Alchemy Publications
Risk Management
Understanding Commodities Risk




For most of us, failure represents the stuff of nightmares. What will happen when there is no money in the bank account? Who will cover the bills? School fees and day care, insurance premiums, milk? When will they cutoff electricity, phone, natural gas and water? How bad is that eviction notice?

Starting with this list of questions Jawwad weaves a tale that takes readers from New York to California in search of the deepest fear of a new entrepreneur - What if I fail?

A touching confession that alternates between the bittersweet reality of a dying venture and the promise of multi million dollar valuations, the Blue Screen of Death is a journey of self discovery that every entrepreneur can relate to. It is a book of questions and answers that will force us to re-examine our personal prejuidices against failure.


Buy Now



Read reviews about the first edition of Reboot (the Blue Screen of Death).

Download the first 25 pages from the first edition of Reboot (the Blue Screen of Death).

Learn more about Reboot

Jawwad's slideshare presentation deck

Jawwad's Facebook Fan Page

Reboot and Jawwad on Green and White

Reboot review in The News

Jawwad Farid, Reboot and the CIO Webstudio Interview


“Successful entrepreneurship is a long and winding road toward identifying and capturing opportunity. This book tells this story in a refreshing and personal way. The experience and the rich perspective on entrepreneurship make the book especially interesting for anyone thinking about a serious venture.”

Glenn R Hubbard, Dean and Russell L Carson Professor of Finance & Econ, Columbia University

“In Reboot, Jawwad Ahmed Farid, not only tells his personal journal from success to failure and back again, but he does it with wit and insight, and a self-deprecating humor that draws the reader in. More than just a story of one man’s struggle, the book is an examination of what truly constitutes success and failure, offering the insight that they are not so much opposites, as two aspects of the search for a righteous and honorable challenge. I am richer for having read it, and wish I could have many cups of tea with the author.”

Robert Ferrigno, New York Times bestselling author of the Prayers for the Assassin, Scavenger Hunt, the Wakeup and Heartbreaker

Refreshing, witty, down-to-earth, a totally delightful read - one of those rare 'cannot-put-down' books. The Blue Screen of Death gives young people a realistic insight into the world of the new breed of entrepreneurs - those who are born to lead and excel. The risk of failure is what keeps many of us from taking the plunge and starting our own ventures. Jawwad Farid gives us a totally new perspective - that failure should not be feared but embraced, that in fact it is the seed from which successful enterprises emerge.

Jawwad's journey into the unknown has been one of courage, commitment and unfaltering faith; and through it all he has amazingly been able to keep his sense of humour. That is probably what got him through the toughest times. This book is a must-read for all those budding entrepreneurs who are standing on the edge wondering whether they should leap into the magical world of startup ventures.

Jehan Ara, President, Pakistan Software Houses Association

“I clicked the link to the book’s online version mostly because of its uncanny title, but quickly found myself hooked to Jawwad’s simple, punchy and unpretentious writing style. One of my mentors told me once: “Don’t try to understand success – it often happens without much good reason. Failure, however, always has many good lessons”. Jawwad’s book embodies the essence of this wisdom.

Recently, I used The Blue Screen of Death for an Entrepreneurship course I teach at LUMS, replacing my standard choice of “Art of Start”. I found that while “Art of Start” was approached by students as a bible of “do’s and don’ts”, BSOD was more a story that almost everyone in the class could relate to. After reading the book, students wanted Jawwad to succeed and voluntarily engaged in passionate discussions on what they thought went wrong and how Jawwad could have been successful – a dream come true for a class on entrepreneurship!”

Dr. Umar Saif, Associate Professor, Lahore University of Management Sciences, MIT GITA Award Winner 2008, Founder & Advisor See n Report, Choppal and BumpIn

“Blue Screen of Death" by Jawwad A. Farid is a wonderful attempt by a young Pakistani entrepreneur to tell his story of his three failed ventures. It epitomizes the author's self-described fascination with studying failures--a quest that brought him to the brink of experiencing three of them over the last decade. Jawwad is among the rare breed of entrepreneurs who made a successful career in Pakistan, went to an Ivy League Business School, and returned back to succeed at doing something new in his own country. He may be rarest of the rare in that he has the courage to share the secrets of his failures  in the most public of  manners possible.

