Category: Musings

Hi everyone, thanks for being such excellent readers. I have moved my blog to and will be posting regularly about my thoughts on business, social media, social enterprise and the books that I read and review. Hope to see you all there!

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Boy, am I excited for Sunday. TEDxAKL is brought to us courtesy of Richard Hollinghum. It will be an amazing day filled with ideas from motivated and engaging speakers. Of course, as with every TED talk, there is so much more than just the talk going on; people who attend TED events are change-makers, so get your networking on.

If you haven’t already heard of TED, I urge you to check it out at and you must watch this talk by Hans Rosling (my favourite speaker ever) on how to think about poverty. If you are not entertained and informed, I’m at a loss for words 😛

Check out the TEDxAKL line up here. All amazing speakers and of course they will be blowing us away with ideas we might not have heard about, should know more about, and should be supporting.

So, why am I excited? Well, I am speaking too. I get three minute with which to strut my stuff, and get my idea across. It is a simple idea, but one which is an integral one for the future of our world, our earth and for billions of people worldwide.

Here is the preview: “Problems faced by our world today, by all of us, are gradually approaching D-Day. We need to act on all the issues that will impact us and our earth. But how can we act, if we aren’t educated and we don’t think about the issues? Justin’s idea – think about the issues, act on the problems, choose to make a difference. He tells us the story of the Tabaka Tribe in Kenya and how Fair Trade has given them real opportunities and made a difference. Think about the issues facing us today – poverty affects billions, environmental change affects us all. Take action – talk about the issues, make the changes in your life. Choose to make a difference. Without you, we have no chance.”

Hope to see you there. For tickets visit

If you can’t make it in person, there is always the opportunity to check out the livestream visit I will be on at 11.30am. See you all there.

Equality? Or equal opportunity?

Ever wondered how the world should work? Should people be treated exactly the same, equally? Or should we simply be given the same opportunities?

I am of the strong opinion that everyone is given opportunities in life, and it is the actions we take as individuals that defines us. I believe that in life, we should be given equal chance to attend school, be given equal rights, be treated the same way as others and have the same opportunities as others. I do not believe that you should be the right over someone else with the same opportunity, to win over them. The competition should be judged fairly and equally – and the deciding party should not be influenced unfairly in any way – other than by significant factors.

For example, in South Africa apartheid was a huge problem, and whites were given, not only preference but, complete freedom over blacks. This is not equal opportunity, the black man does not have the same right to compete for a job as the white man. Unfortunately, despite the shift in power from whites to black, in South Africa, the discrimination continues. However, the system works in favour of the black man. This is not fair to either party, and is not a free environment.

I believe that everyone should be given equal opportunity. I am a believer in the the Free Market Economy, I believe that everyone should be able to make every choice that affects them personally, on their own, and should not be forced to do so. I believe that an employer in South Africa should be told by the government that he must employ a black man, regardless of whether the better candidate is white, indian or black. This is not a good system of control.

My vote is for everyone to have equal opportunities in life, and then the freedom to choose which of those opportunities they take. They should have the opportunity to go to school, the opportunity to be treated on equal grounds, and the opportunity to make their own choices unrestricted by government. If I have better skills, experience and knowledge I deserve to be paid for those assets.

Why should I earn the same amount as a street sweeper, when I have spent the time being educated, and making an effort to pushing my life in a particular direction? Why should I be told what I am worth, instead of determining that and seeking that for myself?

My question to you is: do you vote equality or equal opportunity? Why?

40 years to repeat your mistakes

I made an observation recently.

You may or may not know that there have been four major economic recessions in the last 120 years.

1890 Panic of 1890
1930 Great Depression
1970 Little Depression
2010 Credit Crisis

Now, I wonder if you noticed the gap between each of them.  40 years.

Why do you think that is?

I think that may be due to the generation gap – rather two-generation gap. I think history has a way of repeating itself, not because that is the way of things, but because people eventually forget what happened in the past – they make the same mistakes. I hypothesise that the 40 year gap, is the time period that is takes for people to forget – and make the same mistakes.

This may be because the leaders in power at the time of each recession are the grand-kids of the leaders from the last recession. How many people actually remember what happened when their grand-parents were in around? How many know and listened to the stories that our grand parents can tell us? I don’t think enough of us.

Lesson: Listen and learn from your grand parents.

Do you think that this is a reasonable conclusion? Do you think I’m talking bollocks? Let me know, I would really like to discuss it.

