Rocket-ships? Quantum algorithms? Artificial General Intelligence? Space Colonization? Interstellar Biospheres? Plastic Recycling? Climate Monitoring? Food Distribution? Better Batteries? Anti-pollutants anyone? Space Plants? CRISPR? There are not enough support for these kind of startups in Pakistan. I said it myself so you don't have to. But does being right here holds any value? No. There are hundreds of factors that keeps Pakistan to flourish as a nation. One of them is the mindset of the people who chose to be entrepreneurs that are currently aged 20-30 in any given year.
"I will make the next big app and become a billionaire"
Whats wrong with it?
- Less understanding of collaboration and team work. (Teamwork)
- Running away from the effort by copying the first available process. (Economics)
- Focus of wrong motivators. (Dream)
It's just a short-cut to neverland. Startups are one of the best ways to contribute to Pakistan's economy. Future of Pakistan's economy is mostly in hands of these youngsters. ~24 is an average age when youngsters graduate. These people are beasts and unstoppable. They would do anything for unreasonable amounts of time. They know they are young and better at handling embarrassments (pivots). If Pakistan was Harry Potter, these kids would've been his wand.
Since, Pakistani startup are mostly short on resources and will hire these kids. They become the first startup employees. They define the baseline of how startups are going to turn out. Then these kids become the entrepreneurs. And then they will be fixing the world. But these kids think, making the next big app and becoming a billionaire is all that there is to the startups. And honestly, It is not their fault. Who's fault is it then?
Well, nobody's but by default it becomes the fault of the people who chose to fix it. Where actually, its everyone's job in the ecosystem to set aside time to fix this mindset in youngsters in whatever capacity they think will make an impact.
Isn't that what entrepreneurs do. They pick a problem that matters and solve it. This is the mindset problem we need to solve along our way to prosperity. Eventually, we will depend on them why not invest.
These young people are not a clean slate as one might think. They are delusional and have wrong expectations about startups because of all the survivor biased stories that are out there. Honestly, if we publish a story for every failed startup with the reasons of its failure. This would single handedly fix the problem. jk, it won't. But here is what might.
Fixing a problem means figuring out a sustainable economics for it
If you are a startup founder (Teamwork, Figure economics, Dream)
We need people who can find a sustainable way to fix the damned plant. Find problems that are worth solving, don't just pick an app. Be aware of your mind tricking you into an easier option and justifying it with a force fabricated story. If you are a true entrepreneur you know this deep down if you don't really believe in your problem. Find a startup that has a worthy problem to solve. Help them win it. Trust me, you will win along with them. The only thing missing in these startup are smart people with entrepreneurial spirit. It's known as "PayPal mafia" effect, for reference.
If you choose to go with your own problem. Find other founders from every stage, from zero to millions. Above your rank, so you get the insight to what's coming next. And below your rank, so you can hire them. When you hire your team members. Make sure you understand their financial standing and motivations and align them with your plan. You won't have much resources and probably decide to go with the kids. Make sure they learn to catch the fish themselves. Help them find a mentor. Invest in their training early on so you can actually do what you are supposed to do afterwards. Be open and transparent about the company. Find people who can get the job done and become founders themselves. They will definitely lead the teams you'll see. This will have an extreme butterfly effect. You might never know how, but there is a very high probability if you do the math.
If you are a startup employee (Promote Teamwork)
I will pay my gratitude to you and ask you to keep helping the founders. You are already the real rockstars. Thank you for your sleepless nights and selfless efforts. May the force be with you.
If you are an industry veteran (figure out the economics)
Start a training program for Students. Make internships count and use them as the opportunities to help the ecosystem. Interns are kids, its not their fault if they are not serious about it. Make an interesting internship plan. Share it with you colleagues. Make an effort while keeping in mind how one those kids might actually get inspired and makes a dent in the economy and your children would benefit from it.
Share your knowledge. If you are rocket scientist share what problems are yet to be to be solved. Write about it, ask You-tubers to make interesting videos about it. scientist gets the recognition. Youtubers, Tiktokers, Instafluencers gets to make an interesting content. Kids think this is the new cool and they get influenced to solve that problem. It starts a chain reaction. Science become the new talk of the town. Kids are no longer confused about what program should they select in college. It's not impossible.
"Oh! kids love tiktok, more than science. They don't care...". Let's ask ourselves how much did we care. Have we, as knowledge holders tried to pass it on in the language they understand. Did we try to make it cool? Or we just knew about our weaknesses and tried to cover it by blaming them or something else instead and never asked for help either. We need to open up and start putting in a genuine effort. Kids have the right to be arrogant and ignorant. They are the kids, we are not.
If you are a sibling (figure out the economics)
Make a way for your siblings, support their passion, guide them if needed, stand by them when you guys need to convince your parents for some crazy stuff. Find feasible opportunities for them. Take your siblings to your workplaces if you can. Make a hashtag #bringYourSisterToWorkDay. Enable them so they can take care of themselves in any situation. Reinforce the fact that they are ones who will bring change.
If you are an investor (figure out the economics)
A lot is being already done in right direction collectively by the community. Help build such frameworks as they will eventually benefit the industry.
Lets recollect our thoughts as a nation. Are we dreaming big enough? Are we promoting the right motivators. Are we setting up the ground work to achieve our dream as a collective. Lets think beyond building apps into figuring out sustainable models for actual problems. The goal is to contribute in changing the mindset from "I will make the next big app and become billionaire" to solve actual interesting and difficult problems and collaborate on it.
- If you agree with the cause. share
- If you are founders. I don't want to you go in crisis mode. Just keep this in the back of your head. There are many ways to do good. Trust your choices and play on your strengths.
- If you or someone you know belongs to an important industry that has unsolved interesting problems. Write them up and share. Talk to relevant startups get on board with them. reach out to me.
- If you are content creator and are willing use your power to bring change. help the above people. reach out to them and me.
you can talk to me @bylal_hanif(twitter)
or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org