Student Partner. My role was simple and fun. I had to learn about their different technologies, tools and devices with the windows Phone being the main focus. I became the first student in South Africa to own the Samsung Omnia 7 Windows Phone (May it R.I.P). My love for gadgets, especially mobile devices just kept growing. I am always surrounded with new devices and get to play with them. So expect a lot of reviews on devices coming from me. You can call me the Mobile Ninja

If you still want to know more about me then let us connect on social media.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/4otune

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Geekulcha

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Geekulcha

Youtube: youtube.com/geekulcha

Welcome to my world, my thoughts, my views

It has been months since I last blogged. I don’t even remember my past blogs. Those who know will tell you that I’m horrible in remembering my accounts and their passwords. So decided to start afresh. Do things differently and just blog about anything from my world, my startup, the amazing people I meet, the different activities that I go to

Save yourself the trouble of trying to figure out what my blog will focus on because I don’t even know yet. I just want to write write write write and share things around me. I don’t even know what I will officially call my blog. We will call that bridge as time goes

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 others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
Steve Jobs

I do however plan on touching subjects that interest me. Subjects such as technology, Geekulcha, the youth, the entrepreneur world, life in general

You will notice that my blog will change its look and feel as time goes. The reason for that is that I am busy learning how to make websites and busy playing with html5. So I will be using my blog to test all those things that I will be learning

Want to know more about? Then i suggest you follow this blog. I struggle big time talking about myself and what I do so I will just blog about it…..HOPEFULLY.  You can follow me on twitter (@4otune) and if tech is your things then I recommend you also follow @Geekulcha, which is a tech platform for all IT students and lovers of tech and gadgets

Welcome to my world. Looking forward to hearing and interacting with you

Geekulchad

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