ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Funny Business
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As one of the founders of Internet Solutions (IS), Ronnie Apteker has already achieved great success in the business world – having developed the company from a start-up venture in 1993. He has since left IS and applied his entrepreneurial expertise to several online ventures and technology start-ups. In his new book, Funny Business: The Secrets of an accidental entrepreneur, he explores this journey with author Gus Silber, sharing his hilarious insight into the world of a serial entrepreneur.
“In our country, we are surrounded by stories, many of them uplifting and unforgettable. The World Cup story, from earlier this year - although it seems like a decade ago now - united the nation and captured the world's imagination. That kind of story is one in a billion. So when Gus Silber approached me with an idea for a book that captures the lighter side of business, I got excited,” said Apteker who has great praise for the renowned author. “Gus is a fantastic writer and has a sharp sense of humour and a great insight into life in general. We also had the opportunity to take the lessons we have learnt here at Internet Solutions and present them in an entertaining and compelling volume of stories,” said Apteker at the recent IS conference - Internetix – where delegates were each given a copy of the book before the launch.
For Apteker, the book is not just about a collection of entertaining business stories, but it is insight into what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur.
“What started out as two bagel-eating guys talking about the spirit of entrepreneurship, resulted in what I believe is a very cool book of stories about business and life. It’s a book that explores the way the world works, how to get things done, and why stuff happens. It’s about why people sometimes succeed against their expectations, and why people sometimes fail despite their best efforts and intentions. Talent and competence are two very different things. While many people in the world have talent and enthusiasm, a lot of them don't win, and vice versa. Yes, a lot of people win without much talent, and with sloppy work ethics. What is the connection between being smart and winning in business? Is there a connection at all?”
“Universities are full of very clever Professors with no money, and the world is full of crazy characters who are loaded with money. Of course, there are also a lot of smart people who have built big businesses. But the bottom line, whether you are smart or not, is that there is one thing that everyone needs to succeed – luck. Without good luck, all bets are off. The American industrialist, J. Paul Getty, once said that the secret to success was: "You wake up early, you work hard, and you find oil." Tomorrow you could get up in the morning, and find gold in your back yard, and the rest will be history. Of course, the more you dig, the more you have a chance to find the glory at the end of the rainbow. But one thing is for sure, if you dig for oil in the Karoo you are not going to find it,” concluded Apteker.
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