Twitter Is Blocked In Pakistan

That’s right. Twitter bird is in the cage of Pakistani government. One never knows, what they are up to and till when.

Our IT Ministry thinks that if someone in the world create and share blasphemous content through social media sites. Then it is in the best interest of the state and people to block the site for millions of users in the country.

Last year they were trying banning Facebook for the same reasons. Shall we stop them?

PS. I just wrote to some leading tech blogs to support and thankfully TechCrunch covered it.

Related Posts:

– How Facebook Helped Flood Victims in Pakistan
– Why Not to Ban Facebook in Pakistan or Anywhere Else
Pakistan blocks sites which contains word ‘Shoes’ in the URL

A Hacker’s Birthday

“But one thing is certain, and it’s that I’m a jerk for making this site. Oh well. Someone had to do it eventually…”

“We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.”

“We have a saying: ‘Move fast and break things.’ The idea is that if you never break anything, you are probably not moving fast enough.”

“Let the hacking begin.”

“The hacker way is an approach to building that involves continuous improvement and iteration. Hackers believe that something can always be better, and that nothing is ever complete.”

“In a world that is changing so quickly, you’re guaranteed to fail if you don’t take any risks.”

“You have part of my attention, the minimum amount needed. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook where my employees and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients are intellectually or creatively capable of doing.”

Someone at Facebook: “He pointed out Apple’s headquarters, then Hewlett-Packard and a number of other big tech companies,” the individual explained. “Then he pointed to Facebook and said that it would eventually be bigger than all of the companies he had just mentioned, and that if I joined the company, I could be a part of it all.”

And… Steve Jobs: “but I don’t see anybody other than Facebook out there. Just Facebook, They are dominating this. I admire Mark Zuckerberg . . . for not selling out, for wanting to make a company. I admire that a lot.”

Boy it is your day. Wishes from Pakistan. 🙂

You Are Either Problem Solver, Or Not Entrepreneur At All

First time entrepreneurs or young one like me, or most of us often ask this question to themselves, and people we meet around.

In the picture above is ‘Sharo‘ who for the first time is going to start her company.

And when she puts her questions before people who claim to have good experience in business. They answer it like this.

Or worse, here she is again:

Everyone is answering entirely from his/her own experience.

In this picture, she wants to learn what possible challenges, opportunities, and environment she will encounter on the road of entrepreneurship. Or in other words what advice you have for someone who’s thinking to cross the wall.

For answers, she goes to Tom, Ravi and David, all three of them have some experience in their fields.

Their answers are: TREES, MOUNTAINS and WATER.

Which means, Tom thinks she should learn how to survive in forests.

While Ravi believes, she must learn mountain climbing and how to survive in extreme hot and cold temprature.

And David recommends to focus on swimming and boating, which can help her to cross streams and rivers on her way.

What you think? What should she learn? Three of these skills, or every possible thing she can learn?

Here is what I think.

As a human or more specifically as an entrepreneur, we never know what challenges we shall have behind the wall of our comfortzone. And successful people have this one habit, they go behind the wall with a problem solving mindset and face everything on the way.

They do not assume specific environment, conditions, or challenges. Though each of them is jack of some trades, and master of one or two.

But this is their mindset which matters the most.

Today, I briefly talked with my team that, do not assume that all the challenges and opportunties will be the same as we percieve them now. Things are changing all the time, so does the challenges and opportunities which it brings.

Just make sure, you’ve allingned yourself well with the changes and you have this confidence that you shall solve every problem which would come between you and your destination.

Got it! Have problem solving mind? Oh WOW!

Speed, Relevancy, and Money — 3 Things Every New Startup Should Keep

It takes courage to try anything new, including and especially a ‘startup.’ And more risks and fears are added, when you’re from a small town of Pakistan. I am doing this, and I am learning important things along the way. This post talk about today’s learning.

Truth is: When you work at a (new) startup, you work on many things, and it feels like you’re doing everything possible (to make it). Because you and your team is all passionate about the company.

