Vote For Pakistani Startup "Kno" at the Techcrunch Crunchies Awards!


#1

Hey Everyone. Thought I'd let you guys know about a new Pakistani startup in the silicon valley. The startup is called kno and is the brainchild of two Pakistani childhood friends, Osman Rashid and Babur Habib. Osman's previous ventures include the now hugely successful Chegg.com, which rents college textbooks to students. Kno is an iPad like device launched recently. The device is designed exclusively for college students. You can find out more by visiting the website,

Http://www.kno.com

The Kno device Has been nominated in the best new device category at the techcrunch crunches awards. The voting ends on January 19th and you can vote everyday. If the company wins, not only will it be a huge deal for all the pakistanis and people working there but also a proud moment for each and every Pakistani around the world. In this day and age, where our country is in the limelight for all the wrong reasons, more often then we'd like, a win for these guys would be a welcome change of pace. So in short, vote people! :-)

Voting link below. Click "Kno" in the Best New Device category.

http://crunchies2010.techcrunch.com/


#2

While the accomplishment is to be applauded, one has to wonder what is being contributed back to Pakistan by them for it to gain any worthwhile recognition here?


#3

Good question Asad. One step at a time :-). Whose to say a product like this couldn't be tailored to our local market or we couldn't have an offshore office for them here, in which case it would directly translate to jobs for local talent and foreign exchange.


#4

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

Hey Everyone. Thought I’d let you guys know about a new Pakistani startup in the silicon valley.
[/quote]

LOL! I couldn’t found word Pakistan on their web, except here

Those Jedi moves can be traced back to London, where Osman was born, Pakistan, where he grew up, Ghana, where he spent time during his childhood, and America, which provided the launching pad for his entrepreneurial drive. 

So how come it became a Pakistani startup ?


#5

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

LOL! I couldn’t found word Pakistan on their web, except here

Those Jedi moves can be traced back to London, where Osman was born, Pakistan, where he grew up, Ghana, where he spent time during his childhood, and America, which provided the launching pad for his entrepreneurial drive. 

So how come it became a Pakistani startup ?

[/quote]

What constitutes/defines a Pakistani startup for you? :slight_smile:


#6

why should we vote for that.....and waste our time

from their term and conditions

[quote=", post:, topic:"]
CAN I ENTER?

You are eligible to enter this Sweepstakes if you meet the following requirements at time of entry:

You are a legal resident of the 50 United States (and DC), and

This Sweepstakes is void outside of the geographic area described above and wherever else prohibited by law.

[/quote]

#7

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

What constitutes/defines a Pakistani startup for you? :slight_smile:

[/quote]

Those who are not ashamed to be Pakistani!


#8

Good enough but just being Pakistani - while living abroad contributing nothing back to the country - doesn't really get many patriotic votes. At least not without any sort of involvement in the community. And let's not rig yet another poll.


#9

The point here is that if the founders are legal US residents, then it is not a Pakistani startup at all. I really marvel at the way we take credit if someone is of Pakistani origin (having father / mother from Pakistan). Same was the case with British boxer Amir Khan. He was a british national, but everyone was rooting for him like he was a Pakistani. :)

Although i just checked their website out and it looks like a polished product. Will surely vote for them to encourage.


#10

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

Good question Asad. One step at a time :-). Whose to say a product like this couldn’t be tailored to our local market or we couldn’t have an offshore office for them here, in which case it would directly translate to jobs for local talent and foreign exchange.
[/quote]

I have heard/read ‘can be’ and ‘will be’ plenty of times. Question is, ‘is it’?

Jobs for local talent? Are you kidding? What jobs would those be? A sales and marketing office? What about actual R&D? Were any Pakistani engineers inside Pakistan employed to make this product? Was any money put into the economy at home (Pakistan for most of us here)? If so, how much was spent locally (in Pakistan) and how much in the US for the development of this product?

[quote=", post:, topic:"]
LOL! I couldn’t found word Pakistan on their web, except here
Those Jedi moves can be traced back to London, where Osman was born, Pakistan, where he grew up, Ghana, where he spent time during his childhood, and America, which provided the launching pad for his entrepreneurial drive. 

So how come it became a Pakistani startup ?

[/quote]

Exactly! I have seen too many Pakistanis who are ashamed to own Pakistan. Even the ID card ink and paper/cardboard is wasted on them… :rolleyes:

If the entrepreneurs cannot own the country which gave them birth and which was a stepping stone toward their success, why should we [Pakistanis] own them and their ‘efforts’? If this were a Pakistani effort by Pakistanis who proudly owned Pakistan and put money into the local economy for development of this product, I would be the first to congratulate them and sing their praises. As it stands right now, it doesn’t measures up to my criteria of being vote-worthy on the basis of being Pakistani.

