Do you know how to make money in the new economy?

__It’s kid stuff!

The other day a dear friend of ours dropped by our home in South Africa. Her 14-year old son was born about the same time as our youngest daughter, and they went to kindergarten together. I will call him “John” for the sake of this little story, which is otherwise all true.

“John is quite an entrepreneur,” his mother began proudly. Well, naturally all mothers are proud of their kids, so why should she be any different?

Anyway, she continued: “Sometimes he makes up to R5,000 building social media profiles, and selling them.”

“He does what?!” I exclaimed.

“Oh, that’s nothing, Strive. That’s just when he needs pocket money.”

“Okay… What else does he do?”

“He recently negotiated a deal for a certain type of toy from India, to supply customers in South Africa”

“He what?!”

“Well, he goes on the Internet and does research on products and prices, and finds the cheapest sources for things like cricket bats, and other things that kids like,” she said.

“Recently he found some very unusual sneakers that all the kids wanted, and he bought them, and resold them immediately for twice the price.”

“You are talking about John, and not his dad?” I asked quietly, just to be sure.

“John sometimes asks his dad to represent him, when he needs an adult.”

“Ehehe!… He hires his own father!”

“Look, John isn’t the only kid out there who knows how to make money from the Internet.”

And at that point, I burst out laughing: “On that point you’re right! Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk (Airbnb co-founders); Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown and Bobby Murphy (Snapchat co-founders) and of course, Mark Zuckerberg!” I exclaimed.

“These guys are just kids when compared to people like me. And yet they have already built businesses that are bigger than the GDP of most African countries!”

But here’s the most exciting “take away”:

“John” is an African child. Just like Anesi, and his brother, Osine, from Nigeria who I wrote about in 2015. Remember them? The kids who built a browser before they were even teenagers?

This means that the next Zuckerberg is probably living in your house, toddling around already playing with Lego and maybe imagining robots or beyond!

In my own home, our youngest daughter does all the “tech stuff”! When our guys finished the website, I called her over and said, “Is this any good?”

She went into the corner and said, “Pretty cool, but I would change this and this.”

“Let me get my notebook, baby.”

“I will charge you!” she laughed.

“Name your price.”

I asked a simple question: “Do you really know how to make money in the new economy?”

In the new economy, it will be about our ability to let go of old mindsets about wealth, and wealth creation. We must not only equip our kids; we must trust them with our very future.

At the end of this week, do a little review and examine what you did with your smartphone:

Which websites did you visit, and why?

# Was it to find out something?
# Was it to sell or buy something?
# Was it to be entertained?
# Was it to keep in touch with friends, and family?

__If it was primarily social, then either change your habits, or you will work for “John” one day… (And that might not be so bad, because at least you will have a job.)

In all the things you do on the Internet, did any make you money, develop your career or kick start your business venture?

Think about little John. He’s 14 years old, and already he understands the new economy. Wow!

Let’s get to work! We have a continent to change… Fast!


14 thoughts on “Do you know how to make money in the new economy?

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.
    When I asked John’s mother which of my posts had the most impact, guess what she said? “When you talked about the importance of financial literacy. He taught himself accounting after that. He took to it like a duck to water.” This is when I said to her, “Now, I’m convinced. Your son is going to be a great entrepreneur, and will probably make his first billion before he’s 20 years old.”

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.
    When I say “the new economy,” what do you imagine that I mean? #The new economy in which Tencent is the most valuable company in Africa, and it’s from China; #The new economy in which Alibaba, a Chinese company made history on the New York Stock Exchange as the biggest-ever IPO; #The new economy of M-PESA and Ecocash from Africa; #The new economy of Uber, Baidu, Snapchat, and Twitter; # The new economy in which healthcare, education, and agriculture are all driven by cell phone technology and “Apps”! and… #The new economy in which the cell phone is a TV!

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.
    UN World Water Day is 22 March. The theme for this year is wastewater. Hundreds of millions of people in our world still don’t have access to safe water and sanitation. I don’t need to tell you that water is LIFE. We all have a responsibility not to waste this most precious resource. What are YOU doing? Are you a waterpreneur?

