Getting to know you: Safwan Hak

What do you currently do?

9Sharp provides professionals with the means to create, control and easily maintain their own brand in multiple languages. Allowing them to combine their digital identities from a range of social platforms such as, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, Deviant Art and Overflow to name just a few.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

The inspiration for 9Sharp came when two coworkers once asked me if they could use me as a professional reference. I agreed, asking if they’d each send over their CVs over to me for review.

When the résumés arrived, they were almost identical but because I had had first hand experience of working with them both, I knew that one of them was much more talented than the other. However, the CV didn’t show that. This is when I thought there must be some way to look beyond a straightforward CV and be a way that professionals can showcase their true passions, value and authenticity. This was the birth of 9Sharp.

Who do you admire?

I have been pretty impressed by the management and the success of the organizers of Web summit who in five years have grown from 400 attendees to over 42,000 from more than 134 countries. It’s a global business model that I admire and try to replicate with 9Sharp.

Things you would have done differently?

I believe that preparation is essential when starting out and personally I feel I could have spent a little more time on finding the right problem to solve, before writing any code. It would have saved me a significant amount of time and resources in refining my ideas and then putting them into action.

What defines your way of business?

9Sharp’s way of business can be defined in three words – energetic, international and driven. We believe that professionals should be able to connect and communicate between each other, on a platform which shows their brand’s digital presence in it’s entirety.

What advice will you give to someone who is just starting out?

One of 9Sharp’s core value is around demonstrating your passion and authenticity. I believe this is something all business owners should have when starting out.

You also need to learn to grow your network. People do business with those they like and trust. Become a resource to help others and yourself succeed. Connect with professionals and follow companies. Finally, always strive for more as a company.