What if you could transform your life and build a successful business in the world of Web3? Join me as I sit down with Talha Asif, the remarkable founder of Nalikes Studio, a Web3 development agency that has helped countless founders and businesses design, launch, and scale apps, dApps, and NFT projects. In this episode, Talha shares his incredible journey from being a top student to a triumphant entrepreneur, and how his mother's advice led him to seek online skills that ultimately changed his life.
Together, Talha and I explore the growth and accomplishments of Nalikes Studio, delving into the strategies that have allowed him to provide immense value to customers. We discuss the nuances of operating a business in Web2 versus Web3, and how Talha goes the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction. His story is a testament to the power of determination, focus, and a willingness to learn in opening up new doors and opportunities.
Moreover, we unpack the vital role of community building in creating a successful Web3 project. Talha shares invaluable insights on how founders can leverage community power to their advantage and how Nalikes Studio guides clients in cultivating strong communities. Discover the psychology behind why people are drawn to projects that offer them value, and how grasping this concept can benefit founders in the Web3 space. Don't miss this engaging conversation with Talha Steve, a true Web3 entrepreneur!
This episode was recorded through a StreamYard call on June 8, 2023. Read the blog article here: https://webdrie.net/from-top-student-to-triumphant-web3-entrepreneur-the-journey-of-talha-asif-and-nalikes-studio/
If you're interested in our W3X Mastermind, please send me a DM on LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram.
I'm an immigrant from the Pakistaners, and I when I was two years old, I moved to UAE. I lived there for four years, and then I came to Bahrain. All my life, I was really good and that's at the top of my class. Right? But from first grade to twelve grade, I was always the top of my class.Joeri:
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Web3 CMO stories podcast. Season 3 episode 4. My name is Joeri Billast Birost, and I'm your podcast host. And today, I'm so excited to be joined by Talha Asif. Hi, Talha. How are you doing?Talha:
I'm doing well, Joeri .Joeri:
I'm good. It's a study by the name of Belgium. So that's always nice for the day, you know, to have this sunny energy. But, you know, we're calling a podcast. It's always something that I like. But before we really start, Talha, let me introduce you here to our listeners. So, guys, Talha Asif is the founder of Nalikes Studio, if I pronounce it the right way, that's a Web3 development agency having founders and businesses to design, launch, and scale the apps, and depths. And Web3 projects. But Talha, I suggest, can you share a bit your self with the listeners about your journey and what led you to found Nalike's studio.Talha:
Definitely. Definitely. First of all, thank you for having me, man. It's a pleasure. And definitely, my story is quite interesting. And whenever I'm on this podcast, I do like to share it because, you know, it's it might inspire someone to take action and then improve their lives. So I'm a member of body centers, and then when I was two years old, I moved to UAE. Left there for four years, and then I came to Bahrain. All my life, I was a really good student at the top of my class. Right? But from first grade to third grade, I was almost at the top of my class. Because my mother told me that the only way to get ahead in life was to really be good at cities. And I followed that advice. But I went to when I went to university, I realized, no. That's how I'm gonna make it. I have to figure out different ways. So I shifted my focus from my studies. Right? I only study so I can get passing grades, and then I started learning skills. Online skills. And my goal was to make money online. But I had new skills. I did not have any skills to go out there. I did not make money. Interestingly, I was able to find one guy at my university who needed some help with writing content. And I was like, I was really good at writing. I'm really good at writing content. I will do that for you. But would you pay me? I was, like, sure I would pay. I was, like, cool. I will so I spent I still remember that day. I was sitting on my bed, in my shorts, on my laptop, And I wrote an essay for him for five hundred words, and he paid me sixty, seventy dollars. Right? Instantly. So that's what changed my perspective. I was not aware of the freelancing world out there. It gave me a shift that my father works in a back and he made thirty dollars per day working eight hours, and I made double the amount in just thirty minutes. So check that. Change my perspective that I will never work for anyone ever again. All I have to do is learn skills and then provide value to someone. So that was my first piece of entrepreneurship is that the world is different now. You don't have to go work for someone else as long as you're solving a problem or providing value, you can meet them. So that was my first state of space of entrepreneurship. Then for the next two years, I