Please update your RSS reader. My new blog URL is: You can find the Top posts of 2007 post here.

Posted by: Carel | January 3, 2008

SoCon08 – Web 2008 in 1.5 days

Please update your RSS reader. My new blog URL is: You can find the SoCon08 post here.

Posted by: Carel | December 21, 2007

Carel’s Conversations blog has a new URL

Please update your RSS reader. My blog is now @ I’ve copied all my old posts. Please comment on the new blog. I will keep this blog live for a few months.

See you over @


Posted by: Carel | December 10, 2007

Vinny Lingham – CEO of Synthasite

SynthaSite Logo

Recently Vinny Lingham stepped down from his post as chief strategy officer of IncuBeta, the online marketing company he co-founded, to concentrate on the interests of his venture capital company, Lingham Capital and more specifically on Synthasite. Lingham, along with his wife, Charlene, and a couple of friends started IncuBeta in 2003 and have grown the Cape Town company into a 50-employee operation with offices in the United Kingdom and United States. IncuBeta owns and manages several businesses, namely Clicks2Customers, a performance search marketing partner; SEM agency Quirk, ReveNews, and CostPerNews.


Another IncuBeta startup company, Synthasite, is now one of the primary investments of his venture capital enterprise, Lingham Capital, and one of the primary targets of Lingham’s attention. Synthasite recently received another round of financing worth $5mm.


Lingham is a mix of youthful energy and idealism, hard work, brains and national pride. He’s 28, works 60-70 hours a week, is a member of the Mensa organization, and loves South Africa.


Raised in East London, a city on the east coast of South Africa, Lingham received an information systems degree from the University of Cape Town and (Vinny corrected me: he dropped out because he didn’t have the finances to continue. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets an honorary degree from UCT) an honors degree in electronic commerce from the University of South Africa. He is a fourth generation South African with ancestors from India. He loves to read, especially novels by Dan Brown and Tom Clancy, and is a movie fan. He considers Virgin founder Richard Bransen and U2 lead singer Bono personal role models. (He admires Bransen for his passion and fun, and Bono for his work for Africa.) In 2006 Lingham was the winner of the Top Young IT Entrepreneur in Africa Award. He is also listed in South Africa’s who’s who database.


Read More…

Posted by: Carel | December 7, 2007

Are we losing the World Wide Web (www)?

Well, not really…

I recently started to see that many blog URLS omit the www. prefix, e.g., using only “” instead of, or “” instead of

no-www logo

Read all about the deprecation (I had to look up the word) of “www.”. The site seems to be the definitive source. It’s a quick read and I decided to cite the main idea: philosophy strives to make the Internet and communications about it as fruitful as possible. To that end, we make the modest proposal that website makers configure their main sites to be accessible by as well as

Wikipedia has a no-www entry that’s a bit more technical. This Dailyblogtips post is well written and understandable. I quote some of the article here:

The problem arises because Google and other search engines view the two versions as two distinct sites, even if they have the exact same content (technically, in fact, the “www” denotes a subdomain that could point to different content).

Search engine ranking is based, among other things, on the number of incoming links to your site. If you keep the two versions available some people will link to “” while other people will link to the “”, basically splitting your backlink count.

Dialyblogtips also posts on how to tell Google your preferred domain. If you have a WordPress blog then you can use this no-www plugin from Mr WP himself (read the comments).

Finally, you can test your own site’s no-wwwness here…is it a class A, B or C. Be careful your site may end up on the “Wall of Shame”.

Ok folks, this is a test. In the comments explain in 2 sentences what all this means. Go!

Posted by: Carel | December 6, 2007

Elon Musk’s Tesla ousts co-founder Eberhard

Jeff Nolan posted on the ousting of Tesla’s co-founder Eberhard. The San Jose Mercury broke the news. Here is the Tesla Motors press release, and the rumors on the Tesla Motors Club forum.In a previous post I mentioned that Elon Musk is the main investor and chairman of Tesla Motors.I want one, these cars are very cool and green…Dec 10, 2007 update: Here is another post from Good Morning Silicon Valley and also from the good people @ All Things Digital.

Posted by: Carel | December 4, 2007

South Africa’s wealthiest people in 2007

South African Rand

The Sunday Times of South Africa recently announced South Africa’s billionaire’s club (In South African Rand, divide by ~7 to get to USD). You can find the article here (You may have to register to get to the list).

