atul jha

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Notes: The 7 Day Startup: You Don’t Learn Until You Launch

Dan Norris in this book talks about his experince in building a startup. According to Dan, the most important thing is getting product out in no real time. Consider this book as a playbook if you are looking to start a web based startup, it is a small book with good piece of advice on each and every step.

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These are some notes/highlights from the book :

  1. Hustle for an early stage startup is generally about spending your time on the things that are most likely to bring you customers.
  2. Early on your main challenge will be getting people to use your product or service. If you can do that then you’ll start learning a lot about what you need to do to perfect it.
  3. Marketing is really just about getting your message out to qualified people as efficiently as possible.
  4. By comparing yourself to the best, you set higher expectations for yourself, and you will be better for it.
  5. Advertise on cheap easy medium, use growth hacking.
  6. Get product out of the door first.
  7. Do not worry about people copying your product, in the end it is all about winning customers and keeping them happy.

 

Notes: The Way to Wealth: Ben Franklin on Money and Success (Franklin, Benjamin)

Benjamin aka Ben Franklin was one of the founding fathers of  USA. He was a self taught genius and made contribution in fields of  science, literature, politics and many more.  I am fascinated by him and it prompted me to read this book. Over the time, I will be reading more of his writings.

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These are some notes/highlights from the book :

  1. Laziness travels so slowly, that Poverty soon overtakes him.
  2. Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
  3. Drive thy business, let not that drive thee.
  4. He that lives upon hopes will die fasting. There are no gains without pains.
  5. Plough deep while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep.
  6. One today is worth two tomorrows.
  7. Fools make feasts, and wise men eat them.
  8. If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some.
  9. when you run in debt: you give another power over your liberty.
  10. He wish’d to please everybody; and, having little to give, he gave expectations.

 

 

 

2016: some learnings

2016 is coming to an end and we are ready to welcome the next year.  These are some of my learnings this year.

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  1. Parents and family should get priority over everything else.
  2. Health is the key to a successful life.
  3. Brain needs more care than any other part of our body.
  4. Exercise, Yoga, and taking break from internet can do wonders.
  5. Having a small group of close friends is better than 1000+ followers on social media platforms.
  6. Avoiding sugar can do wonders to productivity.
  7. Reading leads to happy present and future.
  8. Having an ego free life changes perspective on everything and everyone around you.
  9. Running/Chasing for true love is like looking for black swan.
  10. Learning can come from every corner of society, not only from certain class of people.
  11. Social media, TV,  and newspapers are good reasons for depression. Avoid them as much as you can.
  12. Judging people or having prejudice can only ruin our relationships.
  13. Having some time for yourself can heal you and do wonders.
  14. Try to be in company of good, honest and intelligent people.
  15. Speak less and listen more for getting good at conversations.
  16. Time is now. Do what interests you and makes you happy.
  17. Be grateful and appreciate the life you have.
  18. Find mentors and seek advice.
  19. Be kind to everyone.

Notes from reading: Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda

Autobiography of a Yogi  was in my reading list for the past few months.  Last week I was able to finish reading it. The book as the title says is an autobiography of Paramhansa Yogananda.

Paramhansa Yogananda with his teachings and  Kriya Yoga  changed life of many of us. He spent most of his time in spreading meditation practice via Kriya Yoga to the western world.  

Content of the book is divided into various stages of Yogananda’s life, his meetings with auspicious sadhus, trip to Europe, self realization and guru/sishya relationship.  

I enjoyed reading the book and especially the part where he encounters various sages like the lady who survives on air, a saint who had a vegetable eating tiger as pet etc. It also provides glimpse of India &  pre-independence era.

I would like to add my notes from the chapter where Yoganandaji  met  Mahatma Gandhi

  1. The perfect state on non-violence is reached when only the mind, body & speech are in proper coordination.
  2. Someday people will learn that material things do not bring happiness and are of little use in making men and women creative and powerful.
  3. Forgiveness is holiness: by forgiveness the universe is held together.
  4. It appears that misery, starvation and diseases are whips of our karma that ultimately drive us to seek the true meaning of life.
  5. Death is not a blotting out of existence, a final escape from life, nor is death the door to immortality.                 

