Caught in the Original Plan

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The plan from the very beginning was to use JuJuFire as a way to make money and to teach us everything we would ever need to know about South African eCommerce.

We focused on selecting the best online shop platform, the most suitable payment gateway and ensuring that the UX (User Experience) was minimalistic and inviting.

Our mistake was that we got too caught up in learning about eCommerce and ignored other ways to sell our product. We failed to see that value of selling our products through established retailers who, despite squeezing your margins, can be a great way to enter a market and establish the brand.

Physical stores still dominate the retail market. If we had used their distribution networks as compliments to our online shop from the very beginning we would have introduced more people to our products. This would have resulted in higher cash flow. With

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Over Committing Too Early

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One of the early Ever Africa ventures was JuJuFire. As our first attempt at eCommerce it proved to be a source of multiple mistakes, failures and many valuable lessons.

The first and arguably the largest JuJuFire failure was that we took too long to get the original product idea developed. We were overcommitted to its success and resisted change when it became necessary.

During development we should have explored multiple product ideas and various materials in parallel.

Early in the process we settled on the idea of making engraved wooden iPhone covers. It didn’t take us long to find a suitable carpenter to make them. As a bonus they were to be made from offcuts. No plastic, just recycled wood.

The issue was that laminating the offcuts and cutting the lip necessary to keep the phone in place was incredibly difficult to perfect. We wasted weeks getting this right –

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