Everything you wanted to ask about startup failure but were afraid to ask.

6 mins read

Everything you wanted to ask about startup failure but were afraid to ask


You were wondering what the fuss is all about? After all its just a book? So what if its on the iPad? Why does that make Reboot special? We put together a special section answering common questions around Reboot that have been asked. Have a question that isn’t answered here, drop us a line at jawwad at the rate financetrainingcourse.com and we will get back to you as soon as we can.


Startup Class – What is Reboot?

Reboot is a popular real life account of the failure of Jawwad Farid’s first venture in Southern California. The book revolves around two years Jawwad spent between Columbia Business School in New York and at his startup in Santa Ana; raising funding, building, launching an online education business and ultimately failing in May 2001. The failure set the stage for self introspection and Jawwad’s adventures in risk and treasury management. His next idea Alchemy Technologies (risk reporting for banks) takes off and becomes the foundation for his work as an adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Risk Management in Middle East and Far East. The book is now in its third edition and has been downloaded and used extensively by founders, entrepreneurs and professors all across the world in dissecting the life of a founder with all his blemishes, heartbreaks and failings.


Startup Class – Why is this book special?

When was the last time you read a book on starting a business that:

  1. Focused on what it would take for you to fail, rather than succeed. A checklist of sorts that mapped the dungeons you were likely to trip into as a founder rather than promises of success.
  2. Shared a step by step, heart to heart account of an idea, whose time had come but that still failed.
  3. Bridged the gaps between theory and practice of starting up by connecting and linking frameworks that matters and myths that don’t.
  4. Dedicated 30+ pages and 256 minutes of interactive video on getting your arms around pitching your products and services including a 55 minute dissection of what good pitches share in common.

Reboot does all four of the above. While it’s not the first book to attempt this, it is certainly the first that worked. One of the biggest reason for popularity of earlier editions is that the content (lectures and videos) was tested over the last decade in Jawwad’s startup and pitching crash course in Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok & Karachi and as part of his mentoring work for the Asia Pacific ICT Awards and the P@SHA Social Innovation Fund.

The book is actually three books in one.

a) Book One – The original Blue Screen of Death – covers the Avicena adventure in Southern California.

b) Book Two – Why Failure? reviews lessons learnt from startup failure and the application of the same lessons to startups and startup founders.

c) Book Three – Pitching for startups is the new section dedicated to teaching the rules of pitching to startup teams using a combination of theory, case studies, video and a 55 minute special pitch dissection session.


Startup Reviews. How was Reboot received?

"Successful entrepreneurship is a long and winding road toward identifying and capturing opportunity. This book tells this story in a refreshing and personal way. The experience and the rich perspective on entrepreneurship make the book especially interesting for anyone thinking about a serious venture."

Glenn Hubbard, Dean Graduate School of Business, Columbia University

"Refreshing, witty, down-to-earth, a totally delightful read – one of those rare ‘cannot-putdown’ books. The Blue Screen of Death gives a realistic insight into the world of a new breed of entrepreneurs – those who are born to lead and excel. The risk of failure is what keeps many of us from taking the plunge and starting our own ventures. Jawwad Farid gives us a totally new perspective – that failure should not be feared but embraced, that in fact it is the seed from which successful enterprises emerge.

Jawwad’s journey into the unknown has been one of courage, commitment and unfaltering faith; and through it all he has amazingly been able to keep his sense of humour. That is probably what got him through the toughest times. This book is a must-read for all those budding entrepreneurs who are standing on the edge wondering whether they should leap into the magical world of startup ventures."

Jehan Ara, President P@SHA

"So alive, so young, so refreshing… "

Dr. Javed Ghani, ex-Dean, LUMS Business School, ex Chairman PITB & Professor Karachi School of Business & Leadership

"In Reboot, Jawwad, not only tells his personal journal from success to failure and back again, but he does it with wit and insight, and a self-deprecating humor that draws the reader in. More than just a story of one man’s struggle, the book is an examination of what truly constitutes success and failure, offering the insight that they are not so much opposites, as two aspects of the search for a righteous and honorable challenge. I am richer for having read it, and wish I could have many cups of tea with the author."

Robert Ferrigno, New York Times Best Selling Author of The Wake Up, Flinch, Scavenger Hunt & Prayers for the Assassin trilogy

"Simple, punchy and unpretentious…"

Dr. Umar Saif, Vice Chancellor, ITU and Chairman Punjab IT Board (PITB)

"With simple diction yet effortless prose this book gives a refreshing feeling. I believe books, like humans, also have different intelligence levels. If not brilliant this book most definitely can be ranked as smart.”

 Sarmad Hasan, IUCN, Pakistan

"Jawwad is among the rare breed of entrepreneurs who made a successful career in Pakistan, went to an Ivy League Business School, and returned back to succeed at doing something new in his own country. He may be rarest of the rare in that he has the courage to share the secrets of his failures in the most public of manners possible."

Dr. Athar Osama, Founder, Pakistan Innovation Foundation

"Reboot – in search for the land of opportunity’ is not the sort of book you usually find on stores. Take a quick walk down the shelve-lanes of bookstores and you’d find hundreds of self-help books with success stories of lifetimes. While they’re a great inspiration for those still aspiring to venture into the harsh realities of life, they bid quite poor for those who have already tasted failure and those who are too optimistic to be realistic. In other words, for their authors, failures are the no-go zone of life, the hushed-up sentence, the forbidden word. And in staying from this forbidden fruit, they don’t as much as talk over it, or if it’s done, it’s just a chapter or two – for both in contemporary literature and culture, failure isn’t papyrus-selling. It’s rather sympathy-invoking, pity-arousing and well….definitely not a dear notion.

Not so for Jawwad Ahmed Farid and Reboot."

Salman Latif, Book Reviews in the News.

Startups. Reboot – Who is this book for?

The book was written for founder and co-founders who need a final push to get started and take their leap of faith. Over the last two decades Jawwad has started up, succeeded and failed in equal measure and his biggest personal fear has always been the fear of failure. As he mentors students, teams, startups and experienced entrepreneurs he focuses on how entrepreneurial success is a result of failed experiments. And why having a framework to think and manage failure is essential if you are serious about starting up. Even if you are curious bystander and are only interested in what it is like to startup and fail, the book does an honest job of giving you that peek at the startup life style.

Startup Training – Who is Jawwad Farid?

  Jawwad Farid ran his first venture into the ground in Southern California at the turn of the century. Since then he has helped multiple startup fail, reboot and succeed.

While he wears many hats, his primary passion remains the pursuit of the perfect pitch and the many holes in the ground that precede it.

He teaches Entrepreneurship & Risk Management at the SP Jain Campus in Dubai and Singapore and is a co-founder at FinanceTrainingCourse.com and Alchemy Technologies.

Jawwad is a Fellow Society of Actuaries, a MBA from Columbia Business School and a computer scientist. In different lives he has worked with the largest buyers of 30 year bonds, written three books on risk management and delta hedging, judged the Asia Pacific ICT Awards, built risk and treasury trading systems and taught computer science to 13 year olds.

He lives in Karachi but is commonly found on airports rushing to catch his flight before they close the counter.

Startup posts on FinanceTrainingCourse.com

Startup & Risk Trainer – Jawwad Farid profile

YouTube, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter


Reboot. Where can I buy it from?

  Reboot is available as a downloadable iBook on the Apple iBook Store for a launch promotion price of $4.99. The launch promotion expires on 30th June 2013.If you don’t have an iBook store in your market you can still buy the book by using iTune coupons.