My name is Behrad Mirafshar. Born in Ahvaz, Iran. Moved to Teheran, the capital at the age of 12. Tehran is a boiler plate. Many people live and hustle everyday to make it. Kind of NYC but in the middle east.
My background is in mechanical engineering. I always fascinated how things work on the root level. Fluids mechanics fascinated me the most. I did study that.
BYEBUY is a revolutionary concept aim to free us from blind consumption. Instead of buying to own, rent and send back anytime you don’t need the product. We’re designing a system that circulates products among its member. A community as big as global society.
What was your motivation for doing this?
I always wanted to do my own thing. Experiment with my own ideas, see how they pan out. After few years working in startup environment in Berlin, I came across Michael, CEO of BYEBUY in an event. He talked about his idea of renting instead of buying, circular economy and sharing economy and instantly I jumped on board.
Thanks to MSPI. My studies helped a lot to get fresh perspective how the future of product/service development would look like where we’ll abandon old methods of consumption and production and seek new approaches. My study acted as a wake-up call. Pushed me to look at the world with a fresh eye.
Please tell us a little bit about the concept of the switching economy?
How I see it: The switching economy is a concept fine-tuned in digital environment where innovative products and services completely change the landscape of consumption. The switching economy is like an undo button on any interfaces. You have the option to undo your actions! You have the permission to experiment. If you don’t like this product, you don’t have to stick to it. Switch it till you find your perfect marriage! 🙂
“Our system is designed to circulate the products. A waste zero system.”
How could BYEBUY play a role to help drive sustainability?
We act as middle ground between manufacturers/retail and consumers. Our system is designed to circulate the products. A waste zero system. That’s for the start.
Our plan is to bring manufacturers more into the equation so they can be held responsible for the products when they’re getting outdated. For example, a smartphone’s average age is between 2 to 3 years. After that you need a new one!
What is your role with ByeBuy?
I am head of product. Overseeing design. And have a say in forming the brand.
How did you get involved?
From day zero. I liked the idea. Said yes. Let’s make it happen.
We’ve seen that you recently raised €1M for BYEBUY – many congratulations on this! – how do you see yourselves moving forward with the company?
We raised €1.1M on last October. Also, we’ve raised ever more than initial fund in the meantime. Don’t tell anyone 😉
We’re entering U.S. Market on July. We’re rolling out some ground breaking features as well. I’m very excited for the future to come. Let’s see where it takes us.
How has your experience and the skills you learnt at MSPI helped you in your career?
I’m very grateful for my experiences in Sweden and studying at MSPI. It was a pleasure to learn from Tobias Larsson. He’s one of my role models to the date.
I learned many things from my study. Most and foremost, it teaches you to toughen up. This study is an open book, and an empty canvas. It pushes you to face the uncertain world. It gives you a one-pager at the beginning of a course, a lead in a company and asks you to go hustle for the rest. At the beginning, I didn’t get it. I thought it was a joke. Even said I’m wasting my time.
But oh boy was I mistaken. Because the real world is exactly the same as MSPI is designed. Uncertain! You can only count on your skills, belief in yourself, and be ready to hustle endlessly.
The MSPI experience
“Hustle. Put yourself constantly out of your comfort zone. Embrace it when you’re miserable. Embrace it when you’re weak. Constantly challenge yourself. You’re young. You have the guts. You’re secure. Push the limits. Tomorrow is too late.”
Coming back to your experience as a student at BTH, what are some of the memories that you have from your time at BTH and in the MSPI program?
Everything. Beautiful two years. Summer/spring magical. Autumn/winter Rough. You man up.
Competitive educational environment. All of my classmates were absolutely curious, willing to learn and a pleasure to study with.
Tobias Larsson treated us like a man. Never forget that. Taught us how to get ready to enter the world, full of wolves and competitors. Shout-out to him.
Why did you choose MSPI and BTH?
You’ll study on a piece of land left from heavens on earth. You’ll have a great archive of knowledge and experiences to boost your skills. You’ll live in a beautiful and peaceful city. What more can I say?
Which was your favorite course on the MSPI program?
Courses that we had to work with companies. Working with Volvo was amazing.
Tell us what your Master Thesis was about?
Crowdsourcing. I was/am fascinated by the power of crowd. It’s a thriving force if it’s be used in positive way.
Recommendations for aspiring MSPIers
The key areas for the program is Sustainability/sustainable development, Product-service systems and Innovation. How do you think engineers can benefit from mastering these perspectives?
One thing I know there’s million of engineers out there. There’s million of creatives out there. Everybody can play guitar! Today’s world is about having a fresh perspective, a vision to pursue. Have that, and skills come with it. In MSPI you can pursue shaping up a fresh perspective.
What would you recommend our current and future students to think about while studying and preparing for the real life?
Hustle. Put yourself constantly out of your comfort zone. Embrace it when you’re miserable. Embrace it when you’re weak. Constantly challenge yourself. You’re young. You have the guts. You’re secure. Push the limits. Tomorrow is too late.
What should we in academia – educating tomorrows engineers and leaders – focus on to be relevant for the real life of industry?
Bring more real life cases to the academia. Academia moves slower compare to the business. It need to catch up.
Is there anything else in particular from the education in MSPI that you would like to highlight?