South Africa Summer 2014 Blog

University of the Witwatersrand
June 23, 2014 to Aug. 2, 2014

24 hours towards a minimum viable product

Jennifer K Liu

July 18, 2014

Sitting in a room coding for 24 hours straight isn’t what typically comes to mind when most people think of a fun weekend. But throw in an endless supply of pizza and Red Bull, experienced mentors eager to help, and 20 fellow founders working diligently towards creating a business around technology, and you have a bit of a different story.

Last weekend, we held a 24-hour hackathon to mark the midway point of our program—transitioning from a phase of intense market research and customer development to a period of rapid prototyping and technical development.

The goal for the 8 teams was to make as much progress as possible towards a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)—whether that entailed wireframing, prototyping, designing a landing page, or developing a fully-functioning app. For many teams, it involved a combination of the above, with teammates possessing different strengths focusing on different aspects of the product.

Team YES!, working on a mobile payment management system, did just that: while Kgothatso hacked on an Android application, Flo learned her way around the WordPress platform to develop a landing page and Sandiso created a promotional video.

The Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) offered a welcome change of scenery, with large tables facilitating collaborative work, blazing-fast Wi-Fi, and a kitchen stocked with coffee.

 

We were fortunate to have skilled industry and entrepreneurial mentors volunteer their time to accelerate the learning and development: Toby Kurien (freelance software developer), Brad Kingon and Kevin McKelvin (developers at Platform45), Mixo Fortune (founder of Geekulcha), Tshepo Sibanda (Managing Director of Sibanda Communications), Martin Myburgh (engineer and social scientist), and Sandile Nhlapho (Wits graduate and GSL alum)...just to name a few. 

 

Not all mentorship came from external sources. During a casual awards ceremony Sunday morning, a heartfelt moment emerged when founders acknowledged each other for the technical guidance they provided throughout the night—even across teams. Through nominations for the Rookie Award, it was clear how much learning took place—on all levels—in the 24-hour span.

 

The following awards were presented by judges Barry Myburgh (Program Manager at the JCSE) and Sibanda:

Most Progress Made: Philani SA

Most Technically Impressive: tech re:PUBLIC

Best User Interface: PinkSlip

Rookie Award: Pink Festival

 

Each winning team received $100 in Digital Ocean web hosting credits, and the team with the Most Progress Made earned an additional R500 in Uber credits. All hackathon attendees also enjoyed R200 off their first Uber ride, thanks to a generous Uber sponsorship. Our friends at Platform45 generously sponsored food (lots and lots of Red Bull and pizza!) 

The best part? According to Gabe: “Building friendships and camaraderie with the various founders in the course. It was also great to be pushed and see that I can still make progress even if I'm exhausted. This was a great learning experience."

Read more about the hackathon on htxt.Africa: Red Bull, red eye and runtimes: when MIT’s 24 hour hackathon came to town

Bread and Startups: A Call to Action

Kai Zau

July 8, 2014

Family Dinner with David Hauser and the Grasshopper team

A 2010 "family dinner" with David Hauser and the Grasshopper.com team.

 

When I first landed on Boston's startup scene in 2009, I was clueless. I had dropped out of university a year prior and knew nothing of customer development, product design, or venture capital. There were no online courses, no active meetup.com groups, and no place to turn for advice.

Yet, my timing couldn’t have been better. I fell in with a group of young, entrepreneurial go-getters — Cortland Johnson, Jake Cacciapaglia, Alexa Scordato, Aaron O’Hearn, Jason Evanish, and too many others to name. Together, we pooled our resources and pulled each other up.

Every Thursday after work (we all had day jobs at the time), we met at a local bar, gave feedback on each other’s side-projects, and had a great time in the process. It was incredible to see so many talented, ambitious people in the same room.

As the weekly ritual gathered steam, our outings began to attract 20, then 50, then 100 people at a time. Friendships were cemented, ideas were shared, and companies were born out of these simple get-togethers.

Suddenly, prominent people in Boston started noticing the newfound excitement around entrepreneurship. We began hosting informal "family dinners" with local angel investors and successful CEOs — Dave Balter of BzzAgent, Robin Chase of Zipcar, David Hauser of Grasshopper, and many more.

With the help of Flybridge Capital's Victoria Song and prolific local investor Bill Warner, Family Dinner became a rallying point for the community and scored major wins for Boston.

