5 Questions…with Farhan Thawar

ftFarhan Thawar has over 11 years experience in the technology sector and is currently the VP Engineering at Xtreme Labs. He is also leading the efforts behind the Extreme Univeristy.

Prior to joining Xtreme Labs, Farhan was the Chief Software Architect at I Love Rewards Inc and previously the Head of Search & MSN Platform for Microsoft Canada. Prior to that Farhan spent 7 years at Celestica Co. and Trilogy Software Inc. coding and running development teams. Farhan has a degree in Computer Science with Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from the Rotman School of Business.

What motivates you to do what you do on a daily basis?

Impact.  We have a super-smart team of folks in Toronto, making an impact on a global scale. I’m motivated by working with folks smarter than I am.

Do you have any success start-up tips for people wanting to create a name for themselves in your industry?

Stop talking and start doing.  I meet loads of folks who Tweet, Facebook, read blogs but they aren’t doing anything. Spend more time working on your idea, refining it and most of all releasing it to get feedback. Real feedback. 

In your opinion why is Toronto a hotbed for cool tech start-ups?

It’s proximity to ultra-smart schools like University of Waterloo and University of Toronto that make Toronto an amazing city to live and work in, with smart people everywhere.  I actually have a video about this: www.torontohomecoming.ca

What’s your favourite tech toy and social media site and why?

My favourite tech device is the iPhone.  It alows me to watch rich media, play impressive games or triage email on the go. I actually also have a BlackBerry in my bag.

My favourite social media website has to be Techmeme.  It allows me to get 95% of all my technology news in 10-15 minutes per day. 

Who would you say is one of Toronto’s social media/tech stars and why?

Not sure what a social media star is but I know lots of up and coming tech stars.  I can name 10 Waterloo interns we’ve had at Xtreme Labs that would blow your mind (some were born after 1990!), but then you’d recruit them.

I welcome all who want to come by and see our space and meet our team.