F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

*Though this post is not a work of fiction, but it surely cannot be related to any individual.

It often happens that we meet some people in our life that leave a trace, which imprints an unforgettable impression on our mind. The only thing we could do is to cherish it. How difficult it becomes sometimes just ‘to keep in touch’. Facebook & other social media do help, but I think, somehow they are a part of the reason for people to drift apart.

I moved to Pune 5 years ago from Nagpur, and I really used to miss my pals there. Whenever I used to go back to home, we’d had a great time together chatting, night-outs, long rides and what not.16 hours out of the 24, I’d be with friends. The distances were so short inspite of some 800 kilometres in between. We used to call each other regularly, share our tragedies and all was going great.

But last year, we all finished our engineering, and most of my friends shifted to Pune for Job/further studies. Suddenly things changed. And the change was drastic. I won’t say it wasn’t my fault, but I couldn’t see any of them. For a few days we used to meet every day, next month, it became a weekly meet. Later, it came down to once in a month. 20-30km seemed too long to travel as compared to the 800km earlier. Some got girlfriends, who were not comfortable with all new faces around. Some preferred going for a movie rather than a night-out. Some preferred a booze party instead of a long drive. Things got so much entangled that unknowingly, we started avoiding each other. Once upon a time, a reason like new video game cassette was sufficient for all of us to get together, but now even a funeral isn’t.

Thanks to Facebook, it connects us well, allows us to know what we all are doing, where we have been. It’s easy to share pictures, even tag friends, especially in the ‘Top Friends List’(we are often tagged on top) We also spam each other frequently, and sometimes ‘Poke’ each other without any reason. We don’t miss each other as we are always in touch via Facebook. So we don’t feel the need to meet each, neither we have time for it. Once in while, we do call each other. But unfortunately, many times the range is poor, battery is low, or the mobile is left alone on silent. We often change our numbers and it’s sad, but the message with new number is never delivered.

Whatever it is, we still try our best to meet over a coffee, or a weekend trek or a short road trip. Never the less, things are discussed on Facebook itself. It is going great!!!

P.S. : Nobody realized that a bunch of guys who were ‘chaddi buddies’ once are nothing more than ‘Facebook Friends’ now.

Advertisements

Move On!

Stumbled upon this, and somehow the brain started reacting in a weird way. I am totally unaware of the secretions oozing out from some rotten part of my brain, but they are giving out some strange feelings, like a bad stink, which lasts for long(unfortunately, the good ones last just for a while).

Think about the home where you grew up, had some of the best moments of your lifetime, and someday the building is bulldozed. While it took years for you to carve memories there, you see each and every brick turning into dust in a matter of seconds. You had something for so long, like years, and then all of a sudden everything is just gone. It doesn’t really make sense to let go of something you loved, cherished for a long time.

But then, the building was getting old, the roof was leaking, walls were leaning, the floor was cracking…and someday it would have got miserable to live in the same house. So it also doesn’t make any sense to hold on when there’s actually nothing there.

You know the moment. It happens right after you realize you did something you wish you didn’t.
Even before, you know, what you are going to do, was never meant to happen. Actions do have consequences.
We do lose things all through our life. Nothing is permanent, not even the most secure relationship. But none of this has to be catastrophic. Sometimes losing one thing opens you up to something else. It might be a lesson that helps you be more effective and happier in the future.

You get a new home, more beautiful and comforting, and you start again.
The point is you will eventually let go and move on.

The most painful moment is when you see your home running down, and that you cannot do anything about it.
Cherish it or regret it, WHATEVER.

Planet Earth

Just came across a fantastic video in between and I would love to share it with the world.
There is a comment below the video,and the words seem so true after watching it…

“After seeing this, I have to say: Fuck university. Fuck education. Fuck jobs. This is what you want! To just get out there and experience the world. Just get out of your home, pack a bag, buy a tent and then just get out of the city. Out in the wild, man. Out where you just have to survive and observe the nature. We might be sitting and reading our asses of day after day trying to get a high education, but the highest education is not found in books. It is found out there – in the wild!”