spent scaling that business. So I sort of figured out how to make money online, all I had to do was scale it. So I hired some writers in Pakistan through three thousand platforms. And then in my country, I used to just acquire customers. And I sort of scaled that agency. I took it to a team of thirty- plus riders and, you know, a really good MRR every month. So that was my first venture. And I was really happy with it. But what happened then, as human beings, we always want more. We always want to grow further. Right? We had never satisfied with what we had. So I told myself, okay. I'm gonna delegate that agent to your business. I'm gonna go figure out different stuff. And during those days, I was fortunate enough to find my cofounders or my friends at Delhi and Shahu's. And they're really good programmers. I was a software engineer, but I was not good at programming. So i f someone builds an application in one or two days, it will take me one week, so it will take me that. So I knew where my strength was, so I focused on my strength. So I told them, guys, I have this agency model. All I have to do is just forget it, and we did that. Right? So we spend the next two years doing that and it works really well. So this was all happening while we were in university. We're not we're only focusing on our studies so we can get awesome grades. But all the time, we are focusing on our skills. And then fast forward to twenty twenty- one, we're sitting one day, and one of my friends told me that there's something called an NFV. And I was like, what is an NFV? Because, again, I was focused on a lot of other stuff. So I was not familiar with what was going on in the crypto world. But he explained that there is this new technology with which you can have digital ownership. And I was not interested. I was the team that was focused on what we have. But he told you that there are these images that are worth millions of dollars. He showed me one of the ape's boy, API. And I could not understand why would someone buy an image for millions of dollars. And that was but again again, I was really curious. So I went ahead and saw deep dive into the crypto rabbit one. I spent three months learning about it. And, again, it was another life- changing moment that there is this whole new technology that is solving a lot of different problems, and I personally Although I'm a software engineer, I have been ignorant about it. So it was too big to ignore. So we stopped everything, and I and my friends liked to take action. So we launched a project called Realm of QBO. It was a game that could be accessed by entities because one of the main application entities is that you can have digital knowledge capacity. Like, okay. That's the thing that we wanna do. We launched that game, and TUBER share price, the initial collection gold sold out. And you're not expecting that but that project got us a lot of traction, and it helped us develop some core skills. So while working on that project, we space one problem and one opportunity. The problem was that there were not enough developers out there who can help us, although we were developers, smart contract development was something new for us. So and we did not use so we can take someone else's help who can help us. But there was no one, literally, in our circular, in our online, we could not find anyone. And even if we do find someone, They were not trustworthy. They were not reliable and they were charging, you know, ridiculous amounts. So that was a problem. They were not in good development. In order to solve that, I told my friends guys, okay, we can learn it ourselves, and that's how we will do it. So we spend the next three to four months learning everything there has to be what blocks in development and we sort of learn the skills. Now interestingly, while working on our product, something amazing happened, and people started coming to us. Brands, individuals, and companies, guys, you know, development. Can you guys build this for us? Can you guys do this for us? Can you launch for me a n uptick collection? Can you launch for me an application? It will look cool if you're paying us, we will do it. Right? And, yeah, that's when we started this company. Now, like, studio three friends doing smart contract development. For AFP projects. Little did we know that with one year of data, this would turn into a company, fifteen plus people, working with thirty- plus projects, and doing all sorts of software development. And so, yeah, that's my sort of journey of starting this company. I'm really grateful, and it's amazing.Joeri:
And so you mentioned that you sold out. You are not expecting this? What was it like the right moment to do it at the time? Or was there? Or the key factor? That's helped you.Talha:
So we were not doing it for money. That was the first thing because we didn't know that, again, you were very new to this space. All we're doing was that, okay, we are game developers and we wanna integrate this technology into our game and give ownership to people in the game. And again, when the entities got sold out, that gave us capital to invest in the project. And, yeah, that was an amazing moment. Yeah. And we learned a lot of that. And because again, it was completely new at first, although we had the tech skills, the world of victory was a completely different place. People have these anonymous names, these anonymous pictures, these at the lingo, these, you know, these words, pardon me, and let's see. Like, all these crazy words, which we did not know what it was.Joeri:
