Leveling up the gaming industry…

1 year of YetiZen—what I have learned from running a gaming accelerator

June 21, 2012

Philosophy 4: Jugaad should be the founder’s middle name

Both my parents are Pakistani and I spent half of my childhood in Pakistan. Pakistani business and life is characterized by bad infrastructure which though not as bad as many other third world countries still leaves much to be desired when compared with the reliable infrastructure we are blessed with in the developed world.

In this context Pakistanis have developed a gorgeous concept called Jugaad. Jugaad is the way Pakistanis survive, it is best described as a clever solution in the face of minimal or no resources. While Jugaad as a concept may not be well understood in the US culture in general, it is extremely relevant in starting new companies. At its core jugaad is the essence of entrepreneurship—creating a way where none exists (often with one’s back against the wall). All true entrepreneurs get jugaad. The best startup achievements that help us win in the marketplace come from a series of well played jugaad. It is also at the basis of all organizations ever formed and feature an even bigger part in truly innovative startups that are creating something from nothing.

Three years ago when we first started YetiZen and Japheth and I were pulling a jugaad, I introduced him to the concept. Since then we have done numerous jugaads and often joke about changing the name of our company from YetiZen LLC to Jugaad LLC because after the philosophies underlying the words Yeti and Zen the philosophy of Jugaad is what we truly believe makes for growing businesses.

Until today we haven’t widely shared this outside of our founding team because for some individuals, both American and privileged desis (Pakistanis, Indians), the word has a slight negative connotation, it is viewed as a sign of poverty and lack and people turn up their noses at it. Someone even told me that no one wants to know how you create the magic and the success so please don’t talk about this.

I choose here to share this with you because in doing so I hope to remove success from the pedestal we are prone to put it on to the more executable human level of jugaad. Jugaad is the most natural forward moving business philosophy ever. In fact entrepreneurs who complain about lack of resources to achieve goals get no love from me because I know jugaad is possible in every situation. I refuse to believe it is not. It is this belief that makes me a valuable resource to YetiZen entrepreneurs and friends of YetiZen (and sometimes leads to frantic phone calls asking for a jugaad solution from my network).

Philosophy 5 ->

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

Leave a Reply