December 2020


Don’t worry, be crappy. Revolutionary means you ship and then test… Lots of things made the first Mac in 1984 a piece of crap – but it was a revolutionary piece of crap. – Guy Kawasaki

I first stumbled on the sentence “Don’t worry be crappy” in one of Guy Kawasaki’s book and the concept really helped me with my perfectionist tendencies. Anytime I want to get into the analysis paralysis mode, I remind myself that you do not need to be great to start but you have to start to be great.

One of the favourite concepts have learnt from reading Guy Kawasaki Books is Don’t Worry be Crappy, it was an aha moment for me when I was first  exposed to the concept around 2012 while trying to startup some projects. This singular idea changed my perspective on starting anything as I discovered most big brands did not  start as fortune 100 companies they worked their way up the value chain.

“Being your own story means you can always choose the tone. It also means that you can invent the language to say who you are and what you mean.”

The renowned and prolific author, who was the first African American woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Toni Morrison delivered a thought provoking and inspiring commencement speech to the Wellesley Class of 2004.

I have to confess to all of you, Madame President, Board of Trustees, members of the faculty, relatives, friends, students. I have had some conflicted feelings about accepting this invitation to deliver the Commencement Address to Wellesley’s Class of 2004. My initial response, of course, was glee, a very strong sense of pleasure at, you know, participating personally and formally in the rites of an institution with this reputation: 125 years of history in women’s education, an enviable rostrum of graduates, its commitment sustained over the years in making a difference in the world, and its successful resistance to challenges that women’s colleges have faced from the beginning and throughout the years. An extraordinary record—and I was delighted to be asked to participate and return to this campus.

But my second response was not so happy. I was very anxious about having to figure out something to say to this particular class at this particular time, because I was really troubled by what could be honestly said in 2004 to over 500 elegantly educated women, or to relatives and friends who are relieved at this moment, but hopeful as well as apprehensive. And to a college faculty and administration dedicated to leadership and knowledgeable about what that entails. Well, of course, I could be sure of the relatives and the friends, just tell them that youth is always insulting because it manages generation after generation not only to survive and replace us, but to triumph over us completely.

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We live in a society where kids and parents are obsessed with early achievement, from getting perfect scores on SATs to getting into Ivy League colleges to landing an amazing job at Google or Facebook—or even better, creating a start-up with the potential to be the next Google, Facebook or Uber. We see coders and entrepreneurs become millionaires or billionaires before age thirty, and feel we are failing if we are not one of them.

Late bloomers, on the other hand, are under-valued—in popular culture, by educators and employers, and even unwittingly by parents. Yet the fact is, a lot of us—most of us—do not explode out of the gates in life. We have to discover our passions and talents and gifts. That was true for author Rich Karlgaard, who had a mediocre academic career at Stanford (which he got into by a fluke) and, after graduating, worked as a dishwasher and nightwatchman before finding the inner motivation and drive that ultimately led him to start up a high-tech magazine in Silicon Valley, and eventually to become the publisher of Forbes magazine.

Authors Thesis

  • A society that excessively focuses on early achievement colors perceptions about individuals’ potential for later success in a way that disregards far more people than it rewards. Rich assumed that potential late bloomers—that is, the majority of us sorted by society’s efficient early bloomer conveyor belt into “less than” bins—just needed to jump back onto the same conveyor belt with new skills, new habits, and new techniques.

Here are my favourite take aways from reading Late Bloomers by Rich Karlgaard:

There is a great story that teaches the power of focus:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Like the story above, when you change what you focus on, what you focus on changes. If you focus on the bad things in your life, it expands, and if you focus on the good things, the good things expand.

Here are some great quotes on the power of focus:

Anyone can become an expert in anything in six months, whether it is hydrodynamics for boats or cyclonic systems for vacuum cleaners. After the idea, there is plenty of time to learn the technology.

Sir James Dyson OM CBE RDI FRS FREng FCSD FIEE( born 2 May 1947) is a British inventor, industrial designer, landowner and entrepreneur who founded Dyson Ltd.

According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2020, he is Britain’s richest person with an estimated net worth of £16.2 billion. The 73-year-old engineering entrepreneur, whose groundbreaking vacuum cleaner launched in 1992 led the way for his subsequent redesign of hairdryers, air purifiers, and fans, admitted that his team could not find a way to make the car commercially viable.

In 2017, Dyson launched the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology.

Knowable’s How To Launch a Startup is a tactical, step-by-step guide designed to take you through the process of launching a high-growth startup — forged from the feats and foibles of the folks who’ve been there. The course takes you through the brass tacks of the startup cycle — an A to Z immersion into the lessons sure to impact every would-be founder.

Course Experts

Alexis Ohanian

Alexis Ohanian is the co-founder of Reddit, one of the world’s most influential websites, and Initialized Capital, a VC firm with investments in companies like Instacart and Coinbase.

Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going.

Commitment is the ability to stick with something long after the initial excitement is gone. Anyone can set a goal but until you decide and commit to getting things done, it would not happen. As Aristotle, once quipped: “We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act but a habit.

Commitment is a power we all posess but we do not explore it because greatness has a cost. You can either commit to medicority or excellence, productivity or non productivity, happiness or sadness. The moment you commit providence and the universe get the things you need around you.

  The price of greatness is hardwork but the challenge for most of us is that we want to have the joy of winning without the commitment to succeed. The Principle of life is pretty straightforward what you see is what you get gabage in gabage out.

“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way. —William H. Murray”

Peter: Awesome, thanks Sam for inviting me, thanks for having me.

I sort of have a single idée fixe that I’m completely obsessed with on the business side which is that if you’re starting a company, if you’re the founder, entrepreneur, starting a company you always want to aim for monopoly and you want to always avoid competition. And so hence competition is for losers, something we’ll be talking about today.

