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Ramzi Samara of Meshlytics: “Most messaging apps distract us from focusing”

Most messaging apps distract us from focusing. We keep on getting personal messages while working and work messages while spending quality time with family. Most of us wish to deactivate these apps, but we don’t want to get isolated from our loved ones and miss any work update. Chapp gives you the ability to separate […]

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Most messaging apps distract us from focusing. We keep on getting personal messages while working and work messages while spending quality time with family. Most of us wish to deactivate these apps, but we don’t want to get isolated from our loved ones and miss any work update. Chapp gives you the ability to separate between “Work” and “Personal,” and to systematically manage all your communication. It enables you to control what information is shared with the two types of contacts, from the profile picture to email and phone numbers. Chapp also provides a chat request feature. No spam or unwanted person can directly message you without your approval. It is coming up with an all-new feature to link multiple phone numbers to your profile. This will make it easier for your friends, family, clients, and colleagues to reach you while you travel abroad.


The telephone totally revolutionized the way we could communicate with people all over the world. But then came email and took it to the next level. And then came text messaging. And then came video calls. And so on…What’s next? What’s just around the corner?

In this interview series, called ‘The Future Of Communication Technology’ we are interviewing leaders of tech or telecom companies who are helping to develop emerging communication technologies and the next generation of how we communicate and connect with each other.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Ramzi Samara.

Ramzi Samara is an active angel investor and isn’t new to the startup scene. He has had several learnings from failed startups to date. Most recently he founded Meshlytics, which focuses on alumni data management. With a decade of experience in consulting, technology and investment industry, Ramzi has been heavily involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Holds an Economics degree from the University of Arizona, and a Master’s in Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology from Canada’s University of Waterloo.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started? Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

In today’s world we are always connected, always online, and on multiple channels, all at the same time.

For a long time, just like everybody, I naturally stayed connected with many old friends, former colleagues, and of course family. What makes it even worse is that I get hundreds of messages and forwards from friends and family. Even when I get home and ready to spend some quality time, lo and behold, I get non-stop messages from work! And I used to think, if it was important they should’ve called, but apparently, that’s not how it works in this “connected world.” So, I ended up checking my phone non-stop to see messages, regardless of their urgency or relevance.

Over time, I began to get more and more overwhelmed, distracted, and lost faith in “work-life balance”. I know I know, I can mute groups and notifications on some messengers, but it proved to be a prolonged hassle, having to go through this for many contacts and groups at different times of the day and week.

I started observing all the messaging apps my family, my friends, and my colleagues use for both personal and professional communications. Funny enough, I realized that many colleagues at different companies use certain messengers that are not secure, or transparent with how they use data, to exchange files and discuss confidential work matters.

That is when I decided there has to be another way to gain your sanity back, a way to take back control of your life, to communicate and share with privacy and security, and find the harmony between your work and personal life. That’s when Chapp was born.

I decided to develop a highly secure messenger that allows you to create and control two profiles, simultaneously without them impacting one another. Still in beta mode, there will be more features that separate both profiles to give you more control, privacy and peace of mind!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Early on in my career I joined a consulting firm and one of our first engagements was to advise a certain company’s board of directors on the gaps between their practices and global best practices.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Do or do not. There is no try” There is very straight forward, its about our true commitment for doing something. The word “try” can be somewhat of a negative attitude. If you wanted to go ahead with anything, just set your mind to it and do it.

Many entrepreneurs would tell you that you just need to start. Starting is the most difficult part. I have had this idea lingering on my mind for quite some time, and seeing this quote reminder me to just start or forget about it as you will be torn apart if you linger in-between.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

After God, I would say its my mother. Although very cliché, she has been the greatest support. Throughout my upbringing, she would always say you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Being an entrepreneur herself, she engrained the fact that all ideas start small then eventually grow, rather than the opposite of starting big, as this increases the chances of failure. But with starting small you can pivot accordingly and have the time to internalize the markets reading on your idea.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I wouldn’t say that I have reached the success I am looking for. Afterall this app is still in its beta release. I am hoping this app can bring the level of control needed by young professionals to firstly control their data and privacy, secondly be able to disconnect from work (while at home) and from their personal life (while at work). We are in a truly connected world and this has increased stress and anxiety levels with our culture of “always on”. A PwC’s report I stumbled upon, called “The Future of Work — a journey to 2022”, involved interviews with 50,000 workers around the world. The conclusion was that “the workforce is not more productivity that it was before having this connectivity and data”.

Ok wonderful. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Can you tell us about the cutting edge communication tech that you are working on? How do you think that will help people?

