Yeah, but you also…

26 Sep
2016

You didn’t call me

Yeah, but you also didn’t call me 

You scored less

Yeah, but you also scored less

You hurt me

Yeah, but you also hurt me 

You didn’t work to your full potential

Yeah, but you also didn’t 

You don’t seem to be grateful

Yeah, but you also think the same way

You don’t think twice about the things you do

Yeah, but you also are quite reckless 

 

Tell you what, this isn’t a competition.

Each time you counter your flaws by pointing to someone else, worse still the person opposite, who has the same flaw

Is each time you say no to accepting who you truly are.

Is each time you stop yourself from doing the right thing because someone in your opinion has legitimized the wrong thing.

Doing the right thing is not relative. It’s an absolute. 

Who is your customer?

13 Sep
2016

Everyone of us entrepreneurs is trying to solve a problem. 

A live problem. 

Something worth solving. 

Something hopefully worth a lot, once solved. 

But here is the deal about problems. Everyone has them. 

If you are about saving money, even the richest guys likes to. The extent varies. 

If you are about convenience, even the poorest guy wants it. The extent varies. 

If you are about speed, even the guy with most time appreciates it. The extent varies. 

The immediate question to ask, once you have identified the problem, is “who am I solving it for?”

“Who is my customer” 

Everyone is almost always the wrong answer. 

Good products do not speak to everyone. They know who they speak to. Ironically, that is mostly the reason why the products starts speaking to everyone eventually. 

Each time I interview people, we have the office boy come in and ask for tea or coffee. 

When it is served, I look for the response

No thank you?

Thank you?

Thank you Bhaiya (or equivalent)?

Tells me something about the person. 

—-

I play a sadist game on the office floor. Drop a piece of paper or tissue and then wait for who picks it up. 

Tells me something about the person. 

—-

During a presentation if I point out an error on the formatting, I observe how they react. Do they clear the error right away or note it down as a todo. 

Tells me something about the person. 

—-

I am a firm believer in the power of the subconscious. Our intrinsic thoughts are always governing our external actions. Mostly unknowingly. 

It’s the small reactions, the perpetual thoughts, reactions to everyday things that drives the individual. 

The way you do small things determines the way you do everything

As a society, we suck at how we react to an apology. 
Especially when we are mad at the other person. 
I won
Hah, finally admitted their mistake 
I had been saying it all along, hadn’t I 
Don’t ever do it again 
Why did you even do it 
What were you thinking 
It’s too late 

Let’s admit – apologizing isn’t easy. So whenever it happens, can we be gracious and accept it? 
Every single time? 
Thank you for owning up
This just not have been easy
I was hurt, but this helps
I trust you to know what to do the next time 
It’s ok. I am sure you didn’t do it on purpose 
Shit happens

Worst are the moments when we chose not to respond at all. 
Our misplaced sense of victory takes over, places us on a high ground with no foundation and makes us believe that will teach the other side a lesson. 
It doesn’t. But you knew that already. 
An apology from the other side doesn’t mean you won
But if you do not respond, it surely means you lost

Whenever I have made this statement, I realize the irony of it. 

I haven’t worked with these individuals. Because they have worked on their own. Every single time. 

No instructions were ever needed. 

No prescriptions were ever shared. 

No reviews were ever conducted. 

No follow up was ever needed. 

I technically didn’t work with them. 

I simply observed. 

And was left amazed. 

They placed judgement and initiative at a higher order than obedience

The people you enjoy working with the most are those who create art on their own. Art that moves. 

The world has a very convenient definition of cheating, based on a highly misplaced sense of morality. 

If you are physically or emotionally involved with a person outside of your current relationship – that’s cheating. 

Strangely enough, the necessary condition is not the physical or emotional attachment, rather the existence of another person in the equation. 

What if it isn’t a person? 

I have told this to Ruchi several times. I am cheating on her with my work. 

I am in love with my work. 

I dream of work.

Every waking second, I think of it. 

Every second I can gather my basic instinct is to go back to my work. 

Work that doesn’t just comprise managing and shaping nearbuy’s present and future. It also includes meeting people, reading about them, introspecting on my own inadequacy and more. 

And all of this is no different to me from cheating on her. 

But here is something I have realized. 

If I am away from work, I will not be happy. And anything else I will do, will have me participate as a reluctant participant. 

I am equally certain that someday I will be cheating on my work. And that too will make me happy. 

Don’t compromise on the things that make you happy 

Don’t let it affect you if what makes you happy is work 

IQ

26 Aug
2016

Vidur loves to build stuff. Elements for his own world. Rockets, aliens, monsters, zoo, farms. 

And when he does, he forgets everything else. He immerses himself. It doesn’t matter what’s happening around him at that moment. 

Unfortunately, as he grows up, this will change. 

Noise will seek attention. 

Social media

TV

VR

People

The next ping. The next notification. 

