Amer is a rare species of human that possesses all the necessary ingredients of a successful entrepreneur. He has an incredible amount of positive creative energy and zeal for generating ideas, while also having the ability to execute.
This past week, I had the pleasure of sitting down (remotely) with Amer to get to know him a little better. Having worked with him over the past year on Amanda AI, I’ve been able to witness his incredible work ethic, and the absolute passion he has for the work he does.
It’s been quite rewarding to see Amanda AI go from inception to a product that is being used at staple industry events like the Traction Conference and the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference. It was great to be able to pick the brain of the mastermind behind it all.
Position: Business Development Manager
Favourite Game: Red Dead Redemption 2
Fun Fact: Likes to occasionally go camping alone
Last Movie Watched: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Favourite Food: Middle Eastern Food, (Mansaf)
Tell us about yourself. What’s your story/background?
“I was originally born in Jordan. When I was 10 years old, I moved with my family to Ontario, Canada where I went to school for 5-6 years. I then moved back to Jordan for a couple of years, before moving back to Ontario to complete a degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Waterloo. I eventually also went on to complete my Master’s degree in Civil Engineering.”
“I took a particular interest in structural and earthquake engineering, and because of that, I decided to take an opportunity out in Vancouver. After having spent a significant amount of time studying and working in this field, I started to struggle with the notion that 99% of my job would be sitting at a desk. Eventually, I decided that as much as I loved what I did, it wasn’t suitable for me in the long term. I wanted something that had a good balance of human interaction and strategic planning.“
“Since I’ve always had a passion for business, finance and Entrepreneurship, I decided to go back to school and do my MBA at UBC.”
How did you end up at TTT? First Impressions?
“I met Chris and Jose from TTT at an MBA breakfast and their casual personalities really stood out to me. Coming from my previous role, I was used to interactions being a fair bit more formal. I found chatting with Chris and Jose to be very refreshing and it made me realize that I wanted to work in that kind of environment.”
“I normally follow a lot of different companies on social media. It acts as a sort of window into the company. TTT’s posts always looked so colourful and they always looked like they were so on top of the culture.”
What are some interesting things about yourself?
“Growing up, I’ve always enjoyed doing a variety of different things. I like to have several different projects going at the same time. I taught myself guitar, same with keyboard, and painting. I picked up a DSLR three years ago and started doing photography. I got into hiking for a while, and even ended up doing a Crossfit competition.”
“I pick up a project, obsess about it for a while, and it goes from there. Recently, I’ve been really into micro and macro economics.”
What’s your most memorable moment working at TTT?
“There are so many! But if I had to pick one, it would probably be when Amanda AI took off. Specifically, it was right after we successfully catered the Traction Conference.”
“After doing that show, I really felt like we could do anything if we could successfully pull that off. It was our first big project in Vancouver, and we smoothly signed in over 1,000 attendees. Seeing how happy the conference go-ers and the clients were, and how we could operationally pull it off was incredibly reassuring!”
“After Traction, we catered an event pretty much every month. Unfortunately, events and conferences are on a bit of a hiatus at the moment due to the state of the world right now, but I can’t wait for them to resume.”
What is your secret super power? (something you’re very good at, that not everyone knows)
“I have the ability to jump back and forth between being introverted and extroverted. I enjoy reading and doing more solo activities, but the other half of me very much loves interacting with people, and I get my energy from those interactions. That’s something that I appreciate about myself.”
“My previous role really only took advantage of my quiet/introverted side. The nice thing about TTT is I get to apply both aspects of myself. I get to sit down and do the work on financial models and processes. And then I get to go out into the field, connect with hundreds or even thousands of people and get that social interaction.”
What do you enjoy working on the most?
“I really love what we’re doing right now with the new product development process. I enjoy creating a formula out of something that’s more abstract. Part of me likes freeflow abstract thinking. I like to take that and create a structure and a process out of it.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“In a typical year, I would start hiking and doing some outdoor activities around this time. I originally had the west coast trail booked. But this year, in the interest of social distancing, I’ve spent a lot of that time indoors playing video games instead. I spent the first two or three weeks of lockdown playing “Death Stranding” which ironically had a lot of outdoor elements. I like nature and hiking in general, and this year I did it through video games.”
Who do you look up to? (Who is your hero?) Why?
“Tobias Lütke, the founder of Shopify.”
“Having worked on Amanda AI, I’ve witnessed the pains of running a startup first hand. I have mad respect for any founder that is able to get their company to IPO let alone one that was able to turn it into something so successful. It’s definitely not an easy feat. Getting to IPO validates that you’re able to create value for businesses or consumers.”