Here is the top ten list:
1. Lakshmi Mittal of Mittel Steel SA – ZAR27bn ($4bn),
2. Nicky Oppenheimer of Anglo American – ZAR16bn ($2.3bn),
3. Patrice Motsepe (African Rainbow Minerals and Sanlam) – ZAR13.5bn ($2bn)
4. Rembrandt Trust – ZAR8.3bn ($1.2bn)
5. Elephant Consortium (Telkom SA) – ZAR5bn ($700mm)
6. Bill Venter of Allied Electronics – ZAR4.2bn ($615mm)
7. Giovanni Ravazzotti (Ceramic and Italtile) – ZAR4bn ($586mm)
8. Ackerman Family (Pick n Pay Holdings) – ZAR3.7bn ($542mm)
9. Bruno Steinhoff (PSG Group and Steinhoff) – ZAR3.7bn ($540mm)
10. Laurie Dippenaar (Discovery, FirstRand and RMB) – ZAR3.3bn ($483mm)

Here is another list of South Africa’s wealthiest people. There’s some overlap.

I wonder why Elon Musk (worth at least $300mm and should be in the top 20) and Mark Shuttleworth (sold to Verisign for $575mm) are not listed. Elon may not be deemed as a South African anymore. I think Mark still lives in South Africa.

What to get on the list? Then you may find a few tips in this Secrets of a self-made billionaire Forbes article.

Any one else that you think they missed?

Posted by: Carel | November 29, 2007

New Google Maps Mobile – hold on to your GPS for now

Google (GOOG) recently announced a new version of Google Maps, called Google Maps with My Location. It’s still in beta. I installed it on my Blackberry 8700g (T-Mobile, no GPS) and tried it out this morning. It uses your service providers’ cellphone towers to approximate your location. My accuracy ranged from between 600m to 1700m. Well, my trusty Garmin C330 is way better with an accuracy of < 49ft (15m). In any case, I think it’s a great life saver if you are in a new place without a map or GPS. Btw, it also displays real-time traffic information — a real live saver for me with the horrible traffic here in Atlanta.

Here’s a short overview from Techcrunch. OM Malik also wrote about it, as well as Scobleizer (good comments) and AppleInsider (discussing when it will work on the iPhone).

Here is how Google describes the new features:

Laurence (Laurie) Olivier, an Atlanta VC and ex-South African, was recently profiled in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Laurie is a partner in Veritas Venture Partners. Veritas has investments in the following Atlanta based companies: Clickfox, CytoDome, and Asankya. Laurie serves on the board of these companies. He is the Chairman of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce – Southeast Region and on the board of the Atlanta Venture Forum. Laurie is also instrumental in organizing the annual U.S.-Israel business exchange in Atlanta.
In South Africa he currently serves as a technology commercialization advisor to the major government controlled research organization and the University of Pretoria. Laurie was born and raised in South Africa, and holds a B.Engineering (Electronics) from the University of Pretoria, and a B.Com (Hons) and Dip. Datametrics from the University of South Africa.

Here is an extract from the Nov 23, 2007 article. Read the rest here.

Venture capitalists, particularly those who concentrate in early-stage investments, need diamond-hard nerves. Laurence “Laurie” Olivier, an Atlanta venture capitalist, got some good training early on. Growing up on a farm in northern South Africa with leopards, baboons and the ultradeadly black mamba, Olivier learned how to confront risk. “The biggest daily problems that we faced were snakes,” he said of his days on the farm in Groot-Marico, near the Botswana border and 150 miles north of Johannesburg. “There was seldom a week that had gone by where we did not kill at least a snake or two inside or very close to our house — some of the most poisonous snakes on earth, like the black mamba and the puff adder. “Olivier, who is distantly related to the famed British actor of the same name, is in somewhat less dangerous territory now, though still in a high-risk line of work: He runs the U.S. operations of Veritas Venture Partners, an Israeli venture capital firm with $100 million in assets under management that invests in early stage high-tech firms. An electrical engineer by training, Olivier, 47, was a former executive at Anglo-American Industrial Corp. in South Africa, where, in 1988 — at age 28 — he was tapped to run that company’s new business development unit. That work helped lay the foundation to what would eventually become his second career as a venture capitalist in 2000, the year he left Anglo-American to join Veritas.”My challenge was to find new businesses that we could start from scratch,” Olivier said. “One way to find new businesses was to scout for technologies, and one way of scouting for technologies was to actually invest in venture capital.”

Have you ever wanted to work in Africa? The Careers in Africa recruitment summit in Houston is a great place to meet and interview with senior delegates from South Africa’s leading companies. Participating South African companies include:

Participating US multi-nationals include: Chevron, GE Oil&Gas, and Cameron.

Other prominent companies include: Lafarge, Toyota, and Orascom.

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