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The future of WhatsApp

We all use WhatsApp at no cost.  Of course, it never came free to Facebook – they bought it for $19 billion in 2014. 

A recent purchase by Facebook for $1 billion gives a clue as to what the future is for WhatsApp – they bought a company by the name of Kustomer Inc.  Apparently, the plan is to make money out of the 2 billion monthly users of WhatsApp of whom 400 million alone are in India, by selling goods and services inside WhatsApp or potentially allowing companies to use WhatsApp to handle customer services.  It is something my firm will have to watch closely, because WhatsApp is hugely popular and in SA, even though in countries like the USA, where Facebook is based, the vast majority of people are not familiar with WhatsApp.   WhatsApp is much bigger in countries like SA, India and Europe, but has a very small role in Facebook’s own country – probably because unlimited texts, etc have always been the order of the day in the United States and WhatsApp initially grew in countries where the mobile companies were charging a lot more for sending SMS messages as well as MMS messages.  There may also be plans to use WhatsApp for payments, but in many respects that would be driven by the Indian market the most because that is the country where WhatsApp is the most popular. 

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 14-Dec-20   |  Permalink   |  35 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Airbnb lists on the Stock Exchange

Airbnb listed on the Stock Exchange yesterday in a massive IPO, where they initially listed at $68 and ended the day at $144.71.  It is a technology driven company that I believe is going to succeed, so I will certainly be investing in it, although not necessarily immediately – I am hoping the price will settle down a bit lower than that!  I think a lot of people think that Airbnb is a company where people rent out a spare room in their house, but a lot of people have taken it much further than that and have multiple units now and run it as a full-time business.  I even know one particular person who rents properties from landlords and then leases them out on Airbnb with the landlord’s permission.  So, he pays a certain amount a month and then marks it up and has a manager who runs around and make sure that everything is clean and good.  So many of these businesses are all based on the same premise in many ways just cutting out the middleman, although you could argue in this case that the middle man are hotels.  Have any of you used Airbnb and if so, have your experiences been positive or not?  Here is a fun fact – Airbnb has 4 million hosts!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Friday 11-Dec-20   |  Permalink   |  28 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Joyce Zulu

Joyce Zulu was the third member of staff I ever hired and given that the second member of staff was only with me for a temporary period of 2 months Joyce was, until her death in November, was my longest ever employee.  She used to be a cleaner in the Constantia Centre, the building where my firm first started and she became a filing lady in my firm.  Her role expanded through the years and she eventually helped us with consulting with clients, often playing the role of almost a translator and eventually took on an all purposes administrative and secretarial role.  She was with my firm for 25 years and she was somebody I could rely on.  When she suddenly did not turn up at work for about 2 weeks in a row in November my wife said to me she must be seriously ill or dying, because that it was not in Joyce’s nature to simply disappear.  Joyce had even taken the trouble to write to my wife when my wife lived in Russia and she was a compassionate woman who displayed considerable empathy towards our clients. 

I am very sad that she has passed away and it has been difficult to ascertain how she passed away, but I know that she was immune compromised and it may well be that Covid-19 played a role in her death.  Rest in peace Joyce, I am shocked that you have gone so soon. Thank you for the 25 years that you spent with our firm and I do hope that your family are better off because of the time you spent with the firm -and thank you for your loyalty and dedication to me for all of those years.  

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Thursday 03-Dec-20   |  Permalink   |  64 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It

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Johannesburg based attorney specializing in personal injury matters including Road Accident Fund claims and medical negligence matters. My interests include golf, reading and the internet and the way it is constantly developing. I have a passion for life and a desire for less stress!
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Recent Settlements
Lumbar spine compression fractures R2 500 000.00
Severe hip fracture requiring total hip replacements R3 305 000.00
Head injury with disfiguring facial scaring of a young female R4 000 000.00
Whiplash and compression fracture of the spine R4 000 000.00
Broken Femora R1 914 416.00
Broken Femur and Patella R770 881.15
Loss of Support for two minor children R2 649 968.00
Fracture of the right Humerus, fracture of the pubi rami, abdominal injuries, head injury R4 613 352.95
Fracture of the right femur, Fracture of the right tibia-fibula R1 200 000.00
Broken Jaw, Right Shoulder Injury, Mild head injury R1 100 000.00
Degloving injuries to the hips, legs and ankle R877 773.00
Head injury R 2 734 295.12
Fractured pelvis R1 355 881.53
Damaged tendons in left arm R679 688.03
Fractured left hand R692 164.48
Amputated right lower leg with loss of income R3 921 000.00
Fractured left foot R600 000.00
Head injury and multiple facial fractures R5 000 000.00
Head injury, compound fracture right femur, right tib and fib fracture, and injury to the spleen R4 529 672.06
Head injury, multiple facial fractures, collapsed lung and a fracture to the right frontal bone R2 890 592.77
Loss of support R5 144 000.00


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