In two short years, dozens of events and initiatives had joined forces — the CIC’s Venture Cafe, Greenhorn Connect, the Microsoft NERD Center, and MassChallenge — all helping to bolster the city’s startup economy. Visit Boston today, and you’ll find a vibrant startup scene that’s friendly to newcomers, fertile for veterans, and with more events, resources, and potential than anyone could've imagined in 2009.

***

I tell this story because Johannesburg right now feels a lot like Boston did to me back then. Between Start with 7, Founders Institute, the Tshimologong Precinct, Microsoft App FactoryThoughtworks, joziHub, Innovation Hub, and any programs I’m not yet aware of — the pieces are in place for a startup renaissance.

My theory is simple: Good things happen when you get the right people in the same room. 

So on behalf of MIT GSL, I'll be inviting various members of the Johannesburg startup community to dinner this Wednesday — and every subsequent Wednesday.

This is an informal get-together for founders, investors, mentors, and everyone in between. The goal is simply to share what everyone's working on and explore how we might help each other out.

A few details, so you know what to expect:

  • The group will be small and intimate — any larger than 6 and people tend to split into multiple conversations.
  • The setting will be informal so that folks can let down their guards and connect as people, not business titles.
  • Everyone pays for their own meal — it reaffirms that we’re all there to contribute and allows the event to run with minimal overhead.

If you’d like to get involved, get in touch with me at zau (at) mit.edu or better yet, fill out this form. Excited to see what comes next.

How to get involved with serious innovators and entrepreneurs in Joburg

Bryan Hernandez

July 3, 2014

It's hard to over-state the importance of talking to other people about what you're working on.  There are so many reasons we should expect this a priori, and I don't want to make that list because it's boring and will not feel particularly insightful.


Perhaps this is part of the problem.


"What problem?" you say?


Despite knowing they should, people generally do not tell people what they are working on.  And of course, there are lots of reasons for this, too.  I'll mention one important one.


Everything takes energy. 


People don't have infinite energy.  So things that require a lot of energy generally happen less.
Thermodynamics can speak on this further.  But as cool as partial differential equations are, I'll illustrate my point with a simple example.
Obsessive email (or Facebook) checking is as common problem in some circles in the States, and I'd imagine in most places where internet is widely accessible.  Some people stay on it all day, while others check it 10-20 times per day.  Part of this frequency is due to necessity: there is important information on these websites.  But most of the chceks are not driven by necessity.  Most of them are driven by people wondering if they got a new email, feeling bored, wanting entertainment, and tons of other procrastinating reasons.


OK, whatever.  I'm not here to lambast procrastination.


My point is that the frequency of this action is directly a function of how easy it is to execute.  A single click of the mouse is usually all the energy it takes.  And this is a pretty low energy barrier.


But imagine if instead of just clicking a bookmark, everytime you wanted to load your inbox you had to sign in with your username and password.  Your password was 24 random characters long, which you couldn't remember and had to consult a password manager for.  You have two-factor authentication, requiring you to wait for your second password to arrive on your cell phone.  Not only all this, but your laptop is turned off and put in its case.


What used to take about 50 miliseconds to accomplish now might take a full 10 minutes.  Like magic, what you used to do 20 times per day gets squeezed down to 2.  And all we did was change the activation energy.

So back to my first point about telling people about what you're working on. 
One of our goals at MIT GSL South Africa, is to build structures that make this casual and frequent social exhange as cheap and easy as possible.  One of the reasons MIT is MIT is because it's impossible to walk 10m without bumping into another person who is smarter than usual, more ambitious than usual, and who has a greater than average tendency to act on their ideas.  One of the reasons San Francisco is the tech capital of the world is because it's hard to go more than a day without hearing something about a new startup, even when you're trying to avoid it.  These people permeate the environment.


In these environments, it's sufficient advice for me to just say talk about your work all the time and great things will happen for you.  You'll get good feedback.  You'll meet people who want to help you—and you people whom you want to help. 


But I don't think this is enough in places without a high density of like minds.  We will need to concentrate these people first.  Without this, my advice of talking about what you're working on will—more often than not—fall on deaf ears because chances are the person you decide to tell about your project will not be initiated enough to give you any kind of feedback, or not be interested in the same things and the conversation won't go anywhere.  Having these conversations will be a grind, not enjoyable, and pretty soon you will not be able to keep up with the good practice of talking to a lot of people about your work.

