“If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgment” — Brene Brown

I turned 38 last week. A well meaning post by an uncle of mine reminded me of the worst years of my life. I am the youngest of three brothers and was reminded every day by people close to me that I was not a manly man. The popular narrative was and is that my brothers were “rough and tough” but I was a “mama’s boy” and a “pretty boy” who cried a lot. I did. Almost every week, averaging 20–30 minutes per cry session. For 9 years straight.

As the years went by I was told to just suck…


NetEquity’s mission is to make high speed Internet access affordable for every human within a decade. We believe the best way to accomplish our mission is by building an open access fiber network in every country.

A fiber optic cable has virtually unlimited capacity which implies that it has negligible marginal cost of serving additional users. When a fiber network is financed under a fixed or formula driven investment return structure, its incentive structure becomes aligned with the ideals of open access. Specifically, the price paid to access such a network declines as usage grows. …


How to keep stakeholders on the same page in times of exponential change

Board members have a duty to keep themselves informed about matters put before them for decision. This duty cannot be complied with unless board members have relevant material upon which to base their decisions. Management provides the Board with information they consider relevant though a dossier (commonly called “board pack”) ~7 days before a board meeting.

The board pack is a key source of information for board members, but also a source of concern for all stakeholders, especially management teams. According to 2017 research by UK governance consultancy Board Intelligence:

  • 50+% of the respondents said their pack was 200-plus pages…

Why is half the world unable to access the Internet?

Half the world cannot access the Internet and that’s just not OK!

1. Internet access: coverage ≠ connectivity


Four days from now an unprecedented event will take place in Italy…

The breakup of an incumbent telecom carrier driven by market forces and not anti trust regulations

1. What is meant by “market forces”?

  • There is money to be made in buying stocks of telecom carriers (like Telecom Italia) at prevailing stock prices, selling their assets and distributing the resulting cash proceeds to stock holders. To understand this phenomenon, notice the difference between Enterprise Value (value of stock + debt) and Total Assets (net book value as reported on the balance sheet) of a telecom carrier.

This post is a compilation of videos explaining how open access fiber can improve lives

How fiber improves learning outcomes

  • Imagine controlling a microscope 1,800 miles away and getting the images on an 8K large screen television
  • Imagine letting young students control that microscope with a mouse and having real-time access to leading scientists irrespective of geography

How fiber lowers cost of healthcare

  • Imagine giving cancer researchers around the world access to real-time, high resolution data on a tumor or blood sample

How fiber improve grid monitoring

  • Imagine “eyes on” everywhere on the electrical grid and being able to pin point faults with high accuracy

How fiber makes cities safer

  • Imagine a gun-shot going off in your city and nearby cameras automatically configuring a high resolution live feed to law enforcement officials

How fiber makes cities smarter


I moved towns every 2–3 years while growing up because dad was an army man. This meant re-establishing my self in a kiddie social network (usually a cricket team) every 2–3 years. In cricket terms, going from being the “12th man” who only did fielding to being assured a “batting spot” involved navigating a pre-existing social network and dealing with lots rejection as well.

Over the years this nomadic life taught me a few lessons that helped me get into college, find a job, build a company and switch careers. This post is about those lessons. …


Local communities in rural America are showing what needs to happen to make “Internet for all” financially feasible on a global scale, this post elaborates 5 themes I observed at the Broadband Communities Conference held in Ontario CA (Oct 2018)

When I first shared with my friends and family that I will quit my career to make internet access affordable for all (c. March 2016), a good friend joked with me saying he always knew I was a “commie” and reminded me of this quote by Vladimir Lenin (1920).

Soon after reading this quote I became curious about how America (the anti-thesis of communism) solved its electricity access problem. For context, in the 1930s, 9/10 households did not have to access to electricity in America. By early 1970s, 98% of all rural farms had electrical service. …


I got appointed as a director on a company’s board of directors for the first time in January 2012, I was 29 years old and had heard the term fiduciary duty for the very first time.

The company in question was Inbox Business Technologies, Pakistan’s largest system integrator / technology services company by revenue. My appointment happened because Dawood Hercules Group (DH) owned a majority stake in Inbox and I was working with DH to launch a private equity firm called Cyan.

I remember being overwhelmed, not knowing where to turn for advice. The existing set of directors who I…


I used to think celebrating failure was cool. Following situations irritate me

  1. “Mentors” talking about trivial failures only to follow up “but then I prevailed and look how I great I am now”
  2. Executives at corporations without substantial skin in the game making big bets on behalf of shareholders but not planning well enough to execute
  3. Tech magazines and blogs preaching endlessly about celebrating failure and highlighting how all the great entrepreneurs failed

To some extent I think this failure celebration is causing aspiring entrepreneurs and risk takers to give up a bit too soon and say ah well we tried but we failed. So now we’re cool.

That’s problematic I think. Because I think that’s faking failure. It’s not real failure.

Failure and entrepreneurship cannot be faked. It’s time to stop faking failure.

Isfandiyar Shaheen

I believe that you owe yourself an incredible life.

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