I picked 10% Human: How Your Body’s Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness by Alanna Collen. The book has details about how our guts are getting affected by our food habits, medicines we are taking. It also lists how our microbiome helps us in curing us from many disease.
Book covers about:
Side effects of antibiotics on our guts,
How our eating habits are making us sick aka rise of Leaky guts.
How excessive use is antibiotics to grow bigger chicken & producing more milk is making us sick.
How fibre has almost disappeared from our meal & its adverse affect on our guts.
How guts are responsible for our mental well being.
Affect of C-section on new born baby.
Advantage of breast feeding over bottle-milk feeding.
How faecal transplant is going mainstream in growing microbiome.
These are some notes from my Kindle:
Gastrointestinal symptoms are surprisingly common in people with mental health and neurological conditions, though they are usually seen as unimportant compared with the altered behaviour.
Gut microbes did not just alter physical health, but mental health as well.
The source of autism lay in the gut.
When any other organ breaks down, we look for external causes, but when the brain – the mind! – misbehaves, we assume it’s the fault of the individual, their parents or their lifestyle.
I find myself thinking about my meal choices in terms of what my microbes would be grateful for, and my mental and physical health as markers of my worthiness as a host to them.
It seems paradoxical – surely antibiotics are there to treat infections, not cause them. But although a course of antibiotics might cure one infection, they may also leave us open to others. In a study of 85,000 patients, those taking long-term antibiotics for the treatment of acne were more than twice as likely to suffer colds and other upper respiratory tract infections as acne patients who weren’t on antibiotics. Those who had been given antibiotics before the age of two – a startling 74 per cent of them – were on average nearly twice as likely to have developed asthma by the time they were eight.
The more courses of antibiotics the children received, the more likely they were to develop asthma, eczema and hay fever.
The idea of a leaky gut leading to chronic inflammation and kick-starting both physical and mental health problems is an exciting one for medical science. A balanced and healthy microbiota seems to act as a gatekeeping force reinforcing the integrity of the gut and protecting the sanctity of the body.
We all know that smoking and drinking put us at risk of developing cancer, but far less well-known is that we are significantly more likely to get cancer if we are overweight.
In the late 1940s, scientists in the US had made the accidental discovery that giving chickens antibiotics boosted their growth by as much as 50 per cent. Production gains of this magnitude for the cost of, well, chicken feed, were spectacular. Ever since, so-called subtherapeutic antibiotic therapy has been an essential part of farming.
It turns out that 93 per cent of children with autism had ear infections before they turned two, compared with 57 per cent of children without the condition. As I mentioned, no doctor wants to leave a childhood ear infection alone, lest it stops a toddler from learning to speak, or leads to something nasty such as rheumatic fever. So they turn to antibiotics – better safe than sorry. The link between more ear infections and more antibiotics bears up. An epidemiological study showed that kids with autism tend to have been given three times more antibiotics than those without it. Those getting antibiotics under the age of eighteen months appear to be at the greatest.
Poor diet is responsible for the majority of deaths in the developed world, be it from heart disease, stroke, diabetes or cancer.
Getting your microbiota from your mum is common, even among non-mammals.
As toddlers, children born by C-section are more likely to develop allergies. C-section babies are also more likely to be diagnosed autistic. People with obsessive–compulsive disorder are twice as likely to have been born by C-section.
Oligosaccharides are now known to be instrumental in encouraging the right species of microbes to bloom in the seedling gut microbiota of a baby. Babies fed breast-milk have microbiotas dominated by lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. Unlike the human body, bifidobacteria make enzymes that can use oligosaccharides as their sole food source. As a waste product, they produce the all-important short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) – butyrate, acetate and propionate, plus a fourth SCFA that’s particularly valuable in babies: lactate (also known as lactic acid). These feed the cells.
The aid of the vagina’s lactic acid bacteria and breast-milk’s oligosaccharides, appears to be important in protecting babies from infection, and priming their young immune systems.
the consequences of a natural birth, and extended, exclusive breast-feeding, the more empowered we will be to give both ourselves and our children the best chance of lives of health and happiness.
Poor nutrition? No problem – your microbes will help you to synthesise missing vitamins. Eating barbecued meat? Not to worry – your microbes will detoxify the charred bits. Changing hormones? That’s fine – your microbes will adapt.
A faecal transplant is not too different from a probiotic: the idea of both is to deliver beneficial microbes to the gut. One usually goes in at the top and the other at the bottom, and one is usually cultured in a lab whereas the other is cultured in the ideal environment of another person’s gut. It’s only a matter of time before the two concepts converge. With a well-designed capsule that delivers its contents to exactly the right location in the gut, the same community of faecal microbes that make up the solution used in a faecal transplant can fill a capsule that is swallowed with a glass of water.
