The Story of Jobedu
by Tamer AlMasri, Cofounder and CEO of Jobedu
Jobedu is the result of the many people who shaped and continue to shape it on a daily basis. The story can only be told through them. The journey is constantly unfolding and this ongoing blog series will do what it can to capture the moments that pass. At times the timelines may seem like they are jumping but thats just how it is (bare with me)
Although the story so far has quite a few leading characters there are many more who played a crucial supporting role in driving us to be who we are and do what we did/do. Parents, siblings, spouses, friends, cousins, mentors, media, fans, customers, suppliers, bankers, competitors, government staff and many more who together made up a constellation of individuals surrounding us while building a brand from nothing but an abstract thought discussed over coffee by two old high school friends: Michael “Meesh” Makdah and myself, Tamer AlMasri.
Our aspirations were extremely vague had with no direction whatsoever. We get asked all the time "how we got the idea of Jobedu" but it wasn't an idea that brought Jobedu to existence it was purely about "doing". We wanted to create a positive energetic brand that allowed Arab youth to be proud of their culture, heritage and celebrate who they are as individuals, and for us to have as much fun as possible in the process. The evolution of this brand was intentionally left in the hands of experimentation.
Tamer AlMasri and Michael "Meesh" Makdah, Cofounders of Jobedu, Summer 2008
One thing we did know from the outset is that we would derive Jobedu’s culture, values and business model from the bedouins. We believed from the outset that many overlook the great bedouin school and the gems it can teach. Bedouins are the masters of hospitality, customer service, managing supply chains, logistics, mitigating risk and most importantly how to survive in one the harshest of environments with very few resources.
We had also decided that whatever we were going to do must be low budget (out of the necessity of being broke), artistic and creative, marketing and branding heavy, and organic.
As much as I will try to describe moments as vividly as my memory allows and to the best of my linguistic abilities, there is no way I can do justice to the chronic anxiety, hopelessness, mental and physical fatigue oddly blended with euphoric happiness, lucid surrealism, sense of accomplishment and deep self satisfaction that accompanied us with every step we took.
With little experience under our belt, trial and error was the default setting. With every error a scar, a dent to our bank account and a curriculum of learning to digest. Day in day out we feared the next straw would break the camel’s back.
However before we get into Jobedu’s inception we need to go back to a key phase where I believe everything good starts: high school.