One line that changes your approach

In old times Kings had strange requests and they had advisors whose jobs was to fulfill them. Failure to do so results in punishments that varied from imprisonment, demotion or in severe case even death penalties. (more…)

2018-12-08T17:20:20+00:00March 29th, 2016|

Important vs Urgent – Who takes the lead ?

Time is the most limited commodity that any successful person have & time management is one of the most sought after skill for majority of us. Urgent & Important are the two major parameters used in prioritizing where to focus our resources on.

Eisenhower matrix is ever-green cheat sheet for any one looking to help prioritize their day. Biggest issue we struggle with is “urgent” taking priority over “important”.

Eisen Hower Matrix

If you give some one two tasks with following
– Task A is urgent
– Task B is important

99% of the times, they will go with the urgent one. There could be multiple reasons for this behaviors, but following two are the most common one.

– Urgency creates emergency giving you the adrenaline rush for the day
– It is easy to get motivated while accomplishing a task that is time driven because it could be quantified

The most urgent decisions are rarely the most important ones.
– Dwight D Eisenhower

However, while focusing on urgent task, we oversee important tasks requiring our attention. It could be a business goal as well as personal goal. Such as joining a gym, going on a vacation, spending time with your family, calling an old friend or be by yourself. Even in business, we mightn’t have updated our website or done a SWOT analysis or the most important one – sitting down with the team over dinner.

So next time, there is a choice between Urgency or importance, chose wisely!

2016-03-21T16:13:11+00:00March 21st, 2016|

Privacy == Liberty

I recently had an honor to meet Mike Janke ( Co-founder & Chairman Silent Circle – Encrypted Communication Firm), which prompted me to write over this issue.

Mike Janke - Silent Circle

From Wikileaks to recent open letter by Apple in response to request for a backdoor in iOS , there are arguments on both sides on privacy and surveillance acceptability. While there is no denial that better information leads to better decision making which will be helpful for the agencies to protect us, however it might violate the citizen rights which includes privacy. There is a reason why we have private house rather than sharing a big house. While I live in an apartment and like people around me, most of the people have economic reasons to live in shared housing.

People in favor of allowing security agencies to access personal data are making a very strong argument that if there is nothing wrong, why do I need to hide? As popular as it looks like, this is not as simple as it looks like.

Many people have camera or stage phobia. As perfect they are in their job, when asked to perform the same job in front of people, they get nervous or are unable to reproduce the same results as they would individually. This is not because they are bad at what they do, it’s because of the external pressure that they have to be extra cautious. Now take the same example and apply it on your daily life.

Imagine a person watching everything that you do; Every word you spoke and every action you did is recorded in an archive which is saved for decades and is accessible by a person unknown to you. How would you feel about it?

Not taking it to an extreme where you are also observed while you are singing in your bath tub, but imagine being watched in your living room. While there is nothing wrong about watching a hockey game with your friends at your home, but would you be able to enjoy it with a camera over you? Taking example of house might turn off a lot of people, even recording the conversations at a dinner-date is totally awkward as well. Next time when you are having a conversation over a phone, imagine an unknown 3rd party listening to it or even worse recording it.

Here is Obama portions from SXSW’16 on encryption

Cell phones, laptops are very personal now and we spend most time with them than any other living or non-living object. It’s no longer the phone that the entire house shared to communicate, but it’s like a private diary.They possibly have the most amount of data or attachment than anything else and allowing it to be watched all the time makes me uncomfortable. Law enforcement is a difficult job and I am thankful to all the wonderful people who are working day and night to ensure our safety but liberty is what allows us to enjoy it the fullest. There should be no absolute stance from either parties & I hope there would be a good balance between liberty and security as we transform into a more progressive society.

2016-03-15T18:18:46+00:00March 15th, 2016|

Weaker Loonie against USD – Who’s getting hammered here ?

From Acuras to iPhone applications, suits to sweet potatoes, Canadians will be paying more for imported products, on account of the loonie’s fall against the U.S. dollar. It has dropped by almost 10% in last 12 months which is a significant drop in a short horizon of time. Although it’s not the highest one, but certainly rank among them.

Weaker Loonie

“Who wins and who loses when the loonie gets hammered”

Obviously it’s the end customer who will be paying more. Increasing costs are passed on the end customers and if they are earning in CAD, too bad. It’s now happening . Food costs have been expanding for quite a long time. Attire, while regularly made abroad, has a tendency to be evaluated in U.S. dollars and has additionally been getting more costly. So too a first-class thing that Canadians are purchasing in record numbers. Automakers have begun to raise sticker costs on Canadian vehicles.