But the bigger truth is, that you’re probably doing many things some/many of them are actually not helping your startup at all. It can be anything, from creating unrelated content, to connecting with worthless people. Reading Mashable to going to a bad VC, and anything in between.

So how should everyone in startup do the work, which is good and worth executing.

I have realised, here are three factors which should be added to each action in a new startup. You can use them as a filter, or as a measuring tool.

  1. Speed
  2. Relevancy
  3. Money
(in no particular order)

1. SPEED

In early days of any startup, SPEED is your friend.

It is extremely important to make sure that what you and your team is doing is right. And you learn this by doing, learning and changing fast. This is mainly because world is changing fast, and startup should always be faster than the already existing solutions.

SPEED in actions help you

  • reach to the result faster.
  • quit the wrong actions early.
  • stay ahead of your competitors
  • waste less time.
  • waste less resources.
  • learn and achieve many things, which you’ll know.

2. RELEVANCY

Once I asked to Robert Scoble, “How likely my a Pakistani startup can be funded from Valley?”

He replied, “World is very noisy, it is difficult to attract.”

We entrepreneurs are distract to many irrelevant news, apps, gadgets, meetups and Facebook friends.

Stay relevant, do relevant, meet with relevant

But there is so much relevant to a new startup, every problem looks to us like an opportunity. We want to convert every person into our customer. We want to go to every event when it is relevant.

Calm down, take a deep breath and glass of water.

Do what is most relevant out of possible doing.

If you’re not sure what is more relevant, then ask to someone who knows (may be CEO, co-founder, mentor, or to an entrepreneur who tried the same thing).

And even if he can not help. Then read the SPEED part again, you’ll know it yourself.

3. MONEY

Money is needed to build and run your startup.

Money is what you want to make. And if money is not your priority, but getting bigger success. Even then you need 1$ Billion to buy Instagram.

As I wrote earlier.

..every action generates a re-action, so get something valuable (money) from your first action (work), which you can you use in re-action (life) practically sometime.

Everything we do (at startup) costs money, so make sure you’re saving and making money.

Conclusion:

Considering a new hire? OR marketing campaign? OR opening a new office? Or quieting your startup?

Your action should be controlled by:

  1. Shall it take me to my goal faster then rest? (SPEED)
  2. Is it the most relevant task I should be doing right now? (RELEVANCY)
  3. Shall it bring me money in any term? ($)

You’re ready to go.

Hometown Note

At Hometown office, we have a small white board where any team member says something.

This is what’s written for today:

  1. Work together as a team.
  2. Stay focused on your one thing.
  3. Our goal is to create customers ‘believers.’
  4. Make mental note(s) everyday.

Image

A plain wrong advice: Do What You Love

Do what you love. <= This is probably one of the most common advice entreprenuers give to one another. Like many others, I loved it too, and try to followed many times.

But now my point is changed over the time and after going through many experiences. I was wrong and so was this advice.

To get over to one’s favourite place/situation, we have to do many things which we would not prefer to do other way.

For example, if I have to travel from Basirpur to Lahore to do my favourite thing. But I can’t find a direct bus which normally takes 4 hours to reach there. So I would first go to any other place, from where I can find the bus for Lahore and it can take up to 10 hours. I shall hate to be in bus for 10 hours for a 4 hour travel. But I know it is worth doing, so I shall bear no matter what.

Entrepreneurs are easy to target for anything, mostly because they are always listening and noticing. And ‘Do What You Love’ comes as a fool’s paradise for beginners like me.

I have come to a result that, one should not be as much focused on doing what one always love or preffer. Instead, the destination should control your action.

If you want to build YOUR FAVORITE THING, you shall might have to do one or two or many THINGS YOU HATE.

And if you are someone who wants to make remarkable difference, you’ll surely have to face/do many things which you’ll hate doing otherwise. Makes sense?

PS. Earlier at the start of this year, I promised to myself that I shall not be fooled again by Gurus, so this post is part of the plan.