With this memoir of Jawwad has made several important breakthroughs in one go. At a personal level, Blue Screen describes the gripping tale of Jawwad's own ventures. For anyone who wants to learn about the fifteen years that it took to create Alchemy's "overnight" success, the book offers plenty of material to chew upon. It must take a lot of courage to lay bare your faults for the whole world to learn from. Jawwad does this in style that is both intimate and refreshing. At a more general level, Blue Screen is full of valuable advice for the aspiring entrepreneur or even those who have ventured before. I study new venture creation and management and I could not help but agree with several of the lessons drawn from Avicena's tragic failure. Many entrepreneurs would benefit from Jawwad's ruthless analysis of his failures and his attempt to learn from it.

Finally, Jawwad's book is a first for Pakistan in a very significant way. It is the first such attempt by a Pakistani entrepreneur to tell his story. This is partly due to fewer numbers of Pakistanis venturing on their own. Jawwad shatters this psychological barrier by not only owning but also proudly displaying his identity in a manner that is hard not to notice. I believe Jawwad's courage would inspire other Pakistani entrepreneurs to tell their stories as well.

Pakistan requires an inspirational world class success story to appear on the map of the world and be known as home to talented and hardworking people. Brimming with Jawwad's faith and positive-mindedness, Blue Screen is clearly a step in that direction. Jawwad deserves credit for this commendable effort.”

Dr. Athar Osama, Author of PSEB Software Industry Study 2009, PASHA Software Industry Study 2007, PSEB Software Industry Study 2005 and Senior Consultant, ANGLE Technology Group, UK.

“Un-orthodox, truthful & courageous, Blue Screen of Death very skillfully combines textbook stuff with real life experience. Analyzing personal failure is always painful and almost impossible to be objective about, in his narrative, Jawwad divorces emotions yet somehow succeeds in retaining the passion. With a surgeon’s precision he peals the layers of Avicena to reveal the pathology which caused death of the company. From the dissecting table he moves on to the microscope to explore in detail what actually went wrong. Then he takes the reader along with him in drawing general & specific principles to be used as a guide for future entrepreneurs.

Talking about lessons learnt is à la mode in contemporary literature but Jawwad has gone a step further & shown us how to apply the wisdom of hind sight scientifically thereby reducing the emotional & economic cost of the failure.

With simple diction yet effortless prose this book gives a refreshing feeling. I believe books, like humans, also have different intelligence levels. If not brilliant this book most definitely can be ranked as smart.”

Sarmad Hasan, IUCN Pakistan

“Narrated as a mixture of the author’s own commentary, written in a very light-hearted and refreshing style, e-mail correspondences and IM sessions that portray various stages in the projects life are reproduced. There was high optimism during the hiring process, hope when reaching out to potential customers, refined rage when deadlines were not met by the technical team and a cheerful banter to keep friends posted on personal life.”

SPIDER Magazine, August 2008

‘Reboot – in search for the land of opportunity’ is not the sort of book you usually find on stores. Take a quick walk down the shelve-lanes of bookstores and you’d find hundreds of self-help books with success stories of lifetimes. While they’re a great inspiration for those still aspiring to venture into the harsh realities of life, they bid quite poor for those who have already tasted failure and those who are too optimistic to be realistic. In other words, for their authors, failures are the no-go zone of life, the hushed-up sentence, the forbidden word. And in staying from this forbidden fruit, they don’t as much as talk over it, or if it’s done, it’s just a chapter or two – for both in contemporary literature and culture, failure isn’t papyrus-selling. It’s rather sympathy-invoking, pity-arousing and well….definitely not a dear notion.

Not so for Jawwad Ahmed Farid and Reboot. After constructing the whole facet of Avicena, right from inception to progress to conclusion, the writer creates a world which we all could vividly realize and identify with – life with family, favors from friends, references through contacts, owned and loaned capital, tiny failures, daily boost-ups, toiling team-members and hopes of making it big-time eventually. And then, in one split-second, the author brings the entire facet crumbling down to pieces, quite the way failure hits. Suddenly and without a warning! Next comes an analysis of all the factors that contributed to this failure, whatever it took away and whatever it left to be valued all the more – charging it to the experience account, as the author would say.

