The short version
Money is the second most important societal invention after language, and we've been doing a terrible job of it. Simon is trying to fix that, amongst other things, with his company Phantom Design and the projects it houses. When not doing that, and writing about himself in the third person, he also hosts three podcasts, a weekly radio show and actively invests in blockchain technologies. He is a popular speaker at events, having presented on on innovation, trends, design thinking, African markets and other topics at over 350 conferences to date.
The long version
Simon is a broadcaster, designer, entrepreneur and writer who believes we're doing money wrong and is trying to fix it. He hosts a weekly radio show on 5FM and previously directed product design at Curve (London), BitX (Singapore), and 22seven (Cape Town). He is an advisor to AlphaCode and a small group of clients through Phantom Design.
He'd rather be playing board games or surfing, but has been informed that the world is not going to change itself, and so spends his time attempting to move money out of the dark ages and the clutches of the evil forces that currently mismanage it. Simon actively invests in blockchain technologies as founder of Inv.es, with a particular focus on Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Simon believes that money is the second most important societal invention after language, and we've been doing a terrible job of it.
He is also a serial entrepreneur of varying success stretching from utter failure to surprising longevity with his co-founding of organisations that include Skratch Technology, Split Infinitive Broadcasting, Deathcard Media, Reshare, Massive Gap and Phantom Design.
When podcasting was young, Simon was excited. As a broadcaster and technologist he had finally discovered something that united his passions and provided new ways to embarrass himself. He started one of the world's first podcasts in 2005 with Seedcast that almost no one listened to. Not even his mother.
Not one for letting a lack of enthusiasm stop him, however, Simon went on to host the ZA Tech Show for four years before starting Binary, That Tech Show and Take Back the Day, the latter which he co-hosts with his friend and spirit-animal Sam Beckbessinger.
An enthusiastic speaker at conferences and other events - meaning he'll talk about stuff to anyone who'll listen - Simon is often asked to present on innovation, design thinking, technology and business trends, blockchain, emerging markets and behavioural finance. His talks have taken him to events all over the world, including the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and Good Morning in Stockholm.
For more information about Simon's public speaking, or to book him for your event, visit the speaking page.
Simon's other claims to fame include writing a chapter on Mark Shuttleworth for the book South Africa’s Greatest Entrepreneurs and serving as a communications consultant to technology firms including Google, Oracle, The Shuttleworth Foundation and others during his time at Hypertext Media Communications.
He was also a presenter on Talk Radio 702 from 2008 to 2010 and his first job in radio was while pretending to study at the University of Pretoria so that he could actually just be a DJ, then programme manager, and then station manager at Tuks FM.
No, he didn't complete a degree, in case you're wondering. But he did enjoy the little bit of time spent in Psychology, Information Science, English Literature and Business Management classes, most of which consisted of arguing with lecturers and defacing outdated textbooks.
This may be hard to believe, especially since he has never entered any competitions, but Simon has also received some awards, including the Classic Business Journalist of the Year in 2011 for his columns on technology in Finweek, the Highway Africa New Media Personality of the Year for his hosting of the ZA Tech Show podcast, and a listing in the Mail & Guardians' Top 200 Young South Africans edition of 2010.
Simon is passionate about open source technology and content, having been an active member of the iCommons network from 2005 until its resolution in 2008, and an administrator of the Mandriva Linux Users Board from 1999 to 2003 while he was still figuring out girls and how to wear clothes. He believes that most of the world’s problems can be solved with design and critical thinking. As Simon is fond of saying, "Smart is not something you are, it's something you do."
And yes, he totally wrote this in the third person. He isn't sure how he should feel about that.
Want to get in touch with Simon? Visit the Contact page, yo.