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Learnings in life - Year 2020 Week 31 & 32

Balkrishna Agarwal 29 min read

Hello! Yes I missed this last week. Not any more. From here on, will post every week.

This year is becoming crazy by the day. No doubt nobody will be able to forget this year for their own reasons. One of great news is that SpaceX successfully completed its first Manned mission to space(ISS) in the Dragon capsule. Also the starship completed its 150ft hop. We are many steps closer to Mars!!! Yay!!!

On with learnings…

  1. The 3rd best thing from last week after the above 2 is this amazing, mind-blowing Nike ad. If you haven’t seen this, do it now.

  2. When we are on the topic of ads. Here is a wonderful ad by viagra. How sex is important & lack of it creates distance between couples. One of the best visualisations on this topic.

  3. Peoples creativity is amazing. The amount of hours one has to put in to reach such mastery is just mindblowing. See this video of a skater called Isamu Yamamoto.

  4. I used to think that I am decent at fron-end development. After seeing this 3D toaster made from html & css, I have understood, I know nothing! I didn’t even know this was possible with just HTML & CSS.

  5. Why is developing something in HTML & CSS really difficult.

  6. Often the problems of people are way simpler than we think. Its the solution providers who make it complex. Love this simple idea of sending message on whatsapp to a non-saved number. So much that whatsapp had to bring it down.

    Twitter avatar for @Incept_shawnShawn Pereira @Incept_shawn
    Got an email today from the hosting service I used that
    WhatsAppr.com was taken down because of WhatsApp copyright violation. Took less than a year since launch lol.
    Image
  7. See this simple solution to fruit sorting & people approach this with AI to help sort fruits by sizes.

  8. Now another great simple innovation. Hats off!

  9. Another company going remote. Making the workspaces that people made with so much love, irrelevant. This is sad. What will this lead to?

  10. Fintech has been trying to disrupt lending for so long. Lending - the institution is as old as the civilisation itself. It is not just economics, there are emotions, government, its too complex.

    The biggest factor in lending is the ability to collect. The other factor is cost of funds. Corona has brought focus on these factors.

  11. The vision here seems awesome. Get loan on a message. No documentation, no waiting. A uniform interface for lending. As much as there is great merit in this idea, isn’t due diliginece whats important & differentiates the men from the boys?

    This is OCEN—the Open Credit Enablement Network. A single API with a uniform flow to power a billion loans for India. Read it in detail here.

  12. People are digging into their savings to make through this time.

  13. Amazon is growingly becoming indispensible to the sellers. Its market reach is unparalleled. This allows Amazon to demand a higher share of Sellers revenue. To be fair to Amazon, it does this by adding new services for both the Seller & Buyer.

  14. Warren Buffett talks about diversification vs concentration. Here buffett talks clearly about 6 stocks being highest diversification for a small portfolio. Risk management comes from higher knowledge of the companies. If one doesn’t have the time to do this, they should just invest in index funds. There is no middle ground.

    If you can find 6 wonderful businesses, that’s all the diversification you need. Very few people gotten rich on their 7th best idea but lot of people got rich on their best idea.

  15. Twitter just made public its product roadmap here.

  16. Often in a startups journey, one of the best moments is when the VC/fund reaches out with an interest. Here is a contrary view on how this is misused, one has to be wary of VC using this knowledge to help their portfolio companies or just to understand the space. It doesn’t necessarily mean investing interest in the company.

  17. In the US, 4 tech companies were invited for a discussion. Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos made a wonderful statement, this is a master class in communication. There is a rising discontent among people & governments against Entrepreneurs & Billionaires, though this can explained by the Mimetic theory, I just have 2 videos to present.

    This last scene from the movie ‘Guru’.

    Also this penultimate scene from the Movie ‘Rocket Singh’

  18. VCs are as close as it gets to a Startup by being outside of it. They also seem to have a more complete picture as they deal with more than one company/startup. Here is a VC turned founder talking about what it takes to make a startup successful. This from a person who has connects, networks, relationships & phonenumbers of people who matter. You can only imagine this to be 100x difficult for a person without this knowledge & access.

  19. Credit Card & outstandings, the India perspective.

  20. Think about a awesome world where we can learn anything from anyone. Knowledge of everybody is available to be learnt & used. The biggest reason that software has been able to win over the world is because of opensource. I can only imagine what would happen if all human knowledge becomes opensource in a easily consumable way. Afterall we are standing on shoulders of giants, think if all of those giants come together as one.

  21. There is no better way to say this

    Whenever you lose a deal, think what went wrong. The client has": no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.

  22. Here is a timeless video from Naman Sarawagi on Internet economies. A wonderful talk about pipeline vs platform & more so on layers on Internet, Network -> Information -> Transaction -> User. Anybody & everybody today should understand this.

  23. Inline with above is figuring out growth for any tech company in its userbase. Figure out who is the adjacent user is & position yourself according to them, thats how you keep growing exponentially. Read it here from Andrew Chen on how his team did this for Instagram.

    Andrew: “At Uber, a lot of employees were power users of the Uber product. This led to a lot of voices thinking they knew what we needed to grow just because they used the product a lot. But these were rarely the things that pushed growth of Uber into new audiences.”

    You do not need to spend weeks talking to users to get a sense for who your adjacent user is. Look at what is happening on the edges of these states in the data. The data will help you identify places in the product that people are dropping off. This is the starting point to help you develop hypotheses about why different segments of users are dropping off.

