"True Pain is the Inability to Breathe" - Muhammad Bilal, CEO of BreatheIOby@th3n00bc0d3r
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"True Pain is the Inability to Breathe" - Muhammad Bilal, CEO of BreatheIO

by Muhammad BilalFebruary 25th, 2021
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I find that work and personal life are just categoricals, that only come to play with respect to space, not even time.

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This Slack discussion by richard-kubina, Limarc Ambalina Muhammad Bilal, Natasha Nel, and Arthur Tkachenko occurred in slogging's official #amas channel, and has been edited for readability.

Muhammad BilalFeb 22, 2021, 10:54 AM
🕴My name is Muhammad Bilal, and I'm a Founder/CEO @BreatheIO; PGP AI/ML; Full Stack Developer; Hardware Engineer; Author, and Philosopher.

You can ask me anything about:

🖨  Starting a startup — especially in the IoT space
Make Yourself a Programmer: The Independent Entrepreneur
Philosophy, critical thinking, or thinking about humans like computer programs
📚  How blogging on Hacker Noon led me to writing and publishing my first book!

Feb 22, 2021, 11:17 AM
hey there Muhammad Bilal thanks so much for doing this AMA. I am so excited more about your experience from blogging to book publishing. As somebody who struggles to write regularly but has great aspirations to write a book: how exactly did you use blogging as a springboard to publishing? Where did you get your blog ideas from, and how did you stay motivated to publish regularly?
Muhammad BilalFeb 22, 2021, 11:50 AM
Hello , I resonate with your question on struggling to write, as I find these are phases that are there not to stay but to just go away, once you figure an aspect. I find that every writer has such a dilemma to start with, so this is something to be considered very natural. It's habitual, in its nature, so once you realize that, converting the habit from a struggling nature to a natural stance is easier. I have discovered that blogging in my experience is a perfect and most recommended tool to start before writing a book.

I started writing about stuff that I was on a regular basis being asked to solve, for my friends, my family and my clients. Think of as FAQs of your daily schedule. Once you find a community that finds your resources useful, they interact with and react to it, either in form of expression or comments.

This in turn really boosts your morale, knowing that you are now being acknowledged which you were also before, only now in writing, allows you to really forge a path to publishing. I remember being excessively motivated by the story of Black Hawk Down, the writer blogged for about a year and then collected all his blog articles and published in a book which in turn became a bestseller and then a movie. Therefore is the perfect paraphrase to allow me to know that it can be done again and it is true for everyone. I hope, I have answered your queries to your fullest satisfaction.
richard-kubinaFeb 22, 2021, 3:44 PM
"thinking about humans like computer programs" is interesting! When I think about computer programs, I think about debugging/modifying. What tools do you use to debug humans?
Muhammad BilalFeb 22, 2021, 6:38 PM
Hello richard-kubina, I am grateful to you for asking such a question, as I believe that true learning is knowing how to ask and what precisely to ask because in these very askings, one is able formulate the logic, that allows him/her to move forward. The way I tend to understand things is to break down into its core meanings in a language. A tool is by definition a device that aids in accomplishing a task or programmatically speaking, that which either activates or controls something particular. I find that to debug humans, our language is one of the tools. It can aid us in accomplishing something with our own or someone else's words. It can activate us or control us in manners we are all well aware and sometimes not aware of.

I find that with such power in our language, we still have reached a language barrier. To put it in simple words, when we tend to communicate with each other, for instance me to you, there will always be a certain perspective from your end that will eventually skew my definition of things, and the same would apprehend you communicating back to me.

