Eating The Big Fish – Cape Town #EatingBigFish


By Abey Mokgwatsane.

Identified as one of Africa’s top 12 cities with the highest growth potential according to the MasterCard African Cities Growth Index, Cape Town has everything going for it to continue to attract the world’s travellers.

The City of Cape Town is one of the most exciting cities in destination marketing these days. Unlike the traditional must-see city brands such as London, New York and Paris, Cape Town can be considered a Challenger Brand along with other coastal cities such as Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona – not to mention some newer African counterparts.

In a competitive market, with an increasing number of travellers, differentiation is key.

Cape Town Tourism has seen an opportunity to build and maximise on its brand and create a noise in the travel market by capitilising on what makes the city different. Other than its undeniable beauty Cape Town is iconic, complex and multifaceted – attributes such as freedom, inspiration, transformation and a vision for the future are among the attributes this brand has marketed to gain unique attention.

Cape Town Tourism has been working tirelessly to generate demand locally and domestically, ensure optimal visitor dispersal and spend, and improve the tourism industry’s capability to convert prospective business into revenue.

After the Soccer World Cup in 2010, Cape Town and South Africa cannot rely on big events to bring travellers to its shores, but need a strong, stand-out positioning. The “You don’t need a holiday, you need Cape Town” campaign is finding resonance with potential visitors and beckoning them with all the promise that the Mother City has to offer.

Abey Mokgwatsane is CEO at Ogilvy & Mather South Africa. Before that, he was CEO of the global brand experience agency VWV Group, which produced, among others, the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

2014 Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG)


The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) provides an annual assessment of the quality of governance in African countries.

The 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance rankings are as follows:

(1) Mauritius
(2) Cabo Verde
(3) Botswana
(4) South Africa
(5) Seychelles
(6) Namibia
(7) Ghana
(8) Tunisia
(9) Senegal
(10) Lesotho
(11) Rwanda
(12) São Tomé & Príncipe
(13) Zambia
(14) Morocco
(15) Tanzania
(16) Malawi
(17) Kenya
(18) Benin
(19) Uganda
(20) Algeria.

Eating The Big Fish – Apple Inc #EatingBigFish


In every field of business there are always the big players who dominate the industry (we always refer to them as the big five or big four).

For instance in construction, you will find: Murray and Roberts, WBHO, Aveng, Basil Read and Group Five, in the audit industry there is the big five: Pricewaterhousecoopers, Ernst and Young, KPMG and Deloitte and a South African a challenger brand: SizweNtsalubaGobodo. In the banking industry there is: Standard Bank, FNB, ABSA and Nedbank and a challenger brand Capitec Bank and in soccer there is the so-called traditional four: Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirate, Mamelodi Sundowns and Moroka Swallow and other challenger brands such as Ajax Cape Town, Platinum Stars and Supersport United.

Practically every industry has the big established businesses, the big fish.

The question therefore is: As a start-up entrepreneur how do you over time compete with the big established businesses, how to eat the big fish. This can be a daunting task and at times very intimidating. The following five blogs highlight how small and start-up brands challenge and eat the big fish, the foundation of these blogs is based on the book: Eating The Big Fish by Adam Morgan.

Eating the Big Fish: Apple Inc

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance…. Unless you have a lot of passion about this, you’re not going to survive. You’re going to give it up. So you’ve got to have an idea, or a problem or a wrong that you want to right that you’re passionate about; otherwise, you’re not going to have the perseverance to stick it through.” — Steve Jobs

Underdog: Apple Inc
Topdog: Microsoft

Humble beginnings: Apple was famously founded in Steve Job’s garage in 1976. While its success rose and fell over years, by 2002 the company was facing a huge challenge. Microsoft’s market cap was $356.8 billion, Apple was only $7.7 billion.

Underdog edge: Apple remained committed to innovation and sleek design. Under Steve Jobs’s leadership, they released a series of “game changers,” including the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Underdog on top: In 2010, Apple exceeded Microsoft in sales for the first time in 10 years.

“You look ridiculous in that outfit”

Alek Wek

This is always the case.

Something new is always used first by people who are willing to look ridiculous, at least for a few minutes.

Every once in a while, we adopt something because it’s truly a better technology, a new taste sensation, a productivity shortcut that pays for itself regardless of what people think of it.

But most of the time, culture moves forward on the basis of a simple question:

“Do people like me do something like this?”

If the answer is ‘no’, most of us wait.

And so, new fashions (of all sorts) come from unexpected places, not from the arbiters of what’s correct. Cameron Diaz and Will Smith aren’t showing us new ways to dress. The people who go first (trend-setters) have a different agenda than the standard-setters.

That’s why it usually takes years for something to become an overnight success. The culture changes from the edges, and gradually, we come to answer the question about a hat or a software network or a car with, yes, in fact, people like me actually do use something like this.

This explains why Kickstarter campaigns do so well after they hit their minimum… social proof.

The idea of reading a book electronically was ridiculous.

The idea of downloading a song from the internet instead of buying the entire album from the music store was ridiculous.