Here is one way we hope to help this problem.

Every Wednesday we will be having "MIT GSL Family Dinners".  The goal is to get a small handful of people from the startup/entrepreneurship/innovation community together just to chat about what they're working on.  This event should run automatically, with as little logistical and financial expense as possible so that it will happen regularly and sustainably.  Without this property of being easy to organize, execute, and cheap to attend, I would worry about how sustainable the event would be.  Remember the discussion about how actions with large energy costs always happen less frequently?  I introduce that idea to support this claim. 

Yesterday was our inaugural dinner, and it was fantastic.  I was joined by one of the more active and ambitious tech entrepreneur mentors in the community (Professor Barry Dwolatzky), two current founders in our incubator (Mpho Stefalafala and Thabisile Malinga), a fellow mentor of our program (Kai Zau), and a recent startup founder who is gaining great traction for his online education platform, IQMates.com (Houston Muzamhindo). 

If you'd like to attend, reach out to us via facebook, and we'll get you on the list.

Bryan

Why you should ask "why" to things you don't like

Bryan Hernandez

July 2, 2014

Yesterday, one of the founders mentioned to me that he was struggling with the program.  He came to me and explained that he didn't feel like he was grasping the methods well enough to see much success nor inherent positive feeback.  I was surprised to hear this because I would rank him in the top 5% of intelligence and work ethic in the program. 


Was it because I had him well outside of his wheelhouse—far from engineering?  Running around talking to prospective customers; making calls until he was blue in the face and his Airtime account had run dry? 


Perhaps. 


People generally don't like being held to high expectations in work for which they do not feel competent.  And when you throw a person with an ego that identifies with being a smart, competent, and hard working person into a game for which a 10-15% success ratio is considered 'killing it', it's not hard to imagine what valence of emotions are sure to emerge from this.


When I probed a bit deeper about what specifically was troubling him, I discovered a couple important things.


1) He was focusing on an end goal and not on the process.  With every attempt he makes, he feels like he comes back empty-handed.  And this might be true.  It's not an easy thing to know when it's OK to be outcome oriented and when we should be process oriented.  In this case, I believe he was too outcome oriented to the degree that he could feel no positive feedback for his efforts.  What's remarkable about this individual is how long he was OK keeping his head down, grinding away, while allowing himself no feeling of accomplishment.  I believe the duration one can continue working hard without any sense of positive feedback is a good way of characterizing people with a large amount of grit. That trait that is very difficult to teach.  And as admirable as it is to see it exercised in someone, I have to offer a warning:


We all have our breaking points. 


We all have a day when we decide to give up because the implausibility of what we're doing outweighs our belief in ourself to make it happen.  When you catch this happening, you need to first: get help to make sure your method is appropriate for the goal; and second: refocus your attention on the process you're going through so that you can celebrate and feel good about the small wins—the fact that you've been hitting this problem hard for the last 10 days straight, have made over 100 calls, and know a lot about which markets are not viable right now (at the very least.).


2) He had some distracting beliefs about business, entrepreneurship, and economics in general.  For myself, I have always considered myself a philosopher and scientist.  It's not uncommon for engineers to have similar ways of looking at the world, and what often comes with this perspective early in life is a slight disdain for business activities, in general.  This isn't a universal. But it's definitely common. 


In my earlier years, I maintained somewhat superficial understandings of what business was.  And although they were accurate, they were not the end of the story.  What I never quite understood was the purpose and context under which these human activities emerged and what that actually meant for people who choose to engage in them, as well as those who choose to ignore them or actively fight against them.  As I am writing this during a single pomodoro session, I do not have time to satisfactorally explain how business activities can actually be understood from a more philosophical or scientific framework that is not disagreeable, and so I will only claim that it is possible.  The thought work that I've put in to achieve this level of understanding has made all the difference for me.  At the highest level, it has allowed me to accept the world as it is, to learn to play more "games" than I ever thought possible, and to generally accomplish my goals with less friction than before I had an understanding and appreciation for how things work and why they have developed into the structures we see today.  As a teaser about what can lead to asking the right questions in order to develop in yourself a similar depth of understanding, consider the types of problems you will need to solve if you were going to run your own community, society, or even city state.  This has been the fodder for thought for many great thinkers, and the tools with which to deal with the problems that emerge are as diverse as all human endeavors since the beginning of our evolution.