Right? And now you're working with all these different projects like more than thirty. How do these people find you? Do you do a lot of marketing? Do you have a lot of actions out there? Maybe on Twitter Spaces. I don't know. Because we met on Twitter. So how do these people find you?Talha:
Yeah. Joeri Yuri, it goes back to my first agency and my first venture. In that venture, the reason I was able to grow it is because I was obsessed with my customers. I was obsessed with providing value. Right? Because at the end of the day, there are a lot of service providers out there. There are a lot of products out there. What makes us unique and what will make the other person come back to you? Is the experience that they have with you Right? Since the moment they reach out to you and all the way to you deliver their product, the experience that they have with you. Right? So I was obsessed with that in that business. I wanted to make sure that each and every individual or customer I work with, they had the best experience possible. I replied them on the time. I I went the extra mile. I made them make sure that they're the most important person in the world and give them the quality of work there and make sure everyone is satisfied. So that was the thing that helped me scale that business. So I applied the same thing in web three is that when we work with the customers, we go over and beyond. Right? Because, again, there are a lot of developers out there, but the experience that the customer have is very bad. Right? Because developers think most of the time that they are the smartest people on the earth. The other person don't know anything. And, you know, they don't treat it nicely. But what was fortunate in my case was that I knew how to treat customers well and how to make sure that we are providing value and making solving their problem at the end of the day. Because we have to have empathy with our customers. We need to know their pain points because they have the money. They have the idea, but all the lack of technical skills And so they need someone who can fix that. So initially, when we work with our first project, we give all over time. Right? We were going over and beyond. We're really good at communications. We're really good at delivering at according to expectations. So that sort of was the first thing is the word-of-mouth. That one when someone has a really good experience with you to sort of give that I'll give you an example, you read. Right? You're in marketing, you know, more. So what what's unique about iPhone. Right? It's that it's so good. The quality, user experience is so good. That even though I will recommend each my friend, I would recommend you do if you're looking to buy mobile, go buy iPhone, don't buy any other one. Right? So so that's the same thing. You know, two word-of-mouth businesses grow our products. So so that has been one of the main thing is that two word-of-mouth were able to acquire a lot of customers. And again, at the end of the day, once once someone works with us, right, and they they see the experience that they have, they sort of wanna continue. Right? So most of the clients that we have work on the first project, and then ever since then, they're working with us. So I've been obsessed with providing value and being obsessed with our customers to make sure that they needs by being meant. Because at the end of the day, if you take care of that, everything else will fall into place. So that's the only one main thing that are helping grow my business.Joeri:
Okay? Like you say, it seems easy, but of course, you need to do the work and really be at, you know, be listening and understanding your customers to provide this value. So you compare this with your your first agency, which was in web two. If I may say now you are in web three, do you see differences in approach when it comes, because you said, okay, it's about delivering quality? But what are the big differences between the Web2 and the Web3 approach and approach that you are doing with your projects or for your customers?Talha:
That's a very good question. I think technology will keep on changing, right, today we have the three, I don't know, tomorrow what might have. Technology will always keep changing. But human beings always remain the same. Right? Human beings have been saved for the past thousand years since humanity exists. So as an agency owners or as someone who is in the customer facing role, need to understand the other person. That's very important. There isn't a lot of difference in web running a company in web two and running a company in web three apart from few things. But I think as long as you're solving a problem, Right? And providing value. That's the most important thing. Someone is paying you for a service. You need to make sure that every dollar is worth it. So if they are paying for you development, Or are they if they're paying for your for marketing or whatever services? You need to make sure that you deliver what you promised. Right? Because at the end of their credibility goes a long way and don't promise what you can't deliver. That's one of the lessons that I learned. So so to answer your question, no. There isn't a lot of difference. There are few things that are changed, but at the end of the day, human beings are saying you're interacting with a human being. And that mean being will not change.Joeri:
