Latest stories

A farewell to PayFast

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This is a combination of my thoughts on quitting and the letter I sent to my colleagues announcing my resignation. I don’t want this site to really be about my personal life, but so much of what has become my personal life is intertwined with what is my professional life.  It is with a heavy heart –and an industry-appropriate sad emoticon– that I’m announcing my...

Startup Christmas

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Excerpt from a mailer that went out this week (not composed by me): #StartUp Christmas was conceived by Jens (Shopstar), Alex (StoneTree) and Werner (PayFast) over a glass of wine at an end-of-conference party. Conversations, which started with the classic “Sjoe! What a year its been!“, ended with a serious discussion on how to best bid it farewell. The biggest challenge –okay...

Separate your transactional and marketing emails

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Companies send out two very distinct, very different types of emails (or at least, they should). Transactional (or business) emails relate to the specific individual: welcome emails, invoices for payment, lost password requests, scheduled system downtime and the like. Marketing (or newsletter) emails relate to things that the individual might find interesting such as new features, opinion...

Lessons learned at the Lean Startup Machine

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The Lean Startup book, by Eric Ries has had a really big impact in the way I think about and approach various projects since the day I first read it. It’s applicable not just to work projects, but also for one of the many side projects, charitable causes and ideas I’m tinkering away at in my spare time. At the crux, it is about focusing on getting things done quickly: shortening the...

Lessons I learned at AfrikaBurn

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It has been over a few weeks since I participated in AfrikaBurn, the South African chapter of Burning Man. I say participate and not witness because as they kept explaining: “You don’t go to AfrikaBurn, you are AfrikaBurn”. It might be a bit insensitive to talk about marketing, consumerism and business regarding an event that tries actively to shun all of that. They...

How to track Bing Ads with Google Analytics

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Big platforms (and companies) don’t always play nicely together. Google is the search engine superpower in the one corner, Microsoft is the hardware giant in the other corner (in South Africa, at least). Why you should consider Bing Ads Despite your spiffy company Macbook Air running the latest version of Chrome (with Google set as the default search engine), most of your...

Code Corps is live(ish)

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Note: I was approached by volunteers for the Bernie Sanders 2016 US presidential campaign who now run the Code Corps project. I am not affiliated or involved with CodeCorps anymore. We have liftoff! So, for the past month or two, I’ve been slaving away (or outsourcing work) to create the first Code Corps course: How to Build Your Own Website. We’ve got great content, but we need...

Uber’s surge pricing

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Uber has been getting some flack for their infamous “surge pricing” that’s been in effect for the past few months. I was warned about it the first time on New Year’s Eve and saw on the app rates as high as 7.5 times the regular rate. Lisa Chow did a story on NPR, other similar stories got published and the general mood is that it is an asshole move by a company that...

Code Corps (dot org) is in beta!

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Note: I was approached by volunteers for the Bernie Sanders 2016 US presidential campaign who now run the Code Corps project. I am not affiliated or involved with CodeCorps anymore. So, I decided to start a charitable enterprise. The idea is to provide free coding and design lessons (both in person and online). Ladies and gentlemen, I present: Code Corps. The financial aim is to make money (by...

About me

Werner van Rooyen

Formerly Business Development and Marketing at the fast-moving Bitcoin Exchange, Luno (South Africa, Nigeria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Europe). Currently travelling and doing research on a round-the-world trip.