Follow your curiosity
Continuous learning, Africa, founders need different business mindsets and metrics, early research on remote work...
Every week I read widely across a range of stuff that is loosely connected to the business of technology. I read to learn and to find questions (not answers). These were the things that most interested me this week...
The value of people who enquire and learn
From the Family. Follow your curiosity and keep learning. Nothing in life is more important. This neatly captures what I try to do with this newsletter. Always hire people who think like this - curiosity is a much more important quality than done it before” in my experience.. How can we build a lifelong education this way?
Africa is the real home of mobile payments
Africa gets in your blood. I have felt that pull since I lived in Johannesburg back in the 1990’s. In fintech, the continent is a bit of a hidden pioneer. As this analysis shows 64.5% of all mobile money activity is still in Africa. This compares from a share of global GDP and trade at around 3%. What can we learn from the success of mobile money in Africa?
“Normal” business methods and metrics don’t apply
“Normal” business principles are the wrong way to think as a company founder. Advisors and investors who pursue them do more harm than good. Good article on this point. Including a great reminder of who bears the real risk in a startup - “Unlike your VCs and advisors, you have but one life to give for your company.”
On a linked theme: Don’t let financial metrics stifle innovation. (may be Paywall) Revenues, budgets, SaaS metrics are signals not targets when you first launch a product. Short HBR article takes a coroporate point of vuiew but same lessons apply to a start up Are you using the right metrics for your business?
Make the gig economy an opportunity
Nicolas Colin on Deliveroo IPO. There is an opportunity for last mile logistics to be part of a new social contract. In most cases these are low paid shitty insecure jobs so scale and regulation could be a big levelling up opportunity. Could we see the gig economy as an opportunity for more social cohesion rather than a threat?
Remote work: its far too early to say
What happens to remote work when COVID crisis comes to an end? There are no answers but this article is a useful summary of the limited research available. And this offers a thoughtful view of why remote work might be quite a small shift in the medium term. Way too early to even ask the right question in my view.
Fun tweet to finish with about the effect of badly designed subsidies - remember “what gets measures gets managed” is the most dangerous axiom in the business world
That’s all from me this week. What are the questions you are asking this week...