Gaurang's Blogs

Learnings from Vinod Khosla

Vinod Khosla is an Indian-born American engineer and businessman. Khosla is listed by Forbes magazine as a billionaire.[1] Khosla made his early fortune as one of the co-founders of Sun Microsystems, where he was the founding CEO and chairman in the early 1980s.
 
Following are some of the learnings from him which were shared by him at the Stanford's Leadership Panel Discussion Session: 
 
Making things happen, things in which you believe. They wont always come true but many of the times they will. 
Things do work out! People are nice and they will accommodate and support you! 
 
Datadump was the first company by Vinod Khosla which also got funded. It didn't work out and that's okay. After that, he co-founded Sun Microsystems. 
 
The point is, people, don't remember your failures and willingness to fail gives you the ability to succeed. Anything worth doing is hard. Failure doesn't matter, success matters - everyone remembers the success.
 
Vinod Khosla started his first company in Delhi in 20. He was 19/20 when he was told that it would take 7 years to get the landline connection in Delhi ( there was a long waiting list ).  He sort of picked up and moved to CMU. 
 
He knew he had to be in the USA and he didn't have much money so he figured out how someone can pay for it, and that the scholarship which he got for his studies ( Bio-medical engineering department of CMU offered scholarship and further moved to Stanford after that. )
 
With enough persistence, most of the impossible things become possible. 
 
You can turn things around when you stop taking NO as an answer for things you want dearly. Whatever the goal is, have the conviction and work on it. 
 
When you can't convince them, confuse them. Identifying what you want, and getting it any how. 
 
Having a belief system - what do you actually believe in. 90% of people will do what they are expected to do as opposed to what they want to do. Considering your time as valuable and using at the places where you truly want to spend on or else you will wonder what the heck you are doing with your life. 
 
Having guts to believe in your belief system - he will consider his time well spent. 
 
Leadership is to know what you believe in. Follow that compass - of your belief system. 
 
Here's where are different and here's how we will go. Everyone, be it an individual or an organisation, everyone needs it. 
 
Doing irrational things which syncs with your belief system, Apple was struggling for years and then Steve Jobs came in and made Apple the most valuable company in the world! 
Having belief systems, and constantly pursuing it! 
 
Unqualified people shouldn't comment on things they don't understand or which is away from their circle of competence/ belief system. Like English Majors commenting on what will be top future technology. They just cannot understand things that easily. They need proper guidance and must work on their areas of strengths. 
 
Having the confidence to speak truth - people will appreciate that. 
 
Time slots of activities are divided into 15 minutes. Dividing whole day into chunks and then working on things at an optimal rate of yours.
 
Having the luxury of doing what you want by not having a job. Get to do things which you want to do. 
 
The learning experience of the startup whether it is successful or not is valuable. Learning the culture of the silicon valley and how it enhances the personality. 
 
Earning the right of advising by doing the things yourself. For example working as a Angel Investor and advising the entrepreneurs and startups while the Investor herself hasn't done/ worked with any startup. 
 
Writing off the investments mentally and then seeing the upside of earning in multiples out of your investments. 
 
Know what you want to do. Matching your activities with your personality. 
 
In startups, there are 90% chance of failure. Risk taking is absolutely important. 
 
In the edges where there are uncertainties, there is hope of evolution and all the interesting possibilities lie there! Unless you are there and learning fast to be there and that's where new things are happening. All that happens at the edge. 
 
Being in edges, the probability of failure is really high but it will give you exponential growth. People majorly reduce the possibility of failure to increase the success rate but the consequence of success is very little as compared to increasing the risk of failure to reduce the success rate. It is a lot fun!
 
Forecasting the future, being there! Being there the Puck is going to be at! 
The probability of getting the forecasts right by any analyst from McK, Bain is similar and small. Explore the edges yourself, what's going to be revolutionary in next 10-15 years and going there!
 
It's about having the point of view, belief system.
 
5% people are needed to make the change in the society. 
 
Less than 100 people will influence the entire society in different areas of society. They will have their internal compass and they won't refer the external forecasts. 
 
Support belief system - deciding what you want to do in future. VK was 16 when he started coding in IIT Delhi. 
Core belief system was to work on interesting things ( which has the major impact ) where ever he goes. Focusing on impact.
 