Books, Books

Reading provides the knowledge I, we, need to make my, our, way through the world. These are books I have been recommended and would love your help?

  • A good hard kick in the ass – Rob Adams
  • Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
  • Blink – Malcolm Gladwell
  • Every bastard says no – Geoff Ross
  • Networking with the affluent – Thomas Stanley
  • Love is the killer App – Tim Saunders
  • Crossing the Chasm – Geoffrey Moore
  • The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing – Lisa Gansky
  • Startup Lessons Learned – Eric Ries

Please give me a call on 021 103 7476 if you can lend me one of these books. Or tweet me @justinvitallink. Cheers 😀

Forming an opinion

The more you read, the more you understand. You become more willing to talk, discuss, argue your points of view.

Over the past year I have done a lot of reading – blogs, articles, books – and a lot of listening – conversations with professionals, experts and experienced people. The result. I have an opinion.

In fair trade, I have my criticisms of the system, my opinions on the problems that persist, and most of all I have suggestions for improvements. Having read a lot and paid attention to arguments, I have formed those opinions. I have identified there are areas with which I agree, and many that I do not.

Similarly, being economically interested, I have read about economic systems and recently watched Milton Friedman’s “Free to Choose” series. This has opened my eyes to a complete Free Enterprise System, where government does not intervene in the matters that belong, wholly, to an individual. I support many of the practices suggested by Friedman, but do not understand some others. Regardless, I have formed an opinion and wish to discuss this with you.

I think in the real world, where people are classified as Left-wing or Right-wing, it is not so black-and-white. Personally, I am perceived as right-wing on some issues, and left-wing on others. But by no means do I completely support all of one side’s arguments over the other side’s.

This leads me to ask the following question: How do you find yourself forming your opinions? And, are they always to the one side of the spectrum?

Look out for the upcoming Vlog 🙂

Justins new posterous

I have a new posterous. Its empty right now but subscribe if you want to read the epic upcoming content.

Education in Conflict

I find myself enjoying business more so than university. Reading up and educating myself  on what interests me and is more applicable to me and my life, is way more engaging than pesky assignments, tests and exams.

But why do I find that my university degree us not equipping me with the knowledge I need to really make a difference? Why is my education telling me one thing – use bureaucracy – while my mentors, leaders and inspirations are telling me to innovate, explore my imagination, but importantly reduce the barriers to growth – rules and regulations.

I have learned more applicable information from my involvement in competitions, fellow students, business and work experience than from lecture content.

Are universities churning out uninspired, non-creative drudges of society? Are we being mass-educated?

What are your thoughts?

Over the last few weeks, I have procrastinated myself away from studying more than I ever have in my life. It’s just so easy to do something more interesting, fun and engaging than study. I have five exams to do, and have barely put an hour in. What have I dedicated myself to then?

Social Media

Not just Facebook, in fact hardly Facebook, but rather everything else that can be imaginable under the term social media. The web is the most valuable source of education and learning, the perfect tool to do research about the things that INTEREST you, not just the stuff you have to know. I have dedicated myself to reading blogs, watching vlogs, watching videos on youtube, reading articles, keeping up with the news (mainly in the techosphere), reconnecting with some people I haven’t spoken to in some time, but most importantly starting new connections with vital people for me and the business.

Let me take the opportunity to mention that Gary Vee (Vaynerchuk) is my idol. I see so much of myself in him, that I am starting to believe in myself more, as a result of his success. Gary Vee is an entrepreneur who started his career by turning his family’s wine store into a website service called, he turned it into a $60million business! WOW. He took his expertise in wine to new levels, starting a video blog to educate us about wine. But that is where it all started, Gary has built an amazing personal brand around himself, now with his own media company he does talks and shows around the world. He is a respected wine professional, business professional and personality! I hope to be like you soon Gary.

The most inspiring speech I have had the pleasure of watching was his most recent one at RailsConf ( What inspires me is his way of getting his point across, his recognition of his limits and mostly his engagement with the audience. Its a long video, but so worth it. If you really want to get to know Gary, check out his website

There are a few other key people in my life right now, and they will be mentioned in future blogs. But the people who teach me the most about myself, are Sam Dalton, Medha Ghatikesh, Amrita Lal, Declan Kenney and Surya Seger. These people are my friends and business partners; day-to-day they inform me of new things, they teach me about myself, they give me advice, they show me respect. It is them that I am thankful!

Thanks guys!

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