Yeah. But always say the same end of the marketing fundamentals, you know, they always be yeah, always stay you know, deliver good services to your customers and so on and so on. But, yeah, another question that I have is because you you talked about sturdy project you start with for once. So you have been scaling. Are there any tips or tools or technologies that have been helping you? To scale because, I guess, there are always some some pace that you have to solve and can technology help with that?Talha:
Definitely. Definitely. I think, you know, when people see from outside, they're saying, okay, they have all figured out. But trust me, it's not that the case. They're everyday is a crisis, everyday there are problems, and everyday is a battle for us. Right? Because, again, I am really focused on growth and I'm obsessed with growing things. So and I like to go fast. So when you are moving fast, when you're going fast, a lot of things break. What has helped me or what can help other founders if they're listening to this podcast is basically you need to be build a team. You cannot be a one man show because if you wanna go fast, go alone, if you wanna park, go together. Right? And a team is really important. If you're running a a single person company, you might be able to reach a certain stage. But there will come a certain stage where you will burn out or you will not be able to steal. So it's very important. You need to identify either I wanna be a freelancer or an individual who wanna be famous. Or on a build an institution or a company that will be recognized. Because in my case, my the company is bigger than me. I'm just one part of it. But my aim is that it will continue even after So one thing is that focus on building a really good team. Focus on identifying your strengths and weaknesses. And amplify your strengths and don't focus on your weaknesses. Whatever weaknesses you have, bring in other people who can, you know, sort of fill that space. So one thing is that building a team is really important if you are doing any venture. Without a team, I don't think you can go far or you can go fast. On the tools and technologies. Yeah. Definitely, there's a lot that can be done. Because we one thing is that when people say that in today's in today's ages, someone says, I cannot find work or I cannot succeed. And I I like to give them one stop because in today's age, we have everything that we need. Right? All the resources, all the tools are out there on this small device that we call laptop. We have access to almost, I don't know, three billion people who are on the Internet such as abundance out there. Everything is out there. All we have to do is just be patient, put in the work, and day in and day out, and we'll finally succeed. The takeaway is that it scaling taking from one project to three early projects is that be obsessed with your customer, provide value. Second, build a team. And third is that it has to do a lot with the mindset Right? Because how you see problems, how you solve problems, and yeah. There are a lot of other things, but that's a short answer.Joeri:
Yeah. Because but having a good team and like you said, you know, for the things you are not good at, you can delegate also put the right people in there and then you make you know, need to make all the teamwork together. That's also important, you know, and that can lead challenges and that, you know, even if you use a tool, you know, you need to find the right people. I guess, it cannot also be challenging. And we shared also a few success factors how to do that. So thank you for that. But when you still are looking now because, of course, you are in web three, what are some of the trends or things that are happened today in this space? That you are excited about?Talha:
Yeah. There's a lot that happens. And to be honest, I'm not able to keep up sometimes that things develop. But one thing that I say is that initially people highlighted the technology too much. Right? NFV, NFV's blockchain, blockchain blockchain, blockchain, and that sort of in my opinion, ruin some things. Because at the end of the day, technology is just one thing. Right? The main thing is what problem are you solving. Right? And if you go to talk to a lot of the three projects, the founders don't have this answer. Okay? What problem are you solving? They might talk a lot about the technology, but technology is just an enabler. Right? Mhmm. What is important is what problems you're solving. So one thing that I'd like to see is that still there's a lot of problems that can be solved this technology, and there are very few projects that are doing it. One thing that really, you know, again, as you mentioned, what are the trends that are changing is that VethG is very unpredictable sometimes. Right? Recently, there was this because it might happen that someone is building a really good thing and we might get no traction. And if someone is gonna completely use this thing and he will get all the traction, there was this guy he he lost the project on you. I'm not sure if you can read it. He he sort of gave an ECM want address, and they told people to send ECM. Right? And people sendJoeri:
