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Business Unusual

Business Unusual

The best disruptors are focused on customers, not products; they use technology rather than fear it; they create new opportunities often where regulations don't exist and they are backed by those with deep pockets and an appetite for risk.

Colin Cullis presents stories of Business Unusual - those people and companies driving the next industrial revolution.

Banking the unbanked

3 June 2020 7:26 PM

In 2004, 54% of South Africans had no bank account, that thankfully changed significantly with the introduction of the national payment system which used a bank card which was loaded with the grant and could be used to make payments or used to withdraw cash when needed at pay points like supermarkets.

That saw the percentage unbanked fall to 33% in 2012 and could be used by 75% of the recipients.


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The Artemis program to put a woman on the Moon

27 May 2020 7:25 PM

One of six women chosen earlier this year may be the first to walk on the moon.

America is planning to return to the Moon, it did not intend to stop after the original seven but global conditions made it hard for the US to continue to pay for the missions that in one respect were meant to beat the Russians to the Moon because they beat the Americans into space.

It has been over 50 years since anyone was willing to commit their Presidency and party to funding another attempt even as private companies began looking to do so themselves.

Image credit: NASA

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Business Unusual- What is Artificial intelligence really, where does it come from and what is the future?

20 May 2020 7:32 PM

Guest: Cliff de Wit/ CTO and Co-founder at Dexterity Digital 

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How to know which numbers to track for Covid-19

13 May 2020 7:28 PM

Is understanding the numbers in a pandemic a puzzle or a mystery?

Knowing if something should be treated like a puzzle or a mystery was the subject of a previous edition of Business Unusual and used the example of the US CIA in working with the intelligence they collect.  

In a puzzle scenario, you need all the pieces of information to make a picture and typically some are missing. Finding the missing info allows you to solve the problem.

A mystery, however, has all the information you need, in fact, it has more than all the information you need, it includes information that may be wrong or distracting. 

We tend to see most problems as puzzles when they are more often mysteries.

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How disruptors deal with disruption

6 May 2020 7:36 PM

Can Uber and Airbnb survive being disrupted themselves?

Two companies that defined the creation of the sharing/trust/gig economy are Uber and Airbnb. Both were founded during the peak of innovation for this century in 2008/9.

Both grew out of real frustration to try rent something, for Uber founders it was a limousine, for Airbnb it was was a place to stay during a popular conference.

Technology made it easier to determine spare capacity for a product or service which could be rented out short term to both create supplemental income for the owner and an easier and less expensive option for those seeking to use the product or service.

They are often described as being the largest transport company with no vehicles and the largest hospitality chain without any rooms.

In the decade since their founding, they have grown rapidly, attracted fierce competition and weathered a string of scandals.

Image credit: Uber & Airbnb

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Your face may be your most significant privacy concern

22 April 2020 7:25 PM

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If the picture is of you, it may say even more.

Machine learning related to facial recognition may overtake the risk to privacy that is currently centred on cookies that track your browsing.

Image credit: pxhere

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Privacy and contact tracing... it's complicated!

15 April 2020 7:31 PM

Two million infections, over 125 000 deaths and still climbing; it is fair to say that none of the terrorist threats this century can rival the impact a new virus is having on humanity. So, given the lengths countries were willing to go to counter terrorism, surely nothing should be spared to fight this pandemic?

The lessons from fighting terrorism are that once we give up civil liberty, the chances of getting it back diminish.


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Business Unusual - How will we live in a world with little privacy?

15 April 2020 7:26 PM

Colin Cullis | Business Unusual Correspondent at Money Show

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How to support outdoor entertainment indoors

8 April 2020 7:28 PM

Live performances are possibly one of the first industries that were not involved with feeding or sheltering us. From the earliest cave paintings which some speculate were actually sites chosen for musical performances to the TikTok clip you watched today, humans have always sought to entertain. Those with the gift of storytelling transporting those who otherwise would never hear about distant places and grand adventures to balance a life of work and child-rearing.


From the most basic stories told around a campfire to the most elaborate stage productions ever staged the history of the arts is as old as the history of humans.


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A tipping point for video conferencing

1 April 2020 7:29 PM

A business tool for older generations, a staple for younger ones

Video conferencing began as a way to make it easier to have people who far apart to still meet and discuss important business issues. Some meetings require long trips and even air travel. In the late 90s companies working with the growing internet saw the potential of allowing those connecting on email to be able to connect in person.

Image credit: Zoom

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