All in all, a fine book to read, quite inspirational and above all, so well-told that nearly everyone can relate to it.

Salman Latif, Blogger, Book Reviews @ blogspot




Macroeconomics, Abel Bernanke, Wesley Publishing Company Inc., 1998.


Bootstrap Finance-The Art of Start-ups, Amar Bhide, Harvard Business Review,
December 1992.


How Entrepreneurs Craft Strategies That Work, Amar Bhide, Harvard Business Review,
April 1994.


The Questions Every Entrepreneur Must Answer, Amar Bhide, Harvard Business Review, December 1996.


The origin and evolution of new business, Amar Bhide, Oxford University Press, 2000.


Strategy vs. Tactics from a Venture Capitalist, Arthur Rock, Harvard Business Review, December 1987.

7. The New Rules for Bringing Innovations to Market, Bhaskar Chakravorti, Harvard Business Review, March 2004.
8. The Accelerated Learning Handbook, By Dave Meier, McGraw-Hill, 2000.
9. The Ambidextrous Organization, Charles A. O’Reilly III and Michael L. Tushman, Harvard Business Review, April 2004.
10. High St@kes No Prisoners, Charles H. Ferguson, Three Rivers Press, 1990.
11. What’s a Business For?, Charles Handy, Harvard Business Review, December 2002.
12. Getting IT Right, Charlie S. Feld and Donna B. Stoddard, Harvard Business Review, February 2004
13. The Rise And Fall of An Internet Star, Chris Hassett, Business Week., April 1999.
14. Delusions of Success-How Optimism Undermines Executives’ Decisions, Dan Lovallo and Daniel Kahneman, Harvard Business Review, July 2003.
15. The Google story, David A. Vise, Macmillan, 2005.
16. Entrepreneurship, Donald F. Kuratko, Richard M.Hodgetts, South Western Thomson Learning, 2001.
17. Why Good Companies Go Bad, Donald N. Sull, Harvard Business Review, August 1999.
18. Every mistake in the book, F. J. Lennon, ReganBooks, 2001.
19. Improving The Odds of Success: Th e Effect Of Screening And Professional Advice, Dr. John Watson, Professor Jim Everett and Mr. Rick Newby.
20. Customize Your Product Development, Edward G. Krubasik, Harvard Business Review, December 1988.
21. The Fall of Bombay, Edward O. Welles,, January 1996.
22. Don’t Trust Your Gut, Eric Bonabeau, Harvard Business Review, May 2003.
23. How to Identify Your Enemies Before They Destroy You, Farshad Rafi and Paul J. Kampas, Harvard Business Review, November 2002.
24. Show-Stopper!, G. Pascal Zachary, Publishing Co Inc., 1994.
25. Living on the Fault Line, Geoffrey A. Moore, Harper Business, 2002.
26. When to Walk Away from a Deal, Geoffrey Cullinan, Jean-Marc Le Roux, and Rolf-Magnus Weddigen, Harvard Business Review, April 2004.
27. The Art of War for Managers 50 Strategic Rules, Gerald A. Michaelson, Adam Media Corporation , 2001
28. Saving the Sun , Gillian Tett, Harper Business, 2003.
29. Minding their own Business, Gloria Meltzer, McGraw-Hill, 2001.
30. The Invisible Touch, Harry Beckwith, Warner Books, 2000.
31. Harvard Business Review on Compensation, Harvard Business School Press, Harvard Business School Press, 2001.
32. Harvard Business Review on Managing the Value Chain, Harvard Business School Press, Harvard Business School Press, 2000.
33. Harvard Business Review on Measuring Corporate Performance, Harvard Business School Press, Harvard Business School Press, 1998.
34. Contextual Design, Hugh Beyer Karen Holtzblatt, Harcourt, 1998.
35. Global Gamesmanship, Ian C. MacMillan, Alexander B. Van Putten, and Rita Gunther McGrath, Harvard Business Review, May 2003.
36. Why Bad Project Are So Hard To Kill, Isabelle Royer, Harvard Business Review, February 2003.
37. Uncovering Hidden Value in a midsize Manufacturing Company, James E. Ashton, Frank X. Cook, Jr., and Paul Schmitz, Harvard Business Review, June 2003.