Continuing with my quest of reading more on J Krishnamurti I picked up On Love and Loneliness. It is his series of discourse recorded as a book.
These are some of my kindle notes:
Love comes into being when the mind is naturally quiet, not made quiet, when it sees the false as false and the true as true.
This process of usage, thinking, imagining, holding, enclosing, rejecting, is all smoke, and when the smoke is not, the flame of love is.
Sensation is a process of thought, which is not love. When the mind is dominant and the thought process is important, there is no love.
Sex is sensation which is created, pictured by the mind, and then the mind acts or does not act.
Love that uses, exploits, and then feels sorry cannot be love, because love is not a thing of the mind.
The very thought of getting away from loneliness is in itself a form of inward insufficiency.
Love is not pleasure. Love is not the pursuit or the avoidance of fear. Love is not attachment. Love has no suffering.
as long as a human mind is hurt and therefore insensitive, it will never know what beauty is —in the things man has made, in the line of a building, and in the mountain, in the beautiful tree.
A gesture, a word, a look, is enough to hurt.
Wisdom comes in the understanding of suffering and all the implications of suffering, not only the personal, but also the human suffering that man has created.
ONE OF THE causes of suffering is attachment. In attachment there is fear, jealousy, anxiety, suffering.
Psychologically, suffering comes through attachment—to an idea, to ideals, to opinions, to beliefs, to persons, to concepts.
The world is the mirror in which you are looking that shows the operations of your own mind.
Another cause of suffering is a great sense of loss, loss of prestige, loss of power, loss of so many things, and the loss of somebody whom you think you love—and there is death, the ultimate suffering.
One of the major reasons for suffering is the sense of isolation, the feeling of total loneliness.
To end sorrow completely is a most difficult thing to do, for sorrow is always with us in one form or another.
Sorrow ends only when we face the fact of sorrow, when we understand and go beyond both the cause and the effect.
Love has now almost become synonymous with sex & its expression & all that is involved in it—self-forgetfulness and so on.
when the intense pleasure is sustained by thought, then there is the counteraction which is aggression, reprisal, anger, hate, born out of the feeling of not getting that pleasure which you are after, and therefore fear, which is again fairly obvious if you observe it.
Love comes only when the mind is very quiet, disinterested, not self-centred.
Where there is dependence, there is fear, and where there is fear, there is authority, there is no love.
Self-expression and self-fulfilment is a form of pleasure; and when that pleasure is thwarted, blocked, there is fear, and out of that fear there is aggression.
Most people are afraid to stand alone; they are afraid to think things out for themselves, afraid to feel deeply, to explore and discover the whole meaning of life.
When there is love, there is beauty. Love and compassion with their intelligence is the endless truth.
Compassion means passion for all. Compassion cannot exist, nor love, if you belong to any sect, any group, or to any organized religion.
Without love, life is like a shallow pool.
When there is the ending of suffering there is passion. And with the ending of suffering there is love.
Anger is not different from me; I am anger. I am greed. I am frightened. I am all that. But thought says, ‘I must control, I must escape from fear’, so thought then creates the observer as different from the observed, and in that state there is conflict.
The idea is not love. The idea, the word is not love. But only when you have seen the whole movement of desire, attachment, pleasure, then out of that depth of perception comes this strange flower with its extraordinary perfume.
A person who is trying to eat money is always hungry.
Running a startup is not an easy job. You have to keep everyone happy from customer to team member. While some people fail at it others excel in building a successful company.
I recently read Inspired by Marty Cagan and PPP was the take away for me from it.
If you will hire right set of people, it will result in building great culture which over all benefit the organization. But as a Founder you need to constantly ask:
Are you honest with your team?
Are you giving them enough remuneration?
Are they equally excited with the vision?
If answer is yes, you are well on a successful path.
A lot many companies failed to attract right kind of talent and ended up shutting shop. We humans crave for love and respect, nobody likes constant supervision or micro-management. Define a simple process, be honest and let everyone in the team follow it. Keep in mind the empathy part, you as a founders are working with the team not sheep herding.
Last part comes Product, you as a founder needs to ask some tough questions.
Are you solving a problem?
If it was pitched to you, would you have bought it?
Ease of using.
Are you creating a new habit?
If you have answers for these, you are good to go.
I studied my 11-12th with Ashish & have known him for over decade. We grew up together, he got married and blessed with two kids and running a successful business in Delhi. I am here in Bangalore, trying to figure out what is next.
Last week I was in Delhi all for him, because we wanted to revisit our memory of our past solo trips. We ended up visiting, trip to Binsar in Uttrakhand. It was tiring but fun filled 10+ hour ride from Delhi included lots of food and fun filled conversation.
Ashish is born and bought up in business family so he knows art of selling. We spoke in lengths on various topics starting from when will i get married to how he started and doing in his business.
