In conversation with Saad Hamid –Pakistan’s veteran Digital Evangelist!
We have brought you a very interesting and highly intellectual interview by Saad Hamid, Developer Relations and Ecosystem Google, a Community Developer SAF, Trainer Digiskills.pk, Founder Skills First, Mentor Partner for Jadu, and Pakistan’s Veteran Digital Evangelist.
His drive to be a Community Builder has led him to launch many platforms for the assistance of the youth of Pakistan. Mr. Sayyed Ahmed Masood, CEO Change Mechanics (Pvt) Ltd. discusses the challenges for startups in this eco-system and the tips to help aspiring people come forward and materialize their dreams.
Saad explains how the term Evangelism, once used for people who professed and spread Christianity, is now coined for people professing and spreading new technology. For instance, Guy Kawasaki was Apples Digital Evangelist in 1980s, advocated to people to use Macintosh.
Hence, a new trend and profession has surfaced over the years for people who learn and spread new technology. Various aspects of the industry were discussed.
The Evolving Job market:
If an economy exists, then jobs certainly exist. Though the problem with our society is the dis-connection between what the job market demands and what the youth is offering. The problem lies with the approach of the people seeking the job, such that they fail to follow the trend in the job industry.
For example if the industry seeks someone with knowledge of the latest digital technology and they in return offer the contemporary knowledge which is fast becoming redundant with the progression in technology. Job seekers ought to gain skills demanded as per changing trend of the industry, particularly now after the pandemic.
Tips to adapt to the New Norm:
- Read: He recommends youth to read! Articles or books, which ever you can get your hands on. It helps you see the new trends and rising job sectors.
- Learn: do not hesitate to ask for help if you see someone around you doing unusual things as this may give you information about a new avenue.
- Use the professional social networking sites: instead of wasting time on entertainment based social networking sites, utilise the professional sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter which will help you connect to employers.
- Innovate: come up with new innovative ideas that address some problem in a new way. He gives the example of his successful venture Jado, where they connect the job seeker to remote jobs. This venture is unique and based on a very high risk model, though the surge in demand has proved that they have responded to a pressing need in the society. Hence, ideas like these, if carefully articulated tend to do well.
- Find a good mentor: the youth needs to develop a filter to know which advice to heed and which to let go. Saad highlights that our society lacks good mentors. Whereas some know how to mentor correctly, toxic mentors take decisions for you without knowing the individuals dynamics. This misguides most of our youth and we need to learn how to pursue our dreams and goals without being swayed away.
Formula for an aspiring team:
Saad believes there is no set formula for a perfect team to work on a project. Whereas for some a set method of hiring a team might work, he has worked successful projects by finding people through sharing his plans with them and attracting like-minded people, driven by the same idea and passion. Team members who have a passion to work hard and solve problems with a positive vibe will always be effective employees.
Remote teams and the future:
Covid and the sudden change in the work environment to become remote have had various outcomes. Team management has become difficult. Saad sees this as an opportunity such that where burnout has increased due to non-stop work, so has productivity, with people working in a more relaxed setting.
He sees the future as a hybrid model, where occasional professional physical interaction will be present but the actual work will be done remotely.
Words of wisdom from the Mentor:
- What would he do differently? Saad believes one must listen and reflecting more. He believes if he would go back he would actually speak less and listen more. This is not merely in terms of the sense of hearing but to develop an ability to reflect and ponder on words, actions and ideas, instead of a hasty response.
Further, he adds spending quality time with family and be driven by your dreams, keeps a person healthier and happier.
- Did the mentor also have a mentor? The digital Evangelist reveals that he has had and still continues to seek mentorship from different people who have helped at various stages throughout his career. He believes where one feels that they have learnt everything and do not need a mentor, this is where guidance is needed the most!
- What does the community builder do to avoid stagnation? To continue the growth process and avoid stagnation, Saad Hamid faces the challenge head on. He believes one should develop the art of being comfortable with a new problem. Research and reach out to the industry experts to enable you to find the solution. Small steps help you cover the journey of a thousand miles!
- Where do Startups go wrong in Pakistan? Saad explains that in his view the problem lies with the startups not having sufficient planning. Many startups are either too early in Go To Market step or too late. They do not plan how to shift from one phase to another under different circumstances.
He also disapproves the idea of the startup not being obsessed with the customer. They do everything right but forget about the single most important thing that is the customer.
- How to learn being a risk taker: It’s not a skill to learn overnight, in fact it is an inbuilt trait. Though ones environment and company plays a positive role in enabling one to learn and balance the skill.
- Advice for start-ups who do not delegate roles in a team? Growth will come by forming a team of people to whom work can be delegated. If founders cannot trust others to do the work for share the pie, the venture won’t work out as human limitations will hinder that person doing everything by themselves.