Quarterly Reflections – Q1 2016

At Jeeon, the day-to-day often feels like a steep uphill climb, and sometimes we hit a wall and are forced to sit and wonder whether we really are making any headway. But then, almost absent-mindedly, we look back and are jerked with surprise, to realize just how fast we have been moving! At that point, it seems almost crazy to imagine how far behind we were even 3 months ago. At the end of 2015, we were still…

Bringing Peace to the Wanderer

Paved roads ended about half a mile back. The bridge we crossed was being used to dry mustard seeds and by pedestrians, instead of by vehicles it was surely designed for. But it didn’t matter anyways since the road beyond was too narrow for our car to travel down. We traveled the serpentine road, surrounded by lush green rice paddies, by rickshaw instead. It was clear, we had reached “the last mile”. I had spent…

Seven Lessons from Silicon Valley for Social Entrepreneurs Globally

This post was originally published on Unreasonable.is on 2 March 2016: http://unreasonable.is/seven-lessons-from-silicon-valley-for-entrepreneurs-globally/ ****** As an entrepreneur based in Bangladesh, having worked at the intersection of technology and development on a range of issues over the last eight years (first at mPower and now at Jeeon), I have constantly been surprised how much we as social entrepreneurs try to box ourselves in a category of our own. Yet, there are a lot of best practices in entrepreneurship,…

A Journey towards a Better Future

We are a small team working 24/7 for only one mission, to Make Well-being Universal. This sounds audacious but it is the core of our company. We are trying to build the software enabled infrastructure with which we can provide medical services to people in remote areas, where many of them are suffering from lack of proper medical advice. Recently we have had a trip to the villages in Kishoreganj and Netrakona where we work, and…

Let the Universe Conspire

When I made the decision of giving up my position at mPower last September and switching full-time to mDoc (now jeeon), little did I know that we were going to be having a one-on-one meeting with Bill Gates about our work in less than 6 months’ time! On the surface, it was not an easy choice. I was comfortable at mPower – an exciting and challenging set of roles, a joint-CEO level of authority, a team of…

Early signs of a dream team…

I had interviewed just about every possible candidate for the job. After several weeks of desperately searching LinkedIn, and sending emails to all relevant professional contacts, I had come out empty handed. Until finally I found the perfect candidate – competent, young and confident, he had the exact set of skills I was looking for. I was excited at the possibility that finally the team would be whole. Several interviews later, however, something did not…

In the aftermath of a truly Unreasonable Experience

This August (2015), I had the extraordinary experience of being part of the Unreasonable Institute (UI). The UI is an accelerator program for early stage social ventures, operating out of Boulder Colorado. Their recipe is simple. They scour the globe to find promising social ventures, working on some of the world’s biggest challenges and bring them to Boulder, Colorado, for five weeks. Entrepreneurs get, among many other things, access to and lessons from world class…

IDEO.org Inspiration day at San Francisco

The day started off early with some amazing blue bottle cappuccino with Rubayat Khan, Minnie Bredouw and Danny Alexander, before diving in to a wealth of experiential learning with some of the newest technology and health services in the city of San Francisco. The first stop was Studio Dental, a mobile dental service, set up in an independent trailer, targeting some of the busiest people in the world. Studio dental, started off by Dr. Sarah…

Coder in Kendua

  December 5, 2013 My field visit to Digli, a small village in the Kendua sub-district in Bangladesh was my first ever instance of being a coder in the field. It proved to be an invaluable opportunity for me to get close to the end users of a system that I am designing. While it may not seem too useful an experience from the traditional standpoint of the typical software developer, the visit yielded a…

Mobile penetration in rural Bangladesh, and its possibilities

Chikitsha’s “deep dive” to the north was my first long stay in rural Bangladesh after several years, primarily due to a study break abroad. Because of the long break in between, however, this trip showed me a lot of stark contrasts against my last visit memories that I might not otherwise have noticed. Among other things, this trip showed me how fast rural Bangladesh has embraced some new technologies, and I began wondering about all…