The idea of taking photos using your phone and just downloading them on your computer was ridiculous

The concept of an electric car looked ridiculous when it started, but I am sure after another 5 years or so, driving an electric car will be normal.

The fact is anything new, anything that stands out, in the immediate term does look ridiculous, because it stands out from the ordinary, but after a while, after the early adopters have gathered enough adopters, the newness fades and tips over from looking ridiculous to being fashionable.

Innovators always look ridiculous at the beginning, but being a innovator requires taking risks of looking ridiculous (at least in the beginning). Not taking this risk means you will always be a follower in your industry and even risk going out of business.

Ps: Alek Wek is one of Africa’s super models. When she first came to the fashion industry, there was a lot of uncomfortable people about her looks, because it broke the perception of what a standard model should look like, but now she is a super-model. At the beginning it was uncomfortable for many (late adopters and laggards), but now, a trend-setter

Love and Respect


It’s nice when someone loves your brand or your restaurant or your project. We always strive to get our offerings loved, we want to be loved.

But we don’t get to love without respect, first. If you cannot earn my respect, don’t even bother delivering that product out the door.

Respect is insufficient by itself, though. Respect does not get the heart to race, respect does not often lead to waiting in line or gushing about an idea to someone else. No, those things come from falling in love, from the ineffable and magic switch that gets flipped when we are touched by something on an emotional level.

Without respect, don’t expect love.

There are too many options and too much information for me to fall in love with something incomplete or incompetent.

But respect just is not enough. Meeting the spec will get you respect, without a doubt, but stopping there will never earn you love.

Time to invest in magic. Time to take the risk and leap into the unmapped, unsafe and unreliable territory where love lives.

Without respect, love is lost. Without caring, love is boring. Without honesty, love is unhappy and without trust, love is unstable.

The Scars We Carry, Carry Us…


Every morning, I make some time to open up Scripture and soak in some wisdom. Typically, sometimes I will pull a verse or two from the passage I’m reading and post on Facebook and Twitter. Recently, I posted the particular passage above from Matthew 5, and it seemed to resonate with several friends and followers in a different way than most. In particular, a certain friend wrote me a message pertaining to that post. In his message, my friend wrote:

“I read your Scripture post from Matthew 5:43-45 the other day. I realise what it says. But sometimes it’s hard to forget what people have done to you in the past. I also realise that Satan comes against us in this way. Any suggestions on how to overcome this? I know prayer is always good.”

I think most of us can relate to my friend’s response.

We’ve all been hurt at some point, likely by someone we hold in high esteem. And though forgiving can be easy, forgetting is the harder part.

So how do we overcome this?

In attempt to answer that question, let’s think about it in terms of wounds and scars. Those “hurts” in our lives are like scars. I carry a physical scar close to my heart which I got when I was very young, too young to remember the details. When I look at the scar today, I very much realise that I could have died from that incident.

At one time, that scar was an open wound. In time (and with the help of a healing aid), the wound healed. However, the scar remains. We can choose to let that scar be a bitter reminder of the past wound or hurt. Or we can ultimately view the scar as a reminder of the healing that took place, only through the aid of our Healer.

In leadership (and in life), there will be hurt. There will be wounds. There will enemies who inflict these hurts and wounds.

Ultimately, there may even be scars. But our response should reflect the wisdom found in those passages from Matthew…

1. Love your enemies.

2. Let them bring out the best in you.

3. Respond with prayer for them.

I’m not sure that we’ll ever “forget” the particular hurt caused by someone in our past. But the path to overcoming the hurt involves continuing to pray (unselfishly) for those who hurt us, trusting that God will give us a new compassion and love for them.

The greatest leaders aren’t vengeful. Rather, they let their enemies bring out the best in them.

I have a big scar that I sustained when I was very young, I could have easily died from that freak accident. Every time I look at my scar it always reminds me of how God has spared my life. Knowing that God saved me is good enough reason to ensure that I live a meaningful life and not let God’s mission for me be meaningless.

Some of my most inspirational quotes about scars:

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ― Khalil Gibran

“My scars remind me that I did indeed survive my deepest wounds. That in itself is an accomplishment. And they bring to mind something else, too. They remind me that the damage life has inflicted on me has, in many places, left me stronger and more resilient. What hurt me in the past has actually made me better equipped to face the present.” ― Steve Goodier

“Some people see scars, and it is wounding they remember. To me they are proof of the fact that there is healing.” ― Linda Hogan

“Scars fade with time. And the ones that never go away, well, they build character, maturity, caution.” ― Erin McCarthy

“Scars are not signs of weakness, they are signs of survival and endurance.” ― Rodney A. Winters

Fighting with vs. fighting for

When there’s a change in your industry or your business or your trusted circle, you face two choices:

You can fight with the person creating the change, push back against them and defend the status quo.

Or you can fight for the person, double down on the cause, the tribe and the relationship, and refocus your efforts on making things work even better than they did before the change.

They are similar emotions and efforts, but they lead to very different outcomes.