Strive Masiyiwa’s version of the Amazon.com founding story fails to check out

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Finding content on the internet from authoritative people is difficult. Those that we’d love to hear from either haven’t caught on to the internet or just don’t have the time. However, there is one person who delightfully takes his time to chronicle his experiences and share with us tips on how to perfect the art of entrepreneurship.

Strive Masiyiwa, Zimbabwe’s greatest telecoms entrepreneur thus far, takes his time and effort to share entrepreneurship tips on his Facebook page (he may do it elsewhere as well, I wouldn’t know). He’s shared a lot of stuff there to the effect that he’s made a number of key announcements, as well as updates that show how he/Econet are thinking.

Early March 2017 however, he decided to take finger to keypad (is that the correct replacement for ‘pen to paper’?) and send out a ‘Game Changer’ tip of how to be a better entrepreneur.

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The opening few paragraphs were what stood out for me:

There is a story told in the legend of modern business about a young man who liked reading books. He would order books by mail order, but being a very avid reader he found that it took too long for the books to arrive. So what did he do? He sat down and designed a new way to get books delivered in the shortest time possible.

His process for ordering and delivering books has turned him into one of the richest people in the world. That young man is Jeff Bezos of Amazon, and he’s now worth over $50bn. – Strive Masiyiwa facebook Page

Now I’m the type of person who quickly shuts down when I hear/read BS. Being one who likes to follow the genesis of successful people and their businesses, I’ve had a read of Amazon and how it started. Strive sets out to paint a picture of a guy, Jeff Bezos, who was frustrated with a problem of getting books through ‘mail order’ and opted to find a solution, with that solution now making him a billionaire.

This version of facts (#AlternativeFacts?) can’t seem to be collaborated on the internet, even in videos that Jeff himself has come on stage and spoken.

I don’t know, Strive is the kind of guy who can get a one on one with Jeff Bezos and get it from the horse’s mouth.

For those who’ll rush to call me a hater, I’ve posted the version that we all know, before we saw Strive’s…

If anyone can find Strive’s version of the founding of Amazon please do indulge us in the comments. I’ll be too happy to learn it.

About Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa (born 1961) is an entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the founder and chairman of global telecommunications group, Econet Wireless International. In 2002, Masiyiwa was named to the Time Magazine List of Most Influential People, and in March 2014, he was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. He is one of Africa’s most influential figures, and a champion for the power of technology to improve people's lives. Read More

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17 Comments

  1. kilotango says:

    haha, nice one William. facts!

  2. Wekwa says:

    The inclusion of the word legend suggests this may be unverified and therefore untrue.

    1. Anonymous says:

      I agree 100%.”use of the word legend makes the difference”

    2. vusa says:

      I agree 100%,the use of the word “legend” makes the difference.

  3. Rodgers says:

    While I love Dr Masiyiwa, I also have a healthy amount of envy. I’d jump at the chance to prove his falibility but this is not it. The keyword is ‘legend’. And Amazon did start out selling books so the story could checkout.

    Thanks for reminding us to keep on our toes. Alternative facts _are_ becoming an everyday thing and it’s good to double check before clicking the share button.

    1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro says:

      There’s nothing like an alternative fact. Facts are the one single truth of something, any alternatives are lies, opinions, myths and folklore. It could be classified as myth, but in my _opinion_ Strive believes to it be true, making his statement a lie.

  4. Stewart says:

    Listening to his narration, Masiiwa is not too far off! has a motivator of course he will innovate his story telling to inspire his followers but its far from lying!

  5. Bronco says:

    Ndo ma parables ka aya. Waka nyeba, to motivate.

  6. Tammy says:

    I wonder, would someone approach Mr Masiyiwa & get clarity on the source of his version. For a man of his stature it is not right to recreate someone’s life. There is nothing “alternative” about fact, either it is or it isn’t, otherwise it’s theory. We all like a good story to push a point, but not when that story falsifies or is not representative of the truth. We all might as well invent Mr Masiyiwa’s life story. He sat down one day in his village, frustrated and tired of not being able to access a call box, all because he couldn’t afford a landline of his own. That day, he vowed to have his own mobile network.

  7. Don't take everything seriously says:

    Hi William

    Ever heard of Nandos’ “Rooster of Barcelos” legend? Did that really happen or it’s just one of those alternative facts?

    1. William Chui says:

      Sorry, I haven’t heard of it

    2. [email protected] says:

      This is the epitome of dumbness.

      You analogy is flawed!

      One is a narrative, a story deliberately made up to embelish a product or brand. Look it up, it’s there in marketing and is fairly easy to comprehend…even for you.

      The other is a deliberate re-telling of an actual real-life event and story of a person.

      You also can’t just pick out the word legend and decide to force context that was actually not there… just so you can worship a man.

      Strive is a man, like you and me. Not perfect. Not impervious to misrepresenting facts or making mistakes!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Mdara, makungodawo recognition nenzira dzisidzo.

    1. William Chui says:

      I’m interested in debating the facts at hand, as opposed to what the correct “nzira” would be to get recognition…

  9. Lennon says:

    Funny thing i could have sworn i read Strive’s version somewhere :/
    How does the doors they used as desks come into play?

  10. blaz va widzo says:

    Saka vanhu vakutoita debate pakanyaya kadiki diki aka Hahaha open your eyes guys and see the big picture hahahaha

  11. Calven Gwidibira says:

    Reed Hastings the co-founder of Netflix has a close genesis story to that mentioned by Doctor, not sure he meant him.

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