    Building empathy for the adjacent user is hard because by definition your team is not living the experience of the adjacent user. Your team are power users of the product. They know the product in and out.

  24. D2C seems to be the future of retail. The pandemic as accelerated this shift. Here is a good article on this. The idea is about online & influencer branding & omni-channel retail. If you know somebody who has new ideas on this front, I would love to talk to them.

  25. Even farmers in India are directly reaching their consumers taking away all middlemen. With tools like YouTube & WhatsApp, this is becoming more & more possible. Read it here.

  26. See this one of the most iconic DJ music brands being created. Here is the playbook.

    A DJ who ranks first for cooking!

    Here’s what he says about how they do this.

  27. Now lets also a see a person who has created a great(Best) brand for himself in cooking. This whole thread is just amazing. Constraints + Immersion = Creativity.

  28. Learn about branding & positioning from one of the most legendary brands - Chennai Super Kings. I love to learn more & more about marketing. All marketing should tap into the emotions of people. I think most just stop at need/pain.

  29. GraphQL is the next hot thing in tech world. Here is a simple post explaining this.

  30. Could this be the idea of things to come? Can 2G as a technology be deprecated? Given the way companies & governments are going for data, this seems totally possible. But we already have a option Jio-Phone. Hmmm!!!!

  31. The way tik-tok has become the poster child of global trade-wars is just amazing!

  32. There was this amazing thread on twitter which talked about how the game has shifted on internet because of TikTok. Earlier the connections(Friends, etc…) that a person created on a platform was the biggest moat(It had to connect to 7 friendds in 24hours). TikTok changed it to delivering the most interesting content within 5 swipes.

    How have you categorised your content & the algorithm of selecting the same has changed the complete game. Rather than friend connections it has become about interest & entertainment.

  33. Twitter is one of the greatest levellers. Makes you wonder how did world make-do without it for so long.

  34. One of great insights. The biggest motivator for an employee is the growth of company. Stagnation in company is the biggest reason for attrition.

    Some how this is true for other relationships too.

  35. Meeting people & having deep discussions is the most awesome thing to do. Meet & learn from new people on PeerSpot.

  36. Remember 2 girls playing tennis on their roof-tops? Roger-Federer just mest them & its every bit amazing :)

  37. Often people approach new ideas with the framework of problem solving. Here is a thread which talks about creating delight rather than constricting self to problem solving. Its a must read thread.

    Sometimes pain becomes apparent only when a better solution presents itself.

    This is something true with CRED.

  38. Earth is beautiful <3

  39. Some more beauty. The beautiful Mumbai sunset.

  40. The young people are creating a new world for themselves, all by themselves.

  41. A thread on some amazing advise from a Dad to Daughter.

  42. We still dont understand tech deeply enough. Mutiple dependencies create different sets of problems.

  43. Traditional knowledge loosing value by the day. Google launches a $300 program that it will consider equivalent to a 4 year course.

  44. Is this the reason for Microsoft’s renaissance? Their 2nd biggest R&D team in China!

  45. Can your crypto address be your wallet, identity, email & everything else. The world towards no-censorship looks will be made on top of blockchain.

    Twitter avatar for @balajisbalajis.com @balajis
    Who's furthest along in terms of turning crypto addresses into email account equivalents? One example is
    ethmail.cc. Rationale: - emails via GSuite still depend on Google - mobile numbers still depend on carriers - crypto addresses depend on no one Need to build.
    Image
  46. I just wish that this is a joke. In my limited research this seems true that FSSAI is giving all kinds of approvals left, right & center. Can we trust anything?

  47. Traditional VC format being disrupted? Sahil Lavingia starts the revolving fund. Read it here.

  48. Its time for action, not advise. This is exactly how I feel right now. Its amazing how different age creates a common pattern among people.

  49. The internet infra of govt. institutions in India has always been pathetic but its just disheartning to see even the private players not being upto mark. HDFC seems to have crashed during Amazon Prime Day. When will Indians start giving importance to user experience?

  50. Cold emails are one of the best networking tips. If you have something important , its one of the best ways to reachout to people. Here is a thread on same with some really good tips.

  51. Now GST collections in July 2020 have been 86% of last year. In that, the domestic segment has contributed 96% of its share, the shortfall is from Import revenue. Everywhere around I see, businesses have taken a big hit, so how is it not reflecting in GST collections is the biggest mystery for me presently. Read it in detail here.

    Here is a graph for ready reference.

    Now when you see tweets like below where restaurants applying for license renewal is just 25-30%. The complete events & HoReCa segment being decimated, the above figures just don’t make sense to me. Can someone please help me demystify this?

  52. Seriously! When people talk about meaning in life, whats the economic value of it?

  53. I feel My whole life was a lie, after reading this. Ashoka invaded & waged wars on another kingdom after turning to Buddhism.


Here are some resources

  1. A new kind of pitch deck on Notion. Here is the notion pitch deck template.

  2. Do you struggle with regex? Here is a GPT-3 regex generator.

    Twitter avatar for @morgallantMorgan Gallant @morgallant
    Launching
    regexishard.com - a login-free GPT-3 based regex generator from plain English. It can also (sometimes) go the other way around, meaning it can explain a regex in English. Let me know if there are any issues! Big thanks to @conradirwin :)
    Image
  3. If you are looking for some fun projects in HTML, CSS & JS.

  4. Managing images is one of the most difficult things when developing websites. Here is tip to manage this. Need to try this out.