To kick off my research into what’s happening in the Internet space in SA, I went to see one of my favorite people yesterday and came back super-inspired. Mike Stopforth runs a company called Cerebra who specialise in creating social media and mobile campaigns for companies like Samsung Mobile SA and the really interesting IS-Labs project. The great thing about Mike is that he really understands what old-fashioned companies rarely realise: that being open (and that’s open in the most essential human way rather than using open licenses) is probably one of the most valuable things that you can do for yourself and your company. Mike’s always been willing to make a connection, set up a meeting, speak at an event or just give good, solid advice – without any concrete idea as to whether he’ll get something out of it. And with me starting again again, I’m really grateful for that.
Anyway, enough of the mushy stuff. What got me really excited talking to Mike was his enthusiasm for us doing more innovative tech events like the iSummit. He noted that there is such an opportunity to put on great events in the spirit of Pop!Tech, TED and Foocamp in SA – but very few people who could really pull it off. The experience that the SA team has had in running these great events with an international network of some of the world’s top Internet thinkers is a great foundation for doing something as amazing – if not better – here, and I’m starting to think that it’s something I really want to do.
So. Watch this space.