Saturday, September 26, 2009

Reboot! In search for the land of oppurtunity

‘Failure is a far more discerning and forgiving teacher than success. Ounce for ounce, you come out leaner, meaner, and wiser. As long as you run with honor, cross the finish line and show up for more punishment the day after, you will be at peace with yourself and the world.’

‘Reboot – in search for the land of opportunity’ is not the sort of book you usually find on stores. Take a quick walk down the shelve-lanes of bookstores and you’d find hundreds of self-help books with success stories of lifetimes. While they’re a great inspiration for those still aspiring to venture into the harsh realities of life, they bid quite poor for those having already tasted failure and overall are bit too optimistic to be realistic. In other words, for their authors, failures are the no-go zone of life, the hushed-up sentence, the forbidden word. And in staying from this forbidden fruit, they don’t as much as talk over it, or if it’s done, it’s just a chapter or two – for both in contemporary literature and culture, failure isn’t papyrus-selling. It’s rather sympathy-invoking, pity-arousing and well….definitely not a dear notion.

Not so, though, for Jawwad Farid, the author of Reboot! Hailing from Karachi and having staked most of what he had just after his MBA into a wild venture, Jawwad dared to take the step away from the safe bet of a 6-digit salary and plunge head-on into the risky waters of entrepreneurial opportunity. Unlike his fellow graduates from the Columbia University, he decided to take a roller-coaster ride unto the lands of uncertainty. Though a little hesitant of the whole thing at the start, he was persuaded by his friend into this embarking, whither-in he invested his and his friends’ money, time, emotions and a toiling labor of months of a dedicated team. A 24/7/356 routine into a world he himself was to build.

Unlike the usual narrations, a greater part of the book is in email-format, adding a certain originality to the read. The emails are the ones exchanged between Jawwad and the fellas involved in the whole thing, indicating the progress of the Avicena Inc. over time. What was a final-year business plan at the university turned out to be a task far greater than had been conceived at the start. Also significant is that the book is mostly filled with the efforts that were put into building Avicena Inc, and for a little part of the outcome it brought. Clearly, it’s the effort that matters.

While the two key business tips of risking and waiting are the ever-golden rules, they are far more understood by looking failure in the eye as opposed to with a success medaled on one’s chest. And so, this book is more so about the author’s failures. Sinking some $820,000 is nothing mundane. However, it’s no big job either. Getting out of the self-pity that immediately succeeds and standing yet tall after the fall is what’s big. And that’s what Reboot! is about.

After constructing the whole facet of Avicena, right from its inception to progress to conclusion, the writer creates a world which we all could vividly realize and identify with – life with family, favors from friends, references through contacts, owned and loaned capital, tiny failures, daily boost-ups, toiling team-members and hopes of making it big-time eventually. And then, in one split-second, the author brings the entire facet crumbling down to pieces, quite the way failure hits. Suddenly and without a warning. Next comes an analysis of all the factors that contributed to this failure, whatever it took away and whatever it left to be valued all the more – charging it to the experience account, as the author would say.

As it goes, we learn a lot more from others’ failure than from their successes. And that makes this book a precious treatise. Something all aspiring entrepreneurs could learn from. The book switches frequently from the author’s business life to personal to back to business, thus also revealing the emotional ups and downs that are necessitated with such a feat.

Finally, the author’s recovery from failure and his decision to take up another venture, undeterred from his restless ambitions, is quite an inspiration. And the second attempt, a post-failure dare very few would like to stake things at, is the author’s testimony to the fact that we learn much more from our failures than from our successes.

All in all, a fine book to read, quite inspirational and above all, so well-told that nearly everyone can relate to it. Although slightly laden with the business jargon, the book is perfectly simple and is quite a treat for anyone having entrepreneurial ambitions.

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