The only criteria, left then, is that it is yet another tablet product tailored to students of the US. Is it good or innovative? Maybe. However, let’s not forget that the relevant New York education authorities recently ordered 2000 iPads, not Knos for giving to school/college students and faculty members of various schools. Does that portray a success for Kno? As of right now, I can’t be bothered to click the middle button on the mouse and trawl through a couple pages to vote for them. And this, despite my strong dislike for anything Apple, except maybe the actual fruit itself.

Own Pakistan proudly. We will proudly own you. :)

I hope you take something positive away from this post! :)


#11

^^^^

cheer up man these are our own people making names for themselves in foreign countries where their talent and hard work is rewarded and recognized by those societies, you and I and all pakistanis should be proud of their own individual successes period. first of all they owe us nothing in pakistan since they did not take or steal from us anything in pakistan to start with.


#12

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

Jobs for local talent? Are you kidding? What jobs would those be? A sales and marketing office? What about actual R&D? Were any Pakistani engineers inside Pakistan employed to make this product? Was any money put into the economy at home (Pakistan for most of us here)? If so, how much was spent locally (in Pakistan) and how much in the US for the development of this product?
[/quote]

May I ask what is the reason for you being so cynical here?

I personally know a few software companies that were initially founded completely abroad (by someone of Pakistani origin); and after a finding success there investing back in Pakistan by opening offices here. And I mean not only just some ‘sales&marketing office’ as you put it; complete software houses which engineer software products.

And everyone here knows, Pakistan isn’t a country anyone from abroad wants to be investing in (given the kind of image it has); the only reason those companies opted to open branches in Pakistan rather than in India or Philippines is because they had some Pakistani part of their senior management.

So what fixuis said in post #3 is very plausible.


#13

Pakistan has an abysmal 8% tax collection, lowest in the world.

On top of that, professional training of engineers, doctors, etc

is largely subsidized by the state. The same education abroad

would put them in hock for half their professional lives. Most of

these pros then try to leave Dodge for greener pastures abroad.

Seeking economic opportunities and trying to better oneself is

not a crime. But, as Asad pointed out, if you disown your roots

and never give back... it is unseemly. Like that son who puts his

old parents into a nursing home, when he brings home his wife.

If the parents of these two had stayed back in India, then acc-

ording to the recently published Sachar Commission Report of

india, the law of probabilities would dictate that Osman would

now be sitting at a tandoor, putting chapatis and Babar mending

bicycle punctures at the side of a road.

"I am a self-made man", is a claim made by that lucky baby

who wasn't abandoned on a trash heap, at birth. In a larger con-

text, the state plays the role of the mother. And in india, like the

Quaid feared, the Muslim babies are being abandoned, wholesale.

mathbatra, has a point. The only thing "Pakistani" in this startup

is at the level of the gene pool. Which too, shall disappear in the

next generation, with his marriage to a local. Rather than some

Pakistani startup, this is a Pakistani wind-down.

.

.

.

Sheikh 'Aey Quaid-e-Azam, Tera Ehsan Hai Ehsan' Chilli


#14

Okay guys thought I'd let you guys know one more tidbit of info, since engineering and R&D as well as local talent was brought up. Kno has local offices here where local talent has been working very hard in all aspects from software to engineering :-). Not only that but Osmans previous venture Chegg also had local offices here. Trees were planted here in Pakistan supporting Cheggs mantra of "We plant a tree for every textbook you rent", a fact we're very proud of. Like I said, who knows maybe in the future, all things permitting, kno could have a wider presence locally.

Not only tons of pakistanis work there but the founders have Pakistani passports and visit pakistan frequently. Why Wouldn't they, they grew up here.

Are we ashamed to be pakistanis? On the contrary, we are extremely proud. You might be wondering how I know all this. Well Osman is my brother and I live and work in Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad!

PS: Well said kamran and firestorm!


#15

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

^^^^

cheer up man these are our own people making names for themselves in foreign countries where their talent and hard work is rewarded and recognized by those societies, you and I and all pakistanis should be proud of their own individual successes period. first of all they owe us nothing in pakistan since they did not take or steal from us anything in pakistan to start with.

[/quote]

I disagree. The talent and hard work is rewarded here too provided effort is put in consistently. It is about collective and individual responsibility. I stated at the end of my last post “Own Pakistan proudly. We will proudly own you.”.

