Why Needmash Failed to start (For now..)

Needmash logo

Me and a group of my friends were working on a project called Needmash (Previously known as ShopekLobek) and it’s idea was simple, post anything you need and help other people with what they need. We made a prototype of it (I hope it stays up and running) during our last year of college as our graduation project and we got straight A’s.

So everything was going fine right after graduation, we knew what to do and there was not much left to do for launching the service. But what we weren’t fully aware of, is that not all of us has the same purpose and motivation for this project. I myself just wanted to make something that help people more and make their life easier, whether it’s high tech or low tech, I didn’t really care, I just wanted to help. Some other members were taking this project as an experiment to learn from it, some others changed their personal goals after graduation and it didn’t go along with starting a business and some others were just following their passion and when they lost it, they lost interest in the project. And believe me, you will lose your passion in your startup many many times, here’s how to keep it.

So it’s not always the lack of skills or resources that fails a project. You can have the right people at the right time and things eventually go wrong because they didn’t have the same goal or motive. And by goal I don’t mean that they didn’t want the project to succeed, of course they did! But “why they wanted it to succeed” was different inside each of us.

So what I’ve learned from this experience and my advice to you is when you choose someone to start a business with, or hire someone in the early stage of your project, you must make sure that his personal goals and motives are the same as yours, whatever how skillful they are, you won’t get the best out of them unless you have a unified vision and personal goals. Think of it as multiple strings pulling a rock, if they don’t all have the same direction, things will fall apart.

By the way if you are a huge corporation, you may not need to worry about your employees personal goals, they work for your money anyway.

ياريتها جت عالطماطم

Imageكنت لسة بتفرج على فيلم World War Z بطولة Brad Pitt وكان بيتكلم عن ال zombies وكده.. و ضمن احداث الفيلم إن إسرائيل هي أول دولة تاخد إحتياطاتها من الفيروس ده و تبني سور ضخم يحميها من هجمات ال zombies (محامهاش قوي عموما)

المهم .. لما Brad كان راح هناك عشان يقابل شخص عنده معلومات عن أصل الفيروس و جه منين و بتاع، و لما قابل الشخص ده سأله ليه إسرائيل كانت أول دولة تستعد للخطر ده، فـالراجل رد عليه بإن بعد احداث كتيرة حصلت لإسرائيل و مقدروش يتوقعوها (و اللي منها كانت حرب 1973) المخابرات قررت طريقة جديدة في بحث صحة أي معلومة تيجي لهم، و الطريقة دي اسمها “The 10th man rule” أو قاعدة الرجل العاشر. القاعدة ببساطة بتقول إن المجلس (المكون من 10 أشخاص) لما يبحث صحة معلومة ما و يبقى 9 من ال 10 أفراد متفقين على رأي، يبقى مهمة الشخص العاشر إنه يبحث في احتمالية حدوث الرأي الاخر حتى لو هو مش مقتنع بإمكانية حدوثه، و بكده يبقوا مستعدين لإحتمالية حدوث أي شيء.

القاعدة  دي أبهرتني بصراحة لدرجة إني بحثت عنها عالنت بعد ما خلصت الفيلم و لقيت واحد على Quora بيسأل إذا كانت اسرائيل بتستخدم القاعدة دي بجد ولا لأ. المفزع إن طلع الجيش الإسرائيلي بيطبق القاعدة  دي في الواقع فعلا في اتخاذ قرارته و كانت ضمن تغيرات كتير في استراتيجية اتخاذ القرار في الجيش الإسرائيلي بعد 1973. و مصدر المعلومة دي هو كتاب “Lessons from Israel’s intelligence reforms” و اللي ألفه “Yousef Kuperwasser” رئيس قسم البحث العلمي في وزارة الدفاع الاسرائيلية من 2001 إلى 2006.

آه صحيح.. اللي مستغرب من عنوان المقال، فيه إشاعة طالعة إن إسرائيل جايبة لينا طماطم مسرطنة.

ياريتها جت عالطماطم …

Why I will never do a task again without a timer

timer-iconIn my school period, I used to wake up at 6:30 AM and I needed to get out at 7, so there was only 30 mins to go to the bathroom, pray, get dressed, have a breakfast and prepare my bag. The time was really tight but I figured out a way to solve it, to have a clock in front of me while doing all these tasks to feel the tick of every second and not waste it.

Then after I went to college I didn’t need that technique because the time was kinda flexible and sometimes I didn’t go at all (yeah I was a huge slacker during college). But then after graduation and when I started working on multiple projects, I faced a huge time management crisis, an epic fail that led to chaos in my tasks.

So I analysed my performance and attitude during this chaos period and I found out some sort of things

  1. The tasks take much time than what I predicted, which means that I’m not realistic with my predictions
  2. I underestimate checking mail and social media or any fun or break time and I lose myself there for more than I should
  3. I do a better job when being watched or monitored

These basic 3 issues inspired me to use a timer when doing anything, from eating in front of the TV to working on my projects so I can solve those 3 basic problems. The timer will help me with:

  1. Knowing exactly how much time each task has taken so I can make my prediction better in the future
  2. Knowing exactly how much time spent on social media and fun things so I don’t underestimate them again
  3. Being monitored (by myself) to do a better job

I found a great tool to manage this for you, you write each task with the predicted time for it and it will ring when the time reach that goal time. Its a Chrome app called task timer, it’s pretty useful and I’m already using it right now when writing this post and I’ve given a 1 hour goal to finish it (and I did it in exactly 58 mins).