38. Starving To Death On $200 Million, James Ledbetter, , 2003.
39. How Much Money Does Your New Venture Need? , James Mcneill Stancill, Harvard Business Review, June 1986.
40. Innovating for Cash, James P. Andrew and Harold L. Sirkin., Harvard Business Review, September 2003.
41. Exit - Success Or Failure?, Jan Sten, Swedish School of Economics & Business Administration.
42. The Rediscovered Benjamin Graham, Janet Lowe, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1999.
43. It’s Not the Big that Eat the Small. It’s the Fast that Eat the Slow, Jason Jennings and Laurence Haughton, Harper Collins Publisher Inc., 2000.
44. Startup Stall-Ten Myths That Kill, Jawwad Ahmed Farid, Unpublished paper, 2003.
45. The Set-Up-to-Fail Syndrome, Jean-Francois Manzoni and Jean-Louis Barsoux, Harvard Business Review, April 1998.
46. Six IT Decisions Your IT People Shouldn’t Make, Jeanne W. Ross and Peter Weill, Harvard Business Review, November 2002.
47. Mastering the Complex Sale, Jeff Thull, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003.
48. Who needs budgets? , Jeremy Hope and Robin Fraser, Harvard Business Review, February 2003.
49. Failure of Genius, Jess McCuan,, August 2003.
50. The EVA Challenge, Joel M.Stern & John S.Shielt With Irwin Ross, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2001.
51. Managing Credit Risk, John B.Caouette, Edward I. Altman & Paul Narayanan, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998.
52. Why Entrepreneurs Don’t Scale, John Hamm, Harvard Business Review, December 2002.
53. Taking Charge, John O. Whitney, Beard Books Washingon DC, 1999.
54. Rebel with A Cause, John Sperling, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2000.
55. Business and Battles-Lessons from Defeat, Joseph L. Bower, Harvard Business Review, August 1990.
56. The High Cost of Accurate Knowledge, Kathleen M. Sutcliffe and Klaus Weber, Harvard Business Review, May 2003.
57. Annals of Communications: The Last Sure Thing, Ken Auletta, Th e New Yorker, 1998.
58. The Young and the Clueless, Kerry A. Bunker, Kathy E. Kram, and Sharon Ting, Harvard Business Review, December 2002.
59 How to Pitch a Brilliant Idea, Kimberiy D. Elsbach, Harvard Business Review, September 2003.
60. Thinking Inside the Box, Kirk Cheyfitz, Simon & Schuster Inc., 2003.
61. Success That Lasts, Laura Nash and Howard Stevenson, Harvard Business Review,
February 2004.
62. Is Silence Killing Your Company?, Leslie Perlow and Stephanie Williams, Harvard Business Review, May 2003.
63. Becoming a Manager, Linda A. Hill Harvard Business School, Penguin Books, 1992.
64. An Inquiry into Entrepreneur Preparation And A Morning-After Evaluation Of Results, Lisa D. Spiller, Christopher Newport University.
65. Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?, Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Harper Business, 2002.
66. The Design and Development of Information Products, Marc H. Meyer and Michael H. Zack, Sloan Management Review, Spring 1996
67. Entrepreneurship, Marc J. Dollinger, William Schoof, 1995.
68. Developing Products, Marco Iansiti and Alan MacCormack, Harvard Business Review,
October 1997.
69. What is the Right Supply Chain for Your Product?, Marshall L. Fisher., Harvard Business Review, April 1997.
70. How to Have an Honest Conversation About Your Business Strategy, Michael Beer and Russell A. Eisenstat, Harvard Business Review, February 2004.
71. Managing Codified Knowledge., Michael H. Zack, Northeastern University., Summer 1999.
72. The Money Culture, Michael Lewis, Penguin Books, 1991.
73. The First 90 Days, Michael Watkins, Harvard Business School Press, 2003.
74. Why Good Projects Fail Anyway, Nadim F. Matta and Ronald N. Ashkenas, Harvard Business Review, September 2003.
