My startup Digital Cloud – A Success Story

Today, i’ll share with you a story about a very important chapter of my life. The story of Digital Cloud Agency.

How it started?

In December 2012, i established Smartology, my first digital marketing agency. Despite that I was in my 3rd year of engineering school but i’ve managed to build a proper team and capture many deals related to web development and social media services. During the 1st year, I was able to rent an office in Cairo and hire two part-time employees to assist me in handling the projects. afterwords the team became bigger and In two years we were serving more than 30 clients between private corporates and governmental entities. the business was growing very well.

One my friends asked me to assist a close friend to him – Ahmed Al Refae – the founder of Digital Cloud in Saudi Arabia who is suffering with the business management part specially when it comes to growth and handling clients. Ahmed was impressed with my recommendations for his business to be stable and to grow. At this point he offered me to join forces of both companies and to join Digital Cloud as Co-Founder and Business Development Manager for the company which has offices in Jeddah and Gaza with a regional key client portfolio.

I set two clear goals, the first one is to develop our services to sustain the current clients so i was frequently traveling to Jeddah to meet them and strengthen our business relationship, setting up meetings with strategic partners in UAE such as Twitter & socialbakers to enhance our performance and attending key events such as Arab Net for networking. The 2nd goal is to increase the company’s capabilities and resources in order to acquire new clients, Therefore, i established a beautiful operations office in Cairo where I directly recruited and managed more than 30 employees in less than a year.

You can have a look over the office design in the below images

Luckily, i was capturing the stages during this year, Have a look about some of them in the below video.

How it ended?

Despite all the hard work have been spent to make the company grow, The team storming stage was very tough. The old team of Digital Cloud wasn’t accepting to have a new co-founder from outside the company and i have to admit that i wasn’t politic enough to overcome such situation. I have been firm and always put the agency interest as top priority, Despite that i believe that this is the right way but it can’t be done while the CEO avoiding getting involved in these arguments.

In June 2016, I’ve decided to pursue my career in Hilton and leave Digital Cloud after i made sure that it won’t be the best place to fulfill my ambitions.

Lesson learned:

Oh! I don’t know from where i should start. I gained huge experience during the period i was working as part of Digital Cloud, i learned how to recruit and lead big teams in different countries, how to approach and work with key regional clients and i had hands on the most advanced tools in this period in the digital marketing industry.

Also, there were tens of lessons i’ve learned from this experience, let me share with you the top 5 of them

  • Choose you cofounder wisely, Your Co-Founder Can Make or Break Your Startup
  • In the Good to Great Book, The writer developed a linear process for implementation of the “First Who, Then What?” concept which i believe any good leader must follow. Here is how it works
    • 1) Get the right people on the bus.
    • 2) Get the right people in the right seats.
    • 3) Get the wrong people off the bus.
    • 4) Put who before what.
  • Protect your rights and make sure that all legal papers are prepared
  • Team is the most valuable asset for any startup so make sure that you are recruiting a talented, committed and reliable team
  • Choose Your Arguments Wisely!