[quote=", post:, topic:"]
May I ask what is the reason for you being so cynical here?

I personally know a few software companies that were initially founded completely abroad (by someone of Pakistani origin); and after a finding success there investing back in Pakistan by opening offices here. And I mean not only just some ‘sales&marketing office’ as you put it; complete software houses which engineer software products.

And everyone here knows, Pakistan isn’t a country anyone from abroad wants to be investing in (given the kind of image it has); the only reason those companies opted to open branches in Pakistan rather than in India or Philippines is because they had some Pakistani part of their senior management.

So what fixuis said in post #3 is very plausible.

[/quote]

I am being a realist. I HAVE seen this happen time and time again. Being on a Pakistani technology forum, I feel that we must raise these issues here and discuss them out like rational people. We are not talking about software houses here which are easy and cheap to set up. There is no technology development or transfer in that. We are talking about actual technology (new complete solutions/products) of which software is just a part. Specifically, I was referring to Kno. If the development and R&D has been done abroad, what is left for the company to do in Pakistan in the technical development domain and provision of technology exposure to people here? Will we like to be mere end users of it or actual developers/designers of it?

[quote=", post:, topic:"]
Pakistan has an abysmal 8% tax collection, lowest in the world.

On top of that, professional training of engineers, doctors, etc

is largely subsidized by the state. The same education abroad

would put them in hock for half their professional lives. Most of

these pros then try to leave Dodge for greener pastures abroad.

Seeking economic opportunities and trying to better oneself is

not a crime. But, as Asad pointed out, if you disown your roots

and never give back… it is unseemly. Like that son who puts his

old parents into a nursing home, when he brings home his wife.

If the parents of these two had stayed back in India, then acc-

ording to the recently published Sachar Commission Report of

india, the law of probabilities would dictate that Osman would

now be sitting at a tandoor, putting chapatis and Babar mending

bicycle punctures at the side of a road.

I am a self-made man”, is a claim made by that lucky baby

who wasn’t abandoned on a trash heap, at birth. In a larger con-

text, the state plays the role of the mother. And in india, like the

Quaid feared, the Muslim babies are being abandoned, wholesale.

mathbatra, has a point. The only thing “Pakistani” in this startup

is at the level of the gene pool. Which too, shall disappear in the

next generation, with his marriage to a local. Rather than some

Pakistani startup, this is a Pakistani wind-down.

.

.

.

Sheikh ‘Aey Quaid-e-Azam, Tera Ehsan Hai Ehsan’ Chilli

[/quote]

Sheikh Chilli, well said, as always! :)

[quote=", post:, topic:"]
Okay guys thought I’d let you guys know one more tidbit of info, since engineering and R&D as well as local talent was brought up. Kno has local offices here where local talent has been working very hard in all aspects from software to engineering :-). Not only that but Osmans previous venture Chegg also had local offices here. Trees were planted here in Pakistan supporting Cheggs mantra of “We plant a tree for every textbook you rent”, a fact we’re very proud of. Like I said, who knows maybe in the future, all things permitting, kno could have a wider presence locally.

Not only tons of pakistanis work there but the founders have Pakistani passports and visit pakistan frequently. Why Wouldn’t they, they grew up here.

Are we ashamed to be pakistanis? On the contrary, we are extremely proud. You might be wondering how I know all this. Well Osman is my brother and I live and work in Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad!

PS: Well said kamran and firestorm!

[/quote]

I am far more interested in reading details about these local office(s) of Kno (not Chegg) and the local talent working on this product. Please update us with further details, pics, etc. I await your reply. :) :cool:

Sadly, I don’t see this supposed pride in Pakistan anywhere on the Kno website. Maybe a slight redesign/modification or addition is in order? And this is not the first time I have visited the Kno website. I visited it a couple weeks back and I felt this same issue at that time too.

Pakistan Zindabad! Pakistan Paindabad!


#16

@fixuis

Bring Osman Rashid and Babur Habib on this thread. It will be good to read direct answers from them.


#17

The machine itself is too slow. If you see the video, it took a while to open the comments. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxqtoWLW5tg&feature=player_embedded


#18

I have tried t do so but the time is gone now . best wishes for you.


#19

Kno is already facing problems. They're going to stop producing tablets and instead become app developers exclusively:

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/%5Bprimary-term%5D/kno_rumored_be_getting_out_hardware_business


#20

I know a guy who worked for the software house which developed software for kno tablets. They hired more than 75 developers in less than 6 months and fired almost all of them last month.