Develop Your Idea Into a Global Brand, Ignore the Butt-head Naysayers

First you need to come up with an idea, basically an easy-to-use solution to the current one, then develop that idea into a workable simple-to-use solution, then if needed, build and test the prototype, then setup a company to develop the idea/prototype, don’t worry about funding your idea, once you have developed your idea into a practical solution and put a bankable business plan together, money will flow from financiers to fund your business, then get the best team together to develop your idea into a marketable product/service, and then build your company into a brand name, globally.

Those who never had ideas, those whose brains are basically dead rotten, who can’t be innovative to come up with simple and easy-to-use solutions of their own, once they hear about your idea, because they are so dumb and stupid as they can’t see far ahead than the shadow of their own buttocks, they will laugh at you and call you names, saying all kind of bad stuff about you just because of their own stupidity because they fail to see the long-term effects of your idea. However, once they finally see your idea developed into a finished product/solution, then suddenly they become your biggest fans. But don’t hate them, take their money by selling them your products/solutions. You can even employ them, don’t hold any grudge against them.

So don’t sleep; go on and dream! dream Big, do Big, so you can live well for the rest of your life. And in the long run, you are empowering yourself, your family, your community, your country, and live better than those short sighted butt-head naysayers.

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MIT Provosts Stealing Our Groot Industrial Ecosystems Idea?

MIT provost Martin Schmidt and a group of MIT faculty members may be got hold of our documents through our Scientist, Robbie Jena, Co-founder and Chief Strategist of Groot Group, and now they are using our documents at MIT stating how America can rebuild and re-industrialize its economy for better employment creation and sustainability, but they are not giving us credit for it.

It was around June 2009, right after I graduated from The Ohio State University, I was invited by Liberia’s former finance minister, Mr. Braim, at his house in Columbus, Ohio to brainstorm with him on how to help develop and grow Liberia’s economy after many years of civil unrest.

After listening to him and his son, Samuel Braima, my then classmate at The Ohio State University, I informed the ex-finance minister that the better way to help rapidly develop Liberia’s economy, was to setup and develop an economic ecosystem on a certain island, off of the coast of Liberia.

We discussed further how we could go about doing it, and his next step was to go meet with Liberia’s President in order to get her blessing and start with the project, a rapid industrial ecosystem.

In August 2009, I met up with Robert Grier in Columbus, Ohio over a cup of coffee, and we brainstormed on the idea. At that time after we discussed about the idea, Robert informed me about his partner Robbie Jena, a former NASA Scientist, who’s specialized in industrial ecosystems development based on his past China’s success. Then one day Robert and I went to the ex-finance minister’s house in Columbus, Ohio for our continued talk on the idea.

After a month of waiting for the appointment with the Liberian Government Officials for us to brief them on the idea and get started with its planning, development and implementation, there was a silence of waiting, and for us as entrepreneurs, we couldn’t wait, hence we proceeded with our idea’s planning and development, and it has since become, the Groot Rapid Industrial Ecosystem, which is composed of our industrial projects development in Namibia which some that are online now are; Tses Glass, Groot Steel (Otavi Steel), and Sitentu Power Plant.

You can see our Groot Corporate Brochure about our Industrial Ecosystems, look at the date when it was uploaded on SlideShare, March 2011.

It’s an honor to have MIT engineers, scientists, economists and policy specialists, including one Nobel Prize recipient, as well as Policy Makers at the White House looking and modeling on our Industrial Ecosystems development in Namibia, but it would have been better if they (MIT and the White House) had acknowledged us and given us some credit, instead of just using our idea for their own perhaps personification.

The only issue is this; there’s a difference between someone copying or stealing someone’s else idea, and the actual person who actually came up with idea, because in this case, it’s us at Groot Group (Simon Kapenda, Robbie Jena, and Robert Grier), and the one who copies or steals the idea is never capable and delivering the real realization of the idea successfully and efficiently, than the one who actually came up with it, especially us that are already doing it in Namibia.

MIT provost Martin Schmidt, please contact me at simon@grootgroup.com, to get the real practical knowledge on how to implement an industrial ecosystem. See our Groot site at http://www.grootgroup.com/leasing regarding our Groot Industrial Ecosystem

Read more about the White House blog at http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/02/13/plan-revitalize-american-manufacturing and the MIT statement at http://www.boston.com/businessupdates/2013/02/22/nation-must-rebuild-industrial-ecosystem-spur-manufacturing-says-mit/6sKvKhCsSNwPilbrg5GdqO/story.html

How Can You Raise $1 Billion in Financing for Your Startup?

