From the post mortem of failed start-ups

We often hear about the glamour of making 25x on an investment and there are many to choose from. The most popular are Space-X, Airbnb, Uber who have all graduated to become unicorns (valued at more that $1billion). But as the unicorns rise, in the ashes are many a failed startup that either failed to launch or was acquired by a multinational and failed within that organisational culture.

Below are the top 5 causes of failure, which have been extracted from almost 400 post-mortems based on the data of CBInsights. For a Venture…

Create a path not a bottleneck

Even in slavery there was a hierarchy. Those that worked in the plantations and those who were close to the master and worked in the house — they were all slaves but some had special privileges. The ‘house nigga’ was the masters right hand and was often harder on the slaves than the master himself. …

The 3 things you should be aware of

Silicon Valley and innovation hubs around the world has got many people wanting to become founders of the next unicorn. If you are in corporate life, have a family, with the responsibility of a mortgage and other such commitments, the challenge of quitting a great job maybe daunting. What if I fail?

Understanding this can make or break a take over

For those involved in a merger or acquisition, particularly the absorption kind where full integration of the companies is required, it is an extraordinary and destabilising life event requiring considerable personal adjustment. Psychological studies by merger experts Cartwright and Cooper rate the magnitude of that adjustment and the resultant stress as being equivalent to the gain of a new family member or becoming bankrupt. This research finds that living through a merger requires more social adjustment than major life events such as buying a house, mortgage foreclosure or death of a…

Restarting the Economy post lockdown

Restarting the Economy post lockdown

This article is applicable to any economy although the focus is South Africa.


Every 75 to 100 years, an event occurs that will forever define how generations to come live. This is our Black Swan event. According to Ray Dalio (legendary hedge fund investor) we are entering a global depression, not unlike what the world experienced in 1929 (hopefully cushioned by the various monetary and fiscal initiatives by the various governments). Many would say this is self-inflicted, i.e. this was not a systemic failure of capitalism but a choice of lives over livelihoods. How we react will largely define how…

Deven Govender

Deven is CEO of LionPride a Private Equity & Venture Capital Fund. He is passionate about learning and development. Join the journey to continuous improvement.

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