And he will submit to the noise. 

Just as we all do too. 

How he deals with it will determine who he becomes. 

——

Back in the days of our parents, being smart was a differentiator. 

Your IQ could leapfrog you to the top of the order. 

And it did. 

The smartest people were almost always the most successful. 

Today, smartness I would argue, isn’t a wide range. 

There is information available to everyone. 

Opportunities too. 

The thing that matters today is focus. 

The ability to immerse yourself. And not care about what’s happening around. 

The act of discarding noise. 

Focus, more than IQ, will determine your success today

Focus in the new IQ

Your reality 

19 Aug
2016

I fear failure 

It took me a long while to realize how wrong this statement is. It makes it sound as if failure is a thing. Something that exists. Something that can be felt or experienced. 

We don’t fear failure. 

We fear the reaction of people if we fail. 

We fear the reactions resulting from failure. Not failure itself. 

And that’s when reality struck. 

Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality. 

While at the gym last week I dropped my phone

And the screen cracked.

Over the next few days the crack spread its wings. And now represents an aggressively growing tree branch.

Basically my top left section of the phone is all glass cracks!

It’s been a week. I have gotten used to it.

 

Yesterday, I took a screenshot and sent myself an email with the screenshot.

When I opened the image on my laptop, I was expecting, out of habit, to see the top left section of the image to be all glass cracks.

It wasn’t

And that was a harsh realization.

The actual image wasn’t broken. 

The situation wasn’t broken. 

It was my lens that was broken. 

It was my perception that was broken. 

Problem?

8 Aug
2016

One of my favorite questions of all times, and a hard one at that to comprehend, is

What drives you more – the problem or the solution?

Its hard to comprehend, because no one can claim not to be driven by the solution. That’s the outcome. The purpose. The aim.

And not surprisingly, most of the times, the driving factor has been answered as the solution instead of the problem. 

That was before I found a better question

What do you fall in love with – The problem or The solution?

If you find yourself falling in love with the solution, end the relationship. 

The worst piece of advice – “Work on your weakenesses”

Equally bad advice – “Double down on your strengths”

Instead

“You have no choice but to become awesome at what is critical to your success”

If you are a leader and suck at communication, you know what you have to do! No choice

If you are a parent and suck at patience, you know what you have to do! No choice

If you are a digital marketeer and suck at numbers, you know what you have to do! No choice

If you want to become a coder and suck at logic, you know what you have to do! No choice

If you want to be an awesome manager and suck at having difficult conversation, you know what you have to do! No choice

If you want to become an entrepreneur and suck at managing chaos or uncertainty, you know what you have to do! No choice

 

You success is not determined by YOUR strengths and weaknesses

It is determined by how well you are prepared for what you have to do

 

What they see 

3 Aug
2016

Think about every single individual that you admire and look up to 

And then think of how they got there 

Thousands of line of code 

Hours of writing, singing, dancing

Months of practice early morning 

Weeks of waking, running, lifting

Years of looking in the mirror and questioning 

Years of looking in the mirror and crying

Years of looking in the mirror and saying don’t you fucking give up

Don’t you fucking get comfortable 

Don’t you fucking think it was meant to be easy 

Away from the crowd

Away from the praise 

Away from the applause 

What you do when no one can see you, defines what they see when they do. 

Fired! 

28 Jul
2016

Option 1:

Your performance has been below par. Despite repeated feedback it hasn’t improved. Its not working out.

“You are fired!”

 

Option 2:

Have you hit your targets in the last 6 months?

Why do you think you haven’t?

Is there anything I could have done to help you hit those targets?

Do you think I had the same constraints for others too? And at an organizational level as well?

How do you think leaders deliver when faced with such constraints?

How long do you think you will need to become that leader?

Do you think as an organization we have that much time?

Do you realize that because of all these conditions, every month you are here I will have to act like an asshole to you?

What would you do if you were me?

“I would fire me”

 

 

They have just lost their job. They don’t need to lose their self respect too.

Nor do you need to.

Them!

25 Jul
2016

As an entrepreneur

You will be misunderstood because of your irrational optimism. Be optimistic anyway.

Other’s success will generate massive self doubt every morning you get up. Get up anyway.

Family will suffer because you have less and less time to love. Love anyway.

You will be hated for the times you take harsh decisions. Take decisions anyway.

The world might not value the experiences you share. Share anyway.

You will struggle to smile and show up. Show up anyway.

You will struggle to show up and smile. Smile anyway.

Your teams may seem naive, inexperienced and not ready to be trusted. Trust anyway.

Your ego will tell you that you don’t need help. Seek help anyway.

You will wonder why don’t they understand. Don’t give up anyway.

In the end the battle is between you and the man in the mirror 

It was never between you and them anyway 

Scared of?

14 Jul
2016

What are you scared of? 

Ghosts?

