From left to right: Strive Masiyiwa, Lisa Borders (WNBA President), Tsitsi Masiyiwa and Amadou Gallo Fall (NBA Vice President and Managing Director – Africa)

KweséTV update__A few words on content, “insights” and lessons.

I promised to update you regularly on our progress towards the launch of KweséTV. I do this to share some ideas with those of you planning to set up new businesses. It’s not about making you a customer, so make your comments based on being an entrepreneur, rather than a customer. There will be lots of time for customer type discussions. Right now I want to get the entrepreneur in you moving:

Remember my mantra from Joshua: “Pay close attention because we have not been this way before!”

This is a new business for me, but I’ve been working on it for more than three years. When you plan to enter any new business, it’s extremely important to try and understand what drives that industry:

# What am I selling to people? In the business of television, our product is CONTENT. We need to acquire programming for each of our channels (I cannot say at the moment how many we will have) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

# The content must be “compelling”… that is, worth paying for!

# Since our platform will be broadcast across 44 African countries, our content must accommodate the rich and diverse interests of this huge African continent.

So, content is our product. Sport is a universal product, but it will not be enough. Sport is also very expensive, because it’s finite. By this I mean, for example, there’s only one NBA, and the rights can only be held by one player for five years at a time.

We’re now holding a lot of very exciting sport content. The deals we have announced so far are a tiny fraction of what we now hold. I’ll talk later about some of the mind-blowing deals we’ve done on entertainment and educational content.

The “insights”:

I will not launch a business, where there are existing competitors, unless I can identify at least five “insights”; you might call them “game changers.” I must then hold these insights closely to my chest like a good chess player. If the game intensifies, I must be able to generate at least five more in “quick fire”!

Finding the “insights” requires hours and hours of continued study and research into an industry. This type of study is like an “immersion” — you must eat, sleep, think, think, think, learn, learn!

The lessons:

# Know and understand your product:

You know there are people who have been running businesses for years who don’t know what product they’re really selling. Surprised? I meet such people all the time.

Sometimes the product you’re selling changes. Actually this happens a lot. You can go out of business if you’re not constantly reviewing what is it that you’re actually selling to people!

# Hire the right people:

To be honest with you, the thing that excites me the most on this new venture is the quality of people who have joined us. It is just amazing! We now have more than 80 people working for us from South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Dubai, and London. I’ve already lost count of the number of nationalities. I expect this number to ratchet up to 200 by August, and it will be over 2000 by the end of the year.

To be continued. . .

 

20 thoughts on “KweséTV update__A few words on content, “insights” and lessons.

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.

    The other day I asked my wife to come and witness our signing ceremony for the Women’s NBA (WNBA). When we first met, my wife was an extreme athlete, and she is the only person I have ever known who played for the national team in two different sports at the same time. Yes, she was a member of the Zimbabwe women’s basketball team, and the women’s hockey team. Our son, who is 18, is an amazing athlete and last year turned down an opportunity to train with a top English Premier League side, because he prefers American Football.

    Reply
    • Molifi

      Dr Strive Masiyiwa, I believe in Kwese Tv, I would like to buy public shares if possible and what are the proper channels ?

      Reply
  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.

    Last week my wife and I attended a conference in San Diego. There was something one of the presenters said which caught my attention: “There is US$10 Tn currently earning 0% interest. This money is available for investment. It is unfortunate that policymakers in most developing countries are not willing to engage the owners of this money.”

    Most of this money is in pension funds, which means it belongs to ordinary working class people, such as teachers and civil servants. Whilst I have always known there was a lot of money available, even I was surprised it was that much. It’s better to earn 0% interest on your money, and know you can access it anytime you want, than to be offered 20%, and not know if you will ever get it back. I cannot count the number of times I have offered to help some African policymakers access this type of investment, only to be rebuffed.

    Reply
  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.
    One of the first things that I do when I’m looking at a business area is to subscribe to “Trade Journals”. Every industry has trade related publications. Even if you are running a retail shop, you can still find trade journals of that industry.
    To give you an example since I began to work on Kwese Tv, I started immediately to subscribe for magazines, and articles that relate to this industry. I get news alerts on things said by key players and other authorities in the industry. I also send people to trade shows where they can meet people who are in this business.
    I make friends in the industry who can teach me, and share their insights. I want to surround myself with people who know the business-game.