So you’ve started your business and now you’re urgently in need of $1 billion in financing for your business or project; then what do you do and where do you go to get it?

There are a few simple and easy steps on how to do it fast without breaking your back, which are;

  • “Personable” – use the social media to market yourself and by doing so, be sure to be real, be open, be smart.
  • “Brag branding” – use the social media to brag about your project but do so without spamming your audience.
  • “Value and excitement”- your project must offer value that can excite your potential investor’s appetite.
  • “Culture”- more and more people have money which they want to put it to work, but they will never fund you if they don’t know you, if they don’t trust you, and if they don’t have faith in you. This is where your personal characteristic comes in to play; which your past may define your present value but depends on how you present yourself, it may not hinder you realize future potential.

Simply by doing the above may help you attract potential financiers for your project; it’s always better when they come to you and offer to invest in your project, instead of you going to them.

We’re securing $1.7 billion for our 900 MW CCGT power plant as well as our other industrial projects within the Groot Group ecosystem and we have attracted some of the world’s largest and leading financial institutions and private super-net worth individuals.

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The US Postal Service Should Privatize and Do an IPO on NYSE

The U.S. Postal Service is the largest company in terms of being a government-owned agency, but in recent years, it has been drowning in the red. Today’s the WSJ reports that the it has a $5.2 billion quarterly loss.

The fact is; nothing else better can be done to save and rescue it other than privatizing it and taking it public on NYSE. By doing this, it’s the only viable option to keep it from eventually filing for bankruptcy and completely shut down. Because UPS, DHL, FedEx, and other rapid and express service providers will eventually drive it completely out of business.

So Mr. US Postal Service, do the privatization and list on NYSE!

My New Book Filled With New Economic Models, Theories, Formulas, and Touching on Entrepreneurship, Personal Development, Innovation, Leadership and Capital Raising

I’m often asked why am I not writing an Academic Book for colleges/universities.

My answer is; yes, I’m writing an academic book focusing on Economics related issues, but it will not be ready may be for another 2 or 3 years. And yes, I have already been offered a US$1.5 million publishing deal (I announced this on my blog in October last year) by a New York City publisher based on “My Job Multiplier Effect Model“.

In this book, it will be filled with my self-created economic models, and more theories, equations, and formulas. This is based on what I have learned so far by being part of an incredible team that’s doing our Groot Rapid Industrial Ecosystem Development in Namibia, and perhaps I will also touch on introducing a “New School of Thought” based on The 2008 Great Recession (which I dub “Capitalism Transformation”), plus my vast research during my time stay and working in Namibia since August 2010, plus my vast travel around the world, meeting with potential investors, negotiating mega deals and contracts with potential partners, dealing with the hardcore politics of Namibia, meeting and discussing with high ranking government officials, and by developing one of the world’s largest power plants (Sitentu Power Plant), developing Africa’s largest steel mill (Otavi Steel Mill), developing a new township (Groot) from scratch, and more, as well as being often times ridiculed by some news media, and my experience dealing with often times inexperienced news reporters.

The book will touch on self-improvement, personal development, mentorship, innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership, and raising capital/investment based on my experience dealing with investment power houses, banks, and venture firms around the world to raise US$1.6 billion for our power plant, and US$210 million for our Otavi Steel Nanomil.

I believe this Book will be an awesome reading.

What’s Wrong With Africa? That Makes Me Sick?

I have written a hard-hitting analytic research article on Kenya, a country with a GDP of more than US$66 billion, a population of more than 41 million, with per capita GDP of just about US$1,600, unemployment rate at more than 40%, and the percentage of the population living below the poverty line is above 50%?

So, what’s wrong with that picture? After all, this song is nearly like all other African governments? What’s wrong is that the Service sector in Kenya makes up more than 65% of the GDP and industrial sector only about 25%, with Agriculture makes up the difference. And as little as the Agriculture’s composite is the lowest, more than 75% of the workforce (that’s out of about 1.6 million Kenyans) are employed in Agricultural projects.

So, what’s wrong with that? Again, this is a familiar song for most of African economies.

No, I am afraid to publish this article. I don’t think Kenya would like me, if they read this article.

Also, perhaps the whole African continent may be angry if this article is published.

In summary, I am just angry at how Africa manages its rare resources. The African continent is the wealthiest on planet earth, and yet the majority of Africans live like animals due to poverty. But why so?

Because Africa has stuck on the stone-aged ideology of colonialism and imperialism, and they forgot to learn how to move from a theory of a static economic under-development to a rapid and dynamic economic industrialization.

