It came with great shock. Today, I offer my condolences to the Ahmad family. Nussar Ahmad, the dashing young CEO of Addictive Mobility, a proud supporter of mobile, a key stakeholder in the mobile/tech community in Toronto, and an attendee and award winner at MobileMonday Toronto…has died.
I learned of his passing through my network today. That in itself came as a great shock as I had reached out to him by email last Thursday about some speaking opportunities for upcoming events. Sadly, his reply never came as he had passed away last Wednesday of natural causes.
This has been a tough few weeks for a lot of folks in my personal circle. It is so easy to get caught up in “work” and “small stuff” before you get winded from the powerful force of Bane body blow that winds you and sucks the very life out of you. That happened today. Nussar is…was way too young to go. So much vitality and vigour.
You’ll be missed buddy.
I befriended Nussar through our monthly MobileMonday Toronto association events. MobileMonday Toronto was co-founded by Jim Brown and myself in November 2005. We didn’t have a venue, a community, website or a plan. It took a bit of time to put things into place but we eventually did it. We started with a small audience at our first event in June 2006 with the topical theme around .Mobi. An explosive event, our first guest got bombarded over the value of .Mobi as rumours swirled about for an upcoming Apple Phone (yes, this was 2006 and twitter still too young for us to use as a communication platform - it launched March 31, 2006).
But we met Nussar at that first event.
Anyhow, years went by and Nussar continued to attend and support us with great ideas. He kept in touch and in the latter years, he was so excited about his Mobile Marketing Labs concept that he asked Jim and I to attend. Sadly, none of our schedules every synched because, if you can believe it, “we were all busy with things”. Amazing how one reflects on that after this news.
Nussar was a hungry guy. He was very pro-active in the community and had built a success story with Addictive Mobility for the Toronto tech community. In August 2011, he reached out to me for help to connect with great guys at Marketwire. Team Marketwire and (specifically) Jolon Craw worked tirelessly with me to bundle a great PR communications program for startups on tight budgets. Jolon Craw, my friend and ally at Marketwire, was only to happy to take care of Nussar’s needs and all companies that attended our chapter events.
But news of his passing did slip under our radar. I validated the early news through some close, reliable sources and then found a few tweets and had that news re-tweeted via @momotoronto and @abosika. Then another social network contact validated his passing on Facebook. I was planning to hold off writing this until there was official announcement from the company but opted to write this now.
The point about our community of friends and professionals - both mobile and tech - is that we’re all passionate. Our end game is real. We want to do great things. We deliver, deliver and over-deliver some more. But sometimes, in all the hoopla, weprofessionals forget to play outside that sandbox by pulling back, having a beer, reflecting and sharing stories because there is so much to do….something we all need to do outside of “events” and “seminars”.
Anyhow, both Jim Brown and I held Nussar in high regard. Hardworking and passionate, he was “always that nice guy” that everyone liked. We’ll miss you buddy. You always supported MobileMonday Toronto and you always thanked me for the great curation skills I brought to your Facebook newsfeed. :-)
MobileMonday Toronto, our non-profit association was launched to support the mobile ecosystem in GTA. From something that Jim/I started as a community of 30 people, we are proud that we built and partnered properly to grow this community to its current scale which includes a regular 250-400 attendees per month, a 7-8 monthly event calendar and six-figure sponsorship dollars that helped us cover costs to hold the events at the MaRS Discovery District.
The Award Winner
Through MobileMonday Toronto’s growth, Nussar won two awards from our chapter. These were community awards designed to uphold the spirit and recognition of stakeholders for a job well done. Nussar won the first award at our Demo Camp in December 2009 which I molded together using Fight Club mythology. To build the mythology, my good buddy Nick Van Vlymen, was assigned to the task. This was no easy matter. Upon discussing the initial concept, he simply rolled his eyes (as he usually does to my insidious creativity - LOL) and drew up some MoMoCamp soap bars.
The masterpieces don’t lie. :-)
Here are the samples:
We sprinkled “prints” of this mock advertising piece through social media and other channels to build momentum, curiosity and a teaser quality to the upcoming event. We also created digital media banners for websites to help our network promote the heck out of MobileMonday Toronto’s first MoMoCamp.
Like this sample:
DID IT WORK? Given the fact we were not at MaRS Discovery District at the time, our venue held a maximum of 100 folks and we had close to 200 people, a bar and a bartender (yes, me) plus 7 pitches.
Nussar was one of those hungry, passionate guys that wanted to present or pitch. He did and simply impressed everyone. So much that the crowd voted him as the winner. He won as a “Top Bruiser” at MobileMonday Toronto’s first MoMoCamp.
Our email to the community (sent via Yahoo! Groups…yep, old school) captured the following message:
This was 2007. Read our Marketwire Press Release.
In 2009, MobileMonday Toronto had its first Mobile Marketing Awards. And once again, one of the competitors was Nussar Ahmad from the Addictive Mobility team. He won again and received different plaque from our chapter. We have a winner!
Read our Marketwire Press Release for this event. The Vimeo Broadcast for this event can be found below:
Mobile Marketing Awards - MobileMonday Toronto from MaRS Discovery District on Vimeo. Experience exciting new marketing campaigns as our expert panel of judges select the winners of the first annual MobileMonday Toronto Marketing Awards.
Nussar was a stand-up guy. He did a lot of great things at such a young age. His family should be very proud of him. He did great for Toronto, tech, media, agencies and mobile and he’ll be remembered for this.
Nussar, we’ll miss you buddy. Rest in Peace.