Updated: Jun 21

"What's in a name?" Isn't that a great question? It's the sort of question that would normally have most businesses telling tales about how they spent 3 days and nights brainstorming together in a dark, smoky room for the best possible name to represent their ideals, mission and vision.

Now, I wish I had something nearly as interesting as that. But this isn't that kind of story. In fact, the story behind our name is a lot less thought-out, and a lot more "really? THAT'S how I got the name?".

So, let's dive in.

The search for our name started back in 2018. (I say search because back then, I really was searching.) It's a digital business so I needed a name for the digital space. Thankfully, I had an idea of what I wanted the name to reflect: simple, immediately recognizable, different and pronounceable. The only problem was I had no idea where to begin. It was a feeling of "I'll know it when I find it", except there was no map, no direction and no plan.

Full speed ahead.

But just getting started is 80% of the battle. So, the initial ideas were written down and bounced around; thrown away and re-written; critiqued and thrown away again. Shortly after beginning my search for that exclusive name, I called for the help of brand specialist Gary to see if we could find a breakthrough. With his help I learned a lot of the key aspects for what goes into the creation of a name. And after receiving his inputs, I managed to refine my search—landing on the name "Algorythm Digital".

On the first glance this really wasn't a bad name. It definitely did fit into the digital space. But it was missing something. Algorythm Digital was a little too broad. And if you look back to what I mentioned the name should reflect. Algorythm Digital only ticked two of the four boxes. It was different and recognizable. But it wasn't simple. And it wasn't easily pronounceable (you can imagine that picking up the phone and saying "Algorythm Digital" 30+ times a day would also get a little tiresome).

In case you are wondering what happened to the "Algorythm" name:

Algorythm Labs is the innovation and ideation hub at V5 Digital. Here we create amazing solutions - most often first to market - together with our collaborators and clients. We utilise The Lean Startup Way to rapidly test and learn so that we can consistently create customer solutions that solve real business problems.

The search continued.

I started reaching out to my family and friends for ideas about what a good name could sound like. The ideas flew back and forth over the phone. But ultimately that didn't lead to much success either. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of ideas. But they just weren't what I was looking for. I needed something that would stand out in a field of generic digital-related terms and names. Something that resonated deeply with me and the business.

I've always been very interested in, and passionate about aircrafts. My great uncle, Gustav Wieland, was an aeronautical engineer who headed the design of the Dornier Do 31 VTOL aircraft in the 1960's.

Dornier Do 31 E1 at the Dornier Museum Friedrichshafen in Germany 🇩🇪
Dornier Do 31 E1 at the Dornier Museum Friedrichshafen in Germany 🇩🇪

My older brother is a pilot, and I still remember seeing my uncle landing his Cessna 210 on the farm when I was 4 years old. Aircrafts have always been a part of my life. And while my personal aircraft journey only went from flying paper planes to flying drones; my passion for aircrafts is stronger than ever. And I still feel like a kid in a candy store whenever I take a flight somewhere.

One morning, while I was taking a shower, it hit me; "V5 Digital". And there it was. The name I was looking for after all this time had finally found me. Inside I knew this was the name I've been looking for, but I still wanted some feedback. And what better place to get honest feedback than your family WhatsApp group? Thankfully, they shared my feelings about the name. I even managed to get a rare response from my brother giving me his approval. Remember that feeling I described earlier of "I'll know it when I find it"?

My late Grand Uncle, Dr Ing. Gustav Wieland (second from the left) with the Dornier Do 31
My late Grand Uncle, Dr Ing. Gustav Wieland (second from the left) with the Dornier Do 31

This was it.

The funny part is that once I had this name, everything else started coming together. The meaning, the purpose and values of the business all lined up with the name.

You see, the letter V comes from the NATO phonetic alphabet, and is deeply tied to aircrafts and air travel. But V also stands for victory, for conquering new heights, exceeding the impossible and continually evolving and improving.

V is also the Roman numeral for 5 which signifies curiosity, change, freedom and balance; all core elements I wanted the business to be centred around. Once I had the name, the rest fell into place. Now this might not have been the most glamorous "what's in a name" story you've ever read. But it's ours, and it's what's made us into the business we are today.

The V5 Digital styled Airbus A350-900 with registration V5-DIG
The V5 Digital styled Airbus A350-900 with registration V5-DIG

V5 Digital might not have been the name of choice for some of you, but it's helped define us as a leading brand in the digital space that is always taking our customers to greater heights. And who knows; maybe you're just one shower away from your next breakthrough.

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Updated: Jun 21

The V5 Africa Webinar series is quickly becoming the premier platform for gaining and sharing business and digital insights in Africa.

Since our launch of the Webinar earlier this year, we've hosted a number of guests covering topics from storytelling with Hermien Elago to augmented reality with Dale Imerman.

Each of our Keynote Speakers are stand-out figures in their respective fields. And by sharing their stories, knowledge and expertise with the rest of Africa, more African entrepreneurs and businesses are reimagining their futures through the power of digital technology.

Why do you need to empower your business with digital technology? Because everyone is online. And every other business is fighting to stay ahead of their competitors by staying technologically relevant in the digital sphere.