In one of the evening while we were chatting in our hotel room, he gave me some great advice. I had my notebook next to me & so I made note of same.
I have added those here in much clearer form :
Always keep selling.
keep burn low
try solving problem
keep friction = 0, (users to product usage ability)
give something which is dead simple to use and they don’t have to think.
always look for being profitable
spend money wisely
price of product should be thought through well
test product with close set of friends and iterate over it again and again. Once feedback loop is complete start selling.
sell the basic version for cheap, start charging for advance features.
customer is your cash cow, your god so treat him with love/respect.
Trust is very important, gaining it takes ages and breaking it takes few seconds. So ensure you work honestly and never loose trust.
Money is money whether its coming from dad or a bank. Invest it wisely and treat it with care.
Bonus, tips while traveling for leisure on vacation.
Always care about food, good food should get priority.
Try finding great hotel, spend more. When you are out from your house ensure you get better level or equal comfort while being at home.
After quitting Minio I have been spending my free time in reading & consuming lots of coffee. This book was recommended to me by Anurag Ramdasan as I am still in process of figuring out what is next. This book is strongly recommended for product managers or folks building customer products. Do follow Marty Cagan’s official website for more of his wisdom.
These are some of my notes clipped via my Kindle :
It doesn’t matter how good your engineering team is if they are not given something worthwhile to build.
Do not build a product or waste your time on it if users, customers don’t need it.
The job of the product manager is to discover a product that is valuable, usable, and feasible.
Engineering is important and difficult, but user experience design is even more important, and usually more difficult.
Everything starts with the people, but the process is what enables these people to consistently produce inspiring and successful products.
New ideas can come from anywhere—company executives, discussions with customers, usability testing, your own product team, your sales or marketing staff, industry analysts, to name a few. But then someone needs to take a hard look at the idea and decide if it is something worth pursuing.
Behind every great product you will find an individual who is responsible for the definition of that product.
The root cause of wasted releases can most often be traced to poor definition of the role of the product manager in a company, and inadequate training of the people chosen for this role.
The product manager has two key responsibilities: assessing product opportunities, and defining the product to be built.
A good product requires a good user experience. And a good user experience requires the close collaboration of product management and user experience design.
If you can’t manage to get the time to focus on those tasks which are truly important to your product, your product will fail.
The product organization includes the design team, because the interaction between product management and user experience design absolutely needs to be as close as possible.
Designers are most valuable very early in the process, when the product manager is working to understand the target market and come up with a solution.
What problem a product is intended to solve should be the focus not the feature list and capabilities.
Not every opportunity needs to be a billion-dollar market.
Improving the product’s usability can significantly reduce the need for customer service staff.
Software projects can be thought of as having two distinct stages: figuring out what to build (build the right product), and building it (building the product right). The first stage is dominated by product discovery, and the second stage is all about execution.
If you’re more naturally the project manager type who loves getting things out the door, then you’ll need to work on your strategic thinking and discovery skills—remembering that what matters most is creating a product that your customers love.
You need to identify your market and validate the opportunity with your customers.
A good set of principles serves as the basis or foundation for inspiring product features.
Everyone feels strongly about the product since—at some level—we all realize that companies need money to survive, money comes from customers, and customers come for the products.
Constructive debate and argument is an essential ingredient to coming up with a great product.
As product manager you can make a very significant impact on this process—minimizing churn and maximizing creativity and quality.
Every member of the team should be able to see the goals and objectives you are using, their priority, and how you assess each option.
You should be arguing about what’s most important to your target user: ease of use, speed, functionality, cost, security, privacy—this is the right argument.
If you work at a company where you’re told you can’t talk to your users, my advice is to first try hard to change this policy. If that doesn’t work, dust off your resume and find a place where you can practice your craft and have a shot at creating successful products.
Winning products come from the deep understanding of the user’s needs combined with an equally deep understanding of what’s just now possible.
It is an extremely common mistake for a product to try to please everyone and end up pleasing no one.
Testing your ideas with real users is probably the single most important activity in your job as product manager.
One of the easiest ways I know of to innovate is to just watch (and listen) as actual users attempt to use your current product or a competitor’s product. Watch a few of these sessions and you’ll start to see patterns of frustration and expectation.
Almost every consumer company out there today gives lip service to the user experience, but Apple means it. Usability, interaction design, visual design, industrial design, are all front and center in the company’s priorities—and it shows.
[BONUS] :A useful opportunity assessment for product managers.
