For Samir Al-Battran, the road to becoming the founder of Tweepsmap spanned many countries, but was always driven by an early love of building products from scratch.
Born in Iraq, Samir’s fascination for computers and electronics propelled him to join a programming club. It was there where he built his first game on a little Z80 computer. For him, the process of taking a wild idea, brainstorming on a potential product, and tinkering and obsessing over its details to ultimately end up with a solution — was creating art.
After completing his bachelor’s degree, Samir looked to distance himself from the political unrest in Iraq, so he applied for a masters program in the UK, and made the move. After finishing his studies, he looked to start his life somewhere new and begin setting down roots — so he packed his bags and headed to the Great White North.
Samir arrived on Canadian soil to unfamiliar faces, new systems to navigate, and opportunities to seek. Fortunately, the frigid weather was counteracted by the warm and diverse personalities at his office. He was finally able to relax, flex his fingers and get to work on some software.
A few years into his career, he craved the ability to build the things he desired — so that’s exactly what he did. He transitioned to work as a software consultant, which gave him free time to create and build things of his own — and he got right to it. Soon after, both he and a friend built RentCompass — a tool to help people find places to rent. It was official: Samir was now an entrepreneur.
Inspired by his first company, he continued to play around with APIs and create tools for fun. During one of his many tinkering sessions, he came across a website that was aiming to list Twitter follower locations. He noticed the site wasn’t interactive, nor was it accurate. And that’s when he felt the familiar pull of a new project. So he rolled up his sleeves and got to work: it was time to create art.