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SSD-Tech and Loosely Coupled Technologies Founder Firoze M Zahidur Rahman’s Tips For Early Stage Entrepreneurs

Firoze M Zahidur Rahman is the founder and CEO of Loosely Coupled Technologies(LCT), the Kuala Lumpur-based technology company that uses Artificial Intelligence, NLP and Data Analytics in business applications.

Prior to LCT, Mr. Firoze founded SSD-Tech and built it into one of the largest technology companies in Bangladesh and a regional player in the Asia Pacific having operations in multiple markets.

In an interview with Future Startup, published a few months ago, he shared some of the lessons on becoming a better founder he learned from his journey so far.

01. Let the perfect be in terms of your customers

The most important lesson (I’ve learned) is that never go for perfection. It’s a big trap. Perfection is your own definition of correct or completeness that in most cases not a good fit for your customers. Always look for maximizing outcome and often that requires excelling in some key areas important to your customers, not really making something perfect as per your own definition.

02. Ruthlessly prioritize

One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that it is about doing less not doing more. You need to focus on the most important 1 to a maximum of 3 items at a time. That is how you maximize the outcome. Spreading yourself too thin is a big risk.

03. Have people who could help you in thinking clearly

You need advisors and mentors who will ask the right questions that will help you to think. Nobody else can solve your problem, you have to solve your problems but they can help you to frame your problem statement.

Build a great mentor network that can explain your situation and give you the right set of lenses to look at your situation. Evaluate opinions and finally decide on your own. Feedbacks are important, more important is to decide which feedback you will work on and which you will live with. Also remember, ignoring feedback doesn’t mean it’s not important or it is not true. Be aware that it’s still there you just decided not to handle it.

04.  Hire fresh people and train them up

One of the biggest learning that we had in LCT is, for new technologies, fresher grads from top universities work a lot better than many experienced developers who are already typed with certain styles. Freshers can be fearless if you enable them.

05. Reflect often and put things on paper

One regular thing that I do is spend about an hour alone, reflecting and planning. For me, I need to write things down. Once I can see things on paper/drawn out, I feel less stressed. I am not worried about problems; I mainly need to know what they are so that I can decide if it is worth taking the stress.

06. Measure your progress regularly

Be good in technology and building stuff if you are in the technology business. Acquire functional /domain knowledge, be good in execution. Measure and monitor the thing you have built on a daily basis if not hourly or near real-time. I cannot comment on other businesses.

07. Develop a perspective

Above everything, always remember, nothing is the end of the world. Always dream big. Make your own choices. It is you who will decide if you want to die BIG or live small.

08. Before raising money, know why you want to do it

I think the most important thing that is needed to raise funds is knowing what the fund will be used for. For any founder, the key thing for fund-raising is to know how the money is going to help to make more money. End of the day as a founder or CEO once you start taking other people’s money, you must have a clear roadmap of maximizing their value. Some other people are going to put money on your idea, blood, sweat, and tears – it’s a great validation but you must show your position and the true level of commitment (focus on the word true level) so that your investors are clear whom they are getting married to.

Ayrin Saleha Ria works at Future Startup as a full-time Research Associate. She has a background in Applied Sociology. Before joining the FS team, she worked and volunteered with a number of social organizations. As someone who comes from a social science background, she takes a deep interest in research around important social-economic challenges in our society. A voracious reader, Ayrin is passionate about working for the betterment of society, takes a deep interest in human society and behavioral science, and loves books.

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