Acceleration Due to Gravity, g Anywhere

Here is a neat widget produced by Wolfram Alpha for determining the acceleration due to gravity in different gravitation environments, both on earth and on other planets.

As we have learnt from freshman physics, the acceleration due to gravity is the rate an object accelerates at as it is pulled to the surface of the the earth, or any heavenly body exerting a gravitation force.

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On Resource Optimization

I drew the following chart in a speech to my team on how to better optimize their individual skills so that they translate to greater output, and in turn we as a company will be able to broaden our market reach.

It is easy to add more head count to the team, the challenge is to work effeciently and productively with your current and seasoned head count.

The market demands instant gratification, as a company it is our job to meet market expectations.


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Echoes from the Past


The new juxtaposed upon the old. From Victorian era buildings to contemprory present day glass towers. London is a town where tradition and modernity are intricately married in a harmonious symphony. Amidst the hustle and bustle of day-to-day city life you hear the gentle music of the past echoing in the backdrop.

Watching people walking in and out of London Victoria Station one can’t help think of the generations that have passed through this iconic landmark. From the likes of Gandhi, Jinnah, Nehru to my very own maternal grandfather, Hassanally A Rahman spent many years in this city.

London is one of the most well planned global cities. One of handful of cities that has been built around a sense of community. From the stellar public transport system to parks and street corners. This city encourages greater random human contact. That’s the mark of a civilized city.

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A Toast To The Honey Bees!


The entrepreneurs long full of wonder walk! © Copyright Abdulrahman Rafiq 2011 at The White House

An entrepreneur is someone who continuously feels being out of his element; doubting and second guessing oneself comes with the terrain. It’s  a known yet well kept secret of entrepreneurs. 

Mainstream pop culture that seek out the best and brightest, capitalizing on the very notion that an entrepreneur is a “know it all” maven are  doing a great disservice to aspiring entrepreneurs by not conveying the whole picture. 

The truth, though on the face things may appear discouraging, on the contrary it’s an impetus to dig deeper – encouraging the bold to take the plunge and explore.
Entrepreneurs are like artists and writers,  asking the tough questions others wouldn’t dare ask, yet unlike the artists and writers they self impose the burden of finding, or rather defining the answers to those tough questions. Thus they are always in a constant state of exploration.

Those questions that many a time go against conventional beliefs,  the questions that ordinary men would shun away out of fear of becoming a social and professional outcast or out of fear of loosing. Those questions that have driven men insane for millenia. Yet they continue to pursue until their last breath.

The hard truth of going down that path is that it’s a lonely one, where a select few have the wherewithal to go down. There is no guarantee of success.  In fact there is no way an entrepreneur can guarantee with absolute certainty that there’s a pot of gold lying at the end of the long dark tunnel.

You are driven by your own convictions, driven by a force within that says you must venture down a path no matter what the outcome.

Yeah you can try and quantify the risks, construct elaborate financial models to appease yourself and society, i.e your supporters and bank rollers.  But let’s face it, all that amounts to a load of BS.


© Copyright Abdulrahman Rafiq 2013 London Underground

Let’s stop kidding ourselves. If you have a burning desire to try and solve one of the puzzles of the universe, impact society in unimaginable ways then for crying out loud go and just do it. Turn your idea into something tangible by taking a chance, plung into the deep end.

Your idea is only as good as your conviction to see it to fruition. Don’t wait for the perfect moment to come along. Just do it and build your idea into a tangible business. If you happen to fail, big deal move on to the next idea.

There is no such thing as failure, no effort goes in vein, as the journey of an entrepreneur is a journey of a lifelong student – continuously striving and pivoting an idea – tailoring it to suite mass demand.

Fuck what the Wallstreet “analyst” have to say. As their analysis are based on convention of thinking inside the box. That is a box that at some point in time was created by someone like you who thought outside a box of conventional wisdom.

