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Sun 21 Aug 2016 09:56 AM

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Entrepreneur of the Week: Luai Masri, founder of Whatshudoin

Jordanian entrepreneur Luai Masri’s social mobile app allows you to connect with people according to your current mood.

Entrepreneur of the Week: Luai Masri, founder of Whatshudoin

Jordanian entrepreneur Luai Masri claims to be the first to create the feelings layer of the Internet.

The Whatshudoin – What are you doing? – app enables users to connect according to their current mood, allowing them to express their feelings online amongst other posts such as links, videos or news headlines.

“It all started around 10 years ago when I got married, quit my job, and established my first start-up all within the same month,” Masri says. “Fast forward to recent history, I packed my bags along with my wife and two cats and traveled to Silicon Valley to witness the birth of my latest start-up.

“I developed an idea, hired a team, got the investments ready, and started up without a blink, simply because that is what I do. I see opportunity where others see a challenge.”

Talking about the MENA entrepreneurship ecosystem, Masri explains that it is still nascent, but beginning to show signs of a start-up friendly environment. “Before moving to California I thought that things in the Valley move fast. I was wrong! Things here move super lightning fast compared to our region,” he says.

“They create things quickly, they fail fast, and they rebuild faster using their learnings from failure. Also, everyone helps each other here, and you can literally meet someone in the elevator or at Starbucks who can change your life forever! That has always been fascinating to me.”

Masri helps other start-up founders as a member of The Startup Leadership Program, a Boston-headquartered organisation that offers a six-month training to carefully selected entrepreneurs to develop their ideas into viable businesses. Since launching in 2006, the organisation has expanded to 27 cities in 12 countries.

In his opinion, MENA entrepreneurs should be prepared for all kinds of problems, but they will also “discover themselves during the process.”

“Read, a lot! Know what have worked before and do not reinvent the wheel,” he says.

“Create a minimal viable product (MVP) and test the market before investing everything in the product. I have witnessed many MVPs being built in 24 hours! Imagine how much you would save if you do that. Talk to your customers and do not be over optimistic, but listen to what they have to say and take their feedback into consideration.

“Work fast, faster than humanly possible if you want to make a difference and succeed.

“I personally sleep three to four hours sometimes just to make sure things gets done as they should be. That shows that you have to be 200 percent into what you do to be able to do this.”

Submit your nomination

Do you know an entrepreneur who deserves to be our Entrepreneur of the Week?

Please explain in 200 words why your entrepreneur of choice deserves the Entrepreneur of the Week accolade and send your nominations to tamara.pupic@itp.com

Please note that the final decisions are made at the discretion of our editorial team.

For information, tips and advice on setting up a new business or insights from those who have taken the leap into the world of entrepreneurship, click on the Arabian Business StartUp section.

 

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Mick 4 years ago

I'm sorry and I know it sounds like morning sour grapes but I know many are thinking the same thing.
This is the most templated app design in the history of apps. It's being defined in the article as some fresh new idea and I don't want to take it away but even the name sounds like a copy of whatsapp. The function is whatsapp, flipboard and reddit.
It's a chat app with emoticons and posting links. Where's the innovation? If this was in North America or Europe, he'd probably get sued. If you were going to put together an app that was the most cloned, this would be it. Please don't say "don't reinvent the wheel".....more like 3D print the wheel again

Skeptic 4 years ago

I guess it really doesn't take much to make AB's "Entrepreneur of the Week". A few weeks ago, the "winner' was a non-profit organization with a handful of members. I guess when you set the bar so low, anyone (including generic templated apps that are far from a real business, such as this one) can make it.

Rahil 4 years ago

Nice 1 mick

Matt 4 years ago

Interesting approach and idea. I wish him all the best; I believe he's doing pretty well in taking all these risks and challenges to build something.

I have worked in Silicon Valley for more than 15 years now, and I believe that reading the previous comments shows the main boundary Entrepreneurs face during the creation of their startups and businesses.

Taking the lead in creating something with such high standards regarding User Design, Experience, and the idea is always celebrated and supported here in Silicon Valley. Look at Amazon.com and Jet.com that was recently bought by Wallmart, Whatsapp and Telegram, Viber and Tango, Periscope, Meerkat, and YouNow apps! All these apps are similar and successful. But I still can't see his app similar to else.

It is always easy to judge Entrepreneurs, but it's hard to take the lead and be one. I feel proud to have this guy doing so from our region and coming here to make it in Silicon Valley. He has the guts and I wish him all the best

MT3 4 years ago

Luai claims on the site to have "reinvented communication" when really all he has is a verbal emoticon and not much else. He also claims that he is bringing feeling to the Internet which is such a prurient and clearly inaccurate statement it's risible. I am so tired of this meaningless marketing hyberbole and this is why most of these guys aren't attracting funding. If people stopped claiming to have discovered a whole new paradigm of being and simply said that they had a neat little twist on facebook or whatsapp then I'd be prepared to listen and possibly invest. There is no honesty in what they are doing - Luai doesn't honestly believe he has reinvented communication so why say it? This approach belies his confidence - he simply doesn't believe enough in this thing to sell it for what it is. And investors can smell that a mile off. Harsh but the best advice I can give to any entrepreneur.