This is a subscriber-only article. Join Entrepreneur+ today for access

Learn More

Already have an account?

Sign in
Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

This Entrepreneur Gets Inspiration From His Childhood Inventions Leo Group managing partner Mossab Otman Basir was raised to push forward an any idea he had. Now his childhood creations remind him to always explore, innovate and iterate.

By Mossab Otman Basir

This story appears in the November 2018 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Courtesy of Mossab Otman Basir

As a kid, I helped my father reformat computers for a lab he started at Ontario's University of Guelph. I unscrewed cases of old clone computers to upgrade memory slots and graphics cards, or added a 56k modem to the board. He could have done it faster without me; I know that now. But he was allowing me to see how things worked.

Related: 10 Ways to Stay Inspired for Life

This was only the beginning of his message to me: First, understand. Then, create. He is an inventor and inspired the way I think. Like so many kids, I had a healthy imagination and came up with all sorts of ideas. Whenever I'd share one at the dinner table, my dad would drill deep, asking me questions that helped shape my vision. I conceived of a toaster that was preloaded with bread, a fridge that could make its own grocery list, a robot lawn mower, a remote control that could never get lost. (I even built a prototype for that last one, which you see above; we hit every RadioShack in town to get radio transmitters and receivers, resistors, diodes, buttons and LEDs.) Our conversations would always end with him asking me to draft what he called "a poor man's patent." We didn't have money back then, so I'd write the idea on paper and mail it to myself so the postal service stamp officially dated the idea -- proof I had it first.

The rest of this article is locked.

Join Entrepreneur+ today for access.

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Sign In