But to wrap my point—if you know you have some deep conceptual or philosophical problems with the game you're playing, it's wise to spend some thought cycles (preferably at the beginning of the day) to rooting out the incompatibilities.  You might find you are in fact playing the wrong game.  Or you might just solve a nagging conceptual uncertainty for yourself once and for all.

Remember what it was like to be young, naive, and idealistic—but most of all, remember what it was like to enjoy asking "Why?".

Bryan

Why we use pomodoros

Bryan Hernandez

July 1, 2014

People are weak.  Generally speaking, they do not take responsibility for their own success.  Generally speaking, they do not sprint up hill without something chasing them.

In the first week of the program, we worked hard to install in our founders all the necessary concepts and techniques required to sprint to market (de)validation.  A lot of the work revolved around learning how to talk to real-life human beings about the problems they experience in their jobs, or the things they generally disliked to the point of paying money to not have to deal with them.  Perhaps it's surprising for the uninitiated, but calling people you don't know and getting them to give you information about their job and life is not an easy task.  In fact, sometimes it can be rather uncomfortable.  

The first time I ever made a cold call, I stared at the phone book for a good 15 minutes thinking of what I was going to say while my father towered over me with a puzzled look on his face.  He assured me that making this call on his behalf was a completely normal and easy thing to do.  He was right, too.  All I had to do was say, "Hello, this is Bryan calling for Jesse Hernandez.  I'd like to know if <insert random used car part> is ready for pickup."  

As a script it sounds simple enough, but there's something about gearing up to make the actual call that seems to change everything.  All of a sudden you start questioning everything about yourself and the world.  

Do people say "hi" or "hello"?  No one says "hello" anymore.  That's for old-fashioned movies and mailmen, isn't it?

Should I say my full name or just the first... or mabe nothing at all?  Given that I'm a prebuscent boy (at the time), aren't they going to be confused that I'm saying a boys name when I sound like a girl?  Should I not pretend that I'm my sister instead?  She's a year older than me.  She's probably much more suited to do this kind of thing than me.  Me, I'm going to go play in the yard.  This calling shit is for the birds.

 

We come up with lots of excuses why we can't do the things we know we need to do.  As a test, try sitting down first thing in the morning and ask yourself, "What is the one thing I could do today that would change everything?"  Then ask yourself "What is the process that will get me there?"  I bet you'll naturally come up with a reason why you can't get started on those tasks right away.  It's just our natural aversion to doing things that hurt or are uncomfortable.  

Our answer to these questions for these early customer development days is rather simple: talk to as many people as possible with the dispassionate critical judgement of a shrewd investor who cares only about the expected return on his investment.  Although our founders are not investors in the traditional sense, it behooves them to think of themselves this way because they are in fact investing something much more scarce than money.  They are investing their time and energy.  And these are rapidly wasting assets in the early days.

 

To combat all these psychological disadvantages, we have started implementing 30-minute pomodoros.  

This is a working style that requires you work at the highest intensity (head down mode) for 25 minutes.  Whether it's research or calling, you are shooting to reach an audacious goal for the time period, such as collecting 15 strong leads or having 5 good sales calls.  When 25 minutes is up, you take a 5 minute breather to debrief with your team and mentors.  Lather rinse repeat.

 

We tried this method yesterday with a lot of success.  People made about 80% as many calls in 2 hours of pomodoros than they did the entire previous week!  Not many people liked it.  It wasn't comfortable.  The room reached an intensity I haven't seen before from this group.  But people ploughed forward, and I think we're starting to realize what it means to not only reach for something you want but to go out and take it—because you know, now more than ever, that nobody is going to make you successful.  

You have sprint up that hill and build on it the fortress you want.

 

Bryan.

On taking responsibility

Bryan Hernandez

July 1, 2014

There's something very comforting about going to college.  You wake up in the midmorning, grab a bagel on the way to class, find your favorite spot in the lecture hall and settle in to receive the learning that your professor rains down upon you.  You consult your friends about the homework or lab assignments.  You refer to the course syllabus and budget your time between homework assignments, group projects, and the impending midterms.  

The work is hard, but you know what it's going to be and when to expect it.  It's not a mystery what work you will need to do in order to excel in this environment.  After all, you've been doing this kind of thing since your were 5 years old.