Related Post:

– What popular startup advice is plain wrong? (Quora.com)

Set for Shipping

Just now when I was coming out of my washroom, I saw an ant moving on the sink. At first it did not look like an ant at all. I thought it is anyother comparatively bigger insect. But when I got closer, it was an ant holding a piece of food bigger then itself. I think we become what we carry.

We can carry anything, a camera, a hope, some anger, business idea, a flower, thoughts of revenge, a regret or anything out there. Some time you can even carry an idea which could connect 850 million people. In short, everyone of us is set to ship something.

I often whisper: “A lot gets changed, and it’ll be changed more by time.”

Lately I have been in lot of changes, mostly positives.

Now on this blog I want to talk about what I am doing, rather than what I or you should be trying becoming.

As some of you know, I am trying building a startup. A real business where I have to convince people to buy my product (mostly shoes). In fact I am learning how to make physical products from scratch. And how to ship when it is hard.

Now I am realising this more than ever that why someone like ‘Sheeda Dabay Wala’ (Sheeda box maker) is smarter than guys with an MBA from a leading business school.

Entrepreneurship is fun, but at the same time, probably the most sensitive fun one could ever have. For example, yesterday someone stole my motor bike from the parking. This bike was gifted by my brother to help me in my business. And now it is with me no more, but then no matter what, let’s keep shipping.

Let’s keep shipping for what we set overselves.

In coming days and months, I shall write how I am building the business and what is important which I am learning, relearning or unlearning.

My focus will be more on the business and workable side of the world rather than just preaching how to be a better human. Better human is important, but one can help more people if you have the idea of getting something physical out of that.

In short I am all set now. The site name is changed from ‘Waqas A Day’ in to Waqas Ali.

And yes, now we have a tagline/message:  “Set for Shipping.”

RELATED POSTS:

– How Do We Like
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I Shall Call You Smart If You

What Makes Anyone A Hero (story)

This Monday afternoon, I was walking back from a bank where I had some work. On my way back, there were few cars parked on the service road (frontage road) when I heard the sound of breaking glass.

It was a guy, who broke the door glass of a parked car to get the laptop + bag out. While his friend was on motorcycle ready to leave any second. When the guy near car saw me turning back, he signaled me to go back. But I kept advancing carefully.

The guy felt nervous, left the laptop bag in the car, and escaped on the bike with his friend.

Now I had no idea, where is the car owner. As there were couple of big buildings around and he could be in any of them. I thought to wait and guard his valuable bag and other stuff in the car. Actually I was afraid those guys can come back to take the bag. I waited for 30 min till the owner came.

When I was waiting, the idea of stealing came into my mind too. One of the major reasons was, I badly want and need a laptop.

I have no laptop of my own, this one which I am using now is of my friend Sidra and she is so nice to give it to me. But yes she needs it back too.

It was not just the thought of stealing came into my mind. Then I said to myself, “This laptop is very valuable to the owner as well, and he needs it to work on it too. So honestly return this property back to whoever is the owner.”

It is so nice now to think about what I decided, I felt like a hero after this. In fact some of my friends said this too. But believe me, it is ain’t so easy. And at the same time, it ain’t so difficult.

Later that evening, I got many good words from my friend and a very encouraging phone call from mom. That is the best reward.

Here is the response to my Facebook status update:

Click on the screenshot to friend me on Facebook.

Let’s close it, so what makes us a hero.

1. I and you are always surrounded with the thoughts of being selfish and taking share of someone’ else. What matter is the patience, believing that earned is always better than the given.

2. If someone asks me, who is the most special person in the world. I would say that is me. Everyday I go against myself, to go with myself.

I am a hero!

Did you know you are a hero too?

 

More Related Posts:

Coming Back!

Lately offline work has been hard on me.

Sometimes I am taking 2o minutes to write a short email, in hope it’ll save receiver’s time and they would reply right away. But they do not.

Writing a post is difficult. Not writing is even worse, especially when it is very important to you and to your loved ones.

In short, I am getting back to blogging from Monday. This is all what I can say for now.