Here’s a block quote from Strive Masiyiwa:
As an Entrepreneur, the most profitable thing I do is READING!
Just think about it:
All the most profitable things I have ever done began with something I READ!!!
Let me give you an example:
When the Cell phone industry was just starting, there was no such thing as Pre-Paid:
Everything was Contract, and only the very rich could have a mobile phone.
Most people thought it was ok. But I was one of those people who did not think this technology should be confined to the rich in every country.
One day I READ an article about a new technology that had been developed by an Israeli Tech Start up:
PRE PAID BILLING!
I was so intrigued by the idea, and began to converse with them using facsimile [the only fast technology we had at the time]:
As soon as I got my license I bought their equipment, and launched a service called Buddie!
We actually had Pre-Paid in Zimbabwe, before they had it in the UK and the US!
NetOne and Telecel were launched two years before Econet, but their managers did not know anything about Pre-Paid billing. When I launched Econet in July 1998, I started with a Pre-Paid Billing service called Buddie, and within three months we had eclipsed both of them. It took NetOne almost six months to follow us, but they bought a poorly designed system and it didn’t work very well, and they had to replace it.
In 1998, I actually told investors in London that we would see explosive growth because of Prepaid. They were totally intrigued by the idea, because they had not seen it in practice. Mobile operators in developed countries did not see the value of Prepaid technology because their people had Credit Cards.
Soon operators throughout the world were buying Pre-Paid!
I launched Nigeria’s first Pre paid service. By the time MTN responded we had nearly 60% market share! If I had the capital to keep growing the business it would have been a very different story.