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Q&A sessions: Where are the Zuckerbergs of South Africa?

Haroon Meer, the founder of the multimillion-dollar tech startup Thinkst, speaks to Athandiwe Saba about international acclaim, the need for more South African tech builders and taking care of his four-year-old at his home office while his wife sleeps in . . .

How did you get into the tech world? Have you always been interested in it?

I was pretty lucky because the internet took off just as I hit university. The web browser as we know it was born around the time I was in university.
One of the benefits that it gave us is that nobody could really claim more expertise than us. If you went into law or accounting, you’d have someone who has 40 years of experience on you.

But when we started with simple stuff, like writing web pages, everyone was just writing web pages for the last five minutes. Nobody had more experience because it just wasn’t around that long. So it allowed kids to kind of get more credit than we usually would in traditional industries.

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Athandiwe Saba
Athandiwe Saba

Athandiwe Saba is a multi award-winning journalist who is passionate about data, human interest issues, governance and everything that isn’t on social media. She is an author, an avid reader and trying to find the answer to the perfect balance between investigative journalism, online audiences and the decline in newspaper sales. It’s a rough world and a rewarding profession.

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