Further, I could elaborate this aspect, as even explaining or communicating the simplest of feelings has become so hard for us. Therefore, I find that one should be emotional to their decisions and lifestyle, as our senses are our tools. A machine that does not listen to sensors and works on its own is a broken machine. Either the machine is flawed or the sensors are. We as humans are similar to machines, as our senses are our sensors. We need to listen to them more than try to figure things on our own.
Limarc AmbalinaFeb 23, 2021, 8:38 PM
Philosophy/Work Style Question: How do you budget time between work life and personal life? I love the work I'm doing and can get lost in it, but sometimes I think and worry that I may wake up one day and wish I spent that extra hour every day talking to my friends, walking my dog, or watching TV with my wife, instead of an extra hour on the numerous projects going on.

Do you ever deal with similar introspective struggles?
Muhammad BilalFeb 24, 2021, 7:10 AM
Hello Limarc Ambalina, I love these intriguing questions, as now I know, that I wasn’t the only one asking. Before we deep dive, the way, I was able to sort that manner of confusion, was to understand what life meant for me. Ex. Life for a person who wants to be mother of her children, is actually life for them, Life for a person who wants to be a teacher and is a teacher, is what life is for them.

I find that work and personal are just categoricals, that only come to play with respect to space not even time. Although, in the last year, people have finally realized the importance of work from home. I was literally working from home from the past decade, only to find the offices that I have built just as a requirement or perhaps an illusion for those who needed to see that. This allowed me for a habit to develop, where I find things happening in the background to be more of a boost to my work. For instance, I really need some dedication and silence, I turn my night mode on. Lolx.

That works charms. Therefore, I find that what you work on needs to be integrated into your life to a level where there is no differentiation in work or personal. Everything that the personal has to offer is available to the work, and every work you do becomes your personal matter. Hope, that my answer would resonate with you.
Limarc AmbalinaFeb 24, 2021, 4:55 PM
Thanks for the insightful answer. I am also working from home of course, but still I feel like simply working near your loved ones isn't enough. But it's better than working in an office away from them for sure. But I don't want to turn this AMA to my self-improvement session haha!

Can you tell us about how blogging on Hacker Noon led you to writing a book?! What was your book about and how did you find the publishing process?
Muhammad BilalFeb 24, 2021, 7:28 PM
Indeed Limarc Ambalina, everything has a source, a start, a point where it begins. My journey would begin at a website called One of my friends suggested that I improve my profile, by writing down tutorials and articles for the things, that I have attained over the years. At first, I was really hesitant, but I used to write very occasionally sometimes. I find that another culprit that added to it was starting to read aggressively about success stories and mindsets.

I like metaphorizing things, it makes it easier to understand the context, so think of yourself as a cup, and whenever you read, you pour something in it, and when you constantly read, you can come up to a point where it starts overflowing. That overflow is where things start becoming words, that need to be jotted down. On, I reached about 5000+ followers there and then Soshace started offering money for my articles and that is where I was mentored by Mary Vorontsov (

She is a copywriter and a strict teacher but by spending some time under her training, I was able to better groom myself. Then came hackernoon and the 5 nominations for my articles, and the 3 awards. Well that was it, the bad had been raised and I needed to move further so by collecting everything together that which is already done and to deduce what is left is where the book is formed.

A little summary of my book

Are you not tired of being dependent on others for your tech, are you not tired of the fear of technology, that it is progressing way faster than at the pace you can learn it. Do you not envy all those who can make and create things as they will using technology. I was too!!, and then I found a way, where there was no complexity, a way where I could finally understand, what I couldn’t. A way that I have been attempting to replicate for others and have been astonished by the results of how easy technology can become for those that fear it.

“Man fears what he does not understand, and every-thing else he first subverts, then controls or, ultimately, destroys.” - C. Robert Cargill

Let me help you through this book, to embark you on a journey where you will discover yourself and take control over your ability to learn and absorb that which we call technology.
Arthur TkachenkoFeb 24, 2021, 7:37 PM
I'm interested to know more about your company. I was stalking your linkedin profile on Friday...

