- Jim Yaghi, photographed with his delightful niece Sama.
Since as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with how things work.
I pried open all my toys and tried to figure them out the day my daddy bought them for me.
I remember looking inside brand new computers BEFORE ever plugging them in.
So it wasn’t really much of a surprise that at 6 years old I told mum and dad, “I want to be an Engineer when I grow up.”
- I wrote computer programs for the Apple Macintosh SE/30
Then came an obsession with programming and creating little Apple Mac SE/30 applications…Remember those with the black and white 9-inch screen?
My first computer language was Hypercard and I learned it when I was 9. After that, I moved onto BASIC. By the age of 12, I was programming in C using Symanetc’s Think C for Apple. And had developed a sophisticated application for statistically assessing simultaneous translators using MATLAB.
Knowing how to do things with computers at 14 that grown-ups couldn’t made up for my lack of popularity in school. Around that age, I started dabbling with website development.
By 14, I also signed my first Consulting contract with an Engineering firm. It was so easy, I couldn’t believe how simple business was.
My father who supported me in everything I ever took interest in, got me special permission to audit Computer Science classes at the university he taught English at. I attended FORTRAN and Pascal in addition to my normal schooling.
By this time, learning new computer languages was a piece of cake. I picked up Visual Basic in a day and developed one of the most comprehensive Speed Reading Training programs that was available at the time. Several universities let me test it on their students and debug it.
Some academic publications came out of that, but I was not interested in publication at the time.
By 16 I beganÃÂ marketing on the Internet. I did it in secret, while I was supposed to be preparing for my Year 13 finals. The New Zealand education system, god bless them, allowed gifted kids to jump classes.
Secretly, I built an international business from the ground up. I offered free and paid membership services, sold merchandise, and began offering email and webhosting services off software I developed myself using Perl.
Only after receiving my final grades, and only after I’d secured 2 different scholarships, did I show my father the business I’d created.
Ah but not for long. Dad soon had me sell it because it was distracting me from university.
I used the money I made to pay for 9 years of university. So it wasn’t all bad 🙂
I attended 5 universities and received a total of 4 degrees. At the first, I studied for a Bachelor of Information Sciences in Mathematics and Statistics. They did not offer Computer Science as a full-time course and I did not want to wait around 6-years for the degree.
Toward the end, I relocated to my hometown, Auckland, and continued a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. After that, I started a Postgraduate Diploma in preparation for a Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence and Computational Linguistics. An area I’d done a lot of work in while studying Mathematics.
My thesis topic was a continuation of a project I’d worked on in since I was 14.
I had discovered a way to systematise Arabic so that a computer could create words from roots and vice versa; this had not been successfully done by anyone before though many tried. The trouble was that the operation was extremely slow. During my thesis, I worked on speeding up calculation and retrieval using a self-synchronising compression code.
I was immediately hired after my degree by a research organisation and worked on something similar to Optical Character Recognition, but far more robust. I was responsible for developing a search for images of documents written in Arabic script. Successfully solved the problem.
Later, I received a scholarship to study for a PhD in Australia. My research topic bored me. So I began pursuing business interests again.
I developed two best-selling training programs titled PPC Domination (2008) and PPC Supremacy (2010).
In late 2010, I resigned from the online teaching profession, after careless mistakes with my intellectual property.
Online advertising was easy for me too. I started out and within 3 months had generated so much business traffic that I was immediately recognised in the online marketing profession as the go-to guy for Advertising. Months later, I was hired to manage advertising for a small online education company. That year, they had a 700% growth.
Over the next few years, I took on many more clients and helped them with their growth too. Most notably, in 2010 I personally consulted over 60 businesses on their paid advertising.
Today, I run JimYaghi.com to entertain and inform Entrepreneurs about advertising correctly. I also work closely with a number of talented writers and advertisers.