On 28th April James van Rooyen gave an engaging account of his journey in building a flourishing online bicycle business. He took the audience through the eight years since the start-up business commenced operation, outlining the learning that resulted in rapid changes to the business model leading to the importation of quality bicycles and selling directly to the public. This resulted in an effective model for engaging a highly competitive market.
James articulated the need for ‘intellectual humility’ in order to listen and learn as the challenges involved in building an enterprise are navigated. Speaking candidly of the mistakes he and his business partner made, he outlined how they recognised and reversed them. Advising against seeking external funding, he argued that it can reduce motivation and introduce complicated investor relationships. James believes that innovation is not based on a single brilliant idea but upon successfully executing a series of good ideas that are not necessarily new. In this way, they have created a customer-focused business that provides excellent value and service. The high regard with which this company is held within the cycling community is testament to their achievement.
*LiDA is the external engagement arm of the Master of Business and Technology (MBT) program in FEIT