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Imran Khan: Never Give Up On Your Dreams TEDxKarachi Talk

Imran Khan, cricketer turned social reformer against all odds built not just one but three world famous institituion. From  Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital to the NAMAL College  to the truly grassroots political party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf that has for the first time since the advent of Shaheed Zulifaqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto mobalized and politisized a nation to it’s core, and for the first time in the history of Pakistan one finds a political party that has held grassroots internal elections – thus empowering and enabling the masses.

For all those who have asked who I will support, the answer is Imran Khan and PTI candidates from NA-250 and PS-113 in Karachi. The reason is spelled out in Imran’s TedxKarachi talk.  I am no fan of large Political Parties, in fact quite the opposite. I am a staunch independent who could never fully join any political party or group.  Even in the United States, though supporter of President Barack Obama during his 2008 and 2012 Presidential race,  I continue to remain an independent. Refusing to join any political party, instead support candidates on a case-by-caase basis based on merit and individuals character.

Imran is a visionary, witty, humorous and determined individual who sincerely cares for and believes in the country and people.  My decision means no disrespect to any of my Pakistani friends or people who are elligible to vote in Pakistan and have chosen to vote for another political party and candidate. Enjoy the talk and remember to excersize your constitutional duty in getting out the vote on May 11, 2013 no matter whom you choose.

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Mobile Copycat Galore: The $45 iPhone!

Earlier this evening the boy who works in my family’s home in Karachi returned, very excited might I add after grocery shopping with a $45 (PKR 4,500) Android dual SIM iPhone made in yours truly China! He showed it to me for advise if he should buy it or not. First impressions it looked like a damn good device – it has all the functionality of an iPhone, BlackBerry or Samsung Galaxy device.

It looks like the real deal, if it weren’t for the touch screen which is the give away. It uses the inexpensive resistive touch technology vs capacitive touch technology. However from the OS standpoint its a complete Android OS with a fully functional Android App store, capable of running all the commonly used apps -from  WhatsApp,  YouTube,  GoogleTalk, Yahoo, games, etc.

The global mobile revolution is on the verge of an explosion; Where inexpensive copycats like this “iPhone” are fast becoming main drivers of the mobile economy. Emerging users of such devices hold the keys to future of mobile commerce in the vastly underdeveloped world.

This phone is only one example, there are numerous other copycats produced produced everyday – from Sony, HTC, to Samsung each having some aspect replicated – of-course lets not discount popular South East Asian QMobile brand that provide $50 – $150 (PKR 5,000 – PKR 15,000) smartphones, a little more sophisticated catering to the burgeoning middle class consumer.

Armed with a cheap “copycat” smartphone, and a post/pre paid economical mobile service plan the poorest of the poor can pull themselves and their communities out of poverty –paving the path for a whole new genre of micro-business opportunities!

Visuals of the “copycat” iPhone on Android:







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Piercing Minds, and Hearts – Accenture

The past few weeks I have seen the following Accenture campaign video appear on my Facebook timeline. The video is a remarkable, if I may say work of art, invoking a sense of excitement from it’s intended audience – while grabbing their complete attention.

It does a fantastic job in projecting Accenture’s business successes as real life stories by connecting the intended audience to the solutions; An art businesses, both small and large can take lesson from. Connecting customers and prospective clients to a company and brand is especially challenging for technology companies; Filtering through technical lingo, piercing through minds, and hearts is an art form in itself.

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Branchless Banking Pakistan: Market Sizing Overview

Branchless and Mobile Banking in Pakistan and in much of the developing world has a different definition to what it is known as in the developed world.  In Pakistan the concept of Branchless Mobile Banking refers to an alternative banking infrastructure, though legally sanctioned and supported by traditional brick and mortal infrastructure.

In a country where 90% of the population is unbanked due to immense bureaucratic red tape and lack of education into western banking forms and procedures the space has been created for this alternate form of banking.

Branchless Banking is a form of banking that straddles the eastern traditional banking methods such as the Hawala System with that of the western form, while depending heavily on technology to maintain transparency and provide the paper trail that the western system dictates.

