Saturday 30 May 2009


My rabbi sent me this SMS: "If you are the same today as you were yesterday, for what do you need tomorrow?"

The other day I heard some friends of mine talking. The one said that life was too short. And the other one had a very different perspective and said that it all depends on what you pack into it. And this got me thinking... Life is indeed short if everyday is the same. But, if you do pack a lot into your days then you will do everything you wanted to do by the time it is all over.

I think each day we have a chance to learn something new, to meet a new person, and to find some inspiration. Even when we are on the treadmill and even when it feels like we are just treading water, it is amazing how much we can learn and grow in a day. Most days in fact.

I remember an old saying that went something along the lines of "don't count the days, make the days count".

And then I also remembered that Kermit the frog once said "Time's fun when you're having flies."

I am excited about tomorrow!

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Sunday 24 May 2009

Wealth versus value

Some people know how to create wealth, in the monetary sense, and some people know how to create value, which, can lead to making money.

Think of the value as "magic". It is about something colourful and inspired. It doesn't have to be unique but it does have to push the envelope in some special way.

The people who know how to create the wealth need the people who can create the value. And the people who can create the value need the people who can create the wealth. Of course, some people know how to create both – those are the truly gifted people, in the entrepreneurial sense.

I know how to create value, but I am not good at making, or, keeping money. There is a difference between creating things, creating value, and creating wealth. And because making money is not my strong point I need to have partners in the ventures I jump into – partners that help me balance out the equation. And this is a good thing, because doing things on your own is not that fun. A team is what makes climbing the mountain possible, and only, enjoyable.

Most people I have met in my life think that because they have a good idea and because they work hard means they are going to make money. But, negotiating with a landlord, and getting a good deal with a supplier, etc., is not as easy as it sounds. Maximizing the funds you have available in your venture requires a very special skill, and it is not something that should be taken for granted.

Making money to me is an uninteresting idea. One needs to make a difference. Add quality to the world and the quantity will sort itself out. But don’t be naive about it; get help when it comes to the numbers. An engine is made up of many parts. And they all work together to create momentum.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Sunday 17 May 2009


Leadership is not about power, it is about service.

A leader is not about dictating strategy - that comes from everyone in the team. A leader is meant to try and listen - good strategy can come from just about anyone. The purpose of strategy is to create alignment, and a leader is also meant to align people. Hence leadership and strategy are closely linked but I think there is a misconception that is up to a leader to define and articulate strategy.

In my short life I have learned that most people fancy themselves as leaders, but the truth is, very few people make good leaders. I think we all need to be leaders at some point in our lives, but when it comes to business, I believe that leadership in this sense is often misunderstood.

Leaders serve the people they are leading. Leaders are not there to boss people around or to feed their egos.

Effective leaders ultimately will work themselves out of a job if they have served their team well.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Wednesday 13 May 2009

This is punny !

1. Two boll weevils grew up in South Carolina. One went to Hollywood and became a famous actor. The other stayed behind in the cotton fields and never amounted to much. The second one, naturally became known as the lesser of two weevils.

2. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, but when they lit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it, too.

3. Two vultures board an airplane, each carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at them and says, "I'm sorry, gentlemen, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

4. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? He wanted to transcend dental medication.

5. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?" they asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said, "I can't stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer."

6. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

7. These friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that Hugh, and only Hugh, can prevent florist friars.

8. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him....what? (Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good) A super callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

9. And finally, there was a man who sent ten different puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Saturday 9 May 2009


This coming week we go live with our Randgo offering. This is a lifestyle portal and it is stunning!

I am personally very excited about the potential here and I think we have a unique service and something very very cool.

Our aim is to establish ourselves as a corporate Web-based staff benefits platform. Initially we are aiming at the leading IS (Internet Solutions) customers but we will be opening up to the rest of the market very soon.

We have an exciting development pipeline and over the next year we will be rolling out new features and services just about every other month. From customized news feeds, to a mobile component, to tailored corporate social network tools... the list of things in development is indeed fantastic.

For a demo go to and if you want more info about this colourful service then please drop me a line :

For the past month we have been out there doing demos of the portal to the leading corporates in the land, and from the middle of next week we go live with our first group of pilot sites.

The one thing that has stood out for us at the majority of the organizations we have spent time with this past month, is that people want to discuss their intranets. They see Randgo as a way to add spice to their internal portals. Yes, our vision at Randgo is evolving fast, and our future goal is to turn SharePoint into "starepoint". We want to position ourselves as fuel for the corporate intranet. "Content is king", is a popular expression, but content is not everyone's game. Well, at least gathering it and disseminating it - at Randgo this is something we are embracing in a big way.

Watch this space!

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Saturday 2 May 2009

The right answer!

A friend of mine just sent this to me - it was meant for sharing:

You are driving down the road in your Corvette on a wild, stormy night, when you pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus:

1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.

2. An old friend who once saved your life..

3. The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your Corvette? Think before you continue reading.

This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of a job application. You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first. Or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back. However, you may never be able to find your perfect mate again.

YOU WON'T BELIEVE THIS: The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer. He simply answered: 'I would give the car keys to my old friend and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the partner of my dreams.' Sometimes, we gain more if we are able to give up our stubborn thought limitations. Never forget to 'Think Outside of the Box.'

HOWEVER: The correct answer is to run the old lady over and put her out of her misery, have sex with the perfect partner on the hood of the car, then drive off with the old friend for a few beers.

God, I just love happy endings!

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Friday 1 May 2009

May day !

April went by so fast, endless public holidays and all. And now May is upon us, and here is the news from Vottleland:

Development on the Vottle front continued this past month with some minor tweaks in terms of usability. We have consolidated links such as the 'Tell a friend' link into the "links box" that appears with every advert. We have also made some wording changes throughout the site to assist users in making the necessary changes to their profiles to cater for the changes eBucks just implemented which allows users to pay for goods with eBucks with their ID number rather than an eBucks specific username.

On the advertising front we have engaged the services of an enthusiastic team of sales agents who will put significantly more focus on the sale of advertising space on Vottle. This "partnership" means we will also explore more advertising opportunities on our side in terms of both more real estate and more targeted advertising opportunities providing our partners much more flexibility in terms of what they can sell to potential advertisers. We will also publish an official "rate card" on the Vottle site.

On the SEO front we have completed a major cleanup of dead links that were still being indexed by Google. This should hopefully have some good impact on our SEO rankings in the months to come.

On some other news, we are progressing well with - we aim to launch the site officially in the next 3 months. The experiment is gaining some momentum, slowly but surely. The Brazil Wantitall ( site has done quite a few trades so the tech is working and running, but this has also started off quite slowly - the learning curve here has been intense! The last bit of news today is about - this is a new online marketing initiative that is being launched this month.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker