Here come the winners of the Reboot! Competition!

September 14, 2009 at 3:25 pm 24 comments

It was difficult, if not impossible, to pick 10 winners. All the entries were so good – each had a different slant, a different dream, a yearning to make a difference. Each revealed a bit about the person behind the entry, the entrepreneur or the one aspiring to be one. I just couldn’t pin it down to ten so I pleaded with Jawwad Ahmed Farid to sell me 4 more copies so that I could increase the number of winning entries to 14. 🙂 And I asked him to personally autograph each copy – which he did! Thank you Jawwad.

Jaf autographing each copy

So here are the winners:

Asim Fayaz, Co-founder,, Lahore
Adeel Shaffi, Software Engineering student GIK & Freelancer oDesk
Zayd Enam, MediConnect, Karachi
Munir Usman, CEO, PiLabs, Karachi
Syed Talha Izhar, CEO, Innovations, Karachi
Salman Latif, Software Engineering student
Irfan Ahmed, CTO, Mezino Technologies, Lahore
Owaeis, FAST Islamabad & entrepreneur-in-the-making
Obaid Ahmed, CEO Deensoft &
Salman Mehmood, Freelancer, Karachi
Sooban Moin, Aspiring entrepreneur stuck in a bank job
Sharjeel Ahmed Qureshi, CEO, SeenReport
Yaser Awan, COO, SeenReport
Kashif Nawaz, CTO, Plabest Solutions

Some of the entries were truly inspiring. Although some of the information in the entries was confidential, I thought I would share snippets that weren’t. Here are some of the reasons that winners gave for why they became entrepreneurs or why they want to become entrepreneurs:

“I was doing a lot of things I never believed in and working on solutions that didn’t excite me…”

“The main purpose was to ‘make meaning’ ….”

“There is no alternative to the freedom in doing something of your own rather than working for someone else. Unleashing the true potential, bringing out the creativity in you and breaking the monotonous cycle of a job in outsourcing based industry …. ”

“My reason for having an interest in reading “Reboot” is the same as that of reading Founders at Work, Hackers & Painters, Blue Screen of Death, The Soul of a new Machine and many other books related to entrepreneurship or hands on experiences of startups: Primarily these books help you to keep motivated by telling you that you are not alone in bearing the hardships and the challenges. ”

“One of my life goals has always been to radically change Pakistan. I fell in love with the possibilities of bringing real change to the healthcare sector in Pakistan and I am extremely lucky that this start up of mine fits in with my life goals… and will eventually be part of the change i want to see”

“You are sitting in an entrepreneurship course, going through a case study, a session defining the word entrepreneur in its truest sense. Where people make such ventures which completely change the world. Follow that with a solo project that gets as high marks as a group of the top four students from the class. Follow that with an idea floated on a platform for a business plan competition which is preceded by foundations for the entrepreneurship society on the City campus resulting in a event conceptualized in ten days, and come out of bureaucratic red tape in a month, working like clockwork showcasing ten ventures in front of experienced entrepreneurs … Add in daily dose of Techcrunch showing immense number of startups getting funding in recession…also add the knowledge of knowing that one of the top venture capitalist firms is being headed by a Pakistani…”

“I became an entrepreneur after seeing my dream job at IBM become my worst nightmare. I lost interest in working on the same piece of software day and night with so much red-tape … My aim is to create value in Pakistan”

“Being convinced that I should start doing something at age of 16, I started by preparing a list of projects from the vast spectrum of life with the help of my grandfather. After a week a list was prepared and I began exploring and narrowing down the list…Top of my list was growing Tomatoes in P.E bags. Although I had lived all my life in Karachi and had no family background of agriculture, Melons was the second crop that I grew or at least tried to grow in my backyard. All this was after dropping out of Operation Badr. Then I joined hands with my brother, collected our pocket money and started a web hosting company by buying a reseller account. It was at this stage that I learned that the most difficult part in not the programming its the sales”

“When I decided to become an entrepreneur, I didn’t even know I was becoming one. We were a bunch of friends in the second year of undergrad who got together to “do something”. There were various reasons why I chose to be a party to such a crime. One, I’ve always been at the leading end of the pack — somehow always managed to step ahead and take charge of study projects, sports teams, etc. Two, I’m driven by passion. The upside of this is that I’m really dedicated when it comes to something I really want to get/earn/make. The downside is that if I’m not passionate about it, chances are I might never care. Couple that with boring courses, torturous lectures and annoying assignments and you have an explanation for my average undergrad GPA!”

“I didn’t want to waste myself in some big organization doing boring stuff. I had some innovative ideas and I wanted to evaluate them.”

“I believe all that it takes to be a good entrepreneur is to have some really creative, out-of-the-box ideas and a fair judgement. And I believe I possess them both. What’s more, to work for someone is the worst thing for me – not that I can actually abide by the rules and regulations, but that’s like a severe inhibition to your own creative skills.”

“To answer the first part of your question in one word: Freedom! Yes it’s all about freedom. Freedom to decide my destiny. Freedom to create a system, a corporation, which does not only produce wealth but also create significant values in our lives.”

And finally one that is especially relevant to the title of the book:

“I faced the blue screen of death… and… and I rebooted! So far my system is trying to log into the windows again but has not succeeded yet.
Yea, I am a kid … but the leader inside me knew that my system will crash again and again before booting into a stable operating system, so I started a little earlier. I powered on my system when I joined the university, after continuous attempts at booting..I finally succeeded.. I logged into windows…!!! But I knew.. it was nothing to get mad at. My windows was not stable, it could face the blue screen of death any time and that’s what happened.

When I was about to graduate, the joy of graduating brought the grief of blue screen. Obviously, I tried the three finger salute, but it couldn’t do anything. Eventually, I shut down instead of rebooting. Why? because I had to plan and think before starting again. After planning and thinking for a year, I have now powered on my system once again. It has not yet succeded to reach the login window. It is still booting. I am trying hard and putting my effort to complete this boot in a way that it does not crash again.. but obviously, it can happen… I’m trying to log in before I get out of the school but if I don’t, I’ll reboot once again. One thing is sure. I’ll keep on rebooting…”

I have brought the copies for the Lahore winners with me to Lahore today. If you are coming to the P@SHA Iftaari, you can collect them. Otherwise, pick them up from the distributor Imran Zia :). He can be contacted at imran(at)vahzay(dot)com. 🙂

Congratulations guys. My only disappointment is that no young women sent in their entries. 😦 We will be arranging for the winners to meet the author soon. 🙂

Entry filed under: Posts.

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24 Comments Add your own

  • 1. DesiBackToDesh  |  September 14, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Thank you Jehan for sharing this. I think the inspiration cycle works both ways and flows in both directions.

    Thank you guys for sharing this.

    On the male domination of these results, where is Fariha when you need her.

  • […] More here: Here come the winners of the Reboot! Competition! […]

  • 3. owaeis  |  September 14, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    hehe *grin* 😀

    Why have you added my weired email to the winners list? When I read the paragraphs included above from my email, I had a difficulty to understand them myself 😛

    Thanx a lot BTW. All above emails are very much inspiring!!

  • 4. sooban  |  September 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    *jumps up and down* oiii . I won I won I won. Lol. Honoured to be in the list of such esteemed entrepreneurs.
    I owe it all to my mentors =D

  • 5. owaeis  |  September 14, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    BTW, I’ll like to get in touch with these great ppl.

    Add me:
    twitter: @owaeis.
    facebook: owaeis.

  • 6. Yaser  |  September 14, 2009 at 4:40 pm


    yaaay …..

  • 7. Yaser  |  September 14, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Some of the entries above are truly inspirational.
    Thanks to Jehan for coming up with this activity and Thanks to Jawad for writing this book and sharing his experiences.

    Hopefully reading this book and these entries will really inspire more people to join the innovation and make all those entrepreneurs give it their best shot.

  • 8. Adil Saleem  |  September 14, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Congratulations to all the winners. Some really encouraging and motivational words there. I am sure the passion with which these entrepreneurs are working will encourage many more to venture and turn the impossible into possible.

    PS: two copies for SeenReport YaaY

  • 9. Asim Fayaz  |  September 14, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Woohoo! 🙂

  • 10. Munir  |  September 14, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Wooho! 😀

    Thanks a lot @jehan_ara and JAF! 🙂

  • 11. Syed Talha Izhar  |  September 14, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Yay!! I won… 🙂

  • 12. Salman  |  September 14, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    cool, thanks! 🙂

  • 13. Here come the winners of the Reboot! Competition!  |  September 15, 2009 at 2:11 am

    […] of winning entries to 14. And I asked him to personally autograph each copy – which he did! click for more var _wh = ((document.location.protocol=='https:') ? "" : […]

  • […] See more here:  Here come the winners of the Reboot! Competition! […]

  • 15. Irfan  |  September 15, 2009 at 5:10 am

    Thanks Jehan Ara and JAF 🙂

  • 16. luck is with me these days.. « Salman Namah  |  September 16, 2009 at 9:29 am

    […] well, earlier this week I won Reboot! yay: more info on @jehan_ara 's blog: […]

  • 17. Mehreen J. Fahad  |  September 16, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Hi Jehan,

    Wrt your disappointment: Ahhh, wish I had the time to have submitted my entry ! 😦

  • 18. luck is with me these days.. | Tea Break  |  September 17, 2009 at 12:52 am

    […] well, earlier this week I won Reboot! yay: more info on @jehan_ara ’s blog: […]

  • 19. Rehan Ahmed  |  September 17, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    It is cool!

  • 20. Hamad  |  September 19, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Came to know just know that something like that was even happening

  • 21. Hamad  |  September 19, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Loved the reboot entry

  • 22. Zayd  |  September 26, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Looking forward to meeting you guys 🙂

  • 23. salman  |  January 16, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    how to take part in this competition?

  • 24. junaid  |  May 26, 2010 at 3:07 am

    Cool, i like it.


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