Commandments of good advertising

I am halfway through “Confessions of an Advertising Man
Book by David Ogilvy”, where the advertising guru talks about his journey, organization, team, and customers. I liked the part where he speaks about his commandments in advertising.

Commandments of good advertising:

  1. What you say is more important than how you say it.
  2. If your campaign is not built around a great idea it will flop.
  3. Give the facts
  4. You cannot bore people into buying.
  5. If you are lucky enough to write a good advertisement, repeat it until it stops pulling,
  6. Never write an advertisement that you would not like your family to read.
  7. Be well mannered and don’t be a clown.
  8. Make your advertisement contemporary.
  9. The committee can criticize advertising but they cannot write it.
  10. The image and the brand
  11. Don’t be a copycat


My 7+ years of startup journey have taught me a few things. Hiring is the core. Finding people to assemble an Avengers team is what will keep things moving. With limited resources and things falling apart, having responsible team members makes things easier.

A well-defined process will be on my list after. But unless we have a team of responsible people with a well-defined process, there is no way of succeeding.

It is not age or number of years of work experience for owning responsibility but a collective vision. For a collective vision, everyone has to believe in the cause.

What has worked for me is aligning incentives for all in the team and pushing everyone to act like a leader, not just a resource.


Bhagavad Gita, stoicism, and Buddha say the same thing: Live in the moment and don’t worry about the result. Give the best of what you have in it. I have lived by it.

I know many people who waste life dwelling through astrology, sun signs, moon signs, birth charts, numerology, and other various Eastern beliefs. Instead of doing real hard work, they waste time blaming their fate & life.

Be wary of such people. They will do everything to trap you with their dogmas. They are like viruses.

Focus on Dharam and Karm, and leave rest to the almighty.


We humans are like onions. Every layer has its journey. In every phase, we run after a different quest: schooling, job, sweetheart, and wealth. Some of us relax, rest, and live a life now. Most others run for this quest.

Our life has ended up running against a treasure hunt. Our previous generation made this running track.

A few prefer not running, and society calls them a misfit.

As a mere mortal, you have to find your quest. It has to be in your unique way.


As a founder, you are aiming for perfection.
It does not mean hand-holding and owning every responsibility.
You have to hire owners within your organization.
Otherwise, you will end up being the bottleneck, and it will slow down everything.

A founder’s job is to find able executioners, not become a control freak and put a nose into every decision-making process.
If you want the organization to outlive you: find responsible and able leaders. You have to nurture them, give them control to make mistakes and learn from them.


In the early days of building your company, it is you alone and your belief in the product, market, idea, and execution. 

As the journey progresses, you realize there are many stakeholders. 

In short, you have a village to work with and for their success. 

You will not succeed if you are aiming for your good only. 

Everyone who is part of your company and in the journey of building the startup should benefit. 

We had some of our customers who switched from one fund to another. A few got jobs with our reference.  

There are a few instances where family offices reached out to us for reference checks on partners of funds.


One of the rules of negotiation is having real expectations of price. Because of our ongoing conversations, we forget to focus on the core. We start building castles and rope in for the journey together. 

When the conversation about price comes, we end up accepting the offer. The sunk cost and all the socializing and projection as a team we have done all this while. It takes a front seat.  

Many seasoned negotiators do this to win deals on their terms. They will keep making you run around and again. They will observe you, identify your desperation, and play their cards. In most cases, they win because we are naive and they are seasoned. 

Malgudi days

I am watching Malgudi days again. It brings back childhood memories: from school to cricket matches to getting pampered by my grandmom.  

Some of its episodes remind me of my village and summer holidays. Sometimes in life, it feels great to see the progress and advancement. While growing up, school holidays were about eating mangoes, spending time with Grandmom, and bathing in boarding pumps in fields or nearby ponds.

I get a similar feeling reading Ruskin Bond or Satyajit Ray.

Our country is so huge that every village and its everyday ongoing activities are no less than a book or Malgudi days equivalent in it. 


We live in a world where we create balloons of expectations. We become confident and take everything for granted. The life we are living is very cut-throat, and people are killing others for a few dollars.

The last thing living without expectations will do:  it will give you a peaceful sleep, whether things are working in your favor or not.

Our life on this planet is limited. We spend much time socializing and wasting on things that mean none to us. Building castles on others is a recipe for disasters.


Some people think they will get an easy way out on the back of other hard-working co-founders. 

It will be an easy exit and fruitful operation with more intelligent co-founders to back them. 

It can work in the short run. 

In the long run, everyone has to perform. 

You are not in a government job where salary and blabbering keep you safe.  

Building a startup starts with co-founders working equally hard, having a clear vision, and being honest and empathetic for each other.  

Steve Jobs was an asshole, but he worked hard till the last day of his death. 

His tempers were accepted because he delivered, not just blabbered. Still, with all the money, he died alone. 

With shows like Shark Tank Media glamouring entrepreneurship, it makes wannabe 20s kids act and behave like assholes instead of working hard and dreaming big. One outline cannot be worshipped and seen as a success path. 

Building a startup requires hard work and it is not for everyone.