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How I Started to Work on My Idea and Built a Startup, After 4 Years of Procrastination

Joseph Zakher

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It all started 4 years ago. I was in high school, working on my first ever big project with 4 friends of mine, a smart suitcase which follows its user.

As things escalated quickly from there, we were all over the news in Lebanon when we returned from the international product fairs in Nuremberg, Germany, and Kuwait City, Kuwait. We even made it on Reuters and Business Insider!

It was our golden age, we were only 15 and so confident about the future of our product.

However, after trying to bring our product to the market, we realized that we had no market that was ready for such an invention. We gave up on our startup. I quit. I found out that I wasn’t ready.

This was the last time that I’ve worked on an idea that could have turned into a startup. It took me 4 years to get back on track. During these 4 years, I’ve been focusing on myself, with one thing in mind: building my own startup. I wanted to turn my vision into a reality and to do that I needed a plan and a strategy.

I managed to do so by doing the following:

  • In 2016–2017, I started by improving my coding skills before going to college and discovered new programming languages such as Swift and Java.
  • I was introduced to UX/UI design in 2018 by my friend, Fred, and developed a passion for design instantly. Thus, I decided to take an introductory course in the field and improved my skills later on (between 2019–2020).
  • The same year, I started reading books. A lot of books. From self-help books to business books, I managed to extend my knowledge in so many fields. My top pick would be The Creative Curve by Allen Gannett, and Growth Hacking Marketing by Ryan Holiday. I even tried to write my own book!
  • I changed my lifestyle, twice, between 2018 and 2020. Switching between working till late — 5 or 6 in the morning — to waking up at 4:30 am to work.
  • Additionally, I switched up my diet to a healthier one and started working out every day. I also played tennis and swam during my junior year in college, in 2019 (before the Lebanese revolution started, followed by the pandemic during my senior year).
  • In 2020, I was introduced to Flutter, a new framework created by Google which enables you to work on cross-platform mobile development. I took an online course by the London App Brewery. I was finally ready to work on my own application thanks to it.
  • Furthermore, I currently work as a growth intern at Localized. This helped me discover how professionals work together in a startup.

Today, I’m here, ready to launch a startup with a strong team by my side. It was a long journey, and I trust the people that are working with me through this process.

Getting the right people and the right chemistry is more important than getting the right idea. ― Ed Catmull

I’m more than happy to announce that we’re working on Qiosk.io, a cross-platform application where you can find every Lebanese online store selling local products. The idea came to my mind 2 years ago as my goal was to help people find local stores without having to ask around or find it on an Instagram sponsored post. Over these past 2 years, we validated the idea, prepared a business plan, and worked on improving the concept every single day. Now, it’s time to launch our MVP on Instagram (@qioskio), alongside our website that’ll help us create our community.

I’ll be sharing our journey as a startup, as well as our strategy, as we grow.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story, and for supporting us.

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Joseph Zakher

Designing user interfaces for SaaS using Figma and Framer. I have built my own design framework to help founders build and grow awesome products.