There is something magical about leaving for work early
Little traffic around
You get to see the journey in a different light, observe the signals, realize how wide the road actually is
You don’t brake often
You don’t accelerate unnecessarily
You optimize for your fuel
The stress is invisible, there is no reason for it

This is incidentally the same impact waking up early has
On your mind

Don’t let the alarm clock start your day
You do it for yourself

We grew up without money. Ma and Papa worked all their life and couldn’t make enough to save. Yet they gave us the best life they could. We went to top schools. Had a fulfilling childhood.
But I grew up looking at my parents having a life of struggle. Of unfulfilled desires.
A life where they had to trade one desire for another.
And almost always they traded their own for ours.

So I grew up hating money. It seemed to be the source of our misery. The only thing missing.

Here is the deal about hating money.
Rarely do we realize when it converts into submission. When money makes us it’s slave.
We think we are winning against it.
When it’s quite the opposite.

I learnt early on, not to respect money
Instead dismiss it, respectfully
It’s like oxygen. You need it. But you rarely stop to feel it’s presence.
You just have it.
Or you don’t

Opportunity cost is a concept meant for business. Not for human actions.
For human actions we always best the full cost. Not the incremental one.

It’s not just one more abuse
Or one more one night stand
One more act of bribery
One more act of fraud
One more act of cheating

It’s all of them put together. Because the most recent one is as grave as the first one.

Your reputation today is a reflection of what you did this morning!
Yesterday doesn’t matter

Hans Zimmer

20 Jul

Do you know of him?
I didn’t till about 6 months back.

And then I realized
I have known him for a long time. For a really long time.
Because he has composed music for almost all the movies I have ever loved.

At times, you don’t have to be visible to create an impact.
Almost always, the impact thus created, is more ever lasting!

Ahead of the race

5 Jul

When driving, you have two ways of staying ahead

By blocking the road for the one behind

Which is when you change lanes often, you change speeds often, you brake often, you shift gears often. Your mind is driven by the one behind. Not the road.

And occassionally you ignore some other car coming up from behind, that you werent prepared for.


Or by being the fastest on the road

It doesnt matter who’s behind you. Its you who defines the race. And the goal


How are you ahead of the race?


Email this morning

Hello Ankur, rather Hello Ankur Sir..
I recently checked some pics posted by my college Indian Institute of Foreign Trade & saw CEO Groupon delivering a guest lecture. AND it turned out to be you
Pheww…To be frank i never bothered to check out your professional profile and  was talking to you like a friend who needed some advice on a weight loss regime.. Am sort of embarrassed & at the same time humbled by your modesty Sir.
Thanks a lot for replying to all those queries and I sincerely hope we would be able to stay in touch.
Why bother showing off, when humility can get you such long lasting respect, for virtually no hard work?

Opportunities. Nothing more. Just that.

A career is what you make of it.
Or not

Don’t expect anyone else but you to plan your career.

Answer by Ankur Warikoo:

Because I did!
Failed JEE twice.
Infact thrice – didn't even make it through the entrance test for Masters.

And I think I have done just fine.
Have an awesome family, an unbelievably fun job, super smart colleagues, friends that care for me.
And a life worthy of responding to this question!

Why should I live after flunking the JEE on my second attempt?

I am going to take a contrarian view here and say – worse than no data is multiple sources of the same data.

Therein you have killed all objectivity that the data was meant to bring. It’s now subjective. And worse still you don’t know what it favors. Suddenly everyone is showing their version of the data point, to prove their assumptions. To get data to speak your language. And to confess.

If you torture it enough, even data will succumb

I grew up containing my emotions. It wasn’t for you to share or express what you felt towards them. It was expected that the opposite person would understand your emotions.

By age I have become wiser. It’s perhaps the most important gift I have given myself. I have lowered my emotional guard.

The next time you feel anything towards anyone. Do yourself a favor and let them know. Don’t think of what they will think of you.

I love you
I miss you
I couldn’t have done it without you
I don’t know this
You are so awesome
You amaze me
You make me jealous
You inspire me
You make me feel weak
Thank you

Find your kryptonite. Only then you will be superman!

The Industrial Age it seems was built on information asymmetry. People were powerful not because of what they did but because of what they knew. 

And I hate that world. 

  • Closed door strategy meetings 
  • Getting your colleagues to sign endless non compete documents 
  • Being secretive about your financials 
  • Being secretive about salaries 
  • NDAs floating all over 

All of these are beautiful examples of a misplaced sense of self importance. That we know better. 

But we don’t. 

