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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Northeastern University Visit

It was great to meet with MBA students visiting from D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University.   I had a chance to share insights into the UAE startup ecosystem and engage in some interesting discussions with the students & faculty.   I’m certainly looking forward to hearing more about some of their ventures in the near future.   The main takeaway I felt from the session was their eye opening exposure to the modus operandi of how the initiatives being undertaken ...

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Mentoring Note

Advisory Mentor

After the recent Step Conference, where I was busy recording Streams of Progress episodes and mentoring entrepreneurs & startups, I received the following email from one of the entrepreneurs I met with. It’s very gratifying to receive a thank you note from someone I’ve mentored, even if it was just a quick 15 minutes of my time. If my ideas or insights gave them something new to consider, I feel it was well worth it.  Plus I feel those who ...

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Gatekeepers of Trust

Trust is accelerated in the virtual world. We hail a ride from a stranger. We swipe to go out with a stranger. We buy into non-existing products on the promise of what they could become. Our trust in the platform imbues the trust into the users. These platforms are now the gatekeepers of our trust. We believe in the power of technology. The rate in which we trust one another is rapidly accelerated. Trust begins with people, but is empowered ...

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January – A New Start

January often represents a new start for people. But then plans get pushed back, and we don’t start. The best part about starting is you can just start. Doesn’t need to be big. Doesn’t need to be perfect. Just start.

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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.