A few months ago I got together with my old friend Alokik to launch a podcast: the Startup Green Room is a place to celebrate functional expertise from operators in the Indian startup ecosystem. We have close to 10 episodes now, and I'm keen to share our learnings so far.
My 15 year old Linux fanboy self would have never believed it if he was told that one day he would work at Microsoft. Turns out that is exactly what happened. Here's how.
Anarres is a planet in Ursula Le Guin's The Dispossessed — a world built on anarchism: the rejection of authority and hierarchies. 150 years in, it resembles little like what was imagined. While newer generations can recite the founding principles, bureaucracy has taken over for all practical purposes. Says Bedap, a doubter in the book:
My latest book obsession is Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow. I was thinking about judgement and intuition when I picked it up, and I was looking for a framework to navigate my thinking. The book details out prospect theory, which is Kahneman and Amos Tversky's seminal work on decision making. Prospect theory is an alternative to the expected utility theory, basis for the rational decision-making economic agent.
I've wondered why Western attitude to privacy and surveillance is at odds with the Indian, and perhaps more generally, the oriental sentiment. There is a probably a plethora of big and small reasons, but I haven't heard a pithy, believable, and interesting solution—like the one you would expect to find in an Yuval Harari novel. I have a theory now, thanks to Cryptonomicon.
David Kushner's Masters of Doom brought back memories of hours in high school spent gaming. This was mid 2000s, when Delhi school computers could only properly handle the graphic engines released in 1999: Quake 3, Unreal Tournament, and not to forget, Counter Strike 1.6.
With my twitter feed talking about books this December, I was struck by how popular Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind was. These weren't people who exchange book recommendations with each other, so there had to be an external cause to this. And Sapiens is not a recent popular release like Michael Lewis' The Undoing Project that I would expect to be universally popular at launch.
Sometime in 2015 I realized how incomplete my understanding of management was. In my head management was a job to be done, but there was no such thing as good/bad management. The output of an organization was the sum of outputs of the workers, and changing the manager wouldn't have any effect. This changed in my first year post college, when I worked with bad and good managers.
A Slack discussion on whether we should shift our company blog to Medium made me miss the days when RSS/Atom were popular and Google Reader flourished. Reader shut down in 2013, and RSS has since been extinct. What struck me is how incentives in publishing have evolved since, and how RSS could fit right in.