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Learnings in life - Year 2020 Week 11

Balkrishna Agarwal 12 min read

This week is turning out to be scary…. Corona virus being declared a pandemic by WHO. Countries going on lock-downs, Visas being cancelled in a blanket move. Looks like economy coming to a halt. Yes Bank going into moratorium last week. World markets crashing with lower circuits. 7 years worth of growth in stock markets crashing in just 15 days. A fund managers performance should be judged after a bear market.

We will come out of all this, stronger!

On with the learnings…

  1. Something on the lines of Yes Bank moratorium & injection of $1.5Tn by the US & how governments always have to stepin & in someway bailout the banks either Public or Private, to prevent a run on all other banks.

  2. Have you lost money this week in markets? Yes Bank or otherwise. Ever goofed up in your work with big financial losses? Whats the biggest goofup ever? Forget that, Whats the cumulative goofup so far? Sequoia just made a goofup of $21Mn & had to give it away & in the process have they just strengthened their competitor with more firepower?

  3. Many people are going to leave share markets forever due to their experiences in the last week. If you don’t have the guts for what happened last week, I think its a wise thing to do. I personally believe shares/companies are the only things worth investing in & I couldn’t explain the bigger philosphy better than how Paras Chopra puts it here in this thread.

  4. Kids in Wuhan gave so many 1 star ratings to the app used by their schools that the app was pulled off from playstore. Never mess with kids.

  5. We put people in to groups & categorize them but actually every person is unique. A lot of shaped by luck & their environment, a bit of help(good-luck) & change of environment can work wonders. People are not dots, but lines, journeys, stories.

  6. There’s a new term everyday in the startup world, the point is that they just are getting better at measuring what matters. Got to learn about contribution margin.

  7. Here is a good read on why contribution margin is a strong predictor of success. I still don’t understand the concept completely but CM is not just LTV-CAC, but also takes into account the CashFlow deficiency meanwhile when growing.

    Since the paid CAC is $150 while Gross Margin is only $60 per new customer, each acquired customer generates negative $90 in contribution margin in the period.

  8. What a wonderful ad. What a perspective.

  9. A wonderful post with data on how Indian Businesses run on WhatsApp by Harsha Kumar from LightSpeed Ventures. See the image below for their dependence.

  10. One more tweet goes missing and is deleted. This is crazy. Need to start taking screenshots damnit. Basically the Revenue of gaming industry has already surpassed Movies + Music globally. This is huge!!! You can read it up here though. I don’t know if this considers the revenues from streaming, events & merchandise.

  11. This awesome product. This is goals in how deeply do you understand your target customers needs & also creativity. Hats off!

  12. Can you make a crore from a chai tapri? Do you really understand the market & your customer & the opportunities there in. Listen to the story of MBA chaiwala from Ahmedabad to know how he did that.

  13. So this person visited Statue of Unity & made a wonderful thread. Now I want to go & you must check this out if you plan to go here.

  14. Is software the blueprint or the DNA of a hardware? Is similarly DNA a software in our body?

  15. Why starting a company in bad economy is a good idea. It basically draws the from the same lessons that facing hardships early in your life mostly makes rest of the life smoother & easier. Read Paul Graham talking about it here.

  16. This beautiful sunset in a train ride. A must visit, though the tweet says its from Chennai, it seems that its actually from Bambalapitiya in South Colombo, Srilanka. Also colors have been changed with filters.

  17. The most beautiful library in this world is online in a game & has all kinds of books. Even the ones banned. A big salute to human creativity.

  18. Science is Magic! Love teachers who do this. Do you listen to the squeal from kids? That’s the sound of learning.

  19. I cant put it in better words

    Steve’s most extraordinary work isn’t the Mac, the iPhone or the iPad. It’s rebuilding Apple in his image. It was creating organizational culture and habits that mimic his weird brain…


A few tools to use

  1. I have been learning coding at freecodecamp.org If you are in a quarantine or lockdown, you should definitely try it out, the curriculum & format of FCC is really fun. You should try even if you aren’t locked. Anyways, here is more resources to learn coding for free. 610 to be precise :) It is differentiated between Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced, also really solid ones, courses even from MIT.

  2. Codeacademy.com are giving away 10000 scholarships to use their pro module for free to students stuck at home. Use it up here.

  3. Clipicious a new tool which looks promising for taking notes & managing content. Will probably start using this week. See the video here.


Here’s some news & discussions around Corona-virus pandemic & its impact.

  1. One of the things which have impacted my life enormously is thinking in probabilities. Its a really strong framework to use. What is the probability of finding a infected person in a group.

  2. Now see this. 1 lady is responsible for 80% of cases in South Korea. The lady no. 31.

  3. Have you read about how introverts today are the wealthiest people & effectively rule the world. Now think about this corona-virus also benefits introverts. Is this the natures invisible hand in evolution?

  4. How a professor is motivated to teach Quantum Physics, come what may. Ingenuinity! Where there is a will, there is a way!

  5. Italians signing together from their homes when stuck in there in a lockdown. I think India will be full of bhajans probably. Art is the most powerful thing in this world.

  6. Now see these media reports

  7. Now see this post by a friend of the Google techie mentioned upthere & think can you ever believe media for anything? Read the facebook post here.

  8. Damn! Bookings are 60% down in restaurants. It makes me feel sad for everyone involved & its somehow going to come effect me also but its need of the hour. Survival above everything else.

  9. British Carrier Flybe goes bankrupt & this just seems to be the start.


We are treading unprecedented waters presently. All risk-management is out of the window, nobody was or is prepared for this. Though I lack faith, I am hoping & praying things only get better from here & the worst is behind us. I wish all the best & luck to you.