How a Casablanca Library Inspired BBN Times Founder Badr Berrada

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Badr Berrada has BBN Times’ gurus speaking directly to readers
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Well, it may not actually be ironic, as mega-million selling performer Alanis Morissette warbled in one of her early super hits, “Ironic.”

It’s perhaps more whimsically paradoxical. But when young London-based online content entrepreneur Badr Berrada was growing up in Casablanca, his inspiration was reading books. It still is.

But this October, ambitious, high energy yet modest Berrada celebrates the first year anniversary of his BBN Times, a fast-growing online platform that uniquely helps people read articles from reputable authors that are experts or “gurus” in their fields — finance by bankers, global economy by economists, science by doctors, society by influencers and politics by politicians. BBN Times, which launched 5 October 2017, has already acquired 3.87 million page views by 1.93 million new users as of mid-October 2018. So, it’s trending upwards and quickly.

Berrada’s story all started back in the 1990s, when the Internet was in its ascendant infancy. Back then, Berrada, a wide-eyed child used to sneak into his grandfather’s library room. He recalls that very specific and brilliant North African light creeping into the room and illuminating the great swath of his grandfather’s books, all written in French. Berrada doesn’t recall for sure but they may’ve included: “Les Trois Mousquetaires” (The Three Musketeers) by Alexandre Dumas; “Le Petit Prince” (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry; maybe Moliere’s “La Malades Imaginaire”; and, so many others.

Berrada, who’s still in his early twenties, attended Cass Business School and acquired a masters degree from London School of Economics, which he says changed his vision about the corporate world: “In order to succeed, you have to work even harder, make a lot of sacrifices, innovate and think outside of the box on a continuous basis.” But he confesses, he still checks back into the LSE library to read books that he can’t find online or at Waterstones.

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Berrada on the hunt for more books to feed his voracious appetite

And this continual thirst for knowledge tracks back to his childhood inspiration:

He quips that whenever he’s traveling, and even before sleeping or when he’s just bored, “I always read a book…or three.”

After graduating from LSE, he became a trader but then changed it up. He was told he was crazy to leave that burgeoning career to become an entrepreneur, and his mother was one of the very few who believed in him.

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Badr Berrada with his proud mother, Filali Tarass Fadoua, at his LSE graduation

His founding of BBN Times has also been inspired by an outlier’s admiration of Silicon Valley, offering, “I’m a huge fan of the latest tech trends, and truly believe that technology can empower people. I love Silicon Valley and its competitive nature. You have the best talent in the world to choose from, along with capital, infrastructure, social support, the overall mindset of people, and the concentration of industry all in one place. What’s not to like?!”

So, with that in mind, he created his online platform, almost single-handedly, at first. He now recalls with a laugh;

And, he explains how his 100+ gurus have supported his revolution:

Big goals, indeed.

In the meantime, Badr Berrada is participating in a funding competition run by London School of Economics to move BBN Times forward. And, he’s reading more books, including these recent ones: “Zero to One” by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters; “Crushing it: How Great Entrepreneurs Build their Business and Influence” by Gary Vaynerchuk; “Educated” by Tara Westover; “The Rules Do Not Apply” by Ariel Levy; and, next up on Berrada’s list is “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek.

Berrada’s grandfather would be proud his grandson showed such interest in books, because as famous mega-selling author J.K. Rowling put it: “I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a book.”

Check out the “gurns” on BBN Times and drop in on its Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook pages.

Written by

Award-winning journalist-author-blogger for Playboy, TO Star, Movie Entertainment, HuffPost, Hello Canada & my novel REJEX (Pulp Hero Press) is on Amazon.

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