I have just started today to use this technique and I’m not sure how much time I’ll save but I’m pretty sure that it will save a huge amount of time. I guess you will may even notice the results through my social media activity.

Lessons from subway surfers

You’ve probably heard of the game “Subway Surfers” because it is now the top free game on the play store. They did a great job in getting the people to know it through linking it with Facebook and showing your friends’ high scores to encourage you to beat them and so on.

But what caught my eye isn’t actually about the game, its about my attitude while playing it.
When you’re connected to the internet while playing the game you see the lowest high score of your friends until you beat that score then you see the next high score and so on but when you’re not online you don’t see any high scores of any friends, you see just your own high score.
What I observed is that I’ve never beaten my high score when I’m online, I was offline every time I beat my high score. I never did my best when I feel I’m winning, I never got a high score when beating my friends’ high scores lower than my highest score, I only did my best when I felt that “there’s a lot to do!”

So whatever you’re doing in your life there are easy achievements of course, don’t fool yourself and think you’re doing a great job by getting them because you won’t learn anything new unless you challenge your limits, not others’.

The post was kinda boring and traditional right ? yeah I know, but there’s a hidden message in it. Did you get  it before this line? wait wait.. think again please… come on, its not that hard !… Gave up ? Alright, I was going to say it anyway… Its “learn from every thing, even from a game on your phone.”

How to have have fun while going to work

Cairo traffic is beyond saving. Every hour in the day is a rush hour and that makes no chance of enjoying going to work or even enjoying work itself.
So how can you have fun in this frustrating environment ? a little challenge can do the trick.
Get out of your home 10 minutes late on purpose and challenge the traffic to get to your work on time.
By challenging the traffic I don’t mean to shout at the other drivers louder or drive carelessly but I mean to discover new ways that could minimize the time or try running or jogging and race other pedestrians, the key point is to do something different whatever it is.
The fun in that is when you actually get there on time, your whole day will be different because it started differently. (Hint: luck plays a great role in that, wish for it)
Also this kind of experience is useful when you’re unintentionally late because you already know by practicing this challenge some good tricks to minimize the time, or even if you didn’t minimize it you will be less angry because you have experienced that before and you were having fun challenging the traffic and yourself, so its good for anger management.
What drives me to think like that is that in both cases I have to go to work (in my case its college, I’m in the last year thanks god), so its either you get there happy or angry, your choice.

Change the world in 3 months

Today I was watching a movie called Restless, it was fairly good but inspired me with something.
The girl in that movie was dying in 3 months and I like to imagine myself living the story of the movie, that makes me enjoy the movie in a much better way.
So I imagined myself dying in 3 months and of course nobody wants to die without leaving a mark in this world but how in such little time ?
I would meet random people that I don’t know, stopping them in the street or something, and telling them my story. Then I’ll ask them to imagine themselves that they are going to die in three months too. And I will ask them to let me know what is their last wish or goal that they want to achieve before they die in 3 months ?
Then I will get their names and contacts and I will try to help them achieving their goals and wishes all the way I can before the deadline.
I won’t let them to be lazy and I don’t think they would, because they know its a dead man’s last hope and they will try to let him die proud.
That’s how I can rest in peace, knowing that I made somebody’s world a better place.

what would you do if you’ll die in 3 months ?
Let me know in the comments please.

You and the universe

You are in control, not the universe. How ? Lets try to figure that out together.

When you draw the size relation between you and the objects around you, it cant be a straight line because the universe is infinite, whatever big the object is, there’s bigger and whatever small there’s smaller.

So the relation cant be a line, its a circle, it has no begin or end and you are somewhere on this circle, go anti-clockwise the objects are smaller, go clockwise they are bigger. 

But this can’t be possible because at some point the smallest and the biggest becomes one ! 
Yeah I know, because this is exactly how it is :D

When you see how a black hole (which is the most dense and heaviest thing in the universe) move around another one , you’ll find out that they behave just like an electron moving around the center of the atom !
The heaviest ever known objects behave just like the lightest ever known objects, Surprising, isn’t it ?

Here at this episode of my favorite show “Through the wormhole with Morgan Freeman” talking about black holes and simulating how they move. (you can jump to min 22:58 directly or watch the whole episode, its pretty informative)
So objects in this world are connected to each other more than we think, actually more than we could even imagine! No wonder how far away stars could affect our personalities when we are born like in the zodiac.
That’s how everything in this world is related to everything. There’s nothing in this world that can be isolated and any change in it wont affect the world, even snapping your fingers affects the world.
And since humans are the only creatures known so far capable of learning, imagining and creating new things then you have greater powers than anything else in the universe and of course with great powers, come great responsibilities. You are a superhero, so act like one.