Desi Back to Desh

Between airports, airplanes and transit lounges

Foreword to the second edition

What a difference three years and an economic cycle make!

When the Blue Screen first came out in March 2006, we certainly didn’t expect the reactions or the reviews. Three years later it is being used as a text book as well as background material for case studies at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), FAST NUCES and SP Jain Institute of Management and Research in Dubai. On the informal circuit it was featured by PASHA, PSEB and the Startup Insider series in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. For any author random notes of appreciation from individuals one has never met, from parts of world one has never been to, are the most gratifying reward. I was no different.

When we wrapped up the revised edition in July 2006, a second edition was not on my mind. But half an economic cycle later a number of things have changed. Alchemy, the business, featured in Reboot, has new stories to tell. The funding we sought for Avicena was finally raised for Alchemy. Summer of 2006 we ran into Ken Morse and the MIT Enterprise forum in Karachi and a year later finished as runner’s up in the MIT CEF Business Acceleration Plan competition. Rather than heading west, we headed east for growth and found partners and friends in Bangkok and Singapore. Six years out of starting blocks we broke the 50 headcount and the half a million dollars in revenues barrier.

A rewrite of the reboot chapter was necessary and has been done. The next big question was playing with the name. Three years ago, the blue screen of death was a very recognizable symbol. In 2009, I have been free of the blue screen for more than two years. Given, the rewrite of the reboot chapter, we thought it would be nice to make that the theme for the second edition.

The year that was 2008 has filled up the ranks of individuals who have no other option but to give entrepreneurship a shot. But their single biggest fear before they step on destiny’s road is failure. The second edition goes out to them in the hope that the lessons learned by a thirty year old with stars in his eyes would help other dreamers take their first steps.


Jawwad Ahmed Farid

Alchemy Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd.

6 April 2009