Exactly what problem will this solve? (value proposition)
For whom do we solve that problem? (target market)
How big is the opportunity? (market size)
How will we measure success? (metrics/revenue strategy)
What alternatives are out there now? (competitive landscape)
Why are we best suited to pursue this? (our differentiator)
Why now? (market window)
How will we get this product to market? (go-to-market strategy)
What factors are critical to success? (solution requirements)
Given the above, what’s the recommendation? (go or no-go)
This book is list of wisdom shared by Randy Pausch, he had cancer and few months to live. I got this book from my sister’s bookshelf, it is one of the best read for me so far this year, extremely recommended.
These are some notes, some are titles of the book [self explanatory] :
Acquire leadership skills, it is important in every aspect of life.
Not all fairy tales end smoothly.
Automobiles are there to get you from point A to point B. They are utilitarian devices, not expressions of social status.
The truth can set you free.
Spend sometime with your loved ones, take vacation. Stay away from others/office works when in leisure.
Spend your time wisely, it should be managed like money .
You can always change your plan if you have another one.
Ask yourself: Are you spending time on right things?
Keep telephone away, do not make it integral part of life.
Delegate, find smart people to take over your task & delver it quicker/better.
Develop a real ability to assess yourself.
Teamwork is one key reason of any organizations success.
Be earnest person over a hip person every time.
With the passage of time , and the deadlines that life imposes, surrendering become right thing to do.
Don’t complain, just work harder.
Treat the disease, not the symptom.
Don’t obsess over what people think.
Look for best in everybody.
What what they do not what they say.
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.
Dance with the one who brung you.
Its not how hard you hit. It’s how hard you get hit … and keep moving forward. [Rocky]
Experince is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted. And experince is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.
Failure is not just acceptable, it’s often essential. The person who failed often knows how to avoid future failures. The person who knows only success can be more oblivious to all the pitfalls.
Get people’s attention. That’s always the first step to solving an ignored problem.
Say thank you, whenever needed.
Loyalty is a two way street.
When you go into wilderness, the only thing you can count on is what you take ith you.
A bad apology is worst than no apology.
Tell the truth.
No job is a small job.
Never give up.
When we are connected to others, we become better people.
All you have to do is to ask.
Make a decision with life either live pessimistic or optimistic throughout.
Do ask/get inputs from others.
Life is not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life in right way, the karma will take care of itself.
Continuing with my quest of reading more on J Krishnamurti I picked up On Fear. It is his series of discourse on our fear.
These are some of my clipped notes from the book:
We have so accepted the pattern of fear that we don’t want even to move away from it.
When you compare yourself with another, ideologically, psychologically, or even physically, there is the striving to become that; and there is the fear that you may not.
Where there is comparison there must be fear.
Comparison, conformity, and imitation, are contributory causes of fear.
Where there is any cause there is an ending.
Society is so constructed that a citizen who has a position of respect is treated with great courtesy, whereas a man who has no position is kicked around.
Until we are free from fear, we may climb the highest mountain, invent every kind of God, but we will remain in darkness.
Fear is one of the greatest problems in life. A mind that is caught in fear lives in confusion, in conflict, and therefore must be violent, distorted, and aggressive. It dare not move away from its own patterns of thinking, and this breeds hypocrisy.
The movement from certainty to uncertainty is fear.
When you are confronted with something immediately there is no fear. It is only when thought comes in that there is fear.
When you see that you are a part of fear, not separate from it—that you are fear—then you cannot do anything about it; then fear comes totally to an end.
Success and fame are psychologically the very essence of comparison, through which we constantly breed fear.
In the action of intelligence there is no fear at all.
The effects of fear and its actions based on past memories are destructive, contradictory, and paralysing.
We can see what fear does to each one of us. It makes one tell lies, it corrupts one in various ways, it makes the mind empty, shallow.
Religions throughout the world have used fear as a means of controlling man.
Courage is not the opposite of fear.
A man who is frightened has no love, has no sympathy.
The greater the fear, the greater the tension, the greater the neuroticism, the greater is the urge to escape.
We live throughout our lives with fear and die with fear.
Fear is always in relation to something; it does not exist by itself.
Thought breeds fear; thought also cultivates pleasure.
The moment there is no fear, there is no ambition, but there is an action, which is for the love of the thing but not for recognition of the thing that you are doing.
A mind that is frightened can never see what truth is.
Thought, thinking about an incident, an experience, a state, in which there has been a disturbance, danger, grief or pain, brings about fear.
Fear is a movement in time.
When man is free of all fear he needs no comfort, he needs no reward, he doesn’t seek something that will help him.
If there were no time and thought there would be no fear.
thought and time are the central factors of fear.
Where there is self-interest there must be fear, and all the consequences of fear.
The true is not the opposite of the false; love is not the opposite of hate.
Aloneness is not withdrawal from life; on the contrary it is the total freedom from conflict and sorrow, from fear and death.
Fear arises only in the very act of running away from the fact.
To live with the ashes of loneliness there must be great energy and this energy comes when there is no longer fear.