In Pakistan Branchless Banking first saw the light of day when the mobile carrier Telenor acquired Tameer Bank to launch EasyPaisa.  With EasyPaisa’s success the industry started to see traditional banks partnering with the handful of Telco’s in the country to offer their own unique version of Branchless Mobile Banking in the country.  This wave in Branchless Banking has been driven by the Telco’s more than the banking sector whom until fairly recently were quite comfortable offering traditional banking services. Given the restrictions by the country’s banking regulation these Telco’s started to seek out partners within the banking circle.

With a population of 180MM, where 90% are unbanked there is a dire need for financial services that meet the needs of ordinary people, while providing a means to document the vastly undocumented economy.


Branchless banking agent’s network in Pakistan grew by 16% in Q2 for FY11 to FY12 reaching 22,512 agents covering the entire length and breadth of the country.

With an average size of branchless banking transaction at PKR 3,855 (USD 38.55) while the average number of daily transactions was 228,855

Bills payment and mobile phone SIM card top-ups remained the dominating activity.  53% share in total number of transactions, followed by fund transfers and deposits with share of 39% and 8% respectively.

While P2P payments remained the most popular mechanism with 74% share in the total funds transfer, mobile branchless banking is penetrating all areas of payments such as utility bills, Government-to-Person (G2P) and Person-to-Person (P2P) payments while scaling up other services relating to deposits and loans.

Core Branchless Bank Services:

  • Bill Pay
  • Money Transfer (Domestic and International)
  • Repay Loans
  • Save Money
  • Balance Inquiry
  • Mini Statement
  • Mobile Air Time TopOff
  • Branchless Banking Shop/Agent finder

Branchless Bank Operators:


Mobile Phone Market Size:


Typical Branchless Banking Functional Architecture:


Data Source: State Bank of Pakistan 2012 Branchless Banking Report, Mobile and Branchless Banking Operators, ProPakistan Blog & News Website

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Mobile Asia – Observations From My Travels

Hong Kong to Pakistan, mobile devices are the norm. Step in and out of trains, cable cars, ferries, and planes every second person is seen with some sort of mobile device. Ranging from the globally recognized brands — the likes of Apple, Samsung, and HTC to not so well known brands such as QMobile and Huawei. Yes, that’s the infamous Huawei which in some circles is known as earning it’s initial market share by piggy backing upon Cisco, as it rose to becoming a leader in the networking and telco space, and now fast coming out as one of the market leaders in mobile devices.

Riding the Hong Kong subway system as a tourist it’s intriguing to find the varied applications users have on their devices. From SMS and social media apps catering to the local Chinese culture, where through touch users communicate by drawing Chinese characters at lightening speeds – chatting with peers at even faster uninterrupted data rates that many a times aren’t possible in the U.S. where signal degradation or drops are common place, especially in large urban areas.

The predominant mobile  brands in Asia are Samsung and HTC in Hong Kong. Other brands such as QMobile are fast becoming popular in lesser affluent developing nations such as Pakistan. For around 30 USD you can get a dual core, Samsung Galaxy look-a-like. With some capable of holding dual SIMS cards. Miles ahead from what Apple offers on it’s iPhone!

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On Facebook Privacy

“Restricted” and “Show In News Feeds” in the case of profiles or “unsubscribe” the case of pages are tools one can use to un-clutter your Facebook News Feeds.

These features are neat in the sense that you are able to control what information you see on your News Feeds, and what others see of you.

The “Restrict” feature on peoples profile allows you to restrict people from seeing your news feeds without having to “unfriend” them. Great if you only want to share content with Friends and Family.

The “unsubscribe” feature on Pages is compelling. You can “Like” a page yet not be subscribed to it. That way posts from the page wont show up on your News Feeds.

Unchecking “Show In News Feeds” on a profile Is a neat feature by which you can control what or what not to allow on your News Feeds, without having to unfriend someone.

The features I have described above are some of the tools individuals have in their Facebook arsenal, controlling what content they can see and what others can see of them.

Businesses or organizations who host Facebook pages need to realize that Likes on their page do not necessary translate to readership.

These features force users – both individuals and business to think creative, and to find out what type of content makes people tick.

The days of unchecked mass postings on Social Media channels are long gone. Users are becoming smarter with increased privacy controls at their disposal.

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