Heights?

Water?

Your boss?

Your spouse?

Failing?

Being lonely?

Being in a crowd? 

How about decisions? Do decisions scare you? 

It’s ironic that we all ask for more responsibility. But rarely feel comfortable with the responsibility that comes with taking decisions. 

Eliminating the fear around taking decisions is the best gift you can give yourself. 

And you do that by taking ownership of the outcome of the decision. It’s success or failure. 

The thing you should be most scared of are people who sit on their decisions. 

And that could be you

Inadequate 

13 Jul
2016

Inadequate: lacking the quality or quantity required; insufficient for a purpose.

Incapable: unable to do or achieve (something). 

Incapable is the output. The what. 

Inadequate is the reason. The why. 

All of us are guilty of stopping at the what, whenever we fail. 

I am incapable  

I can’t do it 

I don’t have what it takes 

Only a few of us penetrate the why

Why am I incapable 

Why can’t I don’t it 

Why don’t I have have what it takes 

In my experience, surrounding yourself with circumstances and people that make you feel inadequate, will magically ensure that you don’t remain incapable over a prolonged period of time. 

But we rarely do 

Again, ask why! 

Kapoor stores 

8 Jul
2016

We stay in an apartment complex comprising 400 odd families 

And there is a 100sqft store that caters to our daily needs. Kapoor stores

Below the 100sqft display is storage, possibly 3-4X bigger. So it’s not that he doesn’t have merchandise. 

2 weeks back, a 1500sqft store opened. 

GM Mart

Stacked display

Air conditioned 

Scanner checkout counters 

The mega retail format in our world 

Kapoor stores was fucked. 

Or so we thought! 

And am sure Kapoor did too

Here is what he did

He realized that most parents drop their kids at the bus stop, between 6-7am. So we opened the store at 6am now 

GM Mart had operating hours – starting 8am 

Kapoor began to extend credit. Starting with fort nightly and going up to a month, based on retention and amount. 

GM Mart was not designed to give credit 

Kapoor began promoting his home delivery ferociously. Promising 15 min delivery. 

GM Mart was proud of its self help format. 

Kapoor started to give free eggs or bread on purchase of 500

GM Mart didn’t see why they should 

Place yourself in the shoes of Kapoor. And ask yourself – what would you have done? 

I love Kapoor stores. It had a choice to crib. To give up. To settle. 

And it didn’t. 

There is a little bit of Kapoor stores in all of us. 

And a lot of GM Marts around. 

Neither is destined to win. It’s a choice we make. 

A belief we hold within 

Discipline

30 Jun
2016

I have been in the Internet some for 8 years now. By virtue of that I have accumulated a lot of tacit knowledge. If rumors were to be believed there is even a name for this now. Experience! 

It’s an immensely gratifying experience when I can add value through my experience. When I am able to move things forward, because of a larger repository of situations behind me. 

What isn’t a bit gratifying is when I am forced to add value through my discipline and rigor. If I move things forward because I have the discipline and rigor of thinking through things – that’s not because I have more experience. That’s simply because I care. And someone else doesn’t, as much. 

Discipline and rigor aren’t an outcome of experience. 

They are a choice 


Humans suck at….

29 Jun
2016

Right after a heavy dinner, the worst question to be asked is “what will you have for breakfast” 

You feel shitty right now. Why did I eat so much. You don’t want to have anything for breakfast. 

Come breakfast, you are hungry. And you gorge again. Perhaps feeling shitty again. You completely forgot how you were feeling last night. 

Humans suck at remembering the extent of their emotions they felt in the past. 

Whether happiness or pain

As a founder, the variance of emotions that hit you everyday is massive. Virtually impossible to remember all of them, let alone explain them. 

I have gained a lot by recording these emotions. Everyday, I speak to myself. A voice memo. Answering 2 questions 

What was the overwhelming emotion I felt yesterday?

Why did I feel that emotion?

And every now and then i go back to that day, just as one would to a diary. With the hope that I can still rationalize why I felt the way I did. Possibly learning how to be consistent with my emotions. 

Turning emotions into a habit is hard. 

Which is why it’s worth attempting to do it. 

Kids! 

28 Jun
2016

Am reading a book on the science of happiness. 

It describes an academic experiment where a 4 year old is sitting in a room with 2 adults. 

One of the adult moves out of the room. The other adult places a jar of cookies, which until now was on the table, in one of the shelves. And calls back the first adult. 

An overwhelming majority of kids said that the first adult knows where the jar of cookies has been placed. 

The 4-yr old brain has still not figured that what they see is not always what the world sees. Just because they know doesn’t mean the world knows. 

Isn’t is amazing how as we grow older and apparently wiser, our brains start going back to when we were 4? 

The goal is not to make the world see what you see. And treat it for real. 

The goal is to seek the truth. Doesn’t matter who saw it. 

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