Posts Categorized: Experience

The worst book I have ever read

The worst book I have ever read

In front of me right now is the worst book I have ever read in my life. I could say ‘in my life so far’ but I really doubt I am ever going to read anything this bad. It is a 60-page fiction which is effectively a 30-page book because every dialog is first written verbatim first in Hindi (in English script) followed by its translation in English. There is hardly any sentence in the book that does not have a glaring grammatical error and there are a few spelling mistakes here and there as well. I could not go beyond the 5th page (10 if we are being pedantic) because at that point in the story a minor gets raped, very casually. It was more than what I could endure and that when I stopped.

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5 Lockdown / WFH tips for working professionals

Work from home

Let’s be honest about this. We all know that this COVID-19 issue is not going away anytime soon and there is a significant amount of time before our lives come back to normal. If they do ever come back to what we are used to calling normal. For the foreseeable future, I can see us working from hour homes for some time and it’s important that we set some rules and avoid mistakes. Now the tips that I am sharing are not business rules and tips on how to work from home efficiently or how to manage teams remotely. They are all personal tips and rules that I follow myself and want to share with you so that you can benefit individually. If you are looking for ways to effectively work remotely, this is not the blog post for you.

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The Hustle Culture - Dark side of Entrepreneurship

Even though I am no longer technically an entrepreneur I love everything about entrepreneurship. Mainly because it’s not really possible to stop being a startup guy once you have tasted the taste and have danced the dance. And one does not have to really run their own startup necessarily to be entrepreneurial. The spirit of a startup is still what drives my day to day approach to things. Any project that I start begins with the MVP approach with as little bells and whistles as possible. I keep wiggle room for pivoting as an when needed which has usually helped me if facing failure much less than normal. The summary - I love entrepreneurship and everything about it. Except for one thing.

The over-glorification of the “hustle”.

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Who will you hire - Smart or Nice?

For the past 10+ years I have managed engineering teams of various sizes, tech stacks and capabilities. No matter which team I am working with, building it out and expanding has always been a function that has excited and scared me at the same time. From the face of it hiring for tech positions seems fairly straight forward. You filter out candidates by years of experience in relevant technologies, throw a few tech questions and them and choose the ones who answer most of them. Easy! Nope. I started my stint as an engineering manager doing exactly this only and oh how I have been burned. It is very easy to fall into the trap that is this process’s simplicity if one is not careful. The biggest mistake I, as a lot of managers also do, made was judging the candidates in isolation. Judge them only on the basis of their skills and knowledge and speed at which they solved a problem without giving much thought to how they go about doing it. This, I tell you, is a mistake and the worst thing is that it takes a lot of time before you realize where it went wrong.

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'Freelancer' - The Magical Word

“Freelancer” is a truly magical world. The moment you add it to any profession that whole world becomes immediately profitable to everyone involved. I have seen startups looking for kickass rockstar coding ninja freelancers with at least 5+ years of experience at the super attractive compensation of 20k per month and exposure (how can you forget that!!). The moment someone adds “freelancer” to their profession it seems all their bills start paying themselves on their own which is why it would make sense for them to charge not based on their experience and calibre but the standard “freelancer” rates. The best thing is that people want to build their entire startups, and the eventual business empires, with the help of these cost-effective freelancers and hard-working dedicated go-getter interns. I implore you to just open any local startup community or group page on Facebook and you will find all these awesome promoters eagerly looking for these magical freelancers to come and build their product at..lets calculate. Lets take the highest number I have ever seen offered to a freelance developer 20k. Taking 20 working days a month with 8 hours a day it comes to (20000/20x8) = Rs 125 per hour. I am pretty sure the momo vendor on the road makes a lot more than that. I do not mean to imply anything but I am just putting this statistic out there. I wonder how many successful startups are built by the efforts of these kickass rockstar coding ninja freelancer. Also growth hackers.

Note: If you are a “freelancer” providing your services at the rates mentioned above, do consider the momo stall idea. I know for a fact that the ROI is there and is easily scalable.

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Why my phone no longer has a lock

I apologise in advance for this morbid thought. Imagine you get in an accident. It could be anything. A hit and run, a mugging gone wrong or just plain bad luck. There you are lying on the road, covered in your own blood, unconscious, helpless. Maybe your luck has not totally run out and some one spots you. They want to help you. They have called the police and/or the ambulance for you. They want to inform your family and friends. Maybe you still have your phone with you. They take it out and try to find the contacts. But its locked. It is asking for a pin code. Now your loved ones will only be informed once the authorities come and do a reverse check on your identification documents or licence plate.

What purpose did lock solve? Do you really have data on your phone more valuable than your own life. I don’t think so.