Nor does anyone else, just because they have access. 

I know that if one puts in even the slightest effort, the groupon india financials will be easily available. And it doesn’t bother me one bit. Because those are just numbers. They don’t tell a story. They don’t speak of the effort. Of what it took! Just the same way me knowing Amazon financials will not make me Amazon! 

Imagine a world, where you get up one fine day and all the information is available to you. 

  • Who earns what, And why
  • What’s the cost structure of that company 
  • What’s the next campaign of your competition
  • When is the government announcing tax cuts
  • Have aliens visited us

Everyone knows everything. 

Suddenly, the only way for me to become better than you, is to work harder and smarter than you. I know nothing more than you. 

That’s a world I would die to live in! 

Koshish karne se hota hai

Nothing happens if you cry
It only happens if you try

This is what I keep telling vidur all the time
This is the only thing I want to tell him all his life

A daily wage worker’s two sons have made it to IIT.  He doesn’t have 1lakh to spare for their admission.

An unemployed guy’s mother is dying. And he doesn’t have enough for her medicines.

A middle class topper from a small town can’t speak in English.

A beggar stares at the window pane, as the kid in the car licks the ice cream off the cone.

What will they trade their life for?
Lower costs and subsidies
Or higher income?

Socialism isn’t about equality. It whole premise is inequality. It’s a misplaced sense of self righteousness. 

As an entrepreneur you will always have two ways of building an organization.

Lower the costs
Make it easy for the have nots
Incentivize people based on where they come from
Put in elaborate performance development plans for the weak ones
Only train when you are losing


Raise the income
Even the haves will find it hard
Incentivize people based on what they do
Put in elaborate performance enhancement plans for everyone
Train when you are at the peak

The salary of your top performer should be higher than you
And publicly known
More so to the worst performer

Call in sick

22 Jun

There are 2 occasions when people call in sick
When they really are
And when they are not, but wish they were

Look around you
All the successful people
The ones whom you want to be
As rich, as famous, as inspirational, as enigmatic

And then ask them – how many times did you call in sick?

Tendulkar took care of himself all these years
So does Nadal
And all the successful people around you
They don’t call in sick
Definitely not when they are not
They don’t ever have to

Never work for something where you have to run away from it every now and then.

You will be fine

18 Jun

13 years ago, in the fall of 2002, I captured a shot through my nikon. It was that of wooden fences. About a km from spartan village, where I was staying as a graduate student of MSU.
I was far away from home, lonely, staying with a housemate that hardly spoke.
I didn’t have any money and the stipend was meant to be saved as much as I could. Even if it meant being stingy.
I wasn’t enjoying my studies. I was acing the exams but not enjoying.
And I didn’t know what would happen of me. All I knew was I had to go back to India. To what,  I wasn’t sure

Ruchi and I went to the exact same spot this weekend.
The fence is still there
Nothing seemed to have changed

I wish I could tell my self from 13 years back
You will be fine!

Just because 

17 Jun

Whenever I go to the U.S. I am always amazed by the number of “thank you”, “what’s up”, “you find everything ok” and “sorry” that hit me on an hourly basis. 

They don’t mean it half of the time. Just as “depends” and “maybe” doesn’t mean anything from Indians. 

Classic case of not owning the outcome!
Just because you do something a lot doesn’t mean you are good at it. 

Just because you said something doesn’t mean someone heard it. 

Just because someone heard it doesn’t mean they felt it. 

Just because someone didn’t respond doesn’t mean they didn’t hear anything. 

This single statement has killed more companies than

“I dont know the exact answer, but here is a 50% guess”

ever will!


Tomorrow can never be won, if what you have to do isnt decided today.

Irrespective of the stage you are at, if more than 90% of your colleagues come to work excited/happy at what lies ahead of them in the day, every single day, then you have succeeded in building the right institution. 

Else you have simply started a company

And have failed 

You have failed

You have failed
Some startups are so poor, they only have funding. 

Don’t use machines

29 May

Become one!

Not to 

28 May

the easiest thing in the world is not to

Not to do it

Not to go the extra mile

Not to call that person

Not to work beyond hours 

Not to show concern 

Not to work out 

Not to save 

Not to help

Not to own it

It’s the path of least resistance. The path of minimal effort. 

Here is a little thought experiment 

Each time you chose not to, someone else choses to do it. And moves ahead in life. 

Each time you give up, someone is still at it. Saying I won’t give up. 

It’s the same person all the time. So by the time you count all your “not to” that person is way ahead in life. 

It’s the person you could have become. But to chose not to!