Japan 日本

Somehow Japan has been one of the countries I do respect a lot. The main reason being the people,their attitude.Their hunger to strive,work,develop and flourish.

If we consider the situation in World War 2,first of all,just compare the size of Japan ~ 145k sq miles,and which is less than the area of California state in US. Still,the nation dominated the war for most of its duration. The Allied powers that fought Japan clearly had an advantage when it came to men (meaning women and men), materials, and money. The population of the United States of America in 1940 was 132,164,569 whereas the Japanese Empire had a population of 97,697,555. Numbers, and eventually science and technology, were on the side of the United States of America.

Still, the Japanese were successful in capturing most of the Pacific and were aiming Australia,when the US Marines stroke back.

Yes the Japanese were being defeated, but their eventual defeat would be tremendously expensive in terms of Allied and Japanese lives lost, both military and civilian. Millions would have died because the Japanese people were prepared to fight to the bitter end: kamikazee planes, suicide boats, 2,350,000 military personnel, 250,000 garrison troops, and 32,000,000 men and women in the militia were “pledged, even eager, to die for the emperor”
The nuke attack at Hiroshima & Nagasaki was just a matter of chance. The Americans took it first,else the Japanese would dropped a fewer more.

Even after terrible defeat in the war,the extreme damage couldn’t lower the the potential of the Japanese,& within few years,Japan stood as the 2nd largest economy in the world for a long time,recently overtaken by China.
About technology,they are leading the world in many sectors such as electronics,automobile,nuclear programs and what not….

Seriously….Hats Off to Japan!!!

An article on Sachin Tendulkar…On a serious note

Remember when you failed an examination. How many people recall that, your class, friends, relatives? You failed to make it to the IITs or IIMs. Who remembers. How many times have you had the feeling of being the best in your class, school , university, state….., you failed to get a visa stamped this quarter…, you missed a promotion this year…, how did it feel when you dad told you in your early twenties that you are good for nothing…..and now your boss tell you the same…

You keep introspecting and go into a shell when people most of whom don’t matter a dime in your life criticize you, back bite you, make fun of you. You are left sad and shattered and you cry when your own kin scoffs at you. You say I am feeling low today. It takes a lot from us to come out of these everyday situations and move on. A lot??? really?

Now here’s a man standing on the third man boundary in the last over of a world cup match. The bowler just has to bowl sensibly to win this game. What the man at the boundary sees is 4 rank bad bowls bowled without any sense of focus, planning or regret. India loses, yet again in those circumstances when he has done just about everything right.

He does not cry. Does not show any emotion. Just keeps his head down and leaves the field. He has seen these failures for 22 years now. And not just his class, relatives, friends but the whole world has seen these failures. We are too immature to even imagine what goes on in that mind and heart of his. That’s why I would never want to be Sachin.

True, he has single handedly lifted to moods of this entire nation umpteen number of times. He has been an inspiration to rise above our mediocrity. Nobody who has ever lifted the willow even comes close to this man’s genius. His dedication and metal strength is unparallel. This is specially for those people who would have made fun of him again last night when India lost. They are people who are mediocre in their own lives. Who just scoff at others to create cheap fun. Who have lived in a small hole throughout their lives and thought they have seen the oceans.

Think about the man himself. He is 37 years of age. He has been playing almost non stop for 22 years. The way he was running and diving around the field last night would have put 22 year olds to shame. The way he played the best opening quickies in the world was breathtaking. He just keeps getting better which is by the way humanly impossible. Its not for nothing that people call him GOD.

But still I don’t want to be in those shoes. We struggle in keeping our monotonous lives straight, lives which affect a limited number of people. Imagine what would be the magnitude of the inner struggle for him, pain both mental and physical, tears that have frozen with time, knees and ankles and every other joint in the body that is either bandaged or needs to be attended to every night, eyes that don’t sleep before a big game, bats that have scored 99 international tons and still see expectations from a billion people.
And he just converts those expectations into reality. We watch in awe, feel privileged.
Well I think its time that his team realizes that enough is enough. They have an obligation, not towards their country alone but towards sachin. They need to win this one for him. Stay assured that he himself will still deliver and leave no stone unturned to make sure India wins this cup.
This is not just a game, and he is not just a sportsman. Its much more than this. Words fail here…..