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Before you go ahead and buy that gym membership..

Resolutions

Tis the time for resolutions. The new year is just round the corner and like every year we all have our resolutions in our minds. This is an age old practice which has been engrained in us ever since we were little. Our resolutions might have changed with time but our excellent habit of not following them to the end remains a constant. One resolution that becomes kind of constant for people my age which we make every year to abandon in the very first week is “_Get Fit_”. This resolution is most commonly phrased as “_I will fix my eating habits and start working out_”. Most of these people stay enthusiastic for at max a week. Although in this one week they will accomplish a lot of things. They will see what a day that starts at 6am looks like in Delhi winter and what a lettuce tastes like. Now the best and easiest part of the “fitness process” is preparing for it. Which means buying new workout gear, water bottle and a membership at a swanky gym. For most resolutioners gym sign up is well begun and well begun is half done. I will be pulling stats out of my ass but 95% of these people will stop going to the gym within a fortnight. If this year too you are planning to resolve to get fit and are thinking about getting a gym membership/fancy equipment, I have a few pointers for you which I am sure will help you make an informed decision.

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But what about my sensational headline?

5467472773_eef4e82205_bLast Saturday I was at a mall in South Delhi with my beautiful wife. We were in one of he apparel shops where she was checking out some cure cloths and I was wandering around doing the husband thing which would be to feign interest in the said cloths. At one point I realised that a few set of eyes were constantly following me. I saw that for some reason I was the centre for attention for 2 girls. Now I have a beard. Not a stubble a full grown-ass beard which is worthy of attention from all friends and foes alike. I am used to it. After some time one of the girls covertly (she tried but i saw) took a few pictures of mine. I noticed but IDWAF so I moved on. At the time of checking out one of the girls was within an earshot and was speaking to someone. As it turns out apparently I looked like that some someone and he was being duly informed that his doppelgänger has been spotted (she actually used the word duplicate but ugh..) and she will share the pics shortly. Now that the story was clear to me I still did not have any fucks to give so I moved along with wifey to the next stop. Later that evening as we were having dinner and discussing the incident we had a major realisation. What if it was the other way around? I, a male, would have been caught taking pics of some female secretly. I can easily imagine the viral videos shared on social media with heading like “_Two girls were out shopping happily, you would be shocked to see what this pervert did_” or “_These brave girls caught a perv secretly taking their pics. What happened next will surprise you_”. You all would have shared the video praising their heroics and cursing my mere existence. But what about my sensational headline? Now you can say I could have confronted them but even you know the outcome that would have brought. Nothing would have come out of it rather they would have turned it on me for falsely accusing and harassing them. Because women empowerment. It is a strange and scary realisation that I being a male have absolutely no rights when it comes to privacy and harassment.

For what it is worth it is not new for me that people tell me that I look like someone they know. Some 2 weeks back I was out with a friend when 2 guys came to me and told me that i looked like one of their friends and if they could take a picture. I happily obliged and posed for them. I would have done the same for these girls as well if they had only asked. After all who would not want to be photographed by 2 girls in front of his wife :)

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Ideas sometime kill ideas

Ideas sometime kill ideasAn idea is the most potent as well as the most convoluted thing in the world. A simple looking idea could turn out to be a major hassle of life and an extremely complex seeming one can be as easy as the process of breathing itself. They distract us, excite us, entice us and haunt us to sleeplessness. Yet we all consider them to be a good thing. And why not? It’s the ideas that get us out of sticky situations. If not because of ideas we would not have had so many amazing inventions and discoveries around us. Yet despite all the “goodness” about the ideas one should be careful about/with them. If an idea is the one thing that started the journey to success, it will take one rogue idea only to derail you from the right path. It is natural to get excited whenever you get a new idea and the sudden urge to try it, test it and implement could be unstoppable but it is important that you weigh the idea in the broader prospect of things and with long-term implications in mind. It is very easy for young entrepreneurs to get distracted by new ideas and waste their time and energy in chasing them jeopardizing the effort they have already put in their startup. It’s not uncommon to see new entrepreneurs running after new ideas like new marketing initiatives and adding new feature to the product totally disregarding the existing bugs or issues or drawbacks in the product that are already there. People tend to start building new shiny features when the old ones are still not working properly. They start chasing new marketing mediums even before they have properly used the conventional ones. They start chasing startup communities and VC meetups even when the product is half-baked just because that is the “cool” thing to do. It is true that entrepreneurship starts with an idea but an idea is all it takes to kill it as well. You have to see through the options and weight them based on your standing and direction. Optimization only comes after completion. You cannot optimize something that is not even there.

Don’t let your ideas kill your greatest idea.

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