I’d like to start by saying something about the basic idea of when you start one of these companies, how do you go about creating value? What makes a business valuable? And I want to suggest there’s basically a very simple formula, that if you have a valuable company two things are true. Number one, that it creates “X” dollars of value for the world. Number two, that you capture “Y” percent of “X.” And the critical thing that I think people always miss in this sort of analysis is that “X” and “Y” are completely independent variables, and so “X” can be very big and “Y” can be very small. “X” can be an intermediate size and if “Y” is reasonably big, you can still have a very big business.

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

“Starting a company is like throwing yourself off the cliff and assembling an airplane on the way down.” – Reid Hoffman

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One of my favorite podcasts on Entrepreneurship is NPR’s How I Built This with Guy Raz. I have been a fan and ardent listener of the show since 2016. Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best-known companies. The Podcast weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists—and the movements they built Through the interviews,

Guy asks the entrepreneurs about their journey, the peaks and valleys, and their entrepreneurial journey’s ups and downs. My favorite part of every podcast episode is the way he can humanize these great entrepreneurs.

Award-winning journalist and NPR host Guy Raz has interviewed more than 200 highly successful entrepreneurs to uncover amazing true stories like these. In How I Built This, he shares tips for every entrepreneur’s journey: from the early days of formulating your idea, to raising money and recruiting employees, to fending off competitors, to finally paying yourself a real salary.

“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”Walt Disney

Here are my favourite takeaways from reading, How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success from the World’s Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs by Guy Raz.

Your attitude determines your altitude; we all go through challenging times in life, peaks and valley, ups and down, frowns and smiles. Life is a fight for territory. There is no problem-free life, and the way to get through whatever you are going through in life is to have a positive attitude and believe there will be a brighter day, this too shall pass; it is not being pollyanna but holding on to hope.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. – Wayne Dyer

In his book, “Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work.”, Author John C. Maxwell, believes attitude is

  • It is the “advance man” of our true selves.
  • Its roots are inward but its fruit is outward.
  • It is our best friend or our worst enemy.
  • It is more honest and more consistent than our words.
  • It is an outward look based on past experiences.
  • It is a thing that draws people to us or repels them.
  • It is never content until it is expressed.
  • It is the librarian of our past.
  • It is the speaker of our present.
  • It is the prophet of our future

Here are some great quotes on having a positive attitude:

An army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by a sheep.” – Alexander the Great

WEF estimates that by 2025, 85 million jobs may be displaced by a shift in the division of labour between humans and machines, while 97 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms.

The Future of Jobs Report 2020 aims to shed light on: 1) the pandemic-related disruptions thus far in 2020, contextualized within a longer history of economic cycles, and 2) the expected outlook for technology adoption jobs and skills in the next five years

Despite the currently high degree of uncertainty, the report uses a unique combination of qualitative and quantitative intelligence to expand the knowledge base about the future of jobs and skills. It aggregates the views of business leaders—chief executives, chief strategy officers and chief human resources officers–on the frontlines of decision-making regarding human capital with the latest data from public and private sources to create a clearer picture of both the current situation and the future outlook for jobs and skills

The report also provides in-depth information for 15 industry sectors and 26 advanced and emerging countries. Building upon the Future of Jobs methodology developed in 2016 and 2018, this 2020 third edition of the Future of Jobs Report provides a global overview of the ongoing technological augmentation of work, emerging and disrupted jobs and skills, projected expansion of mass reskilling and upskilling across industries as well as new strategies for effective workforce transitions at scale

The top skills and skill groups which employers see as rising in prominence in the lead up to 2025 include groups such as critical thinking and analysis as well as problem-solving, and skills in self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility.

Here are my favourite takeaways from reading the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2020:

Africa is bigger than Europe, China, India, Argentina, New Zealand, and the continental United States combined.

To many in the West, Africa has often seemed to be the Lost Continent—“lost” in two senses. The first would be lost from view: Many in the west simply don’t hear much or know much about the place and its past. The second would be “lost” in the sense of hopelessly lost: What people in the west do hear seems overwhelmingly negative, dominated by poverty, disease, disasters, violence, and tyranny.

This imagery itself has a long history in the West, as intellectuals and ordinary folk alike have dismissed Africa as the very repository of “savagery.” Passages from Hume, Hegel, and 20th-century historian Hugh Trevor-Roper illustrate this notion.

History is often described as a drama; if true, it is played out on a stage.

I stumbled on knowable while I was listening to the Tim Ferris Show episode with Scott Kelly. Snippets from Scott Kelly: Go For Launch Knowable episode was played during the podcast with Tim, and I really loved the format. After the podcast with Tim was done, I checked out the knowable platform, and I was hooked; I really love learning and becoming a better version of myself.

As Mark Twain once quipped: ‘What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.’ The knowable portal contains 200+ audio courses led by world’s leading experts such as Scott Kelly (NASA astronaut), Alexis Ohanian (Reddit co-founder) among others.

Learn life-changing skills with audio courses led by 200+ of the world’s leading experts.

About Knowable

Knowable is a first-of-its-kind audio learning platform and library of original, expert-led audio courses. We create immersive, screen-free learning experiences that help people get inspired, learn new things, and accomplish their personal and professional goals.

Launched: October 2019

Founder: Warren Shaeffer

Warren is CEO of Knowable, a venture-backed audio platform whose mission is to unlock billions of hours of learning time in order to help more people achieve their potential. He started Knowable to solve his own problem: he wanted to learn new skills, but couldn’t find the time for video courses.

Raised: $4M Seed round led by a16z, Upfront Ventures, Alexis Ohanian, and First Round Capital.