Keep on doing interesting things throughout your life, building, investing in great companies which are doing great impactful things and not just doing transactional investments. 
 
Being proud of your failures, as it is the stepping stone. Probably you will have more failures than your success but that one success will be memorable and no one cares about the data dumps. 
 
Quotes:
  • Try to fail but don't fail to try!
  • Only those who can fail greatly can succeed greatly! ( Example of Elon Musk )

Book Recommendations:

 
What matters to you: It is cook to disrupt things to impact. Taking new things/ projects. Knowing you can make impact the industry is rewarding.
 
Pursue hot challenges and working towards all odds. Having the possible impact! 
 
Family is important. Monthly report of all time spent on things, classifying time in different categories. Every month you need a report to check what's happening with your time! 
 
Decide the priorities and measure them. Be disciplined. 
 

Points to remember While construction:

Recently we got our house constructed and it was such a tedious work. Construction lasted for months and we rented out a home to ensure that we don't have to worry about all the dust and noise. 
Like any project, getting home constructed wasn't a easy feat as there were so many things we weren't aware of. But its like everyone has to struggle for the first time. 
 
Following are some of the points to remember ( I am not aware of many Englist words so leave comments so that I can improve it further ):
  • Rodi should be even - with tool.
  • Agreement has to be in writing with the Contractor. 
  • Parafeet is a must and the contractor will construct it too.
  • He should write every aspect of construction in the agreement. 
  • Construction linked payment. 50% payment upto lanture.
  • Taraaai - who will do that — Own or them? 
  • Grill will be done by constructor 
  • Sand dust should be cleaned / net before using for plastering. ( 4 sand/2 dust/1 cement ) 
  • Water tank base - the cost has to be included. - we paid extra. 
  • Monty wall has to be 9” not 4.5”.
  • The ratio of stone dust should be higher for strengthening.
  • Breakup - Payment should be fragmented - modular - cost of each work has to be mapped out. 
  • If the outer walls are ( on L & R ) are not having any support, they must be plastered for more strength.
  • The water tank should be at height as it needs good potential energy for maintaining pressure ( whats the upper bound?) - that’s for 2nd floor
  • Individual pipelines should be available for every floor from the water tank so that they remain independent. 
  • Horizontal beam should be more to accommodate unanticipated additional load which can be added in the future on the lanture. 
  • Slope of the floors is critical to review. 
  • All payments should be made using cheque and countersigned by both parties. 
  • Modular kitchen — Stones + Stone Slab will be adjusted.
  • Air removing Machine / Vibrator for lanture + concrete mixer machine payment will be done by contractor + cost of INR 700 water tank 
 

Investigate before you Invest

 
Becoming an investor is easy. Have thousands of millions of bucks and then find a place to invest in. Without diligence however, you might lose a fortune while investing. Therefore investing carelessly, without proper knowledge isn’t investing but trying your luck in lottery. You might find a multi-bagger but that’s not something you can repeat nor you can find logical steps to achieve in future. 
 
Something similar happened to me. I took advise of a fellow investor and bought shares of Aarvee Denims which is a Jeans manufacturer in Ahmedabad. This company earned 100% more profits than previous year ( 2015 v/s 2016 ) and therefore it received good response from investors and everyone was bullish seeing growth of 10% in 2 days. 
 
On the day of Diwali, it jumped 10% again and therefore it was a time for blast for everyone.
 

 

But ever since then, the shares started declining 20% and stayed there fore about 4 months until an accident happened and employees got hospitalised. A month after another tragedy happened and soon pollution board sealed the company and therefore business operations in the major plant were shut down. 
 
Their brand image, assets, production / manufacturing, everything suffered. Due to which the share prices sunk to 70% of the 52 high level which is dangerous for every investor of that organisation.
 
I suffered the loss of 60% in that transaction and it was first time to face such profound loss but now I have a story to share that never again I would repeat this kind of ignorance and I promise to be an active investor and will know INs and OUTs of the company I invest in. 
 

 
 
Had I been aware, have been following social media - specific to that company, I would have known that this particular company was in news for all wrong reasons but I continued to be an ignorant investor who just invests and sleeps for a while to take up to see his portfolio reducing to ashes. So whenever you see people claiming how wealth is growth over the times passively or those you tells you the magic of compounding returns, just ignore them blindly. Ignorance and passiveness is never fancy and is sign of laziness. Be informed about your investments, study them deeply. That's exactly what I am going to do from now. 
 
So on the Independence day of India, I swear to get independence from ignorance and ignorant state of mind - while buying shares. I won't touch shares of the company which don't fall in my circle of competance and I will be perpetually working on going deeper into it and expanding the size of competance.
 
I will also spend significant time in devouring the annual reports of the companies I will track to understand the values / vision of the promoters as they alone have the power to make or break the company.

 

My life's principles

Doesn’t matter how sad you are / how screwed up your life, you have to be a brave heart and continuously fight for what you have been dreaming for years. 

No compromises, chase whatever you want and die getting it ( goals matter, glories does, failure is just a stepping stone ). 

 

My life is an eternal struggle, quest to make my baby startup the almighty.

A-Z of Digital Marketing

A for AdWords
B for Blogging
C for Content
D for DNS
E for Email
F for Facebook
G for Google
H for Heatmaps
I for Impressions
J for Javascript
K for Keywords
L for Link
M for Monetization
N for Notification
O for Optimization
P for PPC
Q for Quora
R for Ranking
S for Search
T for Traffic
U for Usability
V for Visitors
W for Website
X for XML
Y for YouTube
Z for Zoho
 

Financial Markets | Becoming an Investor

Investing Ideas- Sourcing from everyone. 
Meeting greatest investors around - identify and learn and brainstorm and do some project / investments together
 
The game is not zero sum. When a friend and I chop down a tree, and build a house from it, the house has value, far greater than the value of a standing tree. Our labor has turned into something of value.
 
In theory, a company starts from an idea, and offers either a good or service to create value. There are scams that make it seem like a Vegas casino. There are times a stock will trade for well above what it should. When I buy the S&P index at a fair price for 1000 (through an etf or fund) and years later it's 1400, the gain isn't out of someone else's pocket, else the amount of wealth in the world would be fixed and that's not the case.
 
Over time, investors lag the market return for multiple reasons, trading costs, bad timing, etc. Statements such as "90% lose money" are hyperbole meant to separate you from your money. A self fulfilling prophesy.
 
The question of lagging the market is another story - I have no data to support my observation, but I'd imagine that well over 90% lag the broad market. A detailed explanation is too long for this forum, but simply put, there are trading costs. If I invest in an S&P ETF that costs .1% per year, I'll see a return of say 9.9% over decades if the market return is 10%. Over 40 years, this is 4364% compounded, vs the index 4526% compounded, a difference of less than 4% in final wealth. There are load funds that charge more than this just to buy in (5% anyone?).
 
Lagging by a small fraction is a far cry from 'losing money.'
 
There is an annual report by a company named Dalbar that tracks investor performance. For the 20 year period ending 12/31/10 the S&P returned 9.14% and Dalbar calculates the average investor had an average return of 3.83%. Pretty bad, but not zero. Since you don't cite a particular article or source, there may be more to the story. Day traders are likely to lose. As are a series of other types of traders in other markets, Forex for one.
 
While your question may be interesting, its premise of "many experts say...." without naming even one leaves room for doubt.
 
Note - I've updated the link for the 2015 report. And 4 years later, I see that when searching on that 90% statistic, the articles are about day traders. That actually makes sense to me.
 
For some studies on why investors make the decisions they do, check out
 
Kahneman, D., & Riepe, M. (1998). Aspects of investor psychology. The Journal of Portfolio Management, 24 , 52-65.
For a more readable, though less rigorous, look at it, also consider Kahneman's recent book, "Thinking, Fast and Slow", which includes the two companion papers written with Tversky on prospect theory.
 
In certain segments (mostly trading) of the investing industry, it is true that something like 90% of investors lose money. But only in certain narrow segments (and most folks would rightly want traders to be counted as a separate beast than an 'investor').
 
In most segments, it's not true that most investors lose money, but it still is true that most investors exhibit consistent biases that allow for mispricing. I think that understanding the heuristics and biases approach to economics is critical, both because it helps you understand why there are inefficiencies, and also because it helps you understand that quantitative, principled investing is not voodoo black magic; it's simply applying mathematics for the normative part and experimental observations for the descriptive part to yield a business strategy, much like any other way of making money.
 
Investors grow over time. Pick the right stocks and stick to them. They will eventually grow.
Mapping all companies which are getting listed or not and then calculating their worth over time and projecting those. Understand all technologies being used by wall street and how can their softwares / algorithms / technologies be brought in India and leveraged.
 
People who dont buy judicially regret and face massive losses and also they never invest again in their lifetime. Stock market is a magical place where a poor can become rich over time and a billionaire can end up going bankrupt in no time. 
 
Every investor has their own unique journey and it is indeed a journey to amass great fortune or lose it over time.
 
Only risk you take in equity is that the value of company plummet when they make regular loses. Investing intelligently is all about reducing or managing the risks and buying the stock of companies at low prices. 
 
Misplaced sentiments temporarily reduce prices of even good companies and that’s when you can buy good amount of shares. Read financial news regularly to stay abreast about what’s happening with.
 
teach yourself to be like a businessman. stay invested for long term in companies which have reliable, honest management.
 
If you really like what company makes and you like it too then chances are there then millions of their customers also like them.
 
Shoopers shop - retailing - when you are in a shopping mall, observe the visitors, what are they buying, where are they spending most of their times. Understand the product line. Talk to salesman too. WHat's the inventory movement speed.
 
Finding patterns, what product is common across the offices / homes you visit. Identify the promising product - before everyone else does.
 
No recession lasts forever so stock prices may plummet but that's okay, eventually it will rise. Buy more when they plummet and rest of the times have stock in FD / Liquid Funds.
 
Starting early gives you more exposure to markets highs and lows ( bull and bear markets ) and therefore more chances of buying and selling are there with you. 
 
If you are short of time, then buy equity mutual funds which fetches decent returns every year. It wont be much fun as much as share trading is but you wont lose your entire fortune which is probable in shares as there is dedicated fund manager who does all the hardship on your behalf.
 
Diversify by identifying couple of dozen of companies to track and invest in 5-10 companies you think are good enough / have solid management / has ethical business policies / high demand among customers. Then hold your shares for long period of time ( 5-15 years as you never know which of these would be multi-bagger ) but it is the risk worth taking. 
 
Over the years the companies will bloom to their full potential rewarding you with lots of wealth. Sell a good stock only if you have solid crunch of cash, there is some serious issue with the industry / company. 
 
Idenityfing companies which may give away bonus shares / dividends. In the market, there are no permanent blue chips. Massive debt of companies can lead to massive reduction in stock prices. Figure out how much debt the company has before actually investing in it.
 
"Lose the money" they say to "learn a new lesson". When the share you like is down and goes further down, think of it as buying more stocks on certain discount. Buy more instead of selling. 
 
Behavioral Finance is important and Daniel Kahneman got Nobel prize to research on it. Winning in stock market is about winnign over overconfidence, emotions, biases. Also you cannot always win. 
 
What we do is invest heavily in training. And so, even from a 
built his fortune by buying multinational stocks during the late-80s and early-90s. "My philosophy is long term, with a horizon of five to 10 years," he says. "If I like something and believe in it, I am committed to it."
 
Basic front-end, when they rise to store-level managers, they are not seen as target candidates by others, who cannot accept a 10th standard fail."
 
How am I saving Money - where my money is going - mapping every single penny - daily. Having extra money - hoarding money - making every item i have an asset. convert and complete transformation has happen.
 
Converting everything into an asset. Stay invested.
 
Someone became a CEO at 25, and died at 50, while another became a CEO at 50 and lived to 90 years.
Obama retires at 55, while Trump starts at 70. Everyone in this world works based on their "time zone"​.
Everyone is running in their own time. Life is about waiting for the right moment to act.
So, RELAX. We are not late we are not early. We are very much ON TIME in our TIME ZONE.
 
Source:
 

Build a Business and not a Startup - Earn money right away

 
He added several more points for context on what he means by accepting generosity, seeking generosity, and being generous:
 
When you run into a difficult time in your career, such as being laid off or fired, your resume won't help you quickly find a new job but your friends and associates will.
 
Don't "keep score" of how many favors you make versus how many you take. There will inevitably be people you help who prove to be selfish, but they shouldn't compel you to change your approach. "If your interactions are ruled by generosity, your rewards will follow suit," Ferrazzi wrote.
 
Don't do favors only for those who outrank you, and don't look down on those you outrank. "The business world is a fluid, competitive landscape," and you never know where you or the people you interact with will end up down the line.
 
Contribute your "time, money, and expertise" to those in your network.
 
"Relationships are solidified by trust," he wrote. "In other words, the currency of real networking is not greed but generosity."
 
Focusing on earning money early on - earn money when you startup - there is no glory in having a startup for the sake of it
 
fFnishing a product and earning money from it - improtant 
Not many are genius and that's okay.
It’s enough to be smart and willing to work hard, which is all it takes to be successful in entrepreneurship. Ok, throw in a bit of luck, too, but keep in mind luck favors the persistent.
 
Anyone can create a job for themselves. But not everyone can change the world — Dan Norris
 
building a healthy business
 is to build a small business, focused on growth and most important on delivering value to your customers. The focus from day one should be on getting clients to pay for your product.
  A solid and healthy venture, should get the money it needs from its customers, not from VCs.
 
The reality is you can easily start a business while working a 9–5 job, which will dramatically reduce the amount of money you need. Then when you have 6 to 12 months of cash in the bank, you’re ready to quit your job and focus solely on your business.
 
 Small is not just a stepping-stone. Small is a great destination itself — Jason Fried, Basecamp
 
They did everything right:
  • Launched a product while being a full-time consultancy shop
  • Once they had enough traction they focused on Basecamp full-time
  • They didn’t sell-off to VCs
  • And most important: they made money in the process
 
Now, I admit Basecamp is a pretty solid product which for most people would be considered a huge success. However, you could be just as successful even if you didn’t make it as big as Basecamp.
But what would you prefer: making some money and be a success or burning through others’ money and fail?
 
Everyone is an entrepreneur. The only skills you need to be an entrepreneur are the ability to fail, to have ideas, to sell those ideas, to execute on them, and to be persistent so even as you fail you learn and move onto the next adventure.
— James Altucher
 
Instead, you should look for others’ pains and needs and build a product out of those.
Go on Quora, Reddit or any other online location where your peers like to hang out and discuss.
 
The fun stuff people love to do but actually doesn't do shit for you:
  • Logos
  • Names
  • Cards
  • Stickers
  • Designs
  • OCD-like organization
  • BPMN Documentation
The not so fun stuff that people hate but actually does stuff for you:
  • Selling your product
  • Cold-calling
  • Cold-emailing
  • Sales strategies / pricing
  • Quickbooks / taxes
 
Focus on where the meat is, what gets you the most results in the least possible time.
 
If you’re building a productized service, you might even want to do everything yourself manually, while presenting it in a way that makes it look automatic: it’s not cheating, since your customers would be getting the same result anyway. But always deliver — or over-deliver — on what you promise!
 
Remember, the focus of a business should be on delivering value and making money while doing so, unlike a usual startup, whose sole purpose often seems to be burning money and thinking of ways to eventually turn a profit in the future.
 
Once you build the first version, your focus should be on promoting your product and the best way to do it is to start a blog and talk to your audience, helping them by writing great content that speaks directly to them and gets them to realize how much value you can provide them.
Be honest and helpful, always, and try to give away more than you get back.
After a while, you’ll know if your product can make it or not, but you won’t know it until you actually sit down, build it and launch it.
 
Compared to the rest of the companies I work with here, you actually have a real business model."
 
 Immediate revenue
 I found it much more a burden, though I suppose one could always get lucky and find a job where you barely have to work at all.
If you don't commit 100%, you're splitting yourself. Most jobs require the 9-5, which is essentially saying "you value working for them more than working for yourself".
You're giving them your best hours, and that's the reality. You're saying "I don't trust myself enough to invest everything in me". If that's a reality you can deal with and still manage to succeed, more power to you. I could not, and wish that I had.
Whereas adults, by definition, are not allowed to flake. They still do, of course, but when they do they're ruthlessly pruned.
 
 The adult response to "that's a stupid idea," is simply to look the other person in the eye and say "Really? Why do you think so?"
 
So now I'd advise people to go ahead and start startups right out of college. There's no better time to take risks than when you're young. Sure, you'll probably fail. But even failure will get you to the ultimate goal faster than getting a job.
 
In a job you even after years you will be diffident(shy) programmers.
 
It worries me a bit to be saying this, because in effect we're advising people to educate themselves by failing at our expense, but it's the truth.
 
3. Not determined enough
 
You need a lot of determination to succeed as a startup founder. It's probably the single best predictor of success.
 
Some people may not be determined enough to make it. It's hard for me to say for sure, because I'm so determined that I can't imagine what's going on in the heads of people who aren't. But I know they exist.
 
Most hackers probably underestimate their determination. I've seen a lot become visibly more determined as they get used to running a startup. I can think of several we've funded who would have been delighted at first to be bought for $2 million, but are now set on world domination.
 
How can you tell if you're determined enough, when Larry and Sergey themselves were unsure at first about starting a company? I'm guessing here, but I'd say the test is whether you're sufficiently driven to work on your own projects. Though they may have been unsure whether they wanted to start a company, it doesn't seem as if Larry and Sergey were meek little research assistants, obediently doing their advisors' bidding. They started projects of their own.
 
You may need to be moderately smart to succeed as a startup founder.
 
. But most companies do more mundane stuff where the decisive factor is effort.
But if you think it takes a lot of intelligence to get rich, try spending a couple days in some of the fancier bits of New York or LA.
 
If you don't think you're smart enough to start a startup doing something technically difficult, just write enterprise software. Enterprise software companies aren't technology companies, they're sales companies, and sales depends mostly on effort.
 
 You don't need to know anything about business to start a startup. The initial focus should be the product. All you need to know in this phase is how to build things people want. If you succeed, you'll have to think about how to make money from it. But this is so easy you can pick it up on the fly.
 
  And acquirers tell me privately that revenue is not what they buy startups for, but their strategic value. if users love you, you can always make money from that somehow, and if they don't, the cleverest business model in the world won't save you.So when you find an idea you know is good but most people disagree with, you should not merely ignore their objections, but push aggressively in that direction. In this case, that means you should seek out ideas that would be popular but seem hard to make money from.
 
We've funded two single founders, but in both cases we suggested their first priority should be to find a cofounder. Both did. But we'd have preferred them to have cofounders before they applied. It's not super hard to get a cofounder for a project that's just been funded, and we'd rather have cofounders committed enough to sign up for something super hard.
 
 If there's no one where you live who wants to start a startup with you, move where there are people who do. If no one wants to work with you on your current idea, switch to an idea people want to work on.
 
If you're still in school, you're surrounded by potential cofounders. A few years out it gets harder to find them. Not only do you have a smaller pool to draw from, but most already have jobs, and perhaps even families to support. So if you had friends in college you used to scheme about startups with, stay in touch with them as well as you can. That may help keep the dream alive.
 
It's possible you could meet a cofounder through something like a user's group or a conference. But I wouldn't be too optimistic. You need to work with someone to know whether you want them as a cofounder. [2]
 
The real lesson to draw from this is not how to find a cofounder, but that you should start startups when you're young and there are lots of them around.
 
. We're confident we can sit down with you and cook up some promising project.
 
We put little weight on the idea. We ask mainly out of politeness. The kind of question on the application form that we really care about is the one where we ask what cool things you've made.
 
 If what you've made is version one of a promising startup, so much the better, but the main thing we care about is whether you're good at making things. Being lead developer of a popular open source project counts almost as much.
 
 . Find something that's missing in your own life, and supply that need—no matter how specific to you it seems. Steve Wozniak built himself a computer; who knew so many other people would want them?
 
  A need that's narrow but genuine is a better starting point than one that's broad but hypothetical. So even if the problem is simply that you don't have a date on Saturday night, if you can think of a way to fix that by writing software, you're onto something, because a lot of other people have the same problem
 
   No room for more startups
 
A lot of people look at the ever-increasing number of startups and think "this can't continue." Implicit in their thinking is a fallacy: that there is some limit on the number of startups there could be. But this is false. No one claims there's any limit on the number of people who can work for salary at 1000-person companies. Why should there be any limit on the number who can work for equity at 5-person companies? [3]
 
Nearly everyone who works is satisfying some kind of need. Breaking up companies into smaller units doesn't make those needs go away.
 
Because satisfying current needs would lead to more.
 
So there is no limit to the amount of work available for companies, and for startups in particular.
I'm willing to take responsibility for telling 22 year olds to start startups. So what if they fail? They'll learn a lot, and that job at Microsoft will still be waiting for them if they need it. But I'm not prepared to cross moms.
 
What you can do, if you have a family and want to start a startup, is start a consulting business you can then gradually turn into a product business. Empirically the chances of pulling that off seem very small. You're never going to produce Google this way. But at least you'll never be without an income.
 
As with the question of cofounders, the real lesson here is to start startups when you're young.
 
Finding unique values.
 
At the atomic level, all businesses need to generate revenue to pay their bills, grow their business, and stay in business. The sooner they find themselves in the black, the better chance they’ll have to survive. Call it a business survival instinct — businesses have to feed themselves or they’ll die.
 
They’re far less prepared when they eventually have to leave the house for the first time.
 
Earn money - charge. 
 
I've come close to starting new startups a couple times, but I always pull back because I don't want four years of my life to be consumed by random schleps. I know this business well enough to know you can't do it half-heartedly. What makes a good startup founder so dangerous is his willingness to endure infinite schleps.
 
 I like to work. And one of the many weird little problems you discover when you get rich is that a lot of the interesting people you'd like to work with are not rich. They need to work at something that pays the bills. Which means if you want to have them as colleagues, you have to work at something that pays the bills too, even though you don't need to. I think this is what drives a lot of serial entrepreneurs, actually.
 
That's why I love working on Y Combinator so much. It's an excuse to work on something interesting with people I like.
s. And that's fine. If you want to spend your time travelling around, or playing in a band, or whatever, that's a perfectly legitimate reason not to start a company.
 
If you start a startup that succeeds, it's going to consume at least three or four years. (If it fails, you'll be done a lot quicker.) So you shouldn't do it if you're not ready for commitments on that scale. 
Be aware, though, that if you get a regular job, you'll probably end up working there for as long as a startup would take, and you'll find you have much less spare time than you might expect. So if you're ready to clip on that ID badge and go to that orientation session, you may also be ready to start that startup.
 
. There may be one person whose job title is CEO, but till the company has about twelve people no one should be telling anyone what to do. That's too inefficient. Each person should just do what they need to without anyone telling them.
 
If that sounds like a recipe for chaos, think about a soccer team. Eleven people manage to work together in quite complicated ways, and yet only in occasional emergencies does anyone tell anyone else what to do. A reporter once asked David Beckham if there were any language problems at Real Madrid, since the players were from about eight different countries. He said it was never an issue, because everyone was so good they never had to talk. They all just did the right thing.
 
How do you tell if you're independent-minded enough to start a startup? If you'd bristle at the suggestion that you aren't, then you probably are.
 
Fear of uncertainty.
 
If you start a startup, anything might happen.
Well, if you're troubled by uncertainty, I can solve that problem for you: if you start a startup, it will probably fail. Seriously, though, this is not a bad way to think about the whole experience. Hope for the best, but expect the worst. In the worst case, it will at least be interesting. In the best case you might get rich.
 
No one will blame you if the startup tanks, so long as you made a serious effort. There may once have been a time when employers would regard that as a mark against you, but they wouldn't now. I asked managers at big companies, and they all said they'd prefer to hire someone who'd tried to start a startup and failed over someone who'd spent the same time working at a big company.
Nor will investors hold it against you, as long as you didn't fail out of laziness or incurable stupidity. I'm told there's a lot of stigma attached to failing in other places—in Europe, for example. Not here. In America, companies, like practically everything else, are disposable.
 
They do it in the hope of recruiting them when they graduate. So while they're happy if you produce, they don't expect you to.
 
That will change if you get a real job after you graduate. Then you'll have to earn your keep. And since most of what big companies do is boring, you're going to have to work on boring stuff. Easy, compared to college, but boring. At first it may seem cool to get paid for doing easy stuff, after paying to do hard stuff in college. But that wears off after a few months. Eventually it gets demoralizing to work on dumb stuff, even if it's easy and you get paid a lot.
 
And that's not the worst of it. The thing that really sucks about having a regular job is the expectation that you're supposed to be there at certain times. Even Google is afflicted with this, apparently. And what this means, as everyone who's had a regular job can tell you, is that there are going to be times when you have absolutely no desire to work on anything, and you're going to have to go to work anyway and sit in front of your screen and pretend to. To someone who likes work, as most good hackers do, this is torture.
 
In a startup, you skip all that. There's no concept of office hours in most startups. Work and life just get mixed together. But the good thing about that is that no one minds if you have a life at work. In a startup you can do whatever you want most of the time. If you're a founder, what you want to do most of the time is work. But you never have to pretend to.
 
If you took a nap in your office in a big company, it would seem unprofessional. But if you're starting a startup and you fall asleep in the middle of the day, your cofounders will just assume you were tired.
 
But I will give you a couple reasons why a safe career might not be what your parents really want for you.
 
In almost everything, reward is proportionate to risk. So by protecting their kids from risk, parents are, without realizing it, also protecting them from rewards. If they saw that, they'd want you to take more risks.
 
o I think the way to deal with your parents' opinions about what you should do is to treat them like feature requests. Even if your only goal is to please them, the way to do that is not simply to give them what they ask for. Instead think about why they're asking for something, and see if there's a better way to give them what they need.
 
Frightening as it seemed to them, it's now the default with us to live by our wits. So if it seems risky to you to start a startup, think how risky it once seemed to your ancestors to live as we do now. Oddly enough, the people who know this best are the very ones trying to get you to stick to the old model. How can Larry and Sergey say you should come work as their employee, when they didn't get jobs themselves?
 
 I wouldn't be surprised if one day people look back on what we consider a normal job in the same way. How grim it would be to commute every day to a cubicle in some soulless office complex, and be told what to do by someone you had to acknowledge as a boss—someone who could call you into their office and say "take a seat," and you'd sit! Imagine having to ask permission to release software to users. Imagine being sad on Sunday afternoons because the weekend was almost over, and tomorrow you'd have to get up and go to work. How did they stand it?
 
It's exciting to think we may be on the cusp of another shift like the one from farming to manufacturing. That's why I care about startups. Startups aren't interesting just because they're a way to make a lot of money. I couldn't care less about other ways to do that, like speculating in securities. At most those are interesting the way puzzles are. There's more going on with startups. They may represent one of those rare, historic shifts in the way wealth is created.
 
That's ultimately what drives us to work on Y Combinator. We want to make money, if only so we don't have to stop doing it, but that's not the main goal. There have only been a handful of these great economic shifts in human history. It would be an amazing hack to make one happen faster.
 
Source: 

 

Time Management

When George Shultz was secretary of state in the 1980s, he liked to carve out one hour each week for quiet reflection. 
 
 He sat down in his office with a pad of paper and pen, closed the door and told his secretary to interrupt him only if one of two people called:
 
“My wife or the president,” Shultz recalled.
 
Shultz, who’s now 96, told me that his hour of solitude was the only way he could find time to think about the strategic aspects of his job. Otherwise, he would be constantly pulled into moment-to-moment tactical issues, never able to focus on larger questions of the national interest. And the only way to do great work, in any field, is to find time to consider the larger questions.
 
The psychologist Amos Tversky had his own version of this point. “The secret to doing good research is always to be a little underemployed,” Tversky said (as Michael Lewis describes in his latest book). “You waste years by not being able to waste hours.”
 
Likewise, Richard Thaler, the great behavioral economist and a Tversky protégé, self-deprecatingly describes himself as lazy. But Thaler is not lazy, no matter how much he may insist otherwise. He is instead wise enough to know that constant activity isn’t an enjoyable or productive way to live.
 
These days, however, it is a very tempting way to live. It can be hard to live any other way, in fact. We carry supercomputers in our pockets and place them next to us as we sleep. They’re always there, with a new status update to be read, a new photograph to be taken, a new sports score or Trump outrage to be checked.
 
Even before smartphones, this country’s professional culture had come to venerate freneticism. How often do you hear somebody humble-brag about how busy they are? The saddest version, and I’ve heard it more than once, is the story of people who send work emails on their wedding day or from the hospital room where their child is born — and are proud of it.
 
Our society, or at least the white-collar portions of it, needs some more of Thaler’s laziness and Shultz’s reflection time. They are the route to meaningful ideas in any almost any realm: personