Ajaz Ahmed - Founder and Chairman of AKQA

[quote style=”boxed”]Accept that some days are going to be better than other days, but realize that when you add it all up, life is one big adventure in serendipity.[/quote]

Ajaz is founder and chairman of AKQA. He founded AKQA when he was 21 years old, with the values of innovation, service and quality, and with the thought to create an “ideas company” to help organizations embrace the digital revolution. Seventeen years later, he is in the same job and AKQA still has the same values. Today, AKQA is the largest and most awarded company in its field, with more than one thousand employees worldwide. Ajaz works with leaders every day to formulate visions and new ideas.

In partnership with Stefan Olander, Nike’s VP of Digital Sport, Ajaz co-authored Velocity–Seven New Laws for a World Gone Digital, which includes an introduction by Sir Richard Branson. Since its launch in May of 2012, Velocity has been a #1 best-seller in the U.K., U.S., Germany and France.

What are you working on right now?

We are designing our new office in Paris, which will open in October.

Where did the idea for your new book come from?

Stefan Olander and I are lucky we are asked to share insights and thoughts on the changing business landscape. We put our ideas into Velocity to help people navigate the emerging environment and to encourage people to follow their passions.

What does your typical day look like?

It’s relentless, but not in a bad way. I’m usually up around 5:00 a.m.

How do you bring ideas to life?

We use art and code to tell stories through software.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Less ignorance, thanks to universal access to knowledge, which will hopefully lead to more humanity.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I don’t understand the point of doing a job you don’t enjoy. Life’s too short.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Accept that some days are going to be better than other days, but realize that when you add it all up, life is one big adventure in serendipity.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Never give up.

What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Everything is fixable. All you need is good people.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Teleportation would be handy.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

I would want us to have universal respect for one another–by not judging or putting labels on people.

Tell us a secret.

AKQA stands for Ajaz Khowaj Quoram Ahmed.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

  1. Google because it works.
  2. Instagram because a picture speaks a thousand words.
  3. Amazon because they deliver.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I just read My Heroes by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. It tells some remarkable stories about human courage and serves as a reminder of unnecessary human conflict.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

  1. Sir Richard Branson, the king of entrepreneurs.
  2. Jamie Oliver. No one’s more passionate about good food.
  3. Me, because I have yet to write my first tweet.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

Any time I watch the cartoon Family Guy.

Who is your hero?

My parents. They have an extraordinary sense of values and encouraged me to find my own direction without ever putting any pressure on me to do one thing or another.

What makes you happy at work?

When the work we create is shared by audiences.

How do you relax?

Swimming.

Connect:

Ajaz Ahmed on Twitter: @ajaz
AKQA on Twitter: @akqa
AKQA on Facebook: Facebook.com/AKQA

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