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Waseem is a 20 year old user experience designer and student entrepreneur from Dallas Texas currently attending Babson College. He is the co-founder of Jinn Tech, a modern software development firm helping founders everywhere grow their business. He previously was a business development and user experience intern at Modo Payments, where he learned much of what has helped him grow Jinn to what it is today.
City where you’re from: Dallas Texas
Hobbies: Soccer, Travel, Coffee, Wandering
Favorite quote: “There is always another way” -Neal Caffrey
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I never decided to become an entrepreneur. I did however decide that I would never allow myself to enter a 9-5 work life where the weekends were my salvation. With that said, I’ve worked as a burger flipper at Wayback Burgers and loved it, I’ve worked as a referee for a few years and enjoyed every minute of it, done a million weird side jobs, and interned at one of the coolest and fastest growing fintech startups (modo) and loved every single second of that. I guess where I’m trying to go with this is I never really knew what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. I’d pick up jobs and go down different paths not because I knew where it would lead me but because the work itself interested me. Now somehow after a couple years of doing that I’m one of the co-founders of a successful software firm out of Boston Massachusetts.
However getting to this point was not at all a clear cut path, I am where I am because of the million failures behind me and the understanding that there are still more to come. So in short, I never decided to become an entrepreneur I kinda just stumbled my way into it.
Who were the biggest influencers on your life?
The biggest influencers on my life I would have to say are my parents and great uncle. From the day I was born my parents provided me with structure and guidance but more importantly with the freedom to explore. As a kid I would go down these different paths of interest and become 100% invested in what I was doing. One month it would be soccer, one month it would be playing with electronics, the next month it would be building bicycles, the month after would be arrow fletching and the list goes on and on. But throughout every new interest my parents didn’t ever shut me down or tell me to focus on something else. They would support me throughout my weird interests. Though they wouldn’t necessarily give me cash to try things out they would encourage me to use what I had to make what I wanted. I remember this one time I decided I really wanted to go fishing… but I had no fishing pole or bait or anything like that. My parents weren’t going to buy me a fishing rod but they said I can use things in the house to create my own. So I took some tupperware, rope and duct tape and made the most ghetto fishing apparatus the world has ever known. Or another time I became really really interested in archery but there was no way my parents were going to buy me a bow and arrow. But my dad was growing a palm tree in the back and he said that the branches of the tree would be just as stringy as a real bow. So I got into bow making and arrow fletching and not once did my parents tell me that I should stop or do something else. Being allowed to have this kind of childhood I truly think is the biggest influence on my way of looking at the world.
But the day that my eyes were truly opened to the world of business is when I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with my late grandfather’s brother and successful entrepreneur Amou Amir. This man opened my eyes to the potential of what curiosity, financial literacy and passion together can allow for you to do in the world.
What are you working on? How did you come up with this idea?
Im one of the partners and co-founders at Jinn LLC. Jinn is a full service software development firm working day in and day out to ensure entrepreneurs everywhere have the technical resources they need to grow their business. Whether that be a technical founder who needs our help to increase his/her development capacity, or a non technical founder who just can’t seem to find a development team to build out his/her vision. We operate as a consultants and as an agency working literally 24/7 to deliver crazy projects on crazy timelines.
Getting to this point was really not clear cut what so ever. My partners and I had tried and failed at starting multiple businesses in the past, from equity crowdfunding solar energy plants to automated bill splitting, to an international Jugaad based marketplace, we successfully failed over and over again. But throughout each of these failures we learned so much about ourselves, technology, operations and how we work together as a team.
Then one day it hit us… with all of the things we have learned there are many other founders who probably would benefit from our knowledge – maybe even pay for our help! So we said “screw it,” registered a company under the name Gynus, LLC realized that name sounded really bad when you read it out loud so changed it to Jinn, LLC the next day and started marketing our services. After a few short months, we had clients coming from every direction and could no longer do the development in house. So we started reaching out to our friends and people we’ve worked with previously and offered them part time dev gigs to help us increase our bandwidth. We soon realized utilizing this model would essentially permit us to have unlimited growth potential. So we adopted it as our only way of operating business and now are always running a minimum of 4 projects simultaneously at any given time, have over 25 employees and contractors from 10 different states and cities and those numbers are only growing.
How is your product/service different and unique?
The key to our growth and the reason we will continue to grow is our unique approach to the development process – we operate as technical consultants and as an agency. This allows for us to be very involved in the design stages of the project, but then allows for us to not take on the heavy development and instead use that time to build deeper relationships with our clients and spend more time managing the human aspect of technology. This slight difference in operating model permits us to literally scale as quickly as our clients need us to while still allowing us to deliver high quality products on crazyquick timelines.
What has been your favorite moment with it?
My favorite moment so far can’t be pinned down to just a single instance. It is the overall rush of never really knowing what is going to come next or what kind of project I’ll have to dedicate my time to. It is the lack of routine but ability to quickly learn and adapt that I find to be what really makes everything so enjoyable. For example we had a client call us on the hotline at 1 am with something he needed by end of week, and what we thought was going to be an early night turned into an all nighter. I love the ability to operate like that.
Oh, and the day we realized we have enough cash on hand to live in a Mansion for the next year was pretty cool too… now our home office will literally be located on 8 acres of land. But that is a story for another date.
What’s the vision?
Our vision is to dramatically change the way that the technology development industry operates. We are honestly fed up with the fact that when startups go out and begin to seek development services, the firm either over charges or under delivers… or sometimes both. As an entrepreneur you shouldn’t have to pay a premium because your firm decided to go out and purchase a new 15 inch macbook for each of their employees. We want to enable every entrepreneur and every business with a technical need to get their product built on their timeline.
Did you experience failure along the way? What did you learn from it?
Of course! But we failed successfully… meaning that failure after failure after failure never demotivated myself or any of the partners. It just taught us insanely valuable lessons that we now utilize when speaking with our clients about what path they should take. The reasons we are where we are today is 100% because of our ability to fail quick and learn fast. All in all we learned that failure is your friend, and if you can begin to quickly realize when you’ve failed and what lead you to that failure, that ability is invaluable.
Give the readers the best entrepreneurship advice you have.
Never be scared of ambiguity. Not knowing what is going to come next, or having a clear cut path isn’t something you should ever fear. Finding comfort in a state of not knowing is something as someone who is running their own company, you really have to be okay with. “Moving forward” even though you might not necessarily know where “forward” is vital to the success of any business.
What are some of your favorite books?
- The best interface is no interface – Golden Krishna
- 48 laws of power – Robert Greene
- Richest man in babylon – George Samuel Clason
- The new paradigm for financial markets – George Soros
- Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Where do you see yourself and your service in a couple years?
I see Jinn having offices around the country, deploying products on the daily and helping to move society forward through enabling entrepreneurs everywhere. As for myself, I’m not sure but I don’t see myself ever settling.