Who is @FarhanMasood ?

Founder of Go Green Pakistan talks about his love of Twitter and the miseries of the life of an inventor.

Faisal Kapadia September 23, 2011
A  single dad to a 6-year-old princess Farhan Masood is the founder of Go Green Pakistan, a campaign aimed at connecting patriots in the country. He enjoys putting smiles on people’s faces and loves Pakistan.

When did you join Twitter and why?

I joined Twitter on July 2, 2009. I was known as Baba-e-Facebook due to my following and large numbers of comments on my funny statuses and then Talal Masood (@Taalz) introduced me to Twitter and I loved it.

Twitter is like a text-based radio and every account holder has his or her own station. You can broadcast the text of your program the way you like. If someone has tuned into you as a follower that does not mean you hear their text 'noise' too, unless you tune into them. It is a neat concept. Moreover, the crowd on Twitter is more decent than on Facebook. One more thing that kept me away from Facebook was that I hate‘like’ button, which decreases user response in terms of text. If someone appreciates your effort on Facebook, they will just come quietly 'like' it and go away. Twitter culture is different. People applaud the tweet they like to all of their following by re-Tweeting (RT) it.

Have you ever had a Twitter fight?

Never. I am a positive person who believes in peace. Hence, I never take part in such activities. Sometimes, however, my Indian friends try to provoke me by passing negative remarks on my homeland; all I do is smile and say:
"You are really funny.”

That's enough to anger them, and guarantee no negative remarks in return.

Many beginners find Twitter very difficult to use as compared to Facebook. What are your thoughts?

Twitter is much easier now than the time I joined it. Yet, you must seek guidance from an expert who will share the right tools with you on how to use Twitter. Just twitter.com is not enough; I would not use Twitter if I didn’t have access to Tweetdeck on my desktop. This tool really made Twitter an interesting experience for me, as I had full control over it and I had a window opened to my friends Facebook statuses on one column.

How many followers do you have?

I have over 50,000 followers. On average, I have 250 new followers a day  which is more than the a months back when I has abut 150 new followers a day.

What's the secret to having such a large following?

Twitter is full of boring tweets; everyone posts news, generally bad-news, quotes or gossip. My tweets, on the other hand, are positive and funny. This enables me to get more followers. Just like like money makes money, more followers mean more followers every day.

Also, when I run campaigns like the one on flood relief, Independence Day, cricket matches and so on, I gain followers due to RTs. Basically, if your content forces someone to RT you, it guarantees more followers.

What do you do when you are not on Twitter?

I am an entrepreneur, scientist, and inventor. I am also a technology freak. I am the founder of SoloTech Corp, which has created award winning technology including the SmartXS, a biometric retina and face scanner used by Nadra the Pakistan army, and other many multinational groups.

Sometime I can't sleep because I am continuously innovating and bringing new ideas to my product line. I came back to Pakistan seven years ago to build a local brand and take it global, and that dream is now a reality since our products are now reaching every corner of the world.

Aside from this, I am a relationship mentor, and help many couples who have family issues and problems.

What is life like as an inventor?

The life of an inventor is really miserable. There are moments when you don’t sleep, when you are eating, getting a haircut or even taking a bath. There is even a moment when you say:
“I can’t afford a girlfriend, but a talking frog would be cool.”

However I have learned to keep a real balance in my life as I am not inventing with someone else’s money. I had to bootstrap to fund my inventions. That requires you to be social and always pitch to sell your concepts. On top of this, I am a single parent; this brings on a lot of responsibilities.

What do you do when you are not working?

I like to tweet and smoke Sheesha. Spending time with my friends, family and my loved ones is also something I enjoy doing.

If you had to sing one song what would it be?

Pankajh Udhaas - Chandi jaisa rang hai tera sonay jaise baal. I sing it most of the time for no reason.

If you were on a deserted island, who would you choose to be with?

My laptop with an internet connection. I wouldn’t mind a hunter who could cook too, preferably a female. When are you sending me?

If you had the choice to attain one superpower, what would it be?

To be invisible - the rest I would do myself.

Starting tomorrow, you are the president of Pakistan. What will you do?

If I am in power I will immediately do the following:

I will sign a treaty with China for military protection and handover the Gwadar port to them. In exchange, I will ask for electricity, food, infrastructure development, and oil and mineral extraction. Moreover, I will merge all provinces into one and will hang anyone who gets caught taking bribes. Anyone who helps in capture of a rishwat khor, will not only get double the bribe amount in question, but will also get his job done even if illegal. I will connect all the universities with the industry sector, and the industry will design the new syllabus. In addition to this, I will copy the operational system of 1122 into all government departments especially the police.

You haven't been spotted at the recent social media events - are you in hiding?

I had been traveling a lot and am busy in some serious development projects.

What has it been like working in different countries and varied environments?

It was has been a great experience; I have worked from London, Dubai, China and Saudi Arabia. My experiences have opened my mind, and enabled me to bring the best of cultures to an organization of my own.

Do you think social media is the be all of the future in Pakistan?

Yes! Wait till the android enters the market for Rs3000 in a Chinese model - that is when we will see a social media revolution in the country.

What quality do you find most endearing in a woman?

Confidence, loyalty and trust.

What is your favourite dessert?

Crème brûlée

When you hear the word Twitterari, what comes to your mind?

Someone who lives on Twitter.

Any message you want to give to Pakistan?

Pakistan is not just a piece of land; I am Pakistan, you are Pakistan, we are Pakistan. When we change, so will Pakistan.

Sindhi, Baloch, Punjabi, Mahajir, Pathan, Hazara and others - we are all Pakistani.
Faisal Kapadia A Karachi based writer who blogs at deadpanthoughts.com and tweets @faisalkapadia (https://twitter.com/faisalkapadia)
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Myra | 12 years ago | Reply Loved the article, you are very inspiring and have a such a refreshing "go getter" attitude that is hard to come across these days... Best of luck with all your endeavors, wishing you continued success!
Shaheed Faiz | 12 years ago | Reply I read this interview when posted but commenting on it very late. I have never met @FarhanMasood but he is one guy I would love to meet someday. I am extremely impressed with the dedication he shows when it comes to helping others and making sure the help is provided before he rests. If you follow him on Twitter (and you must) you will be surprised to see his timeline with requests seeking Blood Donation for Dangue Fever. They arrive at so odd times that one wonders if he ever sleeps till he gets a confirmation from a donor. I am sure he doesn’t. He also had a major contribution towards Go-Green campaign that hit Pakistani young generation by storm. Of course his witty side is also appreciated but hats-off to him for having the heart that he does. Congratulations Farhan. May Allah help you achieve your goals. Have a wonderful and blessed life.
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