Opinion and Analysis

Business success takes more than just entrepreneur’s effort

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Posted  Thursday, November 29   2012 at  20:22

In Summary

  • Most investors seem to have both the serenity and courage but miss out on the wisdom hence are busy accepting those they can otherwise change and trying to change some things that are not within their grasp to.
  • The truth is that entrepreneurs have to be smart. But the smartest thing about them is that they are smart enough to realise when they are getting lucky.

Folklore goes that during its initial search for a slogan, the marketing team offered various choices to the Safaricom management team.


Then as the managers deliberated on which choice to settle upon, one of them opined, “I suggest we go with this one, it’s the better option!”

Then all of a sudden it hit the CEO, ‘The better option!’. He liked the sound of it. “Why not adopt it as the slogan?”

This, ladies and gentlemen, is how the Safaricom slogan reportedly came to be. That it was not even among the initial choices points to the genius of accidental discovery.

While I haven’t verified this story, what is unmistakeable is that the slogan has played its fair share towards the success of Safaricom’s brand for the past decade.

Let’s go back in time — to September 1928. A scientist returned home from a four-week holiday to continue his research work at a laboratory in St Mary’s Hospital in London.

Before leaving, he had stacked some bacteria on some dishes hoping to come and continue his research on the microorganisms upon his return.

The first thing he noticed when he returned was that the bacteria on one of the dishes had died and in its place stood a number of yeast and moulds.

Human triumphs

It seemed that the yeast and moulds had contaminated the dish. Quickly, the scientist zeroed in to the fact that one of the moulds had killed the bacteria in the area of the plate where it had infiltrated.

Excited by these conclusions, the scientist continued his investigations. He soon realised that the reason for the bacteria being killed was because of there was presence of an active ingredient.

The scientist’s name was Alexander Fleming, and the active ingredient he discovered by accident was penicillin — the world’s first anti-biotic that is responsible for saving millions of lives to date.

Let’s go back further in time — to the 17th century. Popular legend goes that Sir Isaac Newton was idly sitting beneath an apple tree when one accidentally dropped off and hit his head.

While many people would have cursed their bad fortune under their breath, Newton was more philosophical about it. He wondered, why, if the world was round, the apple falling off the tree did not go in the opposite direction.

This inspired him back to his lab where he was ultimately able to not only discover the force of gravity but formulate a formula of how to calculate it, appropriately christened, Newton’s Law of Gravity.

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