I understand we are too busy with our life but if you could spare some time buy this book & read it, you don’t have to thank me for the advice. 🙂

 

 

Notes from reading:  How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams

Scott Adams, the famous cartoonist behind Dilbert is a genius. My respect for him has increased multifold after his commentary around US election. Like many other successful people he too did it  with his hard work.He was not born with  a silver spoon.

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His book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big talks about his failure, success & systems. I will recommend everyone to buy and read this book.

These are my top 10 learnings after reading the book.

  1. Your food intake and diet plays important role in your  life.
  2. Exercise is what keeps you active, healthy & going.
  3. Believe in systems not goals. Hence work  on making a successful system instead of building imaginary castles around a goal.
  4. You don’t have to be an egoistic asshole in any aspect of life.
  5. Timing is equally important as luck.
  6. Acquiring skills like writing, reading, public speaking makes our life much smoother. We  are able to communicate well with society & people around us.
  7. Failure is a part of life, learn from it and move on.
  8. Learning Human Psychology is wonderful. It helps us in minimizing all the bias we have cultivated because of our past, our society or our upbringing.
  9. Affirmations are like magic, practice them and they can do wonders.
  10. Smile often. It costs nothing but makes the world around you beautiful.

If you have read this book, feel free to let me know what all parts of it I missed adding here?

Social media and Brain FUCK!!

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Social media was on fire last week.It was almost buzzing & it had too much of information/opinion/emotion overflow.

Two important things happened:

USA

Donald Trump won the presidential election of United States by defeating Hillary Clinton.  This means he will replace Obama to become next President of United States.

                       This result followed mixed reaction from my friends in America. Some were super sad while few were happy. Social media and mainstream media also reported incident of racism in less than 24 hours after the election result. Some folks in silicon valley are  so outraged that they are signing petition to make it as separate country  while students are carrying march against the result.

I was brain fucked and could not handle my feeds on  twitter/facebook.

       I am an Indian and not the one to judge either Hillary or Trump. As per my friends they had a choice to make between a racist/bigot and a liar who been hiding truth and making secret  deals for own good.

India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made surprising announcement by demonetizing 500/100 Rupees notes.  According to him this measure will curb on black money and make country grow further. New 2000 Rupees notes have been introduced and currency exchange is capped.

I hope this helps in making India a better economy and curbs black money. But at same time, this measure has hit hard on ordinary citizens of India. Those who do not have a bank account cannot exchange the notes. Also the government machinery has failed to implement this whole operation, series of reports coming from part of country where people are in ATM queue for hours to withdraw money while most ATM’s in city are not operation. I also saw tweet mentioning how a boy died because hospital did not accept the cash.

Some other news suggests the black money hoarders have already found one or the way out.

  1. Whole village is in queue depositing 2.5 lakhs rupees on behalf of someone.
  2. Politician in Karnataka state started distributing his money as loan to locals
  3. People are buying gold with their black money
  4. People are buying Train and Flight tickets
  5. Temples and other religious affiliates are turning into black to white money conversion centre

Rise of Lies, rumors, Hatred and Propaganda

This is a perfect time for fear mongers and propaganda drivers to create an impact & make use of public sentiments and anger.

  1. Demonetization to help Indian Fintech startups and online  payment wallets
  2. Essential goods price will get increased because of crackdown
  3. Newly introduced 2000 Rs notes has GPS tracking feature

I wasted good hours on firefighting and putting my views as well, I know some of my friends would have hated it. 🙂

I am working on controlling my appetite and engagement on social media.Will I be successful or not time will tell.

Random thoughts: Weight loss and all.

Before you go further, this post is not about Keto diet or Crossfit.

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Losing weight requires:

  1. Running daily say 1-2 km.
  2. Avoiding Sugar/Rice.
  3. Giving up on alcohol/soda.
  4. A goodnight sleep 6-8 hrs.
  5.  Eating boiled veg or sprouts post 7 pm.
  6. Having a 30 minutes light workout in gym followed by 20 mins abs exercise.
  7. Having company of fit friends who keep motivating you to stay healthy.
  8. Having more fruits & dry fruits minus cashew in daily intake.
  9. Having more faith & love for yourself than rest.