75. IT Doesn’t Matter, Nicholas G. Carr., Harvard Business Review, May 2003.
76. MBA Desk Reference, Nitin Nohria - Harvard Business School Editorial Director, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998.
77. What Really Works, Nitin Nohria, William Joyce and Bruce Roberson, Harvard Business Review, July 2003.
78. How the Quest for Efficiency Corroded the Market., Paul M. Healy and Krishna G. Palepu, Harvard Business Review, July 2003.
79. Iridium LLC., Professor Benjamin Esty, Harvard Business Review, April 2003.
80. Cypress Semiconductor (A): Vision, Values, and Killer Software, Professor Charles O’Reilly and Professor David Caldwell, Stanford University, April 1998.
81. Cypress Semiconductor (B): Vision and Values, But No Killer Software, Professor Charles O’Reilly and Professor David Caldwell, Stanford University, April 1998.
82. The Failure-Tolerant Leader, Richard Farson and Ralph Keyes, Harvard Business Review,
August 2002.
83. Take It Or Leave It: The Only Guide to Negotiating You Will Ever Need, Rob Walker,, August 2003.
84. The World Bank’s Innovation Market, Robert Chapman Wood and Gary Hamel, Harvard Business Review, November 2002.
85. The Enemies of Trust, Robert Galford and Anne Seibold Drapeau, Harvard Business Review, February 2003.
86. Managing the New Product Development Process, Robert J. Dolan, Wesley Publishing Company Inc., 1993.
87. Storytelling That Moves People, Robert Mackee, Harvard Business Review, June 2003.
88. Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail: And How To Avoid Failure, Robert N. Lussier, Springfield College, Fall 1996.
89. Capital Versus Talent-The Battle That’s Reshaping Business, Roger L. Martin and Mihnea C. Moldoveanu, Harvard Business Review, July 2003.
90. Where Really Bad Ideas Come From, Ron MacLean,, 2003.
91. Hear No Evil, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business Review, May 2003.
92. Evolve Succeeding the Digital Culture of Tomorrow , Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School Press, Harvard Business School Press, 2001.
93. Leadership and the Psychology of Turnarounds, Rossbeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School Publishing, June 2003.
94. The Wrong Move, Scott Shaw,, August 1995
95. What would Machiavelli Do?, Stanley Bing, Harper Collins Publishers Inc., December 1999.
96. Commercializing Technology-What the Best Companies Do?, T. Michael Nevens, Gregory L. Summe and Bro Uttal, Harvard Business Review, June 1990.
97. No Excuses Management, T.J. Rodgers, Harvard Business Review, August 1990.
98. Does IT Matter? An HBR Debate, Thomas A. Stewart, Harvard Business Review, June 2003.
99. Bringing the Market Inside, Thomas W. Malone, Harvard Business Review, April 2004.
100. The Intelligent Investor, Warren E. Buffet, Harper Collins Publisher Inc., 1973.
101. How to Write Great Business Plan, William A. Shalman, Harvard Business School Publishing, August 1997.
102. Milestones for Successful Venture Planning, Zenas Block and Ian C. Macmillan, Harvard Business School Publishing, October 1985.


Microsoft Secrets, Michael A. Cusumano & Richard W. Selby, HarperCollins Business, 1996
104. A good hard kick in the ass, Rob Adams, Crown Business, 2002


Not just a living, Mark Henricks, Perseus Publishing, 2002
106. The six month fix, Gary Sutton, John Wiley, 2002


The Mouse Driver chronicles, John Lusk & Kyle Harrison, Perseus Publishing, 2002
108. Whoever makes the most mistakes wins, Richard Farson and Ralph Keyes, Free Press, 2002


F’d Companies, Philip J. Kaplan, Simon & Shuster, 2002
110. Integrating Corporate Risk Management, Prakash Shimpi, TexRe, 1999