Elon Musk biography and more reading

It takes a bit of digging to find gems. Truly remarkable books are getting rarer by the day; more so if one is more into non-fiction like biographies and behavior sciences. It took me a while to read these good ones this year-

1. Elon Musk

2. How Google works

3. Algorithms to live by

4. Screenwriting by Syd Field

5. Predictably irrational

6. Nudge

7. No Logo

Some of these books have been on my shelf for over ten years (Screenwriting) till I decided to knock them off my to-do list. Ones that are quicker to finish are the behaviors sciences aggregators (Nudge, Predictably irrational). But it takes and amazing life articulated in an inspiring way that becomes a piece of work. Elon Musk will inherit from Steve Jobs the crown of stellar leadership in the technology space. Is bureaucracy in your office getting you down? Is your vision of your work being chained down by excessive processes, low budgets and non-believers? Read this book and then look at the challenges you face with your colleagues. Whatever it is, there is a high chance you may not have sacrificed as much as Musk has for his goals. Spanner in the works were tossed in by government, colleagues, collaborators, investors, short sellers, competition and cynical media. It’s not for anyone to come by with a vision for the future, a great idea for a product and funding to sustain the viability, and survive all the challenges Musk has.

Though he is compared with the equally admired Steve Jobs, Musk has gone next level with the size of his ideas and execution with SpaceX and SolarCity. Making Tesla a much-loved and awaited product took ten years of hell.

The other books are great but not as inspiring as Musk’s bio.


#Drawdinovember inspires

… to create the most useless project ever. I should be drawing everyday. Anything. Since the #DrawDinovember challenge floated this challenge to artists on instagram, I figured this could make me do something never attempted before. Drew one dinosaur for every day of the month through November and December. By the time it was over, there was this collection of 30 drawings. So here’s an infographic on 30 dinosaurs in chronological order- all hand-drawn.

Dinosaur infographic


Comic Con Delhi, 2017

Comic Con Delhi has sadly gone mainstream. The reception this year was like that of the annual Trade Fair in Pragati Maidaan- overcrowded, unmanageable and suffocating. I’m happy in a sad sort of a way that Comic Con Delhi has come a long way from the very first one at Dili Haat in 2011. This year it took us an hour to get into the parking from the service lane outside, plus another 30 minutes to get our tickets. Though we enjoyed our pilgrimage as usual, there was very little space to move around without knocking into people all the time. Though this started as a convention for comics nerds, there were large families here this time. At this rate, NSIC ground in Okhla may not be able to handle this event next year.
There’s the usual good stuff though- superhero T-shirts, action figures, really nice merch and ofcourse the cosplay. Very enthusiastic young people worked really hard on their costumes and the effort put in this year was commendable. Though The Joker is a regular favorite, fans recreated this loveable villain in new ways and yet continue to be faithful to the character as shown in the movies.
These awesome nerds deserve more space around them!

Hubris debris 

A colleague brought up an interesting perspective on staying in a company too long. When you are new to a firm, you are least fearless then. Your ideas are new to everyone and your fearlessness is a breath of fresh air for all. You do new things. You are least aware of scary intimidating people around. You are valued most at this stage. 

If you stay too long, the politics of the place starts intimidating your thought process and ideas. The presence of big guys makes you rubbish everything you dare think about. You psyche yourself in. You become stale and redundant. If you are able to recreate yourself every 3 years and maintain the freshness of your ideas, good for you. 

This is why it’s important to constantly upgrade yourself with new technology, books and maybe even get an education. You will talk about new and different things. Everyone and everything – thought processes included, has a product life cycle. Upgrading the self works for everyone – you, your employer and those around you. A boss who encourages the process of recreating also helps. Scrap off everything you know till now, start afresh. Shed your old skin every once in a while.

iPhone X and other thoughts 

We are in the end of September and everyone is already talking about buying the iPhone X. This phone is expensive in India; it costs almost one third more than the Dollar to Rupee converted retail price as on Apple’s website- USD 1000 is INR 64000 now. The phone will cost INR 89,000 in india. Despite that, young working folks are already dissing the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus for what it doesn’t have, and that they have two paychecks to save and plan for the installments needed to pick up an iPhone X.

Personally, I would wait and see what the device will do for my work. How exactly will the new AR and VR features augment my work? How will the notch be immersive with browsing, video and other full screen apps?

But gut feel says NOT to buy the iPhone X. Wait it out till February to see what develops.

Be the gangster

Met a pyramid network marketing professional at a Dunkin’ Donuts near office. Her sincere sales talk made me listen to her for two full hours. Maybe I could learn something here. The whol concept of making money with geometric progression was made to look very easy- though with considerable amount of work. Through the discussion, she pushed the fact that making money is the real purpose of life- something I disagreed with from the beginning. But she did make one good point- of two people who start financially at the same point with the same amount of money, it was their attitude towards that money that changes their fortune and future. The one who decides to immediately spend that money on things goes for instant gratification. The one who decides to invest it goes for delayed gratification. True and agreed one hundred percent. Recommend reading on this subject was the book called ‘Rich dad poor dad. The initial investment required came to ₹6 lacs. Though I turned down the offer to invest, what was admirable was that she was being the gangster here.

it was always about being able to sell with confidence. But the sales acumen has meat only when you show thorough knowledge and confidence in your product or service. Prime examples of total gangsters in our time are Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos. Both don’t hold back when they know they have a great product in their hands. They jumped at opportunities and made it big. If you can hustle, grab opportunities under your nose and act fast, you can be the gangster the world needs.

The world needs people who do good work, and are able to get that good product across to the world and make it grow and sell itself. It’s pointless doing great work and not taking it to the next level.