— Nipun Dixit
Infosys Technologies Ltd, Pune

Delegate or die: the self-employed trap

Source : http://sivers.org/delegate

Most self-employed people get caught in the delegation trap.

You’re so busy, doing everything yourself.
You know you need help, but to find and train someone would take more time than you have!
So you keep working harder, until you break.

Here’s my little tale of how I broke into the delegation mindset:
In 2001, CD Baby was three years old.
I had eight employees but I was still doing “everything else” myself.
Working 7am to 10pm, seven days a week, everything still went through me.
Every five minutes, my employees had a question for me:
“Derek, some guy wants to change the album art after it’s already live on the site. What do I tell him?”
“Derek, can we accept wire transfer as a form of payment?”
“Derek, someone placed two orders today, and wants to know if we can ship them together as one, but refund him the shipping cost savings?”
It was hard to get anything done while answering questions all day.
I felt like I might as well just show up to work and sit on a chair in the hallway, just answering employees’ questions, full-time.

I hit my breaking point.
I stopped going to the office and shut off my phone.
Then I realized I was running from my problems instead of solving them.
I had to fix this, or I’d be ruined.

After a long introspective night of thinking and writing, I got myself into the delegation mindset.
I had to make myself un-necessary to the running of my company.

The next day, as soon as I walked in the door, someone asked, “Derek, someone whose CDs we received yesterday has now changed his mind and wants his CDs shipped back. We’ve already done the work, but he’s asking if we can refund his set-up fee since he was never live on the site.”
This time, instead of just answering the question, I called everyone together for a minute.
I repeated the situation and the question for everyone.
I answered the question, but more importantly, I explained the thought process and philosophy behind my answer.
“Yes refund his money in full. We’ll take a little loss. It’s important to always do whatever would make the customer happiest, as long as it’s not outrageous. A little gesture like this goes a long way to him telling his friends we’re a great company. Everyone always remember that helping musicians is our first goal, and profit is second. You have my full permission to use that guideline to make these decisions yourself in the future. Do what makes them happiest. Make sure everyone who deals with us leaves with a smile.”

I asked around to make sure everyone understood the answer.
I asked one person to start a manual, and write down the answer to this one situation, and write down the philosophy behind it.
Then everyone went back to work.
Ten minutes later, new question.
Same process:
1. Gather everybody around.
2. Answer the question, and explain the philosophy.
3. Make sure everyone understands the thought process.
4. Ask one person to write it in the manual.
5. Let them know they can decide this without me next time.

After two months of this, there were no more questions.
Then I showed someone how to do the last of the stuff that was still my job.
As part of learning it, they had to document it in the manual, and show it to someone else, too.
(Learn by teaching.)
Now I was totally un-necessary.
I started working at home – not going into the office at all.
I had even taught them my thought-process and philosophy about hiring new people.
So our two newest employees were entirely found, interviewed, hired, and trained by them.
They used that manual to make sure every new employee understood the philosophy and history, and knew how to make decisions for themselves.
I’d call in once a week to make sure everything was OK.
It was.
They didn’t even have any questions for me.
Because my team was running the business, I was free to actually improve the business!
I moved to California, just to make it clear that the running of things was up to them.

I was still working 12-hour days, but now I was spending all my time on improvements, optimizations and innovations.
To me, this was the fun stuff.
This was play, not work.

While I was away, my company grew from $1M to $20M in four years.

There’s a big difference between being self-employed and being a business owner.
Being self-employed feels like freedom until you realize that if you take time off, your business crumbles.
To be a true business owner, make sure you could leave for a year, and when you came back, your business would be doing better than when you left.