Self herding

How many times did you end up buying a bigger or newer costlier coffee at your favorite roaster?

You will know only if you check your expenditure on coffee.

You repeated your own behavior and ended up drinking costlier coffee in bigger mugs.

But what about the sample coffee barista offered you?

Well congratulations, you fell for self-herding. It is a common sales trick applied by coffee/candy/ice cream shops.

Listening

Listening is one of the most important virtue for us. A good listener gets more love, respect, and recognition. This art can help us in being focused in all situations.

  • A good founder grasps more from a board meeting.
  • To me a great salesperson, you have to be a great listener.
  • Not listening to your partner instead watching IPL, Football: try doing it. 🙂

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.
— Epictetus

Lazy CEO

Constrain Driven

  • Spends all the time equally on all the aspects of departments of their company.
  • Gives the most important time on things which requires attention.
  • Is visionary, is aware what could go wrong and take steps to fix it.
  • Hires a set of lieutenants and delegates most of their tasks.
Lazy CEO

A Learner

  • He knows nothing
  • Always learning
  • Curious

An Architect

  • Strives for improvement.
  • Planner, thinker, and a strategist.
  • Working towards growth
  • Striving for a multiplier effect

A Coach

  • Always call away for advice
  • Always there to support in all the possible fronts.

An Engineer

  • Establishes a well-defined process.
  • Works on best and worst scenarios. On a page with the team on the roadmap.

A Player

  • Working as an Orchestrator
  • Leading from the front is all the situations wherever needed

In short:

  • CEO should ask what is fucked up and how quickly we can fix it?
  • Always keep learning AKL mode on
  • Goal driven and takes entire firm along

The dilemma and pain

  • Burn outs
  • Missing timelines
  • Unhappy customers
  • Lack of momentum
  • The firing episode
  • Less motivated employees

Support System

  • Set of good friends and mentors
  • Good habits: exercise, sleep, food
  • Rational thinking

I remember reading this book title: Great Ceos Are Lazy and the note was lying somewhere in my notebook.

Summer vacation & Grandma

It is the time of year again when I start missing my Dadi(grandma). I see kids on the street playing gully cricket, shouting, laughing and crying.

My summer vacation was a different story altogether, my village is a few kilometers from where I lived with my parents. Papa will drop us to our village and then all the fun will begin. Spending 60 days with my Dadi.

Her day will start with playing All India Radio, ram charit manas path. That would be my alarm yeps. By the time I am up she would be done with her daily chores and breakfast with tea will be served.

After that, I will be on my own: roaming to the fields with my cousins, taking bath in boarding pumps watering paddy fields to stealing mangoes and lychees from the orchids and sometimes getting cursed by maalis.

It was living a life like a king on my own rules and getting pampered by dadi. She will make the best parathas (my mom agrees) with fired Aloo (potato).

I have not met anyone so active in her 60’s, she was always up for challenges and explorations. I would demand something and It will be presented. We had no electricity, it was an era of lantern/kerosene lamps.

She is no more, passed away many years back. I was 9/10 years old then. I will update this post with more remembrance.

Commitment

I went to watch a Bharatnatyam dance show yesterday. It was a 1st time for me. What bewildered me was the grit of performers: they have been practicing for over 15 years. They have been a software engineer in their day jobs.

How many of us continue doing something we like for 15 years? Don’t we easily give up, get depressed and move on?

My learnings:

  • There are no shortcuts to success.
  • Pefection happens over practice with time.
  • Persistence and perseverance trumps rest.

Value Investing

While reading Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor, I got to know about Benjamin Graham. He is widely known as the “father of value investing.”

The crux of value investing (excerpts from the book) :

  1. Determining the appropriate intrinsic value of a business.
  2. Determining the appropriate margin of safety.
  3. Determining the scope of an investor’s circle competence.
  4. Determining how much each security to buy.
  5. Determining when to sell a security.
  6. Determining how much to pay on a mispriced asset.
  7. Determining wheater the quality of business should be considered.
  8. Determining the business in whole or in part

I wonder how much this relates to investing in a startup as well.

On Management

These are some key insights Charlie Munger looks in an organization to acquire or invest.

(excerpts from the book, Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor) :

  1. Capital allocation
  2. Compensation systems that create alignment with shareholders.
  3. Moat-widening skills.
  4. Management in place with high integrity.
  5. Brilliant and exceptional managers.

Remember that reputation and integrity are your most valuable assets and can be lost in a heartbeat.
–Charlie Munger