Ismail AlKamal

The 5 Lessons I learned from launching our first product

I’m writing this to motivate many of my fellow entrepreneurs in Beirut, Amman, Cairo, Dubai, Riyadh and all over the Arab world. 10 years ago, the idea of being an entrepreneur was to open a restaurant (giggling, we would call it our shawarma shop backup plan) but after Yahoo’s acquisition of Maktoob in a rumored $164 Million deal, everything changed, and hundreds of startups began sprouting here and there. This is a story of our first try to build a hardware product in the Arab world. Continue reading…

Mastering Construction Scope with 2 Simple Ideas

Construction

The Scope is the most important part of a construction contract. It’s a source of lot of distress for both the employer and contractor. The employer usually issues a Bill of Quantities (BOQ) and a set of drawings to a group of bidders to price. He then studies the submitted offers and awards the project to the most qualified and cost-effective tenderer. After the project is awarded and contract signed, the contractor might discover that an item or work activity is not part of the contract BOQ but nevertheless is essential for the execution of the project. The Contractor presents the Owner with a construction claim and requests an issuance of a variation order (VO) dreaded by Owners everywhere. Continue reading…

Hotel Lobby

Have you ever been lost in a hotel lobby?

Last month, while I was traveling to Dubai on business. I checked into a lovely luxury hotel that recently opened its doors to the public. I entered the lobby which was mainly a magnificent glass space full of natural sun light. The rays engulfed a myriad of beautiful golden archways intertwined together forming an exquisite art piece. Their reflection visible on the large cut white marble slabs that cladded the floor. A reflection only interrupted by the grey veins that spread throughout the marble flooring. In the center of this glass space was a single round sofa over a fuzzy white rug. Lost in the beauty of the architecture, I remembered a quote by Zaha Hadid. Continue reading…