And people said one million in ECM. That's it. Like, it's just a it's very unpredictable, but three space is very unpredictable. But there are a lot of projects that are working on it. So I'm looking forward to the project they're building in silence, and they're actually a solid problem, and they're focusing on, okay, the next, you know, next users bring onboarding next million or whatever people integrate three. So I'm I'm more focused on that those projects, but they're not being highlighted that much.Joeri:
Yeah. Is it I imagine those are also the projects that you do for your clients. You know, there is a problem to solve, there is value to bring. That's also a line looking at the NFT space and projects to see, is there a story, is there a value, behind, you know, what we call those NFTs. This is just like, you know, something that you buy and you can look at it, but there is a value behind it. A value is also in community. That's offered a link to an Feet. What is for you the value of community in Vectory? How do you look at it?Talha:
Yep. Now in in web in web three, it's sort of different. Right? If you're launching a project in web two mostly or any product, Although you have to listen to your customers, but it's there's no state that the customers have. Right? So you don't necessarily have to listen too much to your customers. You as the board or the leadership team can decide what to do with your project. But in that suite dynamics are different way. Community sort of have stake in your project, and they're sort of driving easier project. To answer your question, how do I see community in that field? Yes. It's really important. Because, again, as I told you, right, this whole box of technology is sort of changing the fundamentals of the Internet and the way things are done. So going back to your question again, I don't have the exact answer. But what I think is the it's it's sort of challenging question, but if you can repeat your question.Joeri:
I'm I'm just I'm just wondering if that's because it's community building like just something that comes naturally that you do for every project? Is it something that you do strategically? Is that something that you say, okay, we need this because if you start a project and, you know, the founder of the project or the client does not have a community yet or does not have an audience, it can be difficult.Talha:
Yeah. So yeah. That's what you mean. So In that case, again, Yuriy, what we focus on is development and the technical support. That's a before date. And most of the time, we don't sort of focus on on that stuff, like community building or marketing or that kind of stuff. Because, again, I like to do things as an company that we are skilled in and strengthened. Rest of the thing is most of the time the projects have their own team, although we can advise because we do have about six fields, but that's not something we take charge on. We advise on. But but yeah. And and in every experience, the projects that have built a good communities is basically the founders have a really good version. And what they are doing is actually actually matters. Right? So did there did this one possibly working with us in Mac and Peter Academy? They're solving the education problem where they're onboarding people into it. So that's a really big thing and the community cares about it. And then there are a few projects that we're working with. So in most of the cases, the projects are really working on something useful. And when you're doing that, community sort of automatically comes and you sort of start finding the people that have similar interests and care about what you're doing. But yet, that has and there are other efforts that those founders of those projects state, but the focus purely on development was that's our forty.Joeri:
Okay. But in the DTI, you focus on that because that's your forty. But it's if you work with a client that already has a community or indeed has value to offer and so on, it will be you have everything to have a success, but if they don't have a community of don't have a value, then you can try to understand them. But, yeah, you know, all the pieces of the puzzle read, of course.Talha:
Exactly. Exactly. And it comes down to the fundamental, like, human beings. Right? Again, because I'm personally obsessed with psychology, I read it a lot. And every human being cares about themselves. Right? In any human interaction, always at the back of our mind is there is this question going on. What can I get out of this? What does this person have to offer me? So in the same case with NFT projects, whenever we, you know or any the three project, any project, when we sort of before becoming a part of it, the question is, like, what can I get out of it? Was everyone is getting in? Because they need someone. Someone might have a financial you know, this accent that I might get expat. Or someone have my okay. I I really like the people that we hang out with, and I can network with them, and I can learn a lot. And then someone have, okay, I believe in this partnership, and I care about this problem. So so there are a lot of factors with all pronounce to one human beings that what they really care about. And if founders sort of figure that out most of the time, then they can build a really good today.Joeri:
