Friday Q&A with Mohamad Yaghi, CEO and Co-Founder of Rakr

It's Friday, and that means it's Peak Q&A time.

Every Friday we feature someone in the Canadia tech, finance, or startup space doing something cool and pick their brain to get practical and actionable tips and advice for the rest of us. 

This week we are featuring Mohamad Yaghi, CEO and Co-Founder of Rakr, a Canadian ag-tech company that helps farms modernize their operations to save money and time.

By the way, do you have a question you want us to ask future Peak Q&A guests? Or do you know someone who'd make a great guest? Reply and let us know!

What's one book that has taught you a lesson that you apply to your daily business life? What's that lesson?

Mohamad Yaghi: Robert Caro's, "The Power Broker," has been one of the most influential books I have ever read. It's about Robert Moses, the prolific "Master Builder" of New York City who served as an urban developer for decades. The reason it has been so influential in my daily business life is because it demonstrated how power is constructed and, in a grim way, what resources you need to build a successful organization. Despite my deep reservations of Robert Moses as a human being and the impacts of his developments on countless neighborhoods and communities across the city, his ability to develop and construct major engineering projects is a lesson for anyone who wants to scale large organizations - hopefully for something good.
What evening and/or morning routines do you have that set you up for success?

MY: I wish I could say I exercise, read 5 books, and answer all my emails before 7:00 a.m., but I just find listening to music for an hour after work while cooking helps me. Also, making sure to exercise at least twice a week is really important to me.

Overall, I would say just to find what recharges or makes you able to focus later. Dedicate some *you* time whenever you can.

What are you involved in outside of your company? As in mentoring, boards, volunteering or other activities? How do you recommend others engage in activities outside of work and how do you give and get the most out of them?

MY: Right now I'm currently involved in growing a school in my hometown back in Lebanon. It's the first purpose built school of my hometown and I'm really proud to have been part of a family effort, led by my father, to establish it.

With COVID-19, its been trickier to be part of anything external to work, but I hope to do further outreach activities across the GTA once things settle.

What advice do you have for students or young professionals who are trying to position themselves in a competitive job market. What can they do to make themselves stand out?

MY: Make the most out of every opportunity no matter how small.

The job market is only getting more competitive. So find a niche and be the most knowledgeable about it.

If you're interested in starting your own company (like a start-up), your initial solution will most likely be wrong for your market. However, use that idea as a hypothesis to ask your market what is right or wrong about it. Your users will tell you directly what they want and need. It may be nerve wrecking to call potential users and have them tell you their opinions, but it saves you so much heartache in the long-run.

What's one app or another piece of technology that improves your productivity and you couldn't live without?

MY: Hate to be so basic, but I love Excel. I have tried every planning tool imaginable, but none of them work for me.