Around a year ago, we were all about one month into lockdown. We were bored, tired, scared, and even more bored. Then, out of nowhere, came 2ool Ameme, a new meme-based card game that took Egypt by storm. The idea for 2ool Ameme was conceived and turned into reality in March 2020. And this month, we had the pleasure of interviewing one of 2ool Ameme’s co-founders, AbdelRahman Khalid.
Khalid, first, gave us some background information about the development of 2ool Ameme from a product that was being sold using Google Forms applications to what it is now. We also asked him to tell us a bit about the steps that come after coming up with an idea. To that, Khalid told us that he thinks that often the biggest mistake that people do after coming up with an idea is that they over complicate things. And that if people just take things one step at a time, things will eventually progress and develop.
Following up on this, we wanted to hear Khalid’s thoughts on what he considers to be most important when starting a business. He shared that “an eye for questions,” in addition to the willingness and ability to spend time answering and solving these questions is something that is important to always have when starting a business.
We were also very interested in knowing what drew the founders of 2ool Ameme to the idea of creating a card game. Khalid explained that he and 2ool Ameme cofounder, Sarah Abuelkhair, had known each other for a while and had worked together during their university years. And at the beginning of March 2020, they were discussing the upcoming lockdown and brainstorming ideas that would allow them to take advantage of that opportunity. They eventually thought of the idea of a card game that would be simple but would also entertain people and allow them to reconnect. They had also noticed that the market for card and board games in Egypt is not very changing or innovative and so they wanted to come out with a game that would be new and non-traditional.
Because of this, we had to ask about how 2ool Ameme have managed to keep up with the market. He explained that the first game was one of a kind in the Egyptian market. As for their second game, 2ool aw e3mel, the fact that the content of the game was crowdsourced, that there was an option of customizing the game with each buyer’s name, and the fact that the design of the game itself was new and creative, definitely helped the game stand out from what was already available in the market. Khalid also teased a third game that is currently in the making that will also “be completely new!”
We also thought that it would be interesting to learn more about how 2ool Ameme plan on expanding. Khalid told us that, in addition to their new game that is still in the making, they are working on trying to “expand geographically,” specifically in surrounding Arab countries. Additionally, he mentioned that they are experimenting with expanding to the digital area. He explained that while there isn’t a solid or concrete idea for “a full digital game” yet, they are working on a companion app for their upcoming third game. And when we asked about the possibility of 2ool Ameme opening their own shop, Khalid explained that while it could potentially happen at some point in the future, it is was not their original aim or their current focus.
As for the challenges that they face on a regular basis, Khalid mentioned that there often issues that come up in the production process of their products, in addition to the delivery process and choice of courier companies that are used to deliver their products.
Because of the fact that 2ool Ameme came out during the COVID-19 lockdown in Egypt and was able to benefit from the immense need for entertainment that people had, we wanted to know whether Khalid believed that they could have made it without the pandemic or not. To that, Khalid admitted that he does not believe that they would have reached this level of success without the pandemic as “it gave [them] an initial boost” at the beginning. He elaborated that an element of their success was that they were “the right product at the right time.”
Finally, when discussing the idea of having your friends also be your business partners, Khalid said that whether such a thing is beneficial or not heavily depends on “the partner or venture.” He added that in their case, they were, fortunately, able to trust and be comfortable with each other.
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