Haroon Meer – Founder of Thinkst
In an age of booming start-ups and overnight triumph, it seems the journey to success is inaccessible at worst and uncertain at best. What it means to be an authority in a field is a question a lot people ask, but not many people answer.
The answer to this question was central to the success of Haroon Meer; a South African Muslim at the helm of Thinkst, a cyber security firm that consults government agencies, big-name internet clients and more. He’s consulted NATO on cyber security before it was an active international threat, and his Canary cyber honey-pot devices are connected to major tech giants. With humble beginnings in the tail end of Apartheid South Africa, Haroon’s success was far from a silver spoon upbringing.
So how did Haroon take off?
On The Transit Lounge – a podcast from Toledo Society, Haroon described the one constant to becoming an authority in his field: relentlessness. Being at the top of the game means just that: putting the time in, keeping up with trends and staying competitive.
Central to Haroon’s philosophy is the idea that money follows value; not the other way around. Almost hard to believe, Haroon failed his first year of Computer Science. However, take this with with a grain of salt, as what followed was a measured and masterful pursuit of passion. He took classes in anything and everything he was interested in: philosophy, legals, sociology and more until he found his passion in computer science and pursued it without fail.
Far from the denizens of Silicon Valley and the West, Haroon operates comfortably out of South Africa, where Thinkst’s main office is located. Haroon reflects on his “Muslimness” during the episode, and the role his cultural and religious identity played in his journey. He also speaks of his early pool addiction and his short stint at the Quantico base!
The Transit Lounge is part of Toledo Society – a podcast network dedicated to the English- speaking Muslim millennial.