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Learnings in life - Year 2020 Week 8

Balkrishna Agarwal 17 min read

This week, I got to read a bit. Most of my reading & learning is focused on learning to code. The biggest learning this week has been from my friend Tapan Patel. I have been wondering about the marketing strategy & metric to promote Tezi. He has given a simple metric, talk to people & target getting 5 downloads everyday. So that;s my target for the next 30days, till march end. Get 200 downloads done. Simple. Thank you, Tapan.

So, on with the learnings….

  1. Wow! These nostalgic creatives from Paperboat. The stories that paperboat creates. Just wow! I am reading David Ogilvy, he sells, the job of an advertisement is to sell, how effectively does paperboat does it? Now compare it with Amul, Amul creates awesome creatives but some how links them with their products. Food for thought. Do click on below & check the whole thread.

  2. Tesla is just ultimate marriage of Hardware with Software, the same thing that Apple did. People just idolize Steve Jobs. Its often easy to know a genius after but how to identify such a visionary in process? How is Elon Musk any different & I say why not better? The kind of hate Elon Musk gets is unreal.

  3. Now read this blog on how a Toyota engineers accepts that they cant compete with a Tesla after a tear-down of their car. The Tesla technology is 5-year ahead of the market. Read it in detail here.

    Now link it with what we read on “How will you measure your life” about outsourcing what you do. Here is the book summary.

  4. Seth’s blog on tips for the basic rules of their engagement / partnership with anybody. Clean, clear & crisp communication. Check a few below, read them all here

    We don’t miss deadlines.

    We don’t sprint at the end, we sprint at the beginning.

    We eagerly highlight the potholes ahead, but spend no time casting blame after something fails.

    We’ll pay a lot but expect to get more than we paid for.

  5. Now this absolute Gold. Principles of Apple & Nike from their early days. Clear & crisp!

  6. See this amazing newsletter from SlipStream. I strongly advise to subscribe for this. Here they start by discussing the culture deck of Netflix.

  7. How having amazing culture not only helps you build a great organisation but helps you get to meet great people. See how this pitch-deck of Fynd was the starting point for what lead Mukesh Ambani to meed the Fynd’s founders & ultimately leading to Reliance investing 300Crs in Fynd.

  8. Some more magic. What dance, what creativity & flawless execution!

  9. Now check this video of dance with same concept by an Indian group, see the sloppy work by the cameraman :|

  10. But here is some more Magic.

  11. Now see this magic & music created on a Football field. I challenge you not view it repeatedly.

  12. Some more magic & science :)

  13. How do you make a company? How do you make a product? The forumla is simple, give value to 1 person & then scale it & find the 10, 100, 1000 & 1million people who need this.

  14. Solve via iteration & make money via repetition.

  15. Abhay Jani has started reviewing indian apps & their strategy in quite detail. Every Product Manager needs to follow this. Here he reviews the Indian social commerce startup, Simsim.

  16. Manas Saloi advises to not bring the first Product Manager from outside the organisation but to promote somebody existing from within. I think this is solid advise.

  17. A thought excercise every teenager needs to do, think about how do you want your life to look ideally by age of 40. Now this becomes your NorthStar & drives everything you do.

  18. Decide on the high leverage activities you can do. Sometimes make a positive contribution to just one person’s life is more high leverage than anything else. Working on a single message is high leverage than anything else. One of the most high leverage activities that a founder can do is to communicate their vision & thoughts to the team effectively.

  19. Cheers to all the teachers, educators & gurus. Teaching is the highest leverage activity when done right.

  20. Sometimes taking a day out to just organise all the files for your team could be really increase the output of the time many folds & this seemingly passive activity could be really high leverage activity. Here is Manas Saloi’s categories for his files.

  21. What is the connection between Money, Entropy & Climate change. Anything that a human does using his brain, creates pollution. Even farming is pollutive. Now with inclusive & climate focused businesses I hope things change.

  22. See this tweet from Paul Graham wondering what would happen to digital advertising when the myth’s related to this field are broken.

    Now read this blog where the author talks about an experiment on eBay, where they stopped all online advertisement & still there was no change on the traffic.

    Here is a interesting excerpt from the blog, think about if online advertising is all about giving coupons to people standing in the ticket counter?

    Picture this. Luigi’s Pizzeria hires three teenagers to hand out coupons to passersby. After a few weeks of flyering, one of the three turns out to be a marketing genius. Customers keep showing up with coupons distributed by this particular kid. The other two can’t make any sense of it: how does he do it? When they ask him, he explains: "I stand in the waiting area of the pizzeria."

