Monday, April 21, 2014


  1. The value of Lies and perceptions, Uncertainty and Progression in building businesses
  2. The art of nothingness
  3. The value of competition and environment
  4. Self-rationalization
  5. The misunderstood agile
  6. The cost of barriers
  7. Alive after dead-line
  8. Fighting righteousness
  9. The veil of equality
  10. The right time & Chaos and Order

1. The value of Lies and perceptions, Uncertainty and Progression in building businesses

A business is built around perceptions.

The basic idea is , that a certain task A can get done within a certain duration B, by a person/group of persons C. Based on this estimate, a certain date D is promised for delivery of the end product E of task A.

When D, E are communicated, they are accepted, not because they have already been achieved, but because they are both in the future and can be achieved.

And in general, there is a belief, that if the task is done on time, its because of C, and so is the case if it is done before or after time. Successive tasks help you build the perception – a confidence level on how well can C execute upon his tasks.

A business has many such tasks in execution, being performed by many people one after the other. What drives each person to complete his task on time then, is the dependencies the next person might have on him.

If you observe carefully, then in any successful organization, you will find that it is the perception that everyone else is working on time which helps people to stick to their timelines.
And the thing about perception is, that they can be created, they can be sold as a vision.

And when there is a marked difference between what is promised vs what is delivered, the perception starts turning into one of lies, instead of one of promises.

Businesses die because of uncertainty. Uncertainty kills businesses – there is absolutely no idea whether that block of ice you see is an iceberg or a glacier.

On the other hand, the thing with certainty is that you can be certain how certain that certainty is going to be. (confidence level)

What cannot be measured, cannot be managed. And it is the non managed which takes you into the unknown territory.

Businesses are built on progression. You progress from doing one thing to another in a small set. 

There will be changes, but those changes will always be within the limits.
So say yo have a business doing a 100 things you will experiment with 5 new things, 5 existng things and incorporate say 3+3 of those 10 changes. Rarely will you come across businesses doing a complete turn-around of what they were doing earlier.

2. The art of nothingness

So starting this year, there was a resolution to understand zen koans, and derive peace from them.
Here are some sample thoughts that go on in my mind from time to time

Thought: You will burn for this.
After-thought: One way or the other.

I believe in nothing. Nothing is everything. Everything has nothing in it. But everything has everything in it. And similarly nothing has nothing in it, so how can nothing truly be nothing?
Q: Explain Nothing
Explanation: no answer => nothing, any kind of answer would mean it is not nothing.
nothing is everything, everything is nothing. nothing is perfect. nothing is impossible. impossible is nothing. everything is possible. impossible is possible. possible is impossible. Its all about how you think.

Life is a paradox.

3. The value of competition and environment

There has to be competition. Find it.
Competition is really important to grow further, it brings about a degree of fear in one's thoughts which leads to better concentrated effort.

Similarly, the environment is very important for your learning curve. It speeds up things like crazy. And access to the right people at the right time is crucial for faster learning.

4. Self-rationalization

The human limit for self-rationalization is almost infinite. One will convince himself of a number of things, and to a large extent, and yet he won't realize he is ultimately fooling himself.

You will convinve yourself that if something that went wrong, it was no fault of yours or it was all your fault. You will convince yourself that you are invincible – always correct, always on the right side. You will make yourself believe that you can not fail. Yet all those beliefs and convictions shatter away in the face of harsh reality.

While it is a good trait to have to cool off at an individual level, when a group of people start self-rationalizing, the group is on its way to be doomed into a herd.

"Khud hi khud ko chutiya banana".

5. The misunderstood agile

Agile is over-rated. One man's agile is different from another one's. In my opinion, agile is never about changing and turning over the fundamentals. There are some key assumptions that can never be changed, even though some of those assumptions are relative to the person making them.

Yet, once you start changing the fundamentals you are more on the way of idle iterations, than agile, since the original purpose is lost.

6. The cost of barriers

No one stops you from doing things, they just raise the barriers - mental, psychological, physical.
Don't fall into the trap. Do what you think you must. Fuck all other shit.
That's exactly what they say - we are not stopping you.

7. Alive after dead-line

If no one is dead after a missed deadline, what's the point of calling it so?

There is a reason why its called the deadline, at least let those who miss it see the face of death... If you can't run, you jog; if you can't jog, you walk; if you can't walk, you crawl; but don't skip the deadline.

8. Fighting righteousness

So how do you fight someone who believes he is right?

The worst person to pacify is he who thinks is right.
Logic is the only weapon against a righteous person.

“Right brings might”

9. The veil of equality

Rules and policies are always circumstantial. It all depends on who is applying them.
There is a mist of equality. But no matter how much the fog, there is a subtle play of power at hand everywhere. 

I believe fairness, equality, and all such concepts are highly over-rated. End of the day, its the bottom line that matters. And the bottom line is this - no matter how much fairness you expect, there will always be some degree of unfairness greater than it.

10. The right time & Chaos and Order

One thought that has stuck with me for a while now is - Entrepreneurs don't wait for themselves to be ready, they jump in even before they think they are ready. While I am not entrepreneur, this thought is somewhere there at the back of the mind everytime I am making any stupid descision. 

On the flip side, they may not be completely ready, but they still have a confidence that they can sails through, right? confidence level. 

Ever wondered how chaos is killed? Does chaos die because of chaos itself? Maybe, if you add more chaos to existing chaos, things start settling and there is chaos no more? Things can not remain chaotic for long, pattens start emerging sooner or later. Maybe that's why they say there is a method to madness? Its funny right?

Ever wondered how order is killed? By having a more ordered system? Because a highly ordered system reduces the system's ability to handle unordered things, and ultimately, we are all humans, something random is bound to happen one way or the other.

So how does one handle both?
The solution is to have balance, or  semblance of it, a middle ground in between order and chaos. Seems like a paradox? True. But then, life is a paradox.

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