Nothing to Something

Muhammad Nasrullah has done something that not many people have done – take his startup from nothing to something, being recognized as a Global 100 company by Red Herring in 2012. There were over 5,000 nominees, so how did he do it? Here are 9 insights from the founder of Pring.

1. What does it take to start a company?

A need to solve a problem, to change your fate.

2. What does it take to keep a company going?

A company is based around a shared belief. If that belief is strong, the company is strong. There are a million other factors but that's the most important one.

3. What specific hurdles to entrepreneurship would you like to share.

In my context, I wish I had lots of mentorship to avoid a lot of the common pitfalls and mistakes that I committed. If a young entrepreneur comes to me now, I can save them a load of trouble. But there are many mistakes that a person needs to commit to truly understand the problem and grow.

4. What abilities do employers look for when recruiting?

(1) Are you on board with our mission?

(2) Are you smart?

(3) Can you get things done?

(4) Hope you're not a jerk (someone who people can't work with). Someone could be the world's greatest programmer but if he's mean to people and people don't want to work with him, he's useless in today's collaborative and highly social environment. Imagine if someone who works for you is rude on social networks. It's their personal right but at the end people will think, "What a Jerk, I can't believe he works at X."

5. How are those qualities different from the entrepreneurial mindset, if any?

I think these are very close to the entrepreneurial mindset. Good entrepreneurs also make great employees.

6. What is a hackathon and doesn’t it encourage the wrong values? Hacking is considered to be a bad to illegal activity.

No. That's a common misconception thanks to the mainstream media. Hacking is a positive term which means to cobble together code in order to create something. Hackers are elite programmers who create software like Linux, Apache, Video Players. What you're referring to is called Cracking. Hackathons are fairly common in the startup world: See

The goal is to create usable software. A hackathon is a programming marathon.

7. Why did you organize a hackathon?

Our goal is to open up the telecommunication market and make it as easy as just writing code and getting a mobile service up and running. The hackathon was our way of showing to the next wave of developers what the future is like.

8. What benefits are there in such a hackathon –
(a) to you?

We get more developers on board. We want Pring to be a platform and we want developers to build on top of it for their own and our gain.

(b) to participants?

They get to implement their ideas, get access to expert help, work with top engineers, get to see the company culture and as students they got to interact with the industry.

9. What did you learn?

We learnt quite a bit about what developers want from our API (App Program Interface) and we're working on improvements. We also received feedback on how to make the app creation process smoother and better. An API involves pre-made blocks which you can use to build apps even faster. For example, instead of you having to write a whole system to invite friends you could just use the Facebook API. Or instead of you having to connect with each mobile operator and deal with them, you could just use Pring API for SMS. An API permits communication between software.

Author's Bio: 

About Susan McKenzie
I am an English specialist with I CAN READ. I have worked for major British institutions: British Council, British High Commission, British Railways Board and Linguaphone. I am a London-trained lawyer and have been the public affairs officer at the British High Commission, Singapore, as well as an editor in an international book publishing house and a national magazine. I am also co-author of two law books: English Legal System and Company Law, published by Blackstone, Oxford University Press. I am an Ambassador of Peace (Universal Peace Federation and Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace). Connect: Email!/abetoday