    Now read how Uber has slashed $120M from $150M budget, because apparently they were paying to distribute coupons to the people standing in the ticket counter.

    There’s also click injection. The way Frisch described it, on Google Android devices, users will install apps that promise to make their phone function better, such as offering to help save battery power. Those apps run in the background, and are designed to be forgotten.

    But when a user searches in the Google Play Store for Uber, as soon as someone types the letter R, it triggers malicious software in the background that fires a click on the device. And after the user downloads the Uber app and uses it, that click is credited to the network that placed it.

    Some of the best minds of our times are trying to do these things :(

  23. Read more about it on this twitter thread on how this app Flashlight played with metrics of these ad-networks.

  24. Now this another level of fraud. Our fight for more & more clicks, makes us do anything. People make fake baking/cooking videos on YouTube. People track what are the google search patterns & make products & videos around the ones which are searched most, true or not.

  25. This is one of the truest statement. There’s a old saying, “When the student is ready, teacher appears.” If the student is ready & curious, one can learn anything. The question is that are you truly a student? Is your cup full or empty?

  26. The above is more than truer in today’s times of internet. Curiosity & peristence is what has got us here & these are the traits which take us more far than we can imagine. Amazing stories on how people cracked Quantum physics & rocket science with persistence.

  27. Innovation often happens at the inflection point of 2 different industries, verticals, technologies & often cultures. One of the reasons why foreigners create highest value. Miten talks about the multi-cultural premium here.

  28. How having autonomous vehicles will give a multi-fold advantage to the developed nations & increase the divide between the developing & developed nations. The problem will multiply further when developing nations will not be able to accept these autonomous vehicles due to political reasons. One just needs to be 1% better than their competition to have a multi-fold advantage.

  29. Are you a leader or a manager? Do you go to your seniors with solutions or problems?

    Doesn’t make sense? Read this piece on VP vs Janitor by Steve Jobs. Are you a VP or a Janitor?

    Here's a story from John Rossman's upcoming book, Think Like Amazon:

    Steve Jobs told employees a short story when they were promoted to vice president at Apple. Jobs would tell the VP that if the garbage in his office was not being emptied, Jobs would naturally demand an explanation from the janitor. "Well, the lock on the door was changed,' the janitor could reasonably respond. "And I couldn't get a key."

    The janitor's response is reasonable. It's an understandable excuse. The janitor can't do his job without a key. As a janitor, he's allowed to have excuses.

    "When you're the janitor, reasons matter," Jobs told his newly-minted VPs. "Somewhere between the janitor and the CEO, reasons stop mattering."

    "In other words,' (Jobs continued,) "when the employee becomes a vice president, he or she must vacate all excuses for failure. A vice president is responsible for any mistakes that happen, and it doesn't matter what you say."

    Rossman calls embracing that level of responsibility "owning your dependencies": Taking absolute responsibility for every possible dependency under your purview.

  30. Using poems in your legal duels :D

  31. You earn only when you help others more or deliver greater value.

  32. One of the best blogs & tweet threads on how do you negotiate for a job. End-to-end coverage of the process. A must read if you hire or looking for a new job.

    Twitter avatar for @abhishek_triabhishek @abhishek_tri
    so managed to do this! Negotiating your offer. Those who prefer one shot 2000+ words here you go -
    notion.so/Negotiating-yo… and those who like capsules or sachets, here - https://t.co/kmadlHzmhs

    abhishek @abhishek_tri

    do we have an appetite for a thread on negotiating compensation while interviews? based on the last few years of aggressive hiring and interviewing candidates from almost all continents I have gathered some which I can put down if helpful?
  33. How companies and India & their plans are tangled in legal mess, some because of government & its policies, others because of their competitors not playing it fair. Sigh! Read about how Supreme Court becomes the school principal & more here. Also read about how companies are trying to avoid get into this tangle. Lets create not fight.

  34. This is a crazy thought :D But true!

  35. Wow! Finally a space federation for private players in the Space Industry in India. Great times ahead. Now have to figure out how to become a member. Read in detail here.

  36. Nice thread on latest updates from Indian companies & startups regarding their marketing or strategy. Whether its Paytm or Flair Pens or lays Chips or Burger King. Check out the whole thread & links within them.

That’s it for the week. Thank you :)