Non-Bullshit Innovation by David Rowan review — the businesses inventing the future

In the 1980s Naspers, the owner of a South African newspaper devoted to the cause of Afrikaner nationalism, hired an entrepreneurial chief executive. The company was persuaded by Koos Bekker, a brash young man with no media business experience, to gamble on building Africa’s first cable-television network. It paid off, so Bekker started Africa’s first mobile-phone service, then a bunch of internet startups, most of which failed. In 2001 he invested $32 million in a loss-making small Chinese messaging service called Tencent. That stake is now worth $146 billion.

Welcome to the extraordinary world in which we live, where vast sums can be made by unlikely people through the unanticipated uses by young people in countries still run by communist parties of technologies invented mostly…

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