And then one day you graduate.  You leave behind the well-structured environment of your university and venture out into the world.  For many, this means finding a job or going to grad school.  Out of the pot and into another.  Yet there are some who go straight into the fire.  If you are one of them, my goal in writing this is to help you not get burned too bad.  

Potentially the first and hardest things you need to learn when you wander out of the familiar and comforting structure of a university or job is that, for the most part, the world does not care about you.  Nobody is going to tell you when you're going astray.  No one will get on your case when you under-deliver.  And you will hear from no one when you spend months on end working towards something that is ultimately futile.  For those who have good mentors, this is mitigated substantially.  But for those who don't, it's quite a painful thing to learn the hard way.

I think more than anything, in the first year of your life as an entrepreneur you will learn how to have self-accountability.  You will learn that there are generally no good excuses for not delivering.  That you cannot rely on the structure of a course, on the carrots of promotions, or the wrath of an angry boss to orient the work you put in day in and day out.  No one will know if you sleep in till 10am.  It will bother nobody that you accomplished nothing because your internet went out or your Airtime credits ran dry.  

"What is it you've been up to?" your friends will ask.  They will generally have no visibility into the problems you're facing unless you share them with them.  And the interesting thing is that a lot of the time, the problems that seem the most insidious are the ones you've known about your whole life but never were free enough to have to confront them in a serious way.  How do you structure your day when you have no meetings, classes, or homework deliverables?  What food will you choose to eat when you have no constraints on how long you have for lunch?  How will you know when it starts to affect your performance?  How will you know when you've worked enough for the day?  Do you think you need to work on the weekend, or have you enough progress to take a break for a couple days?  

You see, in university, a lot of these things were decided for you.  These decisions made themselves because it was understood very clearly what you needed to deliver, when, and why.  

But in the real world, you are professor, student, and mommy all at the same time.  

Successfully transitioning from life within a structure to life as an entrepreneur will largely be a test of your ability to take responsibility.  If you are able to embrace the fact that you are ultimately responsible for your own failure, only then will you start to see the success you've earned.

 

Bryan

On the origin of startups, entrepreneurs, and the creation of wealth.

Bryan Hernandez

June 27, 2014

It was in the Galapagos Islands that Darwin finally got the evidence he needed to trasnform what was once only a nagging hunch into a full-fledged theory of the origin of biological species.  Here, finally, was an environment so isolated from the rest of the biosphere that he could convincingly show the true driver of speciation is the need to adapt to diverging fitness landscapes.  It would be some years later that we would understand not only evolution in its mechanistic genetic details but also its characteristics to the degree that we, its beneficiaries, could recreate our own unique instances of it.
This fractal self-similarity—organisms that evolve the ability to control the evolution of others—is too spectacular to pass without mention; but as this is an essay for the sake of entrepreneurs, businesspeople, investors—and not scientists, philosophers, and artists—it will have to be mentioned only in passing.

Entrepreneurship, startups, and the creation of wealth in general is nothing more than an instance of evolution.  But this is not an easy thing to see correctly, so let's start with a straightforward example.

When a cuckoo bird lays eggs the color of blue like those of the warbles it exploits, and the warbles themselves grow an increasing keenness for detecting suspicious looking eggs like those of the cuckoo, we, the ornithologists, the evolutionary biologists, the people who "think lightly of themselves and deeply of the world," we clearly understand that they are in an arms race—a subgame of evolution whereby the need to out-smart the other player becomes the driver for new, spectacular development of function.  The eggs of the cuckoo get more like warbles', and warbles get better at detecting cuckoo eggs.  All that's required is replication, variation and a strong dose of selection.

Fantastic.  But where in this is a connection to entrepreneurship?

Facebook buys Whatsapp for $19 Billion.  Microsoft launches Slate on the tails of the iPad's domination.  Box jumps on the market Dropbox ignored.  Are these events understandable through the lens of evolution?  If so, how?  And how is that useful?

Before I answer that, let's talk about another case a little closer to the mission of MIT Global Startup Labs.

Take the greater Boston area for example.  Despite having one of the highest densities of engineering, science, and business talent in the world—for many, many decades—it still took until about 2009 for a viable startup environment to substantially emerge.  Compare that to one of the smallest, youngest, and most challenged countries by foreign affairs in the world, Israel.  It attracts more investment dollars per capita than anywhere else in the world (http://www.arcticstartup.com/2011/06/15/vc-per-capita-europe-7-us-72-israel-142).  (Two times the United States).  Can a general model of evolution help us understand this?