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    There are already over 200m Africans with handheld computers (we call them “smartphones”). There will be over 500m within 4 years. That means every adult African will soon have a computer in their hand.
    These devices allow us to research materials and read websites from every corner of the world in an instant. We can use them even to supplement the education of our children:
    Yes just imagine if every person with a smartphone in Africa, said to themselves, “I’m going to share my smartphone with my children. For 10 minutes every day, I will allow a child access to read something on my smartphone.”
    See the picture of the guy with the kids? Well you can do that with your smartphone! If you can read this FB, you are on the Internet already. Let’s be practical with what we have in our hands, right now!

  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Timothy Moyo writes,

    I was proud to here my grade 3 child talking about Ruzivo unfortunately I had no Ruzivo app in my phone. Hands up to Dimbamiwa Primary School for teaching our children abt Ruzivo

    My reply,
    I hope you will do everything in your power to support your child. This is the future right there!
    I want to hear more such stories.

  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Kwanele writes,

    Thank you Dr STRIVE MUSIYIWA there is this myopic mind of bad things in internet. How can we get ready off since we are afraid of corrupting our child. I know that this world is not going back.

    My reply,
    The Internet is like money, it is ‘amoral’, which means you can use it for good or bad.
    The Apostle Paul told Timothy, “the love” of money is the root of all evil. He did not say money is the root of evil, because money is amoral; you can use it to bless and you can use it to harm.
    Same with the Internet; you can use it to bless, educate, empower, or you can spend all day watching pornography, and following extremist intolerant views:
    It is the moral condition of the person who has it which decides.

    We all have a responsibility to ensure that children are taught to use the Internet properly and for the right purposes, but most importantly we must FIRST instill the right moral upbringing in our children.

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    At Econet Zimbabwe, they have an educational platform called Ruzivo, which helps parents supplement the education of their children using their smartphones. The platform has nearly 300,000 users. They used to charge for it, and I asked them to stop, and even make the data cost totally free for the platform.

  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    One more thing:
    There is one more thing that John from South Africa, and Anesi and his brother Osine from Nigeria, have in common. Do you know what it is?
    Their mothers:
    Both mothers are African school teachers. These women are passionately committed to equipping their children for the new economy.
    Let the wise hear!

  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    News alert!
    This week we will be making one of the biggest announcements on Kwese Sport. Keep an eye out for it__”game changer”!
    It’s the first in a very impressive list of powerful developments on Kwese TV, so download the App or get a decoder.

  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Walter writes,

    Hope you have secured rights for the Epl

    My reply,
    We already have EPL and it is available for free on Kwese Free Sport.
    This is bigger than EPL!

  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Kwese Weekly Quiz Continued:
    I just downloaded my new Version 2.0 Kwese App on my iPhone (until now it was only available on Android). This is really cool.
    So here goes for my quiz of the week:
    Name one of the ESPN presenters on “ESPN on Kwese” promotional advert on the Kwese App.
    This time I will give a Kwese decoder to the first person from any African country (plus 6 months free service). If we have no service planned for your country you get a smartphone.
    Competition closes in a week.
    [Only people who download the App can win.]

    [Tip! Look for a presenter whose name has not yet been mentioned by someone else. A little research will help you get a prize. There is only one winner per country.]

  12. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Zipaly writes:

    Where do we get decoders in Malawi?

    My reply,
    Very soon you can buy a decoder in Malawi. We already have one Tv channel Kwese Free Sport, which you can watch without a decoder, as it broadcasts in Malawi for free.
    You can also download the Kwese App, and watch many of our channels.

  13. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Stephen writes,

    is good when talents are being recognise. I have a project that I took to the company that needs it,which will he run on any smart phone and it will surely bring more customers to them. this company rejected it promising they will call me,more than a year now no response. ..they dont know what they have lost

    My reply,
    “They don’t know what they lost”.
    That should always be your attitude when you are turned down by big myopic companies. Don’t get discouraged, find a way to do it without them.
    Some of my greatest successes came from being turned down or even chased away by people.

  14. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Kwese Quiz 2 Continued:
    This time I will give a Kwese decoder for the first LADY from any African country (plus 6 months free service). If we have no service planned for your country you get a smartphone.
    Here is your question:
    Name any show on Kwese Stories, giving the time it appears. You can only get this information from the Kwese App.

    [Tip! Look for shows others have not mentioned. I want a winner from every African country.]


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