Most messaging apps distract us from focusing. We keep on getting personal messages while working and work messages while spending quality time with family. Most of us wish to deactivate these apps, but we don’t want to get isolated from our loved ones and miss any work update. Chapp gives you the ability to separate between “Work” and “Personal,” and to systematically manage all your communication. It enables you to control what information is shared with the two types of contacts, from the profile picture to email and phone numbers. Chapp also provides a chat request feature. No spam or unwanted person can directly message you without your approval. It is coming up with an all-new feature to link multiple phone numbers to your profile. This will make it easier for your friends, family, clients, and colleagues to reach you while you travel abroad.

How do you think this might change the world?

It will help us all start to find the work-life harmony we are seeking, and put an end to the continuous distractions throughout our day.

Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

It’s a tool to help you disconnect. If people do not utilize it, then it may end up being another messenger, that is secure of course. Those who use different types of messengers need to become more aware of the different ways these companies are using and mining their data. Chapp was started to make us all aware that we have the power to disconnect and keep distractions at bay — whether at work or at home, we all owe it to ourselves to truly enjoy the moment.

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this breakthrough? Can you tell us that story?

Over the years, I became more and more overwhelmed by the amount of messages I had been receiving while at work or at home with my family. It was during the pandemic when we had to work remotely that led to the tipping point. My home was now turned into an office and I was unable to separate the two, and there was no one to blame than myself. Whether it was during “office hours” I entertained messages from friends and family, and after work was done, I entertained messages from colleagues. This blended work and personal life and become difficult to switch off. We all faced it. New terminologies such as “zoom fatigue” because the diagnosis of how we all felt.

What do you need to lead this technology to widespread adoption?

For young professionals to believe that they have control over their data and can find messengers like Chapp which doesn’t able to disconnect from messaging

The pandemic has changed so many things about the way we behave. One of them of course, is how we work and how we communicate in our work. How do you think your innovation might be able to address the new needs that have arisen as a result of the pandemic?

With remote work being front and center of how businesses are operating during this pandemic, the space between personal and work is becoming blurry. We are essentially working from our homes which have always been associated with our personal time and space. Although the app can’t stop your boss and colleagues from calling you, it can help you set the tone that it’s your personal time. If it’s urgent they can call you instead of overwhelming you with messages about work. It’s become more important than ever to disconnect from work. A recent study by the journal of Occupational and Environment Medicine found that working more than 49 hours a week increased anxiety and depression. hence, reducing your focus on work and spending quality personal time can improve one’es mental health and wellbeing. We hope Chapp can be a catalyst for such changes in our behavior.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Timing is everything. This is key because it is critical to reach product-market fit, and at times the market may not be ready for such a product. E.g. twitter’s original idea when it launched in 2006 was very similar to Clubhouse’s idea — an audio social network. In 2006 however, the market dynamics were very different and that is why twitter pivoted to short written statements.
  2. Don’t put off hard decisions. In startups, quick decision making can make or break growth. Story: early on we had to decide on what type of languages we wanted our app to be translated in. Upon launch we had users from the Middle East through to Asia. We may have lost some users on the way given putting off the decision to translate our app early on.
  3. Trust your gut. Story: Our gut feeling was to develop on both platforms, the longer we thought about it the more we became paralyzed with our own analysis and ended up only developing on the iPhone. Several months later we realized how important was Android and it took us time to release it.
  4. Patience is a virtue. Many startups dream of quick success overnight. But in reality you need to be very patient and attentive to the market signals. E.g. early on we were not seeing any downloads and at times felt defeated that the idea was not working. Over several weeks we began to see an uptick in downloads.
  5. Be prepared to sacrifice. Time is a scarce resource and once its gone, you can never get it back. Story: I had to put my social life on hold to ensure I can work on Chapp while managing everything else in life, work and family.
  6. Focus on a niche. Many startups think big, which is great and encouraged. At times though the more niche the less barriers you may need to go through to start testing your idea. Story: we first wanted to make a secured messenger, but there are many competitors out there and we lacked a unique advantage. With concentrating on those who wish to find work-life harmony, we are more catered towards a smaller audience and are pushing our idea that this new movement will convince others that they possess the power to disconnect every now and again.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Every person can disconnect from technology. Whether you want to be focused at work, or relaxing with your family, there are many tools and apps out there that can help this balance. Its up to each person how they want to live their lives and to set the tone — they deserve to put themselves first. Startups like Chapp give the power to users to turn off their work messages when at home, and turn off personal messages when at work. The power lies in each of you! Additionally, have the peace of mind that your data is safe when messaging.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Firstly, download the app! Its still In beta mode with more features coming out soon.

iOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/chapp-private-messenger/id1491884592

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=o.chappme.chapp.android&hl=en&gl=US

And they can follow our twitter account @ChappMessenger or read our blogs at https://chappme.co/blog/

Thank you so much for the time you spent doing this interview. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success.


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