Desi Back to Desh

Between airports, airplanes and transit lounges

Startup

Business Plan Cheat Sheet – Two business plans up for a half baked sale

We learn by doing, seeing and at time imitating. For that is what it took for me to write my first business plan. The course that made it happen was Glen Hubbard’s Entrepreneurial Finance at Columbia Business School. For the past three terms I had been working on the outline of an idea and using […]

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500,000 page-views, 4.5 years, three incarnations

I had been so busy with work, travel, travel, work and breaking the 3 dollar Adsense barrier that I completely missed a milestone I had been eagerly awaiting for the past few months. Somewhere in May, (don’t know when), the Desi Back to Desh blog crossed 500,000 page views. I was just checking my regular […]

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Startup Trek: Pitching lessons

If possible always have multiple sales pitches for a meeting. A pitch could be for a product, a service, a referral or even information about the industry that isn’t widely available. For the US trip it was Alchemy Risk Manager, Outsourced research, two investment banking deal and selling Pakistan as an investment destination (product ideas […]

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Startup Guide: Darden Reboot Chat – transcript of the EVC, DSAS event

Thank you very much for showing up for my chat. My name is Jawwad Ahmed Farid and I am a failure. Before I became a member of Failure anonymous, I always wanted to be a winner. I wanted my own world record; see myself where you see Mr. Usain Bolt; ideally with a medal or […]

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Startup Mentor: Darden Reboot DSAS, EVC event

It takes a lot to fill up an empty room. Specially with smart people, who are paying good money to get a great education at a top ranked business school and have already had a roster of highly ranked speakers appear before them. But the Darden EVC and DSAS societies managed to do just that […]

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Startup Guide: CEO Club session at Columbia Business School

Thanks to Hasan, Carolyn, Ben and the CEO and SABA members for first arranging the session at Columbia Business at such short notice and then showing up in strenght at 8 am on a Monday morning. I was pleasantly surprised by the size and the enthusiasim of the audience. And as Hasan and Carolyn put […]

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Mentoring assignment number three: Show up in strength at the startup insider session at T2F

If you are keen on meeting even more kick ass mentors, hear another round of uninspiring drivel from Jawwad Farid and Nauman Sheikh and corrupt even more young minds, bring at-least three friends to the SI session at T2F. Bonus points if all six of you manage to show up with 3 sidekicks each on […]

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Startup Insiders: Back in Karachi: Business models that don’t work

Jehan is up-to no good again. As part of her desire to increase the number of non-conformist, flower bearing, independent, ultra cool apple product users, she wants as many young ones to work for themselves as possible (assuming that there is a connection, she thinks so). But rather than putting up unassailable success stories, this […]

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Mentoring fellow dreamers – a start up game plan for final year students

It is always flattering when people come to you for mentoring advice knowing that you are a total and complete failure. CIO Pakistan did that this Saturday afternoon when they brought 7 impressionable young men with them. Just to make it interesting and worthwhile I had Nauman Shaikh from Credit Chex also over for a […]

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Startup Guide: Lessons from a failed startup

Looking through the wreckage of an old folder, found this post for the really early days of Reboot – the original list of lessons from a failed startup that became the book. Here is the list, with one new addition, five years later. 1) Technology is not a competitive advantage. Focus on the business problem […]

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