Focusing on humanity: Stafford Masie talks about how empathy and love can drive change and success


To listen to the full podcast, please click here


Stafford Masie has seen it all and done it all, and is now offering up his experience and expertise as a member of various boards and lecturer at business schools. He’s gone from an analyst to a tech investor and is widely known as the man who brought Google to South Africa. Stafford considers himself lucky to have been able to have seen the birth of the internet as we know it, working in the US and South Africa as the technological landscape shifted and has gathered a treasure trove of knowledge.

In the latest Business Unusual podcast, Ralf Fletcher, CEO of Topco Media engages in conversation with Stafford Masie on how focusing on empathy, love and conviction can influence the teams and business we build and what this entails for the future. Stafford shares lessons from Google and gives tips on getting a competitive edge in what he terms as our “iPhone moment”.


Key takeaways to listen out for in this podcast:

  • Choose people for your team who share love and empathy, because those are the people who need to be managed.
  • “Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, but everyone should try it once”
  • There are two types of entrepreneurs: inventive and innovative entrepreneurs. Innovative entrepreneurs take elements that already exist and combine them. Inventive entrepreneurs build things that do not exist
  • You must be led by conviction. Passion runs out. Conviction will bring you back off the ground. 
  • Focus on the client and all else will follow. Ask five questions when focusing on the client: Does it make it faster? Does it make it simpler? Does it make it more relevant? Can you deliver it with verbosity? Can you do it with agility?
  • You need people in your teams who bring an understanding of ethics and morality.
  • Humans yearn for three things: “We yearn for a legacy, we yearn for a community and we yearn for recognition.”
  • Everyone needs to ask themselves: Do we derive less value than we create? And are we building ecosystems or are we building products?
  • “Focusing on humanity is where you will get your competitive edge”
  • “The opportunity today is to release that latent human capital on the outside of your business, and that gives you the competitive edge.”
  • The three things that will define and drive the next ten years will be decentralised networks, working from home and mass digitalisation.



Stafford Masie is a Discovery Bank and CSIR board member, tech investor, keynote speaker, guest lecturer and creator of the Payment Pebble. Stafford began as a network analyst at Telkom, and after a brief stint at Dimension Data he moved to the United States for almost a decade, working at Novell. On his return to South Africa he continued his journey with Novell as their country manager. Stafford then took on the pioneering task of localising Google’s services for the South African market, before venturing out as an entrepreneur and investor.


Written by Staff Writer


Subscribe to

Please fill out your details and we will ensure to keep you updated with a weekly bulletin on the latest blog articles we have to share!

Follow us on

Written by Staff Writer


You May Also Like…