Kindo LogoSouth African  ex-pat, Gareth Knight,  just mailed me about the success of his recently launched startup Kindo, an online family tree application.

They've managed to signup users around the world by very quickly offering it in 14 different languages.  Of course, having startup capital from the guys behind Skype and Last.fm  must have helped that along nicely.

Translation into the other languages was a smart move, because they access market verticals on a regional level. According to TechCrunch, this creates a barrier to entry for other would-be players in this space.

Despite the popularity of sites like MySpace and Facebook globally, there are many examples of social-network success on a regional level:

  •  Skyrock is the biggest social network in France (Alexa Rank 2), bigger than WindowsLive, YouTube, Yahoo or Ebay there;

  • StudiVZ (Germany) is the biggest soc. net. in Germany and the 6th biggest site in Germany (Alexa);

  • There are at least 10-15 massively successful local social networks, some more of them are vkontakte.ru (Russia), Mynet.com (turkey), netlog.com (Benelux+France)...


I sincerely hope that we see the same patterns emerge in South Africa, and we start seeing sites like Zoopy.com, MyVideo.co.za, Afrigator.com, Amatomu.co.za, Laaik.it, and Muti.co.za out-ranking their international counterpart's  traffic in our country.  Do you think is likely?
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AuthorDave Duarte
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Late lastnite I made a status update on Twitter saying that I was looking to name a new business venture*. It was an arbitrary musing, and I didn't really expect anyone to take notice - Twitter and Facebook status updates have become cathartic to me, they serve an end in themselves.

Within minutes, however, a guy by the name of Krikor Ohannessian, who happens to be in Lebanon, messaged me back to say that one of his hobbies is coming up with names for Web2.0 companies.

Krikor runs a site called Wikinomy which a well-respected web guy in America, Robert Scoble, introduced me to via a Facebook group invite. So there was a sense of inferred trust.

I sent Krikor more info, and this morning he sent me some brilliant suggestions, as well as one of those coveted Pownce invites. Awesome.

Anyway, it's a cool story of seamless global collaboration. And I thought I'd tell it to remind myself not to get too caught-up behind the Boerewors Cluetrain (i.e. just thinking and operating within the South African diaspora).

*ps. I'm not leaving Cerebra, as some people presumed - it's a related business.
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AuthorDave Duarte
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