Blog Posts

Everything old is… old (for now)

As author Stephen King wrote in The Colorado Kid, “Sooner or later, everything old is new again.” It maintains some truth if we look back at the Spanish Flu pandemic, a time where some defied face mask usage and individual cities tackled the pandemic in various ways.  However, there are some things that just feel old now. If you watched Jerry Seinfeld’s comedy special on Netflix, “23 Hours to Kill” it was very apparent it was filmed in a BC (‘Before ...

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Restarting the Global Economy

Following up from my previous post on the Test of Modern Capitalism. I decided to look into what would an economic restart look like and what new behaviors, costs, and actions would need to be considered to reimagine businesses in a Post COVID19 world. Let’s start by looking at some data collected over the last 3 months. KPMG UAE put out a report that UAE grocery sales were up but non-food retail has dropped by up to 60% (just as ...

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The Test of Modern Capitalism

The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) presents a unique moment in the history of Modern Capitalism.  Can capitalism work if there is a pause?  A 2 week shutdown… 30 day… or even a couple months? What does that mean going forward? There have been calls for freezing on credit card interest, freeze on rent and mortgages – which all are essential cogs in the modern capitalist machine.  So if this freeze is what is needed and we need a collective time out ...

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Living in the Future

Here in Dubai, we are starting to come out of lockdown ahead of many other countries. Dubai, under the Dubai Future Foundation initiative, has considered itself the testbed for the world.  Inviting startups from around the world to prototype new technologies to help craft future regulations. Now with Dubai’s enforced lockdown strategy coming to an end, it can serve as a testbed for the rest of the world and hopefully, set an example for how it worked. Just as a ...

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Starting Positions

In racing, one’s starting position can affect the outcome of the race.  The ‘starting position’ is the position from which movement is initiated, which holds true in various contexts. Everyone assumes we start out in the same place but we don’t. From economic circumstances and career progression, where we start can set us up for where we will be years down the line. It defines the obstacles we will go through and also the grit and resilience that we will ...

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Interpreting Trends [COVID-19 Edition]

It’s important to follow trends and consider the implications, but are we always properly interpreting what the trends mean and the future implications of what we are observing today? Let’s look at the trending Google term ‘online grocery shopping’, both globally and locally (within the UAE). They seem to be very similar in trajectory, but what does it mean? At first glance, it seems that there was a spike following lockdown and stay-at-home orders, but now that trend is starting ...

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Building the Future & the Future of Building

Marc Andreessen recently wrote, IT’S TIME TO BUILD, an excerpt of what he wrote, “Medical equipment and financial conduits involve no rocket science whatsoever. At least therapies and vaccines are hard! Making masks and transferring money are not hard. We could have these things but we chose not to — specifically we chose not to have the mechanisms, the factories, the systems to make these things. We chose not to *build*. You don’t just see this smug complacency, this satisfaction ...

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They don’t care About Us!

I am a big believer in the power of content to provide context and tell a story, but at times, it doesn’t need to be a priority.  The power of necessity can override the narrative. Salmontini, a local restaurant known for, you guessed it… premium Salmon dishes, has expanded their restaurant’s offerings during the COVID19 pandemic and has begun to offer at-home delivery with a Direct-to-Consumer e-commerce. Their e-commerce site is very straight to the point, but looking deeper we ...

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The Role of Signage & Icons

Back when I worked in the signage manufacturing industry, there was a principle I was taught and internalized: Signage plays a pivotal role in an environment’s experience.  This is typically thought of as just the aesthetics of a well-crafted, working sign and the thematic blending with the environment; however, it extends further into the UX (user experience) of a well-placed sign, its visibility and these ease of individuals in the space to find their way.  Wayfinding, when done right, achieves ...

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IDEO in Dubai

IDEO in Dubai

Had the pleasure to host a IDEO’s team in my office.  They were on assignment from the UAE to give them a brief on the UAE startup ecosystem and to discuss various solutions to potential grand challenges. There was great exchange of ideas and brainstorming that led to a great couple hours of learning on all sides.  Was later invited to engage in a Design Thinking Workshop they were conducting as part of their assignment in the UAE, which was ...

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About Me

I write my thoughts here, deliver presentations on ‘developing innovation ecosystems’, develop workshops for local talent, consult & advise startups and entrepreneurs and convert ideas into startups.  Also host a podcast about the MENA startup ecosystem.

This blog is a space to share my random thoughts and personal updates. Alternatively my Instagram shares more personal experiences/updates while my Facebook page shares interesting articles.