One is usually accustomed to hearing about the iconic stories of people like Mark Zuckerberg and Travis Kalanick whose entrepreneurial pursuits began from their dorm rooms before rising to the pinnacle of the modern tech industry. Today, let’s focus on a similar pursuittaken up by one aspiring entrepreneur and learn about his motivation, aspirations and goals.
Shadab Mahbub (bit.ly/ShadabLI) is a student entrepreneur, self educated web developer and digital marketing evangelist. His professional career began from the age of 17, as a freelance writer working with content publishers from all around the globe. Before taking the plunge into the startup world, Shadab worked for two years as a copywriter for Shopping Cart Elite, a leading eCommerce company hailing from Long Island, New York where he underwent extensive training on online marketing and lead teams across the world.
Inspired by complex online ecosystems, Shadab set his sights on building tools that will push cultural and human efficiency; he likes working with people who share his vision to simplify the next generation of technology.
He co-founded WebAble with Ovick Alam and Anis Chowdhury to leverage web technology for brands and focuses on utilising different tools and past experience to increase the ROI on digital marketing while focusing on agile development, growth hacking and company culture
What are the biggest challenges you faced being an entrepreneur at your age?
Being an entrepreneur is always a challenge regardless of your age. WebAble being my first startup, involved a very steep learning curve, where everyday is a race against time to meet deadlines and deliver. However, once I adopted an agile mindset, it became much easier to adapt to the dynamics of our industry. While my skill sets are primarily technical, during the last year I learned a ton about branding from my mentors in the industry and had the opportunity to work with them on numerous projects. It definitely expanded my knowledge base and my approach to problem solving.
What exciting things will be in store for WebAble in the upcoming year?
The WebAble’s upcoming rebranding project is definitely one of my highlights for the year. It addresses a lot of the realisations that we have had during the first year of operations and is going to be a huge bonus in terms of serving the needs of the Bangladeshi market. Not only that, the fact that we now have Amit Richard joining the team is also an indication of great things to come. We are aiming to build on our strengths and expand our horizons.
What advice would you give to young people about acting on their dreams and pursuing something alongside their education?
Pursuing dreams is never a bad thing, but a person needs to realise that doing meaningful work takes a lot of time and effort - it means sacrificing a lot which you don’t realise in the beginning of your ventures. Respecting your commitments, essentially means putting the needs of others before you - unless you are prepared to do that you are not ready for the real world. However, the effort that gets invested is realised tenfold at the end of successful campaigns. There is no greater feeling than leading development projects, giving creative inputs, sit back with your CEO to analyse the numbers and see the efforts of your hard work coming together. With the right team and mentality, I believe anything can be accomplished.
What is the most useful digital tool you have ever come across?
When working in a resource constrained startup environment, there is perhaps nothing as precious as a co-founder’s time. While there are some great tools out there which help us manage our time better, I believe a fundamental problem with them is that we end up working for the software, and not the other way around. There are very few digital tools which integrate with my existing workflows.
However, an exception to the above would have to be the Hubspot CRM. It helps us manage sales and is an extremely useful tool for revenue forecasting and following up with clients. The company CTO, Dharmesh Shah, is a personal idol and I admire him for product development philosophies.
You work with a talented young group of individuals in the office. What’s your management philosophy?
I always believed in hiring the right person for the right place. I do not expect to be working with people who are not self driven and motivated. I believe in sharing ideas with talented people and expect them to make it better. That is how we improve ideas, their execution and stimulate innovation. Our industry demands that we keep learning, and so training people to be able to absorb and retain such vast amount of information is always a challenge. Which is why I personally take charge of making education and self improvement a vital part of WebAble culture.
What do you think the future holds for you and WebAble? Is there anything you’d like to say on this parting note?
Broadly speaking, the future of WebAble involves solving bigger problems with simpler technology. That will be the focal point of our rebranding process. I feel that our brand is more than a guideline, it is actually a mindset that tells us how we should approach marketing and innovation in this space. Everyone is more or less aware of the ingredients that make good campaigns, but my vision is to exponentially amplify the power of marketing by empowering interaction, analysis and design with the help of cutting edge web technology.
Read more on WebAble's blog: http://webable.digital/bable
and website: http://webable.digital