6 Tweets About Adulthood, Obama, Startup, Changing World, India

In order to be regular at publishing on my blog, I’m testing this new things.

Every weekend, I’ll publish 6 tweets here. The objective of this activity is to push myself writing thoughtful pieces under 140 characters. Here we goes with the first 6.

 

HOMETOWN is Growing Fast and Becoming Better Each Day

We can wait for few days, for big news to come and then we’ll share them with people we care, and who care back. This is what I have been thinking, and taking a little break from writing and then 3 solid months pass by.

Yesterday, I wrote this letter to the community around HOMETOWN.

Hey friend,

I believe life is treating you well, and you are doing good in health and happiness.

Here at HOMETOWN, we’re going through the most exciting time of our life. I mean it, please give 3-5 min to read this email. I’ve tried to make it worth.

1. WON Pakistan’s First Startup Incubation Program
Yes, next month we are shifting to our new office. Out of 500+ startups, HOMETOWN made it to the top position among 4 winners. We’re very thrilled about this opportunity.
2. Now Accepts PayPal and Major Credit Cards

I can not thank enough to our customers like yours, who took out the time and paid us through Western Union. That’s what makes you our friend. We’re improving how we sell, communicate and all. So it comes as a good news that we’ve setup PayPal & Credit Cards as our payments gateway.

3. HOMETOWN featured as “Innovation Hero”

Provincial Govt of Punjab, and Google Inc, launched Innovation Campaign in Punjab, Pakistan. In there, they featured inspiring businesses and individual as ‘Innovation Hero.’ We’re so  honored to be among the 5 heroes. Here is the complete story.

4. Customers’Stories
This is best. Every morning, we get up for two main reasons. 1) Are we establishing an honest and trustworthy connection with our customers? 2) Are we really growing?

Both of the reasons are equally important to us, let me tell you small stories.

Bill from Singapore, bought a Chappal from us to gift to his father-in-law. Now that is very exciting.

Tahreem from KSA, ordered for beSpoke shoes to wear on his wedding day. Later on, he asked that if we could add a different buckle with shoes. I said, why not! But then, I said, wait a little and we make another pair for you with different buckle and you keep both shoes with you. He asked, can I get brown colour instead of black, as I already have a black now. I said, all done!

You can read Tahreem’s comment on our customers’ testimonial page.

5. Borrow Books from HOMETOWN
I love books, and especially remarkable books. At HOMETOWN, we have initiated this activity, we let our friends in Lahore borrow books from us, read and then return back. More detail here.
6. Better Address
In addition to hometownshoes.com, you can now access us by any of the following URL

All this is made possible because you guys trust us, trust a lot. It encourages us to work more harder and in a smarter yet humble way.

Life is treating us better each day, now our parents ask about in which countries we’re shipping our shoes and who’s the customer. It is very beautiful, to be in all this.
Please tell me if there is any way, I and my team can interact with you in a better way. We are learning, and doing.
I appreciate your time to read this, and feel this. Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

HOMETOWN — Just Launched My Startup!

There comes a time in life, when you prepare yourself for a big day. You have thought about this time for years. And now you finally made it in a series of events.

For some it is getting admission at a remarkable college, or marrying with right person, for some it could be buying the first shoes for their parents.

Here at Hometown I and my team are in the middle of such moment right now.

Launching HOMETOWN! Oh WOW! Our first collection includes, ready to wear men shoes, wallets and belts and a special Pakistani footwear, called Chappal.

So no matter who you are, what you wear (canvas trouser, jeans, kurta or anything in between), and in which part of the world you live. You can surely shop one thing or two, or just come over, see what we have been doing, tell us what we should. More, you can also get custom shoes just made for you.

HOMETOWN came into exist for two main reasons, I and my team wanted to play our best shot so far, and to make use of exceptional skills of our craftsmen.

We short-listed several products, tried to find what can be done, and what will work best. For example, we failed 24 times, to make one of our Chappal. And now when we see it, we feel like, you know how it feels.
They say, journey of one thousand miles start with one step, it can be short, or slow, but it is probablly the most important. We have taken it, you’ve taken it, if you are reading this post and I so believe together, we’ll learn how to live a better life and celebrate all what it has to offer.There is so much more to say, but I’ll let our products and service communicate that with you. Thank you so much for being with all the time, and if you have any thing to say, I force you to write in comments on Hometown Blog or here.

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.

Gen-Y Can Help You Reinvent Your Business.

Yesterday I read an interesting article about The CEO’s Role In Business Model Reinvention on HBR. The article featured Infosys, one of the largest IT companies in India with 122,468 employees and offices in 33 countries around the model. Over two deacded Infosys achieved many wonderful business milestones.

In article author mentioned that, at Infosys thirty percent of participants in any strategy discussion should be younger than age 30, because they are not wedded to the past.

Problem is, despite reading a lot about the advantages of failures. Many times it effects our future acts in very negative way, people often feel discouragements because of their past failure and try to avoid something new.

Gen-Y is a handful solution to this problem. Good thing about them is that young people think a lot about future, they trust the future, because they have longer to live in it.

They are powerful agents who have grown up questioning its parents and are now questioning employers too. Don’t be afraid, they will help you get out of your comfortzone to CREATE something remarkable.

Updated on July 22, 2011: I found a video by Vineet Nayar on “How the Young Generation Can Renew an Obsolete Business Model”

We Love Stories. Do You Have One?

Great people like Nelson Mendela, Gandhi or Martin Luther King. They all shared a common thing, the story. They story of the challenges they faced, of the bold steps they took, of believing in themselves.

Every successful person or business is based on the stories and their fans remember them by investigating and talking more and more about their stories. This is way Apple, Facebook or IKEA has many fans, and those fans are continuously sharing the story of their beginning and all up and downs.

You see not every person or business has a story. This is because only bold steps make a great story a story worth sharing and remembering. Even if someone wants to give a great TED Talk, he shares his story.

Watch this talk by Neil Pasricha, where he shares his story and how he started one of Web’s most respected blogs 1000AwesomeThings.com

Now you got it clearly, right? You can not play your full shot unless you create a story. And as we saw earlier in the video, story means taking bold steps and do something wonderful. Which at first might seem very small.

Have you started working on building your story? You must! Please share your story with us, please. If you feel you haven’t one yet, just share what you’re up to, no matter how little it is, this might be start of another great story. Wish you all the best for your story my dear friend. See you in comments.

Be A Part Of The Team Who Is Up To Reinvent Books Publishing & PR.

Back in December Seth Godin launched a new publishing venture called The Domino Project, Amazon team is also working with Seth in this project.

Seth says he launched this venture to reinvent the way books are created, purchased, read and bringing great authors closer to their perspective readers. People like Seth know that it is easy to create WOW with the help of tribe of right and passionate fans.

So they are looking for a Street Team for Domino project from all over the world, to help them in. See the original call here. Around 50 people will be selected and they’ll work for 6 months or may be more.

You know I’m thrilled about the Domino Project since it started. This is because my business at SMart is also about innovation and connecting right audience to our clients. So I’ve applied to be a part of this wonderful experiment.

Secondly I also feel that some of you have what it takes, so if you are also interested. Please do apply or share it with one who might be interested, at least one of us must make it, so that everyone else can learn too.

Read the official post from Domino Project team here to know more about the program and application procedure. Hurry, Jan 28 at Noon ET is the deadline for submission. All the best to us!