Irfan Khalid


Irfan – a Maker of tomorrow

Meet Irfan – a product developer who was one of the first to have a computer in Pakistan back in the 90ies and who today builds the next generation of telecom networks.

 

How did you become a Maker?

I have always been inspired by inventions and creative ideas in my surrounding. Thanks to my dad, I had access to computers from a very young age which was not very common at that time in Pakistan. In university I realized that innovation is about “fixing some sort of a problem”, rather than just building fancy technology. When I found Cybercom I felt immediately at home because this is truly a place that embraces that kind of innovation.

Could you describe a project where the Maker spirit really came through?

One of our long term customers challenged our team of agile developers to come up with ideas on how to improve the innovation process. In short, instead of just coming up with great product innovation ideas, we sat down to develop a Way of Working to capture as many great ideas as possible. We built it on the Agile development methodology where ideas are captured and then pushed through a funnel to finally be implemented. A true Maker initiative that was highly appreciated by the customer.

 

What are the most important things you learned in how you build innovative teams?

One key insight is that with the right model for innovation more people get involved in the process and hence the results get better. Almost everyone can contribute to innovation but without the right context, shy or introverts might not even dare to speak up and this is a shame because it is not always the loud ones that have the best ideas!

 

Is this something that all customers can benefit from?

Yes, it certainly is. The innovation model we developed has been taken up by the Cybercom organization and is a tool that can be implemented with any customer to improve their innovation process.

 

Finally, what is a maker to you?

For me the formula of being a Maker is simple:  Inspiration + Perspective + Conducive environment + Doer attitude = A Maker