Africans have inherited political freedom from their oppressors some as many as over 50 years ago now, and which by the way, they have had no clue on how to make themselves to become economic independent.

They inherited political power but not economic power, as those who used to control their political power have never actually relinquished their hands from the African economy. And Africans instead of becoming innovative to develop the tools that could empower their market economies, they focus more on short-term goals on how to live today; what to eat for dinner today and what to eat for tomorrow instead on spending long nights in their garages and huts inventing new products which could help them develop their economy for the long-term.

Yesterday, I read on Facebook on someone who posted a comment on Desmond Tutu’s picture with a comment that said: “they don’t make them like that anymore”. Of course not, we are not in the 60’s anymore.

Today, young Africans are more focused on alcohol, sex, drugs and violence instead on the virtues of humanity. While in the 60’s, most Africans were more focused on how to rid colonialism and free themselves from the chains of the Oppressors.

For today, young Africans are not focusing on anything else other than where the party is tonight, and whoever buys the most booze becomes the most popular in town. So, where will Africa be let’s say in 50 years from now?

And for that, if nothing changes, even 500 years from now, Africa will still be a continent riddled with poverty, diseases, and violence. And yes, the new form of colonialism is Africans themselves. It’s no longer white people but Africans themselves. Why? Because in most African countries, in order to get a government-tender or to become successful in business, one must know someone who knows who’s related to someone in high ranking government position.

(Man, then why am struggling? I’m related to many top government officials within the Namibian government, including President Pohamba. I have never even met him in person, even when he’s my cousin, I never even went to visit him. Oh, that’s because I want to earn everything I can acquire and have. I don’t want anything handed to me on a silver platter. I have to work hard for everything I want in my life. And basically, I don’t want people to talk for as much as they talk and say, it’s because I’m related to the President, and I don’t want them to say crazy things. Whatever I have, I earn and will earn it through my own hard-work and dealings.)

I remember being in a Taxi about 6 months ago in Windhoek, driven by a young guy from Okalongo (Northern Namibia) and he was telling me, that in Namibia, if you want to become rich, you must become a politician. So, he left his rural home and came to Windhoek so he could work his way up, to become a politician, so that he can be rich one day.

But how can that work; well, you just have to be well-connected to some members of the political party. Then you become may be first an organizer, then a councilor (municipal or town), I don’t know, then later, you continue to serve until you are appointed perhaps to become a mayor of a town, then a governor, and perhaps the next you know it, you become an MP (Member of Parliament) and that’s when the money starts rolling in. Or am I wrong? How does it work then? I honestly don’t know. What I know is that for the market (political market) to work best, politicians who hold public offices, should be elected by the majority of votes, not politically appointed.

So then that means, once you are a politician in Africa, then you can get rich, right? In America, if you want to become rich (not wealthy) fast, if not selling illegal drugs, then become an artist (singer or rapper) or an athlete (basketball or football player), that’s why most black families in America spend more time and resources helping their kids to achieve their goals.

In western economies, most of the time, you can never be a successful politician unless if you had worked your way up first, mostly in difference disciplines such as in business or similar fields. That you have to prove yourself first, have to be successful in your field first, before you can venture out into running for a public office as a politician.

But in Africa, it’s the other way around. And who the heck that lied to the politicians, anywhere in the world, that they can become successful entrepreneurs any way? Where on earth have you ever seen or heard of a-once successful politician who went into business after politics, started everything from scratch and become extremely successful? Even Bill Clinton can’t do it, let alone Obama won’t be able to do it.

No, I cannot publish this article, it will make Africans hate me.

And, why do African governments like to copy each other any way?

Once one government comes up with one document, then most other governments would have similar documents;

Now nearly every African government has “Vision 20-something” papers. Kenya has Vision 2030, Namibia also has one, so as more other African governments.

And basically, the guy who’s hired as the consultant to write up these documents, all he does is change the name of the country in the document and share it with other governments.

And most of these consultants are foreigners, mostly those who have failed in their own countries, and then they go to Africa and act like they are big. And in return, they charge exorbitant amounts of money as consultants to African governments.

African governments are the largest employers in Africa, but yet, most of the documents; policies, technical manuals, etc., are written and most of the work in Africa are done by foreign consultants. Why? What happened to the African government employees? Why can’t they do the work and write the documents themselves?

And if you are a foreign consultant and dreaming of making a lot of money in Africa as a consultant, and if you are not white, then sorry, you won’t make it big in Africa. But if you are white, money will start rolling to you the moment you show up. African politicians like and favors to work with white consultants (behind closed doors).

