Share the Failure
FuckUp Night, Pt. 2
Thursday, 9th of March we had the 2nd ever FuckUp Night in Cape Town, and my goodness, what a night. First off, we had 4 Entrepreneurs this time, not just the usual 3 and they were as diverse as they were entertaining! But before we get there, first some housekeeping.
First up, the venue, Canterbury Club on Canterbury Street did a fine job in keeping the attendees, speakers and production team well lubricated with a beautiful array of Mexican inspired “Minty Mojitos & Tequila Sunrise” on the night at the more than reasonable cost of R45 each! And they were damn tasty folks! [see pic]
Doors opened at 17h45 and everyone had an hour to grab a drink, meet some new people and settle in to a good seat for the night. Our MC’s for the night, were none other than CTO Chiefs (that’s members), brothers Ollie & James Boyers of Chartall Business College. For those of you who don’t know, here’s a brief snapshot of what they do…
Chartall Business College provides accredited online learning to individual and corporate clients in South Africa.
First up, we had the very accomplished Founder of Thope Foundation, Rethabile Mashale Sonibare to deliver what was an insightful look into the complicated world of growing an NPO in South Africa. The complexities of skills required are not dissimilar to those required in running any other business, from managing finances to finding the right people to help you drive the mission forward.
Thope came close to running on empty, when Rethabile took the brave and somewhat radical decision in 2016 to change the business model to pursue what many might consider a more sustainable business model that actually looks to create and maintain a revenue stream, outside of what donors and benefactors bring to the table. This shift, has seen a successful bid to financing their own school, that will remain focused on providing STEM education to young girls in Khayelitsha. To keep up with their progress, on the school and how you might be able to get involved, follow www.thopefoundation.org
Our second speaker for the night, Mr Kean Graham Founder and CEO of Monetize More shared the tale of a most extraordinary challenge in 2013. One morning, he opened up his laptop to find that Google has not only banned one their top clients, but were also withholding more than $2m in revenue! It was a long and painful path that lay ahead for the Monetize More team, but they managed to come out stronger, with more robust security features and screening processes and despite the tremendous cash flow problems, retained all their staff!
His parting words to the audience….simple.
After a 10 minute interval, so we could refresh our drinks and run to the loo, the 3rd speaker of the night was up, Thorsten Rauser! His story was a simple one, albeit and expensive one. In an attempt to immolate the great game shows of the day, he came up with a revolutionary online game where a small entry fee could see you take the pot of winnings at the end of the game. He sought the advice of some pretty experienced folks and despite their advice to NOT do this, Raus pushed ahead and created the game.
He raised a whopping R20m in venture capital funding and off he went. However, a few months in….the dreaded reality set in, the advice he was given by the experts, were in fact, right. Raus went from a Jaguar driving multi-millionaire to having to hand the keys of his beloved steed back in a matter of weeks! The fall was hard, but like all fuckups, the learning invaluable.
Today, Raus is heading up his new startup, The Binary Family, and with a formidable team they create beautiful mobile application and brain teasing games that keep millions of people entertained!
Our final speaker of the night, Justin R.Melville is somewhat of a legend when it comes to startup failures, being the only one of our line up that’s actually referenced by a US University as an example of a spectacular failure. But there is a fine, fine line between one who simply fails and the mavericks of our startup landscape who truly innovate and create the next “big thing”. There are too many great lessons to reference here, sadly you should have been at FuckUp Night to hear them for yourself, but I will leave you with the one pearl of wisdom he left the audience with.
When things start falling apart, reach out and share it with the world. You never know who might be out there, ready to lend a hand or a few dollars.
Oh and this peach…the 3 ingredients needed to make your startup a success.
Today, Justin is the Founder and CEO of Ekaya.com a property mobile application that connects people looking to rent their dream home, to those who own them.
The tool that won a thousand apartments
The next FuckUp Night will take place on Wednesday, 19 April and you’ll be a fool to miss it. Make sure you follow our social media feeds, from Twitter to Instagram and Facebook – all @fuckupnightscpt for updates, news and ticket releases.
If you’d like to get in touch with any of our speakers, please drop me a line & I’ll put you in touch.
Lizelle & the FuckUp Night Cape Town team.