I know, I know, I know!! I am getting intoxicated by Ben Horowitz!! And I am happy that I discovered him, thanks to the internet!
We always want to be liked, liked by the people around us! In order to do that the simple way is to say things that these people would love to hear!
Simple, isn’t it? In long run these things fail to stand out! Time is an infinite entity and it, often than not demands authenticity.
In order to do that and to be a leader in true sense we must take our time to manifest things that WE believe in. These things are to be manifested first and propounded next! Many a times the people who would cheer for you when you say likeable things would not be happier when you say these things. They may advise you to go for a safer alternative! These values that initially feel foolish combined with conviction may give long term value!
Ben explained a catch in these ideas. That catch is ‘uniqueness’. Everyone can have ideas. There is high chance that two or more people can have the same ideas. No idea is less capable. The idea that is unique, with future potential, that one which is first in line, gets the most traction by investors.
With all this in backdrop I will be dropping one more blog on this tagline because I loved it personally. We would be discussing why Ben says not to follow passion and what is the other side to this, what is the solution to ‘not following passion’?
How are you all? I hope you have been reading what I scribble here for some time. Hope you're in good health. I don't know what exactly is happening around my being. Hence posting this rant.
Sometimes do you feel concerned about future and letting in people/habits in a space that is endearing to you/that has been endearing to you?
I have been heavily against gym and activities that go in there. Things that go around there are completely worrisome for me. I'm a guy who wants to lose weight but at lesser or no capital cost. And I know that is doable.
Mind is playing crooked games with me. Hence I needed to resort to this bad capitalist space called the gym. Feeling like I've lost the self inspiration I had for longest amount of time to wake up at 6.30 am. (Not that hard, aye!)
These thoughts are just a day after joining the gym. I know I'm a cynical p***k.
But I couldn't resist. I used to exercise at home and my parents are of course worried about me being grossly obese/overweight with a high potential of carrying allied diseases.
But I'm trying. The biggest downside of these crooked thoughts is food based depression. This is a tailor made term by me😂. It simply means I eat a lot when I get stressed. I get stressed for things that are out of my control. And I eat a lot of sugary/sweet foods that I want to overcome, just those thoughts badly.
I have succumbed to this bad capitalism activity just for the heck of it.
I don't know how many days this will go on. Trying to keep the wheels moving for days I could do it.
Wish me luck. Consider this my daily diary entries in public!!
I don’t know how many parts of Ben’s invaluable words would come in future the form these blog posts. There are many things that I am afraid that I’ll miss even if I cover most of them!
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Now getting onto the point,
It is easy to teach an innovator to be a CEO than a CEO to be an innovator. That, in other words, means it is good to have ‘always a student’ approach while learning new things.
The most undervalued part is the network. If a founder finds a ready network in a VC firm he/she is hugely psyched to get onboard. A readily available network implies ready pool of users and ready marketing!
Ben mentions in brief about his journey running the VC fund. They started up in 2009 with a pool of $300 million and as of 2014 they were $4.7 billion in capital pool, as of today they would be more solid in terms of numbers.
What I believe is, more than the numbers the underlying values and aims that an individual has stood upon to reach a particular upward milestone.
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The title of the blog is the title of an interview of Ben Horowitz in conversation with Professor Tom Byers.
When you come out of school, you know some things but there are a whole lot of things you don’t know.
The opening of the talk is with an interesting management skill called the people’s skills. Most technical skills are highly appreciated if one has them. That what may go highly underestimated is the art to manage people.
What people’s skills means exactly beyond delegation of work is knowing what other people who are working with you/want to work with you. This knowledge about the people is in terms of knowing what their motivations are.
This analysis is equally important for the people with whom you are talking to and also whom you are not talking to.
On asking about the nitty-gritties, Ben has mentioned in his best seller book The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Tom asked a question about what made him write the book?
Ben replied with an interesting answer. Most management books are written with here’s how cannot screw your company. The real solution lies in knowing what to do post the screw up.
Most management related books are for peace time CEOs
Most venture capitalists tell the CEOs a secret sauce of hiring the A-players/employees which in reality may not be a secret.
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Adora Cheung is a partner at Y Combinator, a bachelors in Computer Science and a taskmaster.
