days

There are some days in life when things appear harder than it is. The situations, scenarios, and instances will feel like falling apart. This should not affect you, your virtues.

For how much is lettuce sold? Fifty cents, for instance. If another, then, paying fifty cents, takes the lettuce, and you, not paying it, go without them, don’t imagine that he has gained any advantage over you. For as he has the lettuce, so you have the fifty cents which you did not give. So, in the present case, you have not been invited to such a person’s entertainment, because you have not paid him the price for which a supper is sold. It is sold for praise; it is sold for attendance. Give him then the value, if it is for your advantage. But if you would, at the same time, not pay the one and yet receive the other, you are insatiable, and a blockhead. Have you nothing, then, instead of the supper? Yes, indeed, you have: the not praising him, whom you don’t like to praise; the not bearing with his behavior at coming in.

Epicetus

In the end, we are all unique and our way of seeing life differs. Skyscrapers of our opinions are built on our conditioning, biases. Your journey of life should be in your hands.

value proposition

Each product is built on providing a value proposition to its consumers. What you as a product wants to be and how you are perceived by the customer has to be in sync.

If Uber will not provide you a cab, what will you do with its app? Its value proposition is the premise of providing cabs on a tap.

At the same time if facebook had a shitty interface to access, add, connect with friends no one would have spent their time on it. People switched from myspace and Orkut to Facebook because the user experience was a big change.

I was reading the book written by Hari and liked the part where he mentions while we were focusing on inventory management, our competitors were busy providing a sexy user interface.

Early days of product development requires absolute focus, getting carried away is easy. Once you have a product value proposition sorted, what to focus when in product development journey becomes easy and impactful.

stages

Product development has many levers. A customer will not just switch to your product on your premise of being better. They would like a first-hand experience. At the same time, not all customers are equal, each has its unique pain and desire to progress.

It is important to stay in a bigger vision while listening to the customer and delighting them. It is like crossing stages of some video games with a checklist.

  1. Other software has these features, why and how are you different?
  2. You have built this, it is helpful. What more can you do for me?
  3. You have solved 70% of my challenges, can you now fix the rest of the 30%?

Some of the common questions I get to hear during my sales meetings. In any product development, what matters most is :

  1. Is your software eliminating some pain?
  2. Are you meeting the customers’ desire to progress?  
  3. How much of a habit change your software is adding to the customer’s daily workflow?
  4. Will the customer pay a fair price?
  5. How much can a customer trust you?
  6. What is the switching cost involved?
  7. What incentives your software provides every stakeholder in the case of Enterprise SaaS?

Meditating over these questions will help in building a product with a clear focus and a goal. 

brain constantly changes

Our brain constantly changes. A lot of it depends on how we perceive things or align our beliefs. A large chunk of it depends on the environment, people around us. 

With the advancement of technology and the constant flow of information, it is easy to change our minds. Sometimes in good, while mostly in a biased manner. 

Get over the echo chamber, meet, read, listen to opinions from externals. It will help in building our belief more rationally. 

I was listening to the Freakonomics podcast and heard Robert Sapolsky talking on the same subject. 

projection

I don’t understand this craziness of selling oneself: looks, knowledge or thought leadership over social media. Are we so alone or shallow from inside or are we scared that no one is listening to us?

We have stopped living for ourselves but our projections. How we look, what we read, what we were or what are our opinions. But inside we are broken, scared and shallow.

The monkey mind is making us dance on the tunes of externalities. How can we expect love in return when we do not love ourselves or with our solitude?

raw

Seeing a child is fascinating: all of their tantrums included. It is amazing how they live an independent, break free life. There are no rules or etiquette written for them. All of their actions are raw and free from the booklet society throws at us as we mature.

Sometimes I wonder was it better being a kid, living a life without any boundaries or rule book.

plant

Looks like the 24/7 news on protests has gotten over me. In my dream, I was crying over the cutting of the mango tree by my neighbor. The tree has grown with me, it is habitat for many birds apart from delicious mangoes.

I called up mom asking about it, it looks like it was faux. No one is cutting the tree.

Education

I now understand the importance of education now after living 30+ years of my life. Most of us coming from a modest middle-class family from tier 2-3 city has the same story.

I had never imagined being part of all these glitters. I had no idea what I will do in my life. Our earlier generation had a purpose: feed kids, keep family intact and educate kids to do well in their life.

I consider myself lucky that my parents were so focused on getting me, my siblings educated.

The world view, society, and perception of truth differs for each one of us. With education, we see the world with a rational lens. We start questioning more, we see, observe everything around us more clearly.

I feel education is one major asset in the progress of our lives, families and our country.

future

We are getting better with time. We have won over many incurable diseases, we have replaced humans with machines where we have been risking our lives.

Our quality of life has also gotten better, we have replaced the horse cart to cars. Most of our country has electricity, the fight against malnutrition is still on.

There is no absolute way of seeing our world. We still have got numerous things waiting to be fixed. As a civilization, we have gone through grind, build, fall, learn and repeat. Being pessimistic about everything in this world is not the solution.

Lotus flowers in the swamp, gold goes through multiple molding before becoming a piece of jewelry. This world is a broken place, which also means we have got so many opportunities to work on and make this world a better place.

Imagine what dreamers would have contributed to the world without being an optimist and not giving up easily.

nuts

The power of Love is truly demonstrated by Rob Kelleher. Love wins overall pain, bias, negativity and keeps a high-pressure customer organization sailing against all odds. 

The author has tried covering every bit about South West airlines: founder, team, and culture. I have read books on Zappos, Walmart, Bigbasket. This falls on the same bucket, obsession with customers. 

The last chapter summarizes everything about the southwest, excerpt from the chapter. 

  • Find purpose you are crazy about
  • Make your life and work and adventure
  • Believe in people and they will believe in themselves
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously
  • Dare to dream
  • Be yourself
  • Dare to be different
  • Pursue love before techniques
  • Choose service over self-interest
  • Make spirit your competitive advantage
  • The choice is yours, choice is now