Start Ups and School

by Zain Verjee May 14, 2015

Published in Zain's Updates

Doing homework, reading critical theory texts and figuring out whether I am correctly capturing characters that drive real life plots is a crazy switch of gear in the middle of an action packed few months.  


The aKoma team, Chidi, Alanna and I, are bang in the middle of an Alpha test for our product and working hard with the awesome development team we have.   It’s tough to balance the demands of the day: making sure clients get the best and most of me, the endless stream of phone calls and time zones, breakfast, lunch, coffee drinks and dinner meetings, trains and planes, and figuring out how we’ll get market traction effectively and sustainably.  Add to that, 25,000 words of creative writing, and another intense essay on critical theory.  I’ve got five more months to get it all together and do a decent job to get the Oxford Masters in Creative Writing.

I’ve decided my genre for my final project will be non-fiction.   I’ve just put down a book for start-ups called ‘Traction.’ Right now I’m reading a memoir, ‘No Way Home,’ by a famous ballet dancer called Carlos Acosta.  Aminatta Forna, ‘The Devil that Danced on Water’ is next on my list, then ‘The Zanzibar Chest’ by Aidan Hartley.  I’ve got to analyze the techniques of memoir.   When I think about how to work this into my day, I’m super stressed. How is this going to happen?

When I actually start the work, reading or writing, I find myself more at peace and at ease.   It gives me a mental break, it’s escapist and it inexplicably helps my spirit.  It’s meditative and consuming, when I’m in the zone.  I’m working on a collection of non-fiction essays from my time at CNN and I would love to share sections of them with you, once I’m confident enough, and see what you think. Maybe I will put them on aKoma and you can give me your feedback. I’m working hard to get the platform ready for all of your stories and ideas. If you want to stay updated on our progress, go to and sign up for our newsletter. 



comments powered by Disqus