I came across her talk at one of the Y-Combinator summits tagged in one of the newsletters by my friend Sathya on Twitter.
It was more about and for Startup founders. I looked at it for productivity enhancement learning. I am writing header wise for this post just to organise my haphazard thoughts to match with my writing speed!
The most important thing when it comes to gauging our productivity is to know the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) we are treading on. Rather it is better to tap into and decide what KPIs we are treading on.
There might be ‘n‘ number of performance indicators we that may come up with our every day efforts we take throughout our day. It is direly necessary to prioritize which one are ‘key’ amongst them.
Real vs. fake progress
Real progress is the one that makes a real positive impact on the way forward. Real progress gives you a positive feedback on the way you have decided to move forward.
It determines whether your way is the right way or one needs to make a course correction.
It is good to keep weekly goals and a feedback checking mechanism in place.
Journaling forms the important part to know what exactly we won and what we need to work on more.
An hour by hour introspection of the day can give a clearer picture. Logging our ideas into spreadsheet can be most efficient way to have an organized ledger of our goals.
It helps keeping a check on which goals we have achieved and to what extent. These goals can be graded to high medium and low.
Which amongst the above do you think is an important change to be brought about in your day to day life activities?
The basic understanding of something comes out of the fact that brain registers it onto its notebook. I am putting it in a very easier sense of understanding although there are complex processes involved.
The title was the opening line of one of the lectures by Jiddu Krishnamurthy ji. The knowledge, he said, can be of any form— spiritual knowledge, technological knowledg, knowledge about medicine say surgery and anything under the Sun!
The real question is about how and why does the brain registers the flow of knowledge or information reaching it? And is every little piece of information reaching out brain is important piece of information? And can any piece of information make our brain to get disturbed?
All these questions if addressed cumulatively we can arrive onto three consolidated questions that may answer all this conundrum together.
Is it really necessary to have knowledge that is coming to me?
Does it bring any clarity to me?
Does it increase my energy or bring about a positive change in me or give me a sense of freedom?
If we get to find answers to above questions then we can find an important manifestation that maybe generic in sense but it can be framed as following:
Certain kind of knowledge is important but not all knowledge is important.
Brain needs to be kept away from certain kind of knowledge. This becomes necessary as a part of the safety and security of brain.
This speech of his came up to me on J. Krishnamurthy foundation’s video sources.
What do you feel about this necessary protection for brain?
I got a chance to view the Money, Explained documentary from the ‘Explained’ series on the Netflix.
It is marvelous in the sense that the OTT platforms like Netflix at least partly let the content be out of the purview of censorship.
Most of us are getting exposed to a variety of options in investing, precisely they are called instruments, I think! We are getting exposed to many financial instruments as such.
With more options comes more conundrum. I am no different to that situation. I was viewing the documentary series just yesterday.
It is a five part series that has titles that actually define the storyline of the episode. I preferred watching the episode on credit cards and the one on retirement risks.
I hail from India. Most of the content in the documentary is from US context. Still it is enthralling to watch how flat I can fall if I don’t plan my retirement being prone to a plethora of private jobs and job switching.
That might even be the case even if I plan my retirement and the inflation skyrockets!
The documentary takes us through various tax regimes that many nations takes its subjects through, inadvertently.
Most people from our parent’s age retiring from the government jobs lately and I think from now, going forward the white collar government jobs will be a bleak possibility for the unreserved category students in India.
I was going through the documentary with all these thoughts brimmming up!
What do you say about it? Have you watched the documentary yet?
I'm fond of materialistic achievements to some extent. Our brain secretly loves to have that short bursts of pleasure of unboxing a new product.
Buying something new has become easier provided according to the consuming power one has. I, in my life until now have not invested more than a ₹1000 on headphones, I swear on that.
But my overall investment may go high😬. Trying new things which many a times go our of my forté, I'm excited about doing that. Once I was not creating short videos, now I do that regularly, not to boast off, I try it on platform like Instagram. That development of habit for me created a requirement for having Bluetooth headphones for me. I hadn't used them before.
A good set of Bluetooth headphones make it easier for lesser audio cleaning and editing as a whole. Its use may make you wary of the intertwined wires of wired headphones!!
Just that you may equally get wary of the battery life of your Bluetooth headphones too!