    Reply
    • Lombe Ng'andu

      Basic, to the point and very important… The post here are owez worth taking notes for. . . Remember to get pen n paper together…

      Reply
  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    I was deeply saddened to learn about the passing, this week, of Stephen Keshi the Nigerian soccer player. I had the privilege to watch him play as a captain of one of the best African teams ever assembled. Later on he went on to coach not only the SuperEagles, whom he led to victory in Cup of Nations, but also coached several African national teams. He was a great African.
    To lose him at only 54 is really sad. My condolences to his family.
    You can read more about him on http://www.kwesesports.com/

    Reply
  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Joshua Apuuli,
    Asks:

    About #INSIGHTS how do you adapt to a scenario where the competitor copies all your insights in the short time.

    My reply:
    Remember my post called “The Fast Follower”?
    Expect a good competitor to go for “fast follower”, or even to improve what you come up with. Your “insights” must be designed with all that in mind, including “Quick Fire” responses.
    In business you must enjoy healthy competition from a “worthy opponent”, it always, always makes you better. The problem are those businesses that don’t like competition and so resort to underhanded methods, including using political power to stop or hurt their competitors.

    Reply
  6. Manyi-Atem

    Dear Sir, I am new to this blog and very much appreciate your postings. Please can you give us some tips on how to determine the “game changers”
    Thank you and looking forward to watch Kwesé TV in my country Cameroon. .

    Reply
  7. Lombe Ng'andu

    Basic, to the point and very important… The post here are owez worth taking notes for. . . Remember to get pen n paper together…

    Reply
  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 4.
    Nigeria is already one of the top three producers of movies in the world, in terms of number of movies produced every year. The top three are Bollywood (India), Nollywood (Nigeria), and Hollywood (USA). When it comes to making money from the film industry, just one movie made in America’s Hollywood like Star Wars, makes more money in one weekend than all the Nigerian films make in one year!
    There are many things that we in Africa can make to improve the financial viability of our film industry, and much of it is in our hands. The first step is to respect copy rights, and shun pirated videos.

    Reply
  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Gaapher Nashon,
    Writes:

    Would you advice me on a journal dealing with electronics

    My reply:
    Dear Gaapher,
    You are the one interested in this business, and not me. So you must be the one who does the research into what “trade journals” you must be reading.
    Every single business has trade journals, and most of them are actually free and online. All you have to do is use your browser on your smartphone or computer. Doing research of this kind will lead you into so many different opportunities that you just never imagined.

    Reply
  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Joshua Apuuli,
    Asks:

    About ‪#‎INSIGHTS‬ how do you adapt to a scenario where the competitor copies all your insights in the short time.

    My reply:
    Remember my post called “The Fast Follower”?
    Expect a good competitor to go for “fast follower”, or even to improve what you come up with. Your “insights” must be designed with all that in mind, including “Quick Fire” responses.
    In business you must enjoy healthy competition from a “worthy opponent”, it always, always makes you better. The problem are those businesses that don’t like competition and so resort to underhanded methods, including using political power to stop or hurt their competitors.

    Reply
  11. Takudzwa Mutinhima

    thanks very much for these great posts. You could have spent time bragging about your wealth and a whole lot of stuff but you say what’s necessary for individuals to help better their lives…..i love this class!!

    Reply
  12. Admire

    I have interest in broadcasting and I wouldn’t mind sharing with you my big initiative for broadcasting one day… (there is always a blessing in going off the beaten track right)

    Reply
  13. Mr Fanson Hove

    I suppose you have got a kwesetv decoder, how much is it and where in Zimbabwe I can acquire it. I salute your initiatives and originality. I remember the days you struggled to introduce econet wireless into the system in Zimbabwe, it looked difficult but you soldiered on.

    Your comments are humble and informative, unlike the other guys who brag and boast about nothing but corruptly acquired riches. Thank you.

    Reply
  14. Mbulu

    Kwese TV is definitely a disruptor to other broadcasters, especially the pay tv broadcasters. I see very interesting times ahead. Healthy competition and more choices for viewers. All the best.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *