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Compounding returns of intelligence - Peter Thiel’s CS183 class notes

Replace “Stanford” with any top university/college in India and “Google” with tier-1 IT companies, it still holds true -

"We tend to massively underestimate the compounding returns of intelligence. As humans, we need to solve big problems. If you graduate Stanford at 22 and Google recruits you, you’ll work a 9-to-5. It’s probably more like an 11-to-3 in terms of hard work. They’ll pay well. It’s relaxing. But what they are actually doing is paying you to accept a much lower intellectual growth rate. When you recognize that intelligence is compounding, the cost of that missing long-term compounding is enormous. They’re not giving you the best opportunity of your life. Then a scary thing can happen: You might realize one day that you’ve lost your competitive edge. You won’t be the best anymore. You won’t be able to fall in love with new stuff. Things are cushy where you are. You get complacent and stall”

- Stephen Cohen, in a Peter Thiel’s CS183 class notes.(blakemasters.com/peter-thiels-cs183-startup).

Exodus from Infosys?

This started in early 2012 (I was one among the first set of people who left in 2011/2012) and people (inside and outside) are waking up to the fact just now (in 2014).

As Ben Horowitz would say “TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLE, THE PRODUCTS, AND THE PROFITS— IN THAT ORDER.” What is happening is just that, somewhere down the line the order got inverted

Indeed very sad. Hope to watch Infosys regain its lost glory.

And the first step in moving forward and making progress is to accept that you have screwed up and take responsibility.

On ‘Spy’ software news - Trust Begets Trust. Enough Said.

#1: http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/leaving-the-dream-infosys-battles-worker-exodus/article1-1218060.aspx

#2: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/infosys-employee-upset-over-software-meant-to-spy-on-them/article1-1166174.aspx

#3: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/leaving-the-dream-infosys-battles-worker-exodus/471186-7.html

Too little Too late?

Steven Pressfield on Publishing his first book

"I never did find a buyer for the book. Or the next one, either. It was ten years before I got the first check for something I had written and ten more before a novel, The Legend of Bagger Vance, was actually published. But that moment when I first hit the keys to spell out THE END was so epochal. I remember rolling the last page out and adding it to the stack that was the finished manuscript. Nobody knew I was done. Nobody cared. But I knew. I felt like a dragon I’d been fighting all my life had just dropped dead at my feet and gasped out its last sulfuric breath.”

- Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

256KBPS is broadband in India

I stumbled upon this today. TRAI - regulator of telecommunication in India - has classified 256 KBPS connectivity as Broadband.

” Broadband connectivity is defined at present as
An ‘always-on’ data connection that is able to support interactive services including Internet access and has the capability of the minimum download speed of 256 kilo bits per second (kbps) to an individual subscriber from the Point Of Presence (POP) of the service provider intending to provide Broadband service……” - http://www.trai.gov.in/Content/broadband_policy.aspx

Earlier in October 2013, they had classified 512 KBPS connectivity (from 256 KBPS) as broadband. This year, they have downgraded further and in fact, dialed it back to what it was before October 2013.

This is no where near - “2 MBPS connectivity is broadband” - what Dayanidhi Maran, the then IT minister had promised in 2007. Since then, many ministers have come and gone and yet we are still in ‘Dial up’ age.

Anne Lamott explaining process of writing

"People tend to look at successful writers, writers who are getting books published and maybe even doing well financially, and think that they sit down at their desks every morning feeling like a million dollars, feeling great about who they are and how much talent they have and what a great story they have to tell; that they take a few deep breaths, push back their sleeves, roll their necks a few times to get all the cricks out, and dive in, typing fully formed passages as fast as a court reporter. But this is just fantasy of the uninitiated. I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts… For me and most other writers I know, writing is not rapturous. If fact, the only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts.”

—Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

Ira Glass - his long struggle to create something noteworthy

"Ira Glass is the host and executive producer of the popular National Public Radio show, This American Life.

Each week, This American Life is broadcast to more than 1.7 million listeners across 500 different radio stations. For Glass, who is featured in almost every episode, the show has led to a wide range of opportunities including book deals, feature films, and appearances on popular television shows.

Of course, it wasn’t always that way.

Check out how Ira Glass describes his long struggle to create something noteworthy.” [http://jamesclear.com/ira-glass-failure]


David and Goliath

"We are all of us not merely liable to fear, we are also prone to be afraid of being afraid. But conquering of fear produces exhilaration. When we have been afraid that we may panic in air-raid and when it has happened, we have exhibited a calm exterior. The contrast between the previous apprehension and the present relief and feeling of security promotes a self-confidence that is the very father and mother of courage.”

- J T MacCurdy quoted this on how Londoners reacted to Germany’s Blitzkrieg

In the fall of 1940, during second world war, the long-anticipated attack on London began. Over a period of eight months - beginning with 57 consecutive nights of devastating bombardment - German bombers thundered across the skies above London,dropping thousands of high-explosive bombs and more than a million incendiary devices. 47,000 people were killed and 46,000 injured. A million buildings were damaged. In the city’s East end, entire neighborhoods were laid waste. It was everything the British government officials had feared - except that every one of their predictions about how Londoners would react turned out to be wrong.

- David and Goliath.