If your not enthralled by the storyline, there are important lessons that I will be sharing that might resonate with you.
Google have a policy of keeping atleast a 50% engineer workforce... Investors will ask you to get a technical co-founder Sure you have departments but you need to keep abreast of the latest developments to stay relevant. Inspiration from different fields might inspire solutions and work arounds.
Asad Aftab - A case study of sorts!
My Entrepreneurial Journey
A Story & The Lessons
A case study of sorts!
Asad Aftab Iqbal
The plan for this session
• I’ll be talking about myself! Which I absolutely love
to do ;)
• DON’T Worry! There is more to this than just the
• I created a profitable e-business at the age of 18, so
it is probably logical to assume that I might know a
thing or two ;)
• The 3 perspectives, the career-oriented, the
entrepreneurial and the I-am-not-sure-yet
• The lessons should be broadly applicable but we will
have Q&A at the end to cover any topics left.
A bit about me
• Asad Aftab Iqbal
– And my latest startup is www.hbuddy.com (NEW:
Watch the Video)
• I was a student here last year in MSc e-Business
Management (Got 79 in CPeB and 81 in project)
• I am the co-founder of the Warwick Incubator
• I won BYOB 2011 business idea competition.
• I am currently the entrepreneurship consultant for
the IAE MSc
7 Stages to a startup
• My dissertation work: A framework of practical steps for
launching a bootstrapping e-business start-up
• I am currently converting this into a book and creating
an online course around this.
So in a nutshell, I am an entrepreneur,
and here is how it all began!
Lesson 1: Start!
• I think the most important word in the name of this
module is ‘Creating’!
• There is no loss in starting
• There is the tacit knowledge, the residual
momentum, the contacts and network
• The experience of both what went well and what did
• Also very importantly it builds you up in a way that
when a new piece of advice or knowledge comes
your way (Lesson 7), it resonates with you, you have
that Eureka moment, it drives you to action and this
time your odds are much better. So start!
Lesson 2: One way to make an instant
profit is get things done *free and sell
them not free!
• Think Bootstrapping
• Think Open Source – the tech shall set you free!
• The lean Startup approach
• Reach out to your network...
Lesson 3: Think big... people are
inspired by big dreams
• Market size = investor interest & attracts talent
• Prefer a .com over a .region whenever possible
• Leadership, make yourself indispensible or else
• Ask, no harm in asking
• Decision making, the fear of making a mistake
should not keep you from making the decisions that
• Fear of failure... mistakes happen, you learn, you
improve, you carry on!
Lesson 4: Creating a credible image is
• Ask yourself... Will they trust you with their credit
card information! i.e. Does it look legit!
• Aesthetics... they might not have an expectation of
quality from you but they certainly have been
exposed to what quality is... they would be able to
• Credibility comes from completeness, which is a
Lesson 5: Pick your battles or change
• Play to your strengths!
• Disruptive Innovation
• Exploring new models out there e.g. Crowdsourcing,
collaborative consumption etc.
• Again... Technology can be your advantage if you let
it be one.
Lesson 6: Take on complexity that is
how you get the profit!
• You either have a monopoly – Invention, patent
• Or an Advantage – Location, access, expertise
• Lastly and what’s happening a lot these days is that
you bring in innovation, which means that you solve
a pain of a particular customer segment for which
they are willing to pay you.
• If the solution isn’t obvious, you might have
definitely found a potential USP!
Lesson 7: Read a lot
• You are at a disadvantage if you are not Technical!
• The reason... e-businesses are at the end of the day
primarily bits & bytes of code.
• Creativity & Solutions... the subconscious has a
funny way of storing and then connecting the dots
• Leverage the Warwick name and profile
• Start building a profile
• Work on your LinkedIn
• Start a blog
• Start following people on twitter engage them in
• Get the international perspective on your ideas
and test your theories
• Participate in societies and competitions
• In fact, build something, launch it ;) e.g. A mobile
Thank you for your attention
and now to your questions!