Alif Noon/الف نون: Lean Startup Entrepreneurs

Mudassir Azeemi
4 min readNov 17, 2020

A long, long time ago, before I was born, back in 1965, there was a drama series on Pakistan Television Network known as Alif Noon. During my late 80s and early 90s, we used to watch the re-run, fun times.

The story revolves around two fellas; one was known as Alaan and Nanah. In Urdu, Alaan starts with the Urdu alphabet, pronounce as “Alif,” and Nanah starts with “Noon,” hence “Alif Noon.”

It was a comedy-drama series, two friends Alaan and Nanah, always devise a plan to start a business. Alaan, on the one hand, always tries to create a phony and cunning scheme, where he used to deceive the clients, whereas Nanah is always about being honest, upfront, and transparent. By nature, Alaan was cunning, and Nanah was innocent and sometimes too gullible for Alaan’s taste. But they were the best friends for life. Always stick together in thick or thin.

Why I still enjoy that drama? Even though I start watching it somewhere in the late-80s. Why is it intriguing that much, still today? I think there are some good lessons for entrepreneurs.

Be honest

Suppose you are offering a service. Be honest about it. If you have a roadmap of a product, do share with customers. Also, being a bit cunning is OK, which does not harm the customer, of course, but in a way that you can out-compete your competitor. For that, I recommend the book “Blue Ocean Strategy.” The main theme of this book is said precisely on their website.

Red oceans are all the industries in existence today — the known market space.

Blue oceans are all the industries not in existence today — the unknown market space.

Be upfront

Did you make a blunder, accept it, and be upfront about it, no hanky-panky. Just say, “you made a mistake. You apologies for it”. Next step for you? Just fix it.

Be transparent

Your policies should be crystal clear, do not be like a cunning lawyer. Make sure the verbiage in your privacy policies, terms, and condition are obvious and precise. For example, a recent fiasco of those apps sharing our “data” with other companies, and they, in return, sharing that data with the US government.

Mudassir Azeemi

Finding patterns in chaos. Pioneer of Urdu language on Apple devices! UX/UI Instructor | Speaker | Design Governance Head at Ring Central | Curious