When we covered Feline Frenzy and I did some back ground research on the founder Hassan Baig, I was intrigued by his outstanding back ground. For some one working on the financial hub of the world in Investment Banking to leave all that and get back to Pakistan for a startup, i needed to know the reasons, he was gracious enough to reply in detail.
A little about his back ground
I’m a LUMS (CS and Econ double major) and Duke grad. I’ve worked as an investment banker earlier – I quit around a year ago and laid the foundation of our tech start-up here in Islamabad.
Why a startup in the tech sector and why social games?
As a financial analyst I’d seen all the financial data of how lucrative virtual goods and Facebook App Development were. It made sense to take a shot at it – especially at an age when we can still afford to be dreamers. Why Islamabad? Facegames are not AAA titles. Their mechanics and production values are such that we can actually do that kind of work in Pakistan at Pakistani costs. It can work!
Tell us a little about White Rabbit
White Rabbit has 5 employees excluding myself. We have one AS3 developer, one Facebook API and system architecture expert, one animator, one world designer and one virtual goods designer. So essentially what these guys do is:
- AS3 developer: codes the mechanics of the games
- FB API and sys: ensures seamless connectivity to Facebook’s highly volatile API. Very tricky this one!
- World designer: designs the world, perfects the avatar-look
- Animator: tweening expert
- Virtual goods designer: designs virtual goods for users
Everything that is left – game economy, identifying hot genres, art style, advertising strategies, econometric research, grunt work, slave driving, micromanagement and so on I do myself.
Why the hard life of an Entrepreneur
This is a philosophical question. I wanted to do something with real impact in life; something that could potentially lead to positive changes in my life, and in the lives of those around me – both at a national and international level.
It remains to be seen whether I’ll actually accomplish these goals, however just knowing the fact that I’ve started walking this path makes life a sweeter experience.
How much time it took for development of Feline Frenzy
Feline Frenzy’s development took around 3 months. Wrestling with Facebook’s API took another 2. Mark Zuckerburg can’t make up his mind about the Platform and changes it every few months – what worked yesterday doesn’t work today. Working out the Facebook API is a good exercise in patience!
Where are you going next?
As for our upcoming plans, we see huge potential in the burgeoning virtual goods market – more people than ever are taking out their credit cards, paypal accounts or cell phones to pay for virtual items. Therefore, we’re next moving into the avatar customization, nurturing and decorations domain. These are some of the biggest games on the planet at the moment, and I’m hoping we can get a chunk of the action for Pakistan too.
And he ended with this
In the end, I believe it’ll take not more than a handful of internationally successful start-ups in Pakistan to send out major shockwaves in our tech industry. It will change lives.
I have left a part of our communication which focuses on Platform why Facebook instead of Iphone or Android, I am planning to have another detailed discussion on that topic so stay tuned, we will soon be diving deep into which platform makes sense for which type of entrepreneur.
Thanks Hassan for your time, will hope to hear some more news from you soon.