We’d like to extend our apologies for the late addition of this post and would like to wish you all a very happy new year 2010. Since this post is inspired by CIO Pakistan’s decade review post, I should be reviewing the decade and there isn’t much to review as there wasn’t much about Guppu.com a decade ago, but still, there was something like Guppu at that time and that was an idea in the mind of a ten years old boy. That boy is me!
Having looking back to the past, exactly a decade ago, I was painting the colorful posters of “Happy New Millennium” to be placed at our school. Now the idea I mentioned above is the idea that first came in my mind when I was like 10. I might sound silly relating Guppu.com with that idea but it isn’t irrelevant really. Without any delay, I’d talk about what really the idea was. Well! I always wanted to have the media power! Wanted my speech to be heard – Those news channels I used to watch over the Dish Antenna used to make me crazy and I used to love them to the great extent.
So my total craze was to have a TV channel, a Magazine or a Newspaper. Those might be the wildest ideas a 10 years old boy can think off! I used to make the instances of my upcoming magazine on the plain paper.
The days kept passing and my idea didn’t make any commendable progress until I first got the internet connection in 2003. It’s like everything was settled when my idea to have a TV Channel, magazine or a newspaper started transforming into the idea of having a website. Because that didn’t looked all that impossible. So that was the real time when my real learning phase started off. Initially, apart from keeping up with the studies, I started learning the internet basics at home.
Mid of the Summer 2004 was a turning point when I joined a local IT institute to formally learn the fundamentals of Graphics and Website designing. To enhance my skills, I then joined a private TV channel, Royal TV, as an internee and there I mastered my skills in vector and print based graphic designing.
I did try to live my dream by experimenting on a couple of free website services but they were good for experimenting only!
Back in 2005, I bought my first domain name ShughalMela.com and launched an entertainment portal and e-magazine website. That was also the experimental phase and my this encounter helped me learn a lot and I kept it on for 2 years. ShughalMela.com got successful in having around 400 unique visitors a day but the thing kept me troubling was the name! Though the name was not bad, I felt that the spellings were hard to remember for the users and perhaps that was the reason of less returning and loyal visitors. By this time, my dream was transformed into a new idea and that was to become the next Google or Yahoo ; )
My quest for new name started there on. I wanted some attractive, catchy and cool name. I don’t know what I was thinking when the name Guppu.com came in my mind, and I registered in immediately. I started working on it day and night and finally, on December 26, 2007, Guppu.com was launched(with another name).
Benazir Bhutto Murder, Riots, Emergency Rule, Ban on TV Channels, a lot of happenings at that time really provoked my journalistic skills and dream and I started posting the coverage on Guppu.com too. I wish I could have an archive of that but I lost the data when 2nd version was launched. With the launch of it, I actually started living my dream. People started appreciating it and my dream website started making into the TV channels. I remember when it was first featured in GEO TV’s kids show Dekho Suno Samjho, though there was nothing “kids related” in that edition of Guppu.com.
Another breakthrough happened when Guppu.com was featured in SAMAA TV’s tech show “Bits and Bytes” as the most favorite website of the week and won a special prize from Cisco Systems. Guppu.com defeated PKPolitics too ; ) Also, those mentions in NewYork Times, Guardian UK, ABC Radio Australia, BBC, Dawn News and the appreciation from almost all of the senior bloggers didn’t hurt either : ) That was like the real living of the dream.
In spite of all this success, there were certain problems that I had to face. Of course I was still completing my university along with working on this dream of mine, so managing time was really a hardcore task. So just like everyone else, I too have come a long way and ofcourse there’s still a long way to go. My dream is yet to attain its real orgasm. . . . . Long plans lined up, all set to begin next step. This year, Guppu.com is going to amaze you really. And for now, Happy New Year to you all.