Why Do I Do What I Do ?

[ Warning/Disclaimer: This post is an exercise in self-analysis/narcissism, depending on how you look at it. It if helps clear someone's thought, great.]

I'm dabbling in multiple interests right now. 

Linger kicked off the experimentation with hospitality - and there might be more happening soon. I'm enjoying the experience - there's a lot of product management, online marketing, brand building involved and the smiles on people's faces when they experience a good thing is a huge reward.

The consulting on Product Strategy and Execution continues at its own pace, with a lot of interesting conversations, numerous interesting problems to solve. There's been some good outcomes already, and the learning is very fulfilling. 

Then there's the non-career interests that keep life's spark going. There's already a serious enough effort that goes into managing one's finances and running the household amidst all this.

Most of the above are either non-remunerative, or not paying too much right now :) And it goes against the common wisdom of being focused, doing one thing with no distractions etc. Is it the right thing to do ? There are regular jobs in great Product companies and teams that are available, and lucrative. So why this ? Its not just a rhetorical question - its also what I ask myself, if just to keep the head clear each time a major offer comes along that I have to say no to!

I've kind of hypothesized that I am happier, more productive, useful and agreeable when I do multiple things. Reflecting upon my past life - its also clear I've always been that way! Its also one reason I loved the whole startup experience though it did not bring monetary rewards of any sort. As an aside, its also become very clear to me that the $$ dream is not something I can ever chase for its own sake.

The current mode of living/working (at least as long as I can sustain it) gives me a lot of freedom to push my own boundaries. I had zilch experience in hospitality, for instance - but that sort of starting point has so far worked in my favour even in the tech jobs I have done. It helps create and interact with an amazing network of people from whom I learn, understand everyday. My skills have gotten a strong real world flavour added on to them. And I am now beginning to question a few beliefs about certain things I has assumed I would never (be able) to do. 

Sure, at some point the focus on one of the multiple activities might sharpen, and the time devoted it it might increase. But as of now, I'm enjoying it all, having fun being able to do it all, and will let one pick me, rather than the other way around.

Posted via email from bangalorekaapi

You got 20 years more. To live, or learn.


Sounds like paranoid scare-mongering ? His last round of 'predictions' would have too. But its not that tough to imagine, given the collective state of denial our species has adopted! Be it water, or energy, we refuse to challenge and relook at "life as we know it" and every little battle between convenience and effort towards making a change is lost to the former.

While its probably true that the tipping point might have been reached a while ago, but hey, we gotta try something. At the least, it'll help us adapt more to living a different life - where a lot we take for granted will not be available - easy water, boundless fuel, flights over Europe. We are already paying for the mass produced excessive lifestyle invented and marketed by the last couple of generations, and our kids and theirs will pay the most for it.

Enjoy it while you can, to whatever extent you can. Or learn to grow some food, water, and live with erratic weather real quick.

Posted via email from bangalorekaapi

Aviation Crutches, and Lessons From The Ash

The unpronounceable (by most) place where the unexpected volcanic eruption spews unwelcome volcanic ash is all over the news.

It scared the airlines who didn't want to lose planes, people.
It left people "stranded" all across the world, since so many could not take a flight into/out of Europe.
It lay bare the fragility of businesses that are perpetually on the edge, operationally. Not healthy!
It forced people to take boats, trains, buses, connections. Meet other people.
It generated bookfulls of stories and experiences. So many people lived a little more.
It forced people to think local in terms of food, produce.
It forced a little humility into mankinds sense of control, conceit.

I think we need a 5 day outage every year!

Posted via email from bangalorekaapi

The Mantri Mall : Have We Gone Nuts ?


This is incredible. First they plan, permit and actually build a gigantic Mall in the worst possible location. And then immediately throw tantrums with a sense of entitlement! They want space for a 1000 more cars, and sorry bus folks, you're not welcome here.

(click on the above pic for the Bangalore Mirror article)

The sense of priorities is so clear, and so screwed up.

We don't need parks.
Or bus stops.

We need malls.
And more parking for private cars.
So we can all drive more and more and more and more of us can do it.
So we choke the damn air with carbon.
And to hell with buses, pedestrians, cycles,
And to hell with perspective.
We need more selling, and more buying.

Damn, I might start sounding like a left-leaning bozo. But the truth is, this sense of entitlement on top of extreme short-sightedness, chasing the wrong set of goals and the blind belief in the glitz people have seen someplace without understanding the implications is beginning to get to me.

I do not expect better of Mantri and other developers, cause they'd rather do this, but all ye others who are responsible for the city, and profess love for it, whither ?

Posted via email from bangalorekaapi

Its probably just age

But I do not enjoy 20-20 cricket at all. A 50 over innings leaves some scope for swings of fortunes, building up an innings, strategizing, and recovering from a few bad overs. IPL has totally failed to keep me hooked, despite the odd match. Test cricket these days is very interesting too -  not that fewer teams are playing defensively.

Similarly, the whole iPad (and earlier, iPhone) wave has not caught my fancy at all. I mean - whatever. Its just a device, world, and get on woth your lives please. Nokia still makes better phones (though God knows why they're trying to play everyone else's games). And cool lasts only so long. Here we are, overburdened with info on our existing devices already. Do we really want more pain without figuring out better, easier ways to use/consume/reject this info overload at the right levels without totally losing our lives inside the maze.

Probably just getting old, huh ?

Posted via email from bangalorekaapi

Water : Its already happening!

Just go through these:


Its not an in-the-future crisis anymore. We've not only been shortsighted, we're being blind now. The neon, glitz and civic cynicism have pushed us into more or less a denial mode where we rarely put this on our individual priorities, following which collective effort is lacking as well, and are ever-ready to pounce upon any argument that wonders if this is just a bogie being raised by doomsday scenario advocates.

I, for one, am worried. Very. Both about the crisis, and about our continued irresponsible, consumerist attitude towards something thats not just a need and right, but our responsibility as well.

Posted via email from bangalorekaapi