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My Worst Investment Ever Podcast - Andrew Stotz 10th September 2021
Furqan Aziz – Validate Every Idea You Invest Time In
00:00:00 00:29:57

Furqan Aziz – Validate Every Idea You Invest Time In

BIO: Furqan Aziz is the CEO of InvoZone, a software development company that specializes in resource augmentation.

STORY: Furqan took on a client who promised to pay him in the form of shares to develop what seemed like an excellent product for airlines. Unfortunately, COVID hit, and the product never saw the light of day. Needless to say, all the time, money, and resources Furqan invested in developing the product went down the drain.

LEARNING: Do thorough research to validate every idea before you invest in it. Size your position; invest just a little if the investment idea is high risk.

 

“Fail fast, and don’t keep sporting your mistake by making another mistake.”
Furqan Aziz

 

Guest profile

Furqan Aziz is the CEO of InvoZone, a software development company that specializes in resource augmentation. He has over 10 years of experience in the IT industry and specializes in architecting concurrent, distributed, fault-tolerant, scalable applications.

Worst investment ever

In 2018, Furqan met with a client whose background was very solid. They were providing big software to airline companies. The client came to Furqan with a great idea. They had a lot of data from the airlines they worked with, and they wanted to build a big data product where they would utilize that data and give some analytics to the decision-makers. The idea was to pitch these to the airline industry decision-makers and have them buy the product.

The idea had the potential to make a lot of money for Furqan and the client. The catch, however, was that the client could not pay Furqan for any services rendered but offered him shares in their company. Usually, Furqan would never get into such a deal. But because the company had an excellent background and the idea was also exciting, he decided to take the risk.

Furqan started the development, and after six months or so, they prepared their proof of concept and then demonstrated it to the airline decision-makers, and they were okay-ish at that moment. But they asked for more features to make the product useful. Furqan sat down with the client and talked about these extra features, and they agreed to add them.

Again, Furqan spent six more months and made the additions. They went back to the airline companies, but again, they asked for more features. Furqan spent three more months, and before they could go back to the airlines, COVID hit. Now the product was a waste. All the money, time, and resources Furqan invested went to waste.

Lessons learned

  • If you’re going to ask someone to put money into your solution, you must make it a lot better than what they already have.
  • Don’t deviate from whatever you are doing as a core business unless you’re really sure about the new thing you want to delve into. Remember that chances of failure are pretty high.
  • Don’t set your expectations too high even if you’re very successful in your core business because your core business is pretty different from whatever you will do.
  • Do the market research by yourself rather than relying on someone else, especially the person selling the idea to you.
  • Fail fast, and don’t keep sporting your mistake by making another mistake. Walk away as soon as you realize that this is not going to work.
  • Don’t wait for the golden moment. If things are not working well, just cash out whatever you can because acquisitions are not always bad; sometimes, they are good for you.

Andrew’s takeaways

  • In life and business, there are all kinds of risks you can face. Your goal is to try to reduce those risks, but you can never reduce them completely.
  • Don’t just look at the upside; you always have to look at different downsides too.
  • Size your position. If you know that you’re taking a big risk by doing something that you don’t normally do, put about only 5% of your resources into it, and then slowly build up.

Actionable advice

You must validate all ideas by doing extensive research so that you can fully understand them before you commit. Don’t rely just on the person who is presenting the idea.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Furqan’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to build another product for the healthcare industry, this time around employing all the lessons he learned from his worst investment ever.

 

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