Turn off your imagination button please

This was inspired from a TED talk by Dan Gilbert - the happiness expert. He talks about what makes us unhappy and comes up with some startling conclusions.

Did you know that  for almost any disastrous event in our life - going to jail, business going bankrupt,  loss of a loved one etc. - the unhappiness goes away in less than 3 months.

We may still be in jail, still broke and still without love. But empirical data shows, happiness reverts back to original levels.

Unless! Unless we keep our loss alive in our imagination by revisiting it. Perhaps again and again.

But first the comic ..

Who needs to learn from this?

All of us who have many many choices. All of us, who have well developed, fully evolved, pre-frontal cortex s.

We can inadvertently make ourselves unhappy, if we don't consciously turn off our 'imagination' button, when it is not required.

Team building is best done by the manager of the team

Real team building is all about strengthening the team's heart

Amy Cuddy TED talk - Your body language shapes who you are

This is from a TED Talk by Amy Cuddy (@amyjccuddy, HBS). Her talk, 'Your body language shapes who you are' is one of the most listened TED talks. The talk is here.

The fire that a startup needs ..

The fire that a startup needs, may not be felt equally by everyone in the new team.

If people have joined for the money or the stature. If suddenly the scale is so big that the big picture is hazy. Even if the affection has gone missing.

Then it can begin to seem hollow. Especially, once success is on the way.

The only reliable way to stay focused is to think beyond yourself, from day 1.
  • I am serving this customer
  • I am solving this problem
Take your pick and place your tick - on either or both. But if you don't, then the fire won't !

Stimulation of the Economy

Best place to do startups, is Bangalore these days

Bangalore is the right place to do a startup, these days.

No no. It is not because this place is under the VC radar. Or because to find people with right skillset, you just need to chat up with a few strangers at the Big Bazaar.

It is because of the traffic. Bangalore traffic builds you to be a successful entrepreneur, so that you just can not fail.

As you are driving in the morning have you seen an opening no wider than just a few inches on either side of your car and have you just stayed safe? Of course not. You would never reach office at that rate. What do you do? Of course you edge in. 

You do what you have to do and let the Gods do what they have to do.

Bangalore traffic teaches you to trust in the higher powers and take risks. This is one of the best pre-requisites for being an entrepreneur. Isn't it?

But this is not all.

Have you noticed that no one honks in the traffic anymore. In fact, you can tell immediately that the newbie is from a smaller town, if you are unfortunate enough to find him honking behind you, while you wait for the light to turn green.

Guess why? Because Bangalore traffic also teaches you to focus on the essentials. You have learnt that honking does not help. When there is no where to go, no place to go. When you are truly jammed in, what use is a horn? Yes we are talking about each and every traffic light but then Bangalore traffic is here to teach you, not to amuse you.

Your friend from college calls you. Hey buddy, How are you? It has been ten years.  Lets meet today evening? You do a quick calculation. No this one is not going to be useful to me in my startup. And she is 5 kilometers away.  That means one hour going. One hour coming. Chuck it. And so you make your excuse. There you are! Bangalore traffic has once again taught you to prioritize and focus only on the essentials. A key skill for a budding entrepreneur, I would say.

Ok Stop! What is the most important thing to an entrepeneur? Why customers ofcourse. And what makes customers happy? When they find delight in small things. Can you give someone delight in small things, without having it experienced it yourself? Ofcourse not. Now cut to an empty stretch on a Bangalore road. Yes Yes such a thing does exist. What does it give you? Delight! So bangalore traffic teaches you to find delight in small things. This enables you to create delight for your customers, even in small things.

In case this sounds convoluted, don't worry too much about it. Purchase decisions are not much different either.

So you have been waiting in line for the light to turn green for the 5th time. Have you given up hope? No! Bangalore traffic also teaches you the virtues of patience, without having to go through a lifetime of hardship. At age 30, you can be seasoned enough to wait things out better than most 50 year olds anywhere else in the world - because the traffic here has painstakingly taught you patience!

I know you are probably wanting to get on to your knees and thank the traffic for all that it has to give to you, but there is a small problem. The doors from both sides are jammed in, with the bikes standing just next to you.

Better luck next time!