I have lost 18 kg since February following the above mentioned steps. 

Motivation: 4 people get credit for this my current boss Anand Babu    my previous boss Ajay Shah  & one of my close friends[we are no more in touch] & Razique.

Random Thoughts: Our Problems

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Just got to know about maid’s daughter health condition, she went through heart surgery.

Returned to work after 3 months & all those smiling security guards and house keeping staffs are replaced by new faces. I was told entire management got replaced by new vendor because they were cheaper.

The hawker selling used cloths was no more there, his 9 year old grandson in new master.  He met with an accident and died on spot, further details cited some young folks in early 20’s responsible & yes they were drunk.

The photo framing guy has not delivered those paintings on time and am mad at him. 

 

Learning after turning 30+ some lessons & life forward.

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I celebrated my 30 birthday last month & yes, I am three decades old now.

Few of the lessons were learnt willingly but most of them forcefully imposed/taught the hard way.

 

  1.  Family comes first
  2. Avoiding alcohol can do magic to your health
  3. Run & exercise regularly for better physical and mental health
  4. Keep your heart open.Let love seek you instead of running after it
  5. Distinguish between great mentors and teachers. keep  upgrading yourself time to time
  6. Be very careful of what you read and what you learn out of that. And needless to say, the source.
  7. A daily to-do list to be practiced on a hard form. Once a task is accomplished, strike it off the list.
  8. Being empathetic to others for your mind and heart to be at peace.
  9. Most of the things around us are temporary including current state of mind, the weather, our pains. Permanent decisions should not be made giving importance to temporary things.
  10. Pen down everyday about anything and everything. Mastering the art will take time but venting out thoughts on the paper brings sanity.
  11. Don’t be ashamed of taking feedback from those whom you respect for your own development.
  12. Life is no cake walk. Failures/Criticism/Happiness, all of them are a part and parcel of the deal called life, stay equanimous.
  13.  Rectify your eating habits to stay disease free.
  14. Watch and observe patiently at times. Fighting everything doesn’t help always.
  15. Learn one new activity/skill every month. It can be painting, dancing, or even a foreign language.
  16. Having a huge circle is great but make a  few friends who accept you the way you are.
  17. Happiness is a state of mind & requires thinking beyond materialistic world.

Some learnings to follow this year.

  1. 6-7 hours of daily sleep
  2. At least one day in a week without Internet
  3. Adding more salads & vegetables to daily meals
  4. Talk only when required
  5. Spending more time with self
  6. Finish watching every season of Star Trek
  7. Spending less time on social media & being careful of what to broadcast
  8. Getting into the habit of daily reading that we have been procrastinate.

 

This blog is inspired from  Madhav’s  post.

 

Random Thoughts: We have stopped being grateful

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We are living in a hyper-converged world, smart phones & social media taking more time than family/friends/nature/surrounding.

  1. We have enough to feed ourself unlike those laborers working in mine/rail/road constructions.
  2. We have enough to commute from one place to another in cab/car/taxi/auto unlike many others who still walk miles barefoot for work.
  3. We are free/independent to walk/eat/drink/talk/mingle the way we like unlike many other parts of the world.
  4. We have affordable medical care unlike many other part of the world, so we get sick, visit doctor, get medicine & come back.
  5. We were lucky unlike millions others whose parents were not rich enough to send kids to colleges/schools for Engineering/Medical/Science/Arts degree.

What has happened to us?

Most of us are turning into robots, turning into a angry box, frustrated, stressed & focusing about better future.

We have to live for now, feel every single moment of our life.

  1. When was the last time you spoke for over 20 minutes with your parents, considering they are not staying with you?
  2. When was the last time you took you siblings for lunch/dinner/coffee?
  3. When was the last time you told you wife/bf/gf like truly about how much they mean to you?
  4. Do you even remember the name of your gatekeeper who opens your colony gate and salutes saying namaste saheb or to the office boy who gets you tea?
  5. When was the last time you were out of internet for 24 hours because you wanted sometime with yourself or your family?
  6. When was the last time you slept without worrying about next month’s car/home EMI

Life is about living in present & feeling grateful with what you have currently not planning for uncertain future.

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