Right. So my last question and will be and maybe you already answered it, Tara, then you must say it. But is there one piece of advice a lesson that you've learned that you would like to share with our listeners who are thinking of launching a battery project, who are thinking of onboarding on the other three journey?Talha:
Definitely. Definitely. So one thing that I've learned in my experience, and it's not necessary for the three. It can be across any venture is that take action, fast. A lot of people think a lot. Right? And then they never take action. So the first thing is if you wanna do something, take action, don't think too much because the amount of time you spend thinking, other people would already do it. Right? So if you have a really I've got an idea or you wanna solve a problem, take action fast. And the second is have a start of mentality when doing anything is that don't, you know, go in and do things that don't really matter. Is hire a bunch of people hire investment things that don't really matter. The one thing that you need to do is finding a product market fit, which is basically if you are doing something, is there someone who will pay for it? Right? That's product market. So whenever you launch a product and someone is willing to pay for it. So I advise all of my friends and both founders were, I'm sorry, well, let's quickly find product management, quickly iterate on your idea. And once you have validated your idea, then only go scale it further. Right? People do is they hire a bunch of people. They build all sort of things, but they have zero revenue. And then they sell to my project team. Is because that you focus on the things that don't really matter. Focus on the thing that really matters at what property you're solving and where that revenue is going to come from. And that's what I do personally. And then with the money that you get in, you're able to scale it further. So you have take action, find product market fit. And lastly, is that be resilient, because in anything that you do, you'll face a lot of failures. It's not that life is not a straight path. You'll face a lot of challenges. But but be resilient. If if believe in yourself, I mean, just keep taking action.Joeri:
Yeah. I like that. That's also my mentality. But because indeed, you see those businesses, those entrepreneurs, they are building only because they like it, but there is no demand on the market or maybe they are too early or maybe they just build it. And they because they like to build it, but they're not selling it. So yeah. Great advice. So thank you so much, Steph, for that, Tahoe. If people want to hear more about you, they want to connect with they want to they have maybe a project that they are thinking of. How can they be in touch with you?Talha:
Definitely. So what we do is that again initially, as Julie said, is that we the problem that we saw was that entrepreneurs and businesses have a lot of ideas. But when it comes to actual execution, they have no clue. So that's what we do. We work with these partners and businesses where we help them develop design launch and scale. Because designing and launching is one part. If scaling is also something that they haven't figured, okay, once their product work, what what do they do? So so that's what we do. And we focus again as I say when our approach of start of mentality, we find product market fit. And once even something works, we help them escape break. So if someone wants to reach out to me, I'll be sharing all my socials link. You can find us at my likes dot com. And yeah. And that's where you can find this. I'll share all the links on the social media. And it'sJoeri:
okay. I will put them in the show notes. So as as for every podcast episode, there are show notes, there is an article on my blog. People can find all the links on Tata there. So, Tara, thanks again. It was a pleasure to have you.Talha:
Amazing. Thank you for having me.Joeri:
So, guys, again, an amazing episode with a lot of wisdom that has been shared. And if you think that wisdom can be useful for people around to other entrepreneurs, other marketers, friends, that you know that are interested in web three. Be sure to share this episode with them. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast if you haven't already. And of course, I would like to see you back for the next episode. Take care. Bye. That three can take your best to you heights. And you're ready to harness its power, but feeling lost and overwhelmed Therefore, join my w three x w three masterminds. Send me a personal message for more info. You can find me everywhere on social media, there's the only one person with my name Yuri Bileste. Talk soon.