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14 Founders Share Their Lessons From 2020

Nizam Uddin, Co-founder and CEO, WeDevs: I try to forgive everyone before I go to sleep every night and try to start the next day anew. There are very few people in the world who get the opportunity to work on what they love and start their day doing what they love. I feel lucky that I can start and finish my day doing what I love to do, Alhamdulillah.

Samiha Tahsin, Co-founder and CEO, Bonton: When we came up with the idea a lot of people told us that don’t tell your ideas to others. But Omran and I both learned that when we talk about our idea, it gets better. We learn and can improve it. When we share our ideas, we get more inputs and feedback that help us to polish our ideas. That is the lesson I have learned. Share your idea, talk to people, and trust in the goodness of people. 

Omran Jamal, Co-founder and CTO, Bonton: If we don’t trust people with our idea, it does not make sense for us because we are asking them to share their internet connection. The idea we told you today is completely different from what we had in November last year. All this happened because we spoke with people and got feedback from people. People gave us important feedback and ideas that helped us to evolve. We realize that talking to people is the best thing to do as an early-stage founder. It helps you to validate your idea, and your idea matures as well.

Tamzid Siddiq Spondon, Managing Director, Zanala Bangladesh and Neofarmer: One thing is that learning is not enough. You have to apply the lessons you have learned. The second thing is that time is the greatest healer. Every trouble and challenge resolves itself with time. 

Third, everything has a time. No matter how hard you try, things would happen in their own time. There is a right to everything. If you are hardworking and keep working on your mission, things will happen at their own time. I don’t think we can make things happen with mere force. You have to give time to things as long as they take.

Rayana Hossain, Founder, ISHO: Never stop believing in what you want to achieve. There is also no set model to success. People are the most important asset a company will have so that definitely needs to be a starting point in any journey for all founders.

Aziz Arman, Co-founder and CEO, Jatri: Despite all my work, I make sure to consistently take care of myself so that I’m in a clear headspace whenever needed.

I journal often to record and track developments, ideas, strategies.

I’m also very fortunate to be part of an innovative, experıenced and cohesive team – we have worked hard to develop a strong organizational culture within the company. Every time we face drawbacks, we cooperate and share the workload responsibly- helping us build trust amongst ourselves.

Fahad Ifaz, Co-founder and CEO, iFarmer: Always think about the big bet or the idea behind the company. While running after operations, growth, and salary and rent, we often forget why we even started this business.

Find the right co-founders who will keep you on track and remind you about that, WHY. Find and build the right team, allow them to make mistakes and grow.

Al-amin Sarker Tayef, Co-founder and CEO, Barikoi: Grit and realization of problems are important. If you solve a problem, it gets to a product-market-fit, if you don’t solve a problem then it will not. 

People need to understand that not every product has the same market adoption rate so being gritty and patient will help to only iterate and grow the business. 

Farhan Anwar, Co-founder and Managing Director, Workd: One lesson I have learned from running a startup is that startup is like life full of ups and downs. One day you feel like you will become the next Bill Gates, the next day you feel like you will become a beggar on the street. Managing these extremes is at the heart of a startup. It is important to manage these ups and downs. Don’t lose your mind when you are up and don’t break your heart when you are down. Be focused. Think long-term. 

Eddie Bearnot, Co-founder and CEO, Frontier Nutrition: Pick the most important metrics for your success, measure them rigorously and religiously, spend time thinking about them carefully, and trust your conclusions. It is easy to let personal preference dictate strategy or to allow emotional attachment to make convenient excuses for poor performance.

Amra Naidoo, Co-founder, Accelerating Asia: I realized pretty early on in my life that I want to live a life with no regrets. I also want to live a life that has been full of giving, and that leaves the world a little bit better. I don’t want to look back at the end and realized that I didn’t do something because it made me uncomfortable or wished that I had done something or made a different decision. This doesn’t mean that you don’t make bad decisions, but bad decisions shape who we’re and are made with all the available information that you had on hand at the time. It’s how I approach my life and work right now and is the reason that my career has also been so diverse – I want to be someone that’s pushing for more, continually learning, and embracing the uncomfortable. Recently I’ve been thinking about what success looks like for me and what I’d consider a well-lived life. I’ve realized that it means leaving a legacy – what that ends up being exactly, well, I hope that I’ve still got time to work on! 

Nazmul Islam, Co-founder and CEO, Avijatrik: Early-stage entrepreneurs think that funding is the most important thing and without funding, they will die. My suggestion would if you cannot find a cheaper way to start your venture, you are not an entrepreneur yet. You need to find ways to get the resources that you’ll be buying with that money. Focus on getting those resources without money or in a cheaper way instead of paying for it. 

Kishwar Hashemee, Founder and CEO, Kludio: Embrace the discomfort. Entrepreneurs frequently face uncomfortable decisions, but those are what help you build a meaningful company.


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