Sorry for a wall of questions and thank you for your time! cc Muhammad Bilal
Muhammad BilalFeb 24, 2021, 7:54 PM
Hello Arthur Tkachenko, well the linkedin profile is there to be stalked about, lolx. The idea was not something that I would say is unique or pioneering, I find that innovations, ideas and things that are born have a very interesting relationship with cause because every cause has an effect. Perhaps the effect is what we call the idea, innovation or thing that comes into existence. Nothing is Impossible, because by observing people, people have a tendency of not executing things or thoughts that they muster, and this leads to waste. An idea is nothing but a ripple in the pond if one cannot collect the will to turn it into a tsunami.

The first time, I experienced smog was in 2015 and with it came bronchitis, throat infection and other breathing diseases. Now from 2015 to 2018, there was not that much awareness of smog but by the end of 2018, everybody recognized the damage air pollution was causing. Going myself a couple of times to the hospital and seeing all the children suffering, to know one thing and to witness another are both on a very different level.

I find true pain is in our inability to breathe whether physically or psychologically. It is the breath that gives us what we call freedom. Now you can relate, this is where I took the air filtration process and added technology to it, to validate and observe change and control in the environment.

The current state of the device is that my production is capped due to the excess orders that are coming in, to which the solution has been implemented that is scaling up my production capacity, as of today there are more than 70+ devices sold which are up and operational. You ask me hard, how hard it is, I believe you have to get out of this hard based mindset, think of it like this, what is it that is hard?, that which you do not know how, but what happens when you know the how? It becomes easy. I am a person who believes in no business secrets, therefore I find similarity in coding and everything else I do, as in coding we structure things and so do we in all other manners.

If you want 1-1 sessions, i could certainly get you geared up and running with your own IoT Hardware Based Startup. Now the leadership aspect, people have a habit of only following you by example, and rather than wasting your own time, in explaining things, it is far a better optimised way of doing it.

I find that resonating success through example in yourself as an individual allows you to attract people that have similar frequencies, therefore you save a lot of time that would be wasted in searching for people. It’s like you shine the light in the darkness and the ones who can see it will find you. I think the tech stack that you are looking for is already there and published to a certain extent. I will share the link 

How I Started my own IoT Company?

I hope my answer will give you insight into what you were looking for.
Arthur TkachenkoFeb 24, 2021, 7:58 PM
Muhammad Bilal thank you for your answer and for your inspiration. I 100% agree with you
Muhammad BilalFeb 24, 2021, 8:03 PM
Arthur Tkachenko Your Always Welcomed!
Limarc AmbalinaFeb 24, 2021, 8:07 PM
I know we're running late here but I have another question. Do you feel that this rise in startup culture has changed the way people find jobs and the way we hire?

We live in a time where lots of people are collecting employment insurance and have trouble finding jobs. University degrees don't have the same weight that they used to. What is your advice for people entering the job market today in tech industries?
Muhammad BilalFeb 24, 2021, 8:19 PM
No Worries Limarc Ambalina, I find an obligation to deliver my school of thought, in the hopes that some words may find betterment for others. I have seen two decades of the change in technology, and sure it has its effects cultivating in time, but to say that the whole subject which in this case would be finding jobs or hiring has changed would be radical in expression.

The startup culture was always at rise, where everybody traditionally wanted to gain insight of how things worked doing a job and then start their own gig. Therefore, the only thing technology did was act as a catalyst, it never took part in the reaction, but only made it go faster so that leaves us to the analysis that people still want to find jobs that are high paying and at the same time comfortable, and companies still want to hire people that can do twice as good as one and pay half as one.

I suggest people to find mentors the traditional way, where the passion of the mentors allowed people to be taught and there was no transaction for that teaching. It’s similar to Jackie Chan, Jet Lee and Bruce Lee movies. Absorb the skills and express them in your own expression by helping other people by solving their problems and during this process, you will be amazed to find how much you won’t be the one looking for a job in the tech industry but the tech industry will be running after you with their offers. Be not just resourceful but very resourceful.