In order to stay ahead, your business needs to be adaptable. You need to be able to react to changes and lead your business with speed. The speed of light, that is. But in order to lead at light-speed, you'll need to know the ropes. And there's no one better at getting you there than Musa Kalenga.

Musa is a stand-out figure in the African digital business space. He's an entrepreneur and digital marketing expert that knows a thing or two about leading at light speed. From being a client partner with Facebook for Africa, to creating technological and digital solutions for emerging African markets; he's pretty much done it all.

Musa is a lauded speaker with a deep passion for the African continent, and the potential it holds. And while he has many titles; leader, is the one that fits Musa best. If you're an entrepreneur, or business leader that's looking for ways to inject new life into your business, this is the webinar for you.

In it, you'll gain priceless knowledge on how to use data insights and intelligence to improve your decision making process and ensure that your organization can consistently create business value long term.

Strapped in and ready to engage light speed? Click here to register for the live webinar with Musa Kalenga:

Make sure you watch our previous V5 Africa Webinar episodes.

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Updated: Jun 21

The COP26 summit is currently underway in Glasgow, Scotland.

The COP26 summit is currently underway in Glasgow, Scotland.
The COP26 summit is currently underway in Glasgow, Scotland.

It's mission is to bring parties together in order to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

This year, countries will be submitting their 5-year plans for climate action called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to meet the goals set out in the Paris Climate Agreement.

The hopes for COP26 are: to achieve global Net Zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach; adapt to protect communities and natural habitats; mobilize finance; and work together to deliver.

Since becoming a Salesforce Partner in 2020, we've been working side-by-side with Salesforce towards achieving the Net Zero imperative.

By integrating modern software in business operations, we're able to influence change and make every member of a business part of the solution.

Let's take a little more detailed look at what is Net Zero and what can Africa do to achieve it.

Net Zero is a goal to reduce carbon emissions to Net Zero by 2030. In order to reach this goal, countries need to take aggressive phasing-out measures with things like coal power, gas powered vehicles and deforestation. It also will require more countries, businesses and governments to start investing in renewable energy.

But governments, businesses and corporations can't do it alone. If countries and continents want to hit their Net Zero targets, they'll need help from their citizens. Because it's ordinary people working together that create extraordinary change.

Change is hard, and to detest change is to be human. We all like staying in our comfort bubbles for as long as possible. And you shouldn't feel guilty. (Because it is normal.) But you should realize that, while comfort feels nice, it's not always the right state to be in. It's not a good environment for long-term growth. And it's not how improvements are made.

Thankfully, there is good news. Because, according to the Afrobarometer SDG scorecard for Namibia, we've seen an increase in climate action over the last few years among private citizens. And we're seeing similar trends across the African continent.

When it comes to our climate, our environment and our future, we can't afford not to change. Because the climate will keep changing for the worse if we refuse to change for the better.

And while some aspects of the COP26 goals simply can't be met in Africa (like electric cars for the masses in the foreseeable future). There are still plenty of changes we can start implementing in order to achieve the Net Zero goal.

Here are some examples of simple changes you can make for a big environmental impact (in a good way):

1. Save Water This change gets the number one spot because of the one-two combo it punches. Water is a rare commodity in Africa. By saving water you're contributing to saving the physical resource, and you're reducing energy costs (and waste) on the water system as a whole. Saving water can look like letting your washing machine drain water into buckets, instead of the drain. Or boiling water, instead of running the tap waiting for the water to heat up. Every drop counts.

2. Eliminate Single Use Plastics Plastic is harmful to the environment. Full stop. Reducing the amount of plastic you use on a day-to-day basis makes a massive difference in the long run. Some ways you can minimize plastic consumption are: using reusable bags instead of plastic and opting for brands that use recycled materials for their packaging. It takes a little getting used to at first, and the change won't come easily. But if you can hold yourself accountable, you'll help the environment and you might learn a thing or two about self-development.

3. Switch to Solar Coal power is an environmental killer. In Namibia, for example, most of our power is imported from South Africa. And, unfortunately, that power is created using coal. Importing 'dirty energy' is a major hindrance in the pursuit of Net Zero. Solar power is a modern solution to coal energy that's perfect for sun-drenched African climates. Over recent years' solar power systems have become more affordable and accessible to the average home-owner and not only larger businesses. When more homes move to solar solutions, we'll eliminate the need for coal power, making a massive shift towards the Net Zero goal.

4. Minimize driving While most African countries don't have access to electric cars as yet, we can work to minimize the impact of our gas powered vehicle. Besides saving you money from additional gas costs, driving less means your car emits less CO2 into the atmosphere. Less people driving means less money spent, less emissions in the atmosphere, and less impact on the environment. So have a Zoom meeting or call, rather walk or e-bike to the store that’s 5 minutes away, or synchronize your travels so there's less back-and-forth trips.

Changing your habits and routines isn't ideal, but when it comes to an issue as pressing as the environment, we have to be on our A-Game. Sometimes you'll forget to catch the drain water or you'll be in too much of a hurry to bring your tote bag to the shop. And that's okay. Change takes time and resilience. But as long as enough of us are doing what we can, when we can, it'll be enough to make a continental impact and global change.

Like Vincent Van Gogh said: "Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together."

Now get out there and make a positive change!

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