16 August 2019

The Power of Moments

I was recommended this book in a CEO gathering about six months back. Finally dusted it up and got it in my daily reading routine. Fairly light reading with some occasional bouts of great wisdom. And lots of examples that you can quote in parties to impress folks – assuming you attend those kind of parties! Definitely will recommend this book.

Some of the things that you will learn include how our past memories are not recorded in a very uniform manner. It is predominantly the peak moments, the pit moments and most importantly the transitions (often the ending). As I sat down and thought about a lot of things I remember from the past – and somehow, I remember a lot of them – most fit in that model.

In fact most of the “memorable” moments for us are major transition moments that happen within a short period of our life – perhaps from graduating from high school to having the last child. The book actually talks about how to make life more memorable by creating more “transition” moments deliberately.

Also, you will learn about the “oddball effect” when it comes to committing something to memory – how the element of surprise somehow elongates our perception of time!

There are some great pointers for business too. Especially in the area of customer service. One thing I learnt (thinking back, it makes total sense) is that businesses ought not to strive to create a completely complaint-free service – just an extraordinary service one. Makes you think about the marginal investments in product and customer service in a very different way.

Like I said before, definitely a recommendation to read.

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13 August 2019

Meeting Chandra after nearly 2 decades

My last recollection of Chandra was in the i2 days at the turn of the century. Those were the glory days of supply chain, internet boom, nightly regression tests and C++ Templates!! I still remember him as the person coming up with all sorts of new and innovative ideas. And of a very gentle and patient demeanor.

Subsequently, our lifeline to keep in touch was the annual birthday calls. Last week, I had called him like clockwork to wish him when I realized that he actually works literally a few miles away from where I work in Chicago area! And that is how the dinner this evening happened.

He looks the same and his demeanor is the same. What was remarkable is how deep his wisdom runs now. An unapologetic entrepreneur (third successful start up now), he is brimming with stories of what all he has failed in. You can barely get him to talk about all the successes he has had. His stories of what he would do different are amazing anecdotes of true humility and sincere willingness to learn.

We spent quite some time talking thru our respective learnings from the various career phases we have had.

Chandra, let’s meet many more times. You can help me understand what I have learnt from life a lot more than I can do by myself!!

10 August 2019

From the bartender’s corner – Division Bell

I got this from Food and Wine magazine where they featured New York’s renowned bartender Phil Ward. This cocktail was one of the signature ones when Mayahuel opened in East Village.

Mezcal, Aperol, Maraschino Liqueur and Lime juice. I am not usually a mezcal cocktail person (like it neat), but this was somewhat of an exception. Loved the bitterness as well as the earthy tones that got stronger the more you held the sip in the mouth. I am also not a big citrus (lime specially) person in my drinks. The prescribed proportions was too much for me. I will go with far less on the next one.