Monthly Archives: July 2015

Cry Knowledge, Cry Wolf

Knowledge is wolf in wisdom’s clothing #MondayMorningWakeUpCall


Beware the wolf who cries knowledge

Charles Spurgeon, an 18th century British Baptist Preacher explains my MondayMorningWakeUpCall beautifully. He says, “Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great than a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom”

We laud people who can quote facts, figures and aphorisms. We applaud people who seem to know the GDP, foreign policy, capital and currency of countries we never knew existed. We glorify people whose vast knowledge lives can pledge.

Knowledge has become (probably has always been) a measure of a person’s intelligence. But if you truly deeply madly ponder over how knowledge about the world at large really helps you as an individual, you might not come up with a better answer than “to avoid being perceived as a dumb bimbette if I cannot converse on a topic.” At least I couldn’t come up with a better answer.

How else does it matter if you don’t know what the Vyapam scam is about, who won the IPL or woe betide, who’s the President of India other than being judged as the uncoolest of dinosaurs, the ignoramasaurus.

Case to point – before judging Alia Bhatt as an ignoramasaurus on her infamous response on Koffee with Karan (President of India is Prithviraj Chavan), it might be helpful to remind yourself that she probably earns more than you do, is more famous than you might ever be, and is making a living doing what she loves.

Even Sherlock Holmes, or at least Arthur C. Doyle shares the same view point (I would presume from a dialogue exchange between Holmes and Watson)

Sherlock Holmes: Look, it doesn’t matter to me who’s prime minister, or who’s sleeping with who…

Dr. Watson: [quietly] Or whether the Earth goes round the Sun.

Sherlock Holmes: Oh God that again. It’s not important.

Dr. Watson: Not important? It’s primary school stuff. How can you not know that?

I am not advocating ignorance. If any topic/subject impacts you directly in your personal or professional life, then yes it is worthwhile delving deeper in the subject to appear erudite. After all, if you’re working as a Digital marketing professional and you are clueless about ‘periscope’, then you know why you didn’t ace that job interview.

Nor am I discouraging satiating your curiosity across any inane minutiae even if it may kill you.

But I am advocating questioning the precious time you spend on filling your mind with worthless junk (news in my mind is the unhealthiest of them all). After all, if you see time like I do, as a diminishing commodity, then I would rather spend it on improving my ‘knowledge’ on my vocation and nonsense that may help lead a more productive and fulfilling life, rather than on life, the universe and everything (cos the answer anyway is 42)

In fact, long before Google was a verb, Einstein figured “I don’t need to know everything, I just need to know where to find it.”

The potty of gold

Why chase a phantasmal pot when you can be a zot #MondayMorningWakeUpCall

Sing even if you can’t sell your songs

Paint even if there’s no one to purchase your paintings

Love even if it is a love that is lost

Write even if no one reads your rhymes

Race even if you reap no rewards

Once you experience the joy of singing, painting, loving, writing, racing, doing just about anything simply for the love of it, you lose yourself in your labour. It is when you become one with your vocation and time ceases to exist.

And when you experience the magic of oneness, it’s unlikely that you will crave the phantasmal pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Which sometimes even turns out to be more like a potty of gold.

The rainbow itself becomes the reward.

Going from Zer0 to 0ne

The more we compete, the less we gain – Peter Thiel #MondayMorningWakeUpCall

Zero to One

Blue Apples – They not only keep the doctor away, you will also never have to brush a single day

Pop Quiz: What’s common between driving in traffic and driving a startup?

Answer: If you can pull yourself away from the crowd, your speed (and probability) of reaching the destination on time becomes (exponentially) higher. And what’s more, it comes sans the stress of a rat race.

The epiphany came to me when I was on my way to Pune last week, reading ‘Zer0 to 0ne’ by Peter Thiel (Paypal Co-founder) during the drive. In a particular section of the book Peter talks about the benefits of building a monopolistic company, which is, a company building so much value in its niche that it literally rules the market. This is in contrast to building a company in a crowded space amidst cut-throat competition by just re-packaging the same offerings, which is more likely to lead to everyone (or at least most) losing in the long run and sometimes even the short run.

Much like driving sans traffic vis-à-vis bumper traffic as I fathomed during my journey experience in my drive to Pune. For a change, I managed to leave well on time, at 7am, well ahead of the rush hour. I not only cut down my usual travel time by an hour (30%) by pulling myself away from the rush hour crowd, I also not once had stressed out during the journey to make time. Instead I soaked in the lush green scene en route and daydreamed about how to take Skillzot from 0 to 1.

To explain this simply, instead of fighting for apples from the same tree where half a dozen people are pulling each other’s hair and moustache to grab the most succulent apples, why not you plant an apple tree that gives blue apples, apples that will keep the doctor away, and, you can also promise your customer that she will never have to brush a single day.

Of course you could argue that making blue apples isn’t easy, maybe even impossible. But then again, is competing with blunt daggers any less difficult?

The idea here is that competing in a crowded market will at best lead to only incremental benefits. You can pull yourself exponentially ahead of a crowded market by creating new things that will make the future not just different, but better – to go from 0 to 1.

I got news for you!

Sun is shining and so are you #MondayMorningWakeUpCall

Axwell & Ingrosso, members of erstwhile Swedish House Mafia, seem to be making a habit of belting out galvanizing high energy EDM songs to stir us and spur us on to “Come out and play”. Right from their Swedish House Mafia days of ‘Don’t You Worry Child” to “Save The World” to the current ones in their new duo avatar – “Something New” and their latest “Sun Is Shining”, it seems to be more by design then by accident.

Whether it’s by design because they see world changing possibilities by way of individual change through music or because it makes for better business or a combination of both it, I’m not nit-picking. As long as it aligns itself with a greater cause of ‘waking up people on Monday mornings’ (or what the heck, any morning for that matter), I’m a fan.

Thank you Axwell & Ingrosso for your unwitting support to #MondayMorningWakeUpCall J