I assert evolutionary dynamics are as inarguably in these places of business, government, and innovation as they are in any place of great biological diversity on the planet.  But in order to see it, you need to forget about genetics and the mechanics of business and entrepreneurship.  You need to abstract things and see the broader strokes and how similar they really are.

Evolution occurs in a fitness landscape.  Characterizing that landscape and the replicators (animals, companies, or other entities) that inhabit it is paramount to understanding its true dynamics and shepherding its development.

Entrepreneurship is the challenge of finding how to make a living in a moving economy.  It's finding under-recognized opportunities to apply human and organizational capital towards the reduction of entropy.  And this is always an evolutionary process.

We've all heard of "the pivot".  We know the importance of early iteration.  But who knows why?  Would you believe me if I said these were knowable a priori?  And who knows when it's time to buckle down and grind the gears we've already built versus when to break out the white baords, colored markers, drink of choice, and brainstorm new approaches to old problems?  Forunately, all this, too, can be understood in the simple parameters of an evolutionary environement.

Again, I'll try to limit this discussion to the common challenges faced by most new ventures: highly uncertain and hostile environements.

In the natural world, organisms that do well in these environments are those that can adapt extremely quickly.  From the outside, we see a general trend towards high variation and short lifespans.  Why should this be the case?  Because when it's not clear what kind of environment an organism is going to be facing in the future, only those populations that cover a lot of possibilities will survive through rapid changes.

Does this sound familiar at all?

Most startups inhabit similarly uncertain and hostile environments.  Not only are there bigger competitors out there that are doing everything they can to not leave any market available to them, but there is such a big space of possible futures that they cannot depend on having tomorrow what is working for them today.

What this implies for the entprepreneur himself is different than for the people interested in trying to build an entrepreneurial environment.  For the entrepreneur himself, this basically reduces to much of the already well-established and good advice of how to run an agile startup, domain nothwithstanding.  But for the champions of entrepeneurship, the farmers of innovation, this means something different.

I'm sure there are plenty of people who would disput this claim, but in a few domains we know pretty well how to grow entreperneurs in Silicon Valley—at the very least, we've had some pretty good successes over the past few years. There are great methods for producing winners in that environment.  Talk to Paul Graham.  Last I hear YCombinator was doing well, but maybe they're just getting lucky everytime?  Probably not.  Talk to Thiel and Musk.  You can get by faking it for a while with methods that don't work, but you won't be able to build a track record like these guys.  And so this is my point: what produces successful entreperneurs in the Valley (for the moment) is not as mysterious as it once was.

But this is not the case pretty much everywhere else in the world.  If it was, then Silicon Valley wouldn't be so special, no?  And so we—the incubators, angels, and educators of entrepreneurship in developing markets—we are not playing the same game as Paul Graham.  We are only seeking a similar result.   Although we, too, are endeavoring to build successful startup incubators, we are more startup than we are those institutions who already incubate them successfully in the States. 

In other words, we are in a very hostile and uncertain fitness environment.  We don't know what's going to work.  So leveraging our understanding of evolution and the characteristics of organisms that do well in environments like this, we should adopt a strategy that bares this in mind: high fecundity and lowish fidelity—or in the traditional entreperneur's lexicon: lots of iteration and lots of varation between iterations.  We cannot copy too closely the juggernauts in the Valley unless we too want to fight for a living in the same place.  We cannot take too long to travel a full cycle from program start to program end because it will take too long to find out what works.  We need fast iteration on lots of different approaches to the challenge of growing an ecosystem that can support entrepreneurs.  We need to grow it, the method, within the same environment we need it to be.

The South Africa instance of MIT Global Startup Labs is doing just this.  As opposed to hubristically asserting we know the correct way to run a startup incubator and trying to reimplement the methods not fit for the South African startup environment, we are going to do things differently.  Although there is much we can borrow from curricula of entrepeneurship across the world, we will foremost optimize for searching through as many methodological vairants as possible in order to find at least one that is exceptionally viable.  It is not likely that we will produce large volumes of successful startups on this iteration, but the sacrifice we make in quantity will be more than recovered through our discovery of truly successful methods—not my methods, not Paul Graham's methods, and not MIT's methods. 
They will be South Africa's methods, and they will work for South Africa.

Bryan.