I have seen some lousy work, that was done by some foreign consultants hired by some African governments, and were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, but the work was awful. Now the problem is further continuum. How? Because once the foreign consultant wrote the document, and once he delivers it to the office that hired him, then he gets paid and leaves.

Then the government will have to figure out how to implement; let alone interpret, that document to put into action to yield any intended results.

Africa, wake up!

In business, if you present your business plan to investors for funding, then you must know and able to defend whatever your business plan claims. If you can’t defend the claims made in your business plan, then how will you know what to do to implement its course of action?

That means, if you wrote your own business plan, then you should know and understand all the claims made in your document, and you should be able to defend it at anytime, because you wrote it; you have the vision of how you plan, operate, manage and make it work. So, if you hire a consultant to write your business plan, then how will you know, understand and be able to defend the claims made in your business plan?

That’s why in African government offices, there are so many documents and papers full of dust in file cabinets, that were written by paid foreign consultants, who simply write them up and hand them in, but Africans have no clue how to implement the claims made in those documents.

When and how can we make Africa eventually realize its potential? A continent with a wealth value at more than US$65 trillion, and Africa is still a poor continent?

If you want to contact me, feel free to email me at simon@grootgroup.com or visit our web site at www.grootgroup.com to learn how we can help your stagnant economy to rapidly develop and grow faster.

Writing and Presenting a Business Plan That Doesn’t Suck!

What makes or breaks a startup anywhere is partially by having a good business plan.

Such as most entrepreneurs in Namibia that I meet daily don’t have good and winning business plans. A conservative business plan for the Namibia market (financial institutions) should be simply, made up of; Executive Summary (written after the business plan), Company Summary, Organizational Plan, Marketing Plan, Financial Plan, and Supporting Documents sections.

I just finished writing a business plan as a consultant, and it looks awesome. But I don’t wanna do this no more. It’s too much time consuming.

But if you expect to get a business loan from any financial institution, you’ve got to have a winning business plan, outlining everything in great details, but remember, business analysts who review your business plan for funding consideration don’t really read everything in your business plan. They read your executive summary first, and if it makes sense, then they jump to your financial projections.

And if it interests them, then they look at your management summary under your Organizational Plan, but everything else in your business plan is just an added value.

I’ve seen people walking around with business profiles, (yes, a business plan should be no more than 32 pages long), but these entrepreneurs usually have on average documents that they call, “a business plan”, but with only 4 pages long, not in the right format, no financial projections, no break-even analysis, and then they complain to everyone that they can’t get a loan from the bank, because they are not well-connected, and that the banks are run by racist white people.

But they forget about their own presentation as outlined in their business plans.

And the mistakes most of them make is that, they pay someone to write their business plans, but because they were not fully involved in writing it, then when coming to the bank asking them to do a presentation and defend their business plan, then they have no clue on what to say, let alone explain what’s written in the business plan.

They have no clue on how to explain where they got the figures in their financial projections. But again, they complain why Namibian banks don’t fund black owned businesses.

The Namibia Ministry of Trade and Industry has a division; Project Planning Unit, whose staff are paid to solely help Namibian SMEs with their business plans development, but I am not sure how many Namibians know about this service.

I wish I had the time to help do workshops and seminars on how to write a winning business plan in Namibia. Because if I can say one thing that I’ve learned from the development of our Groot ecosystem, it’s writing a business plan; with the latest business plan for our Groot development that, our team and I wrote, and from that we are raising more than N$6 billion (US$800 million) for Groot Town Center and separately US$900 million for our 900 MWe Gas Power Plant in Namibia. These are just 2 projects which are part of our 60+ different projects for our Namibia ecosystem development. Also, we are preparing to write our business plan for our Swaziland Ecosystem Development whose development budget is currently set at US$10.7 billion.

From this experience, I have learned a great deal on how to write and present a business plan to the financial lending institutions and venture capitalists.

For the US market, I’ve written many business plans, but the language that’s used in business plans for the US VCs, especially for tech start-ups is different from the Namibian market. One simple word in US could mean something completely different from what it may mean in Namibia.

For example, for the US market, I can write; “a killer app…”, or “a disruptive technology”. Using such as these phrases for the Namibian market (due to political correctness), they may be viewed and construed differently, in a very very very very bad way.

Look, if you want to get a business loan from any bank or VCs, you’ve gotta have a good business plan, but also you must be able to present and defend what’s stated in your business plan. If you had paid a consultant to write your business plan, try to understand how that consultant came up with the dollar value in your financial plan and what those graphs mean.

A good business plan should be more quantitative than qualitative, and use more graphs to explain your market and financial details. So, go out there and write a killer business plan for your disruptive innovative solution.