Mike Jones

Dad to 4 nutters. Founder Western Cape Labs. Building smart apps for dumb phones and smart sites for busy people. Former Londoner, now Cape Town resident. Jack of all trades, master of some.

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Passionate about the non-trivial

I love many parts of this interview with Zach Klein, co-founding and designer of Vimeo. However, this one section popped out from me:

Any aspiring founder now has multiple ideas. They probably have a list of different startup ideas. How do you assess an idea?

Typically I’ve selected ideas because they were able to attract people that I really wanted to work with and spend some of my life with.

That’s interesting. So you don’t look at how much money you could potentially make from an idea?

Oh, no. Honestly that’s probably to my fault as an entrepreneur. It’s a double-edged sword. But it’s never really been my prioritizing feature.



Yeah, why not? Everybody wants to be a millionaire. From the articles we read, it’s all about how much money they raise and how much they’ve been acquired for, right?

Right. The thing is that you have to live your life while...

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Is Cape Town lacking digital challenges?

Last night I tweeted this:

imsickofmaps: 4 friends at the top of their game quit Cape Town for USA tech in short space of time. We need a broader ecosystem of challenges based here.

I posted it because it was been playing on my mind for a few months - and then one of Cape Town’s leading User Experience specialists, Rian van der Merwe, announced he was leaving for a new role in Portland. It got some responses (probably ruffled a few feathers), and 140 characters suck in this situation.

First, let me be crystal clear: this post and that tweet are not about any one individual and their decision. This is about the eco-system and the trends. Please read it that way.

I moved to Cape Town just over three years ago with my family. I quickly tried to find my feet and understand the culture of tech here: what people were interested in, what they were working on, etc.. I was in a funny...

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Avoiding Peter

Avoiding Peter

I was enjoying a delicious cappuccino in my first visit to Bread, Milk and Honey in the city the other day and catching up with a friend when the concept of the Peter Principle came up. Firstly, I realized I seem to have a great memory for concepts but a terrible one for the names of them! Rian who insisted I have the cappuccino, doesn’t seem to have trouble at all and mentioned a few concepts during our chat that I knew but had forgotten the names of.

The Peter Principle

The Peter Principle states: “in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence”. This means that employees will tend to be promoted until they reach a position in which they cannot work competently. It originated in 1969 by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their book carrying the title of the principle.

Quoting from the Wikipedia entry on the subject:


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