The Automobile Protection Association says Toyota and Honda, among others, brought costs up in the primary week of January. A few extravagance brands, including Lexus, Acura, and BMW have additionally rolled out improvements to their valuing, with Audi purportedly set to follow in mid-January, the affiliation says. The APA says the greater part of the expansions are unassuming, an additional couple of hundred dollars for every vehicle. Be that as it may, it says Honda has raised the proposed retail cost on its 2015 CRV Touring, all-wheel-drive model by an amount of $750.”Auto organizations will take each open door that they can to expand exchange costs or minimize their introduction to the conversion scale,” says Jason Stein, distributer and supervisor of Automotive News.”We do see costs expanding. We’ve seen costs expanding crosswise over North America. Will they build a smidgen all the more quickly north of the fringe, because of the conversion standard? I believe that is presumably the case.”

It doesn’t cut both ways. Stein, a Canadian who lives in Windsor, and goes for work in Detroit, echoes a portion of the disappointment of some Canadians, who feel automakers were much slower to drop costs in this nation when the Canadian dollar was high. “Interestingly, when the Canadian dollar was over the U.S. dollar, a year, 18 months prior, you didn’t see costs dropping.” Loonie oil costs could fall much even further, Don Pittis said.

A week ago, Apple brought costs up in its Canadian App Store. The 99-penny applications will now cost $1.19 Canadian, a 20 for every penny increment. Different applications under $10 went up by around 15 for every penny. Apple says the expansion is connected to the conversion scale. Different countries feel it as well

However, it’s not every terrible new. The loonie isn’t the main cash falling against the greenback. “This is not imagination of a powerless Canadian dollar story. Some of it is a solid U.S. dollar story,” says BMO’s Porter. “The U.S. dollar is inclining against a considerable measure of monetary standards. So a few things we won’t not be paying significantly more for. For example, a few things from Europe or from Japan, won’t not be going up that much in cost in light of the fact that their monetary forms are additionally debilitating.”

In any case, with the U.S. representing about portion of all Canadian stock imports, the dollar’s doldrums will hit most Canadian shoppers in the wallet.

2016-03-09T16:47:55+00:00March 5th, 2016|

What is your management style ?

Someone asked me a question about my management style. Let me give a disclose that I have not been very good at it and this is the most difficult task that a founder has to encounter.

Management Style

While I am not pro at it, I thought of asking this question from myself for days and came up with following

Ideal management style is a style in which people don’t have to be managed

Now it goes more about the culture where everyone can think themselves accountable. I am lucky to attend lecture by Brad Hams and the way he explained the subject was great.While I recommend his book a lot, I would rephrase his book title as following

Create a culture of accountability, purpose & profitability & eliminate the entitlement feeling.

 

Any one who can master this won’t have to adapt to any culture.

 

Management Style

2016-03-06T15:46:33+00:00November 5th, 2015|

Millennial – Generation of two decades

Everyday, we come across the term “Millenials” or “Generation Y”. Companies/Startups are overusing this term to define their customer base. From just the sound of  it, image    portrayed in mind of a Millenial is a teenager who is snap chatting on his new iPhone with music played on his flashy expensive branded headphones.

However, it’s not quite right.

Kid Snapchatting

Any person born between 1980 – 2000 counts towards Millennial. As of today, it’s the generation aged between 15-35. That’s a difference of two decades.

Millenials

I am personally unable to identify anything that is equally appealing to people between 15-35. This  is the most exciting age bracket &  statistics show that people have already experienced 70% of their AHA moments before the age of 35. Once you cross 35, it gets difficult to change your personality, habits or behaviours.This is the reason why it is lucrative to attract this age bracket while one is learning new things and adapting to new habits.Few of the interesting characteristics are

  • Early adopters – They are OK with being the guinea pig
  • Social – They share their lives publically and not much of a private person
  • Adventure – They take more risk and are not in rush to settle down  
  • Informed – They are probably the most informed generation based on the content they consume

These all characteristics make them ideal customers for a new product that might or might not work, however, remember, they range from a high school kid to a mid-level manager, so it’s a broad market size. In US alone, there are expected to be 80 million millennials. If brands are able to capture their minds before 35, chances of upselling them for rest of their life becomes bright.

Millennial generation

 

I am part of Millennial & you?

2016-03-06T15:46:54+00:00October 27th, 2015|

How to make quick pivotal decisions

 

We have to make trivial decisions on regular basis. Some of those decisions create a deadlock which have impact on other things we do. Everyone advises to go with the instincts and gut feeling but the solutions are so close that it becomes challenging to figure out what do we actually want. As human nature, we like to delay it as much as possible as long as it doesn’t impact the outcome.

When I am in such situation, I use tossing the coin technique. I take out the coin without looking at which side it is tossed with and the moment it’s in the air, I know what I want. I take back the coin without looking at result since I have discovered what decision I am more inclined towards. 

Coin flip decision

Whenever confused between two options, just toss the coin in the air & the moment it’s in the air, you know what do want to do

As soon as the coin gets in the air, it activates the time machine that forces you to figure out your top priorities and based on that, you quickly analyze which option would serve those priorities better. There is absolutely no guarantee that the selection would be right however it will tell you what you want

2016-03-06T15:47:17+00:00October 19th, 2015|

What advice would I give to myself 10 years ago ?

Life is the name of continual motion. My counter is constantly running and I have no control over it. In fact, none of the billions of people walking this earth right now, have any control over this counter. It keeps running and running until one day when it will abruptly stop. That day, life as I know it, will cease to exist.

I enjoy the great outdoors and feel blessed to be living in Ottawa, one of the most beautiful cities I have ever come across. It has natural sanctuaries to help re-build our lost connection with nature. I often longingly gaze at the river and think about how so many people before me have come and gone, yet the river remains. It is majestic and grand and runs free through the city, as it has for many generations.

Like the river, I often wish to run free, free of any socially constructed financially motivated boundaries to really change the world. Millions amongst us wish to leave a deep, meaningful impact on the world, I too wish to give back what the universe has awarded me with.

Next year will mark the end of the third decade of my life. Three decades have passed in a flash. Imagine if I knew as a teen, what I know now. How would the course of my life be different? How would I have a greater impact on this world, on my world?

Live in the moment

Looking back I feel like one of my biggest mistake has been my inability to be completely in the moment. I have either tried to live in the past or with dreams of a brighter, bigger future, whilst ignoring my current, my present, my now. I have missed many moments in life trying to come to terms with the fact that I can’t be everywhere at the same time, I need to be where I am completely in order to live in the moment.

It’s like trying to make a video of the fireworks in front of you. Why not put the phone away for a few minutes, and live in the moment, let the eyes see the world without the filter of your phone in front. Remember, the fireworks won’t last long, but the memories will last decades. No matter how great your camera is, it is not better than your eyes and cannot remember moments with their feelings, like the mind can. So Next time you are watching the fireworks, live in the moment and create memories.

Fireworks

Life is a counter. At this very moment, you are the youngest you will ever be, so live this unique moment and create memories, not videos.

 

P.S. Nobody likes to watch a video of last year’s fireworks that you made on your phone =)

What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago?

2016-03-06T15:48:28+00:00October 15th, 2015|

Love vs Lust

Once in a while, we get attracted to different things including cause, person or a vision. It is difficult to differentiate between lust and love at first because they both have the same passion and sentiments. With the passage of time, it becomes difficult to keep the same sentiments over an extended period of time. We all are humans and sentiments make or break us. We have to invest resources such as time, money and emotions for a better future but mostly we are unsure if this is the right use of our time. No one can predict the future accurately however it is fairly easy to assess the present.

Love increases with time and lust decreases with time

This is a good parameter to measure if it’s love or lust. If you are more excited about your product on daily basis then you are heading in the right direction and if it’s the other way around, it’s time to rethink if this is what you want to do in your life. There are rough patches in everything, but during rough patches it should bring you closer to the things you love rather than creating distances.

In tough times, you want to be with your loved one and far from lust

It’s never a good move to follow lust but love. You have to be passionate about what you do, else with the passage of time, you will get drained. If you are getting drained, you are not in due to the passion for some other reason.It’s fine as long as you know that!

 

2016-03-06T15:48:12+00:00September 27th, 2015|

Finding best remote worker / freelancer

All of us have tried to outsource our work at some point. It is a very difficult process to communicate your requirements and get the work of your choice in such situations. There are multiple reasons to fail but mainly it is poor communication & lack of commitment from both ends. It is very hard to initiate and maintain long distance relations.

Here is one technique that I use while picking the right remote worker/freelancer.

– Write a job description that you would generally write for a specific task

– Scout 6 people for the same task

– Analyze all of them & pick up the top 3

– Write another task & give it to the top 3

– Analyze & pick the top 2

– Write another task & give it to both of them

– Analyze & judge if you found the winner

– Repeat the last step by giving another task

– If the choice remains same, you found your gem

– If not, go for one more and pick the one who was best twice

You found the best talent. It might look an expensive exercise, but the cost of wrong hire is multiples of what you are going to spend in this exercise. It will also help you in improving communications.

This technique should work with local in-house staff too, but it might screw up the culture if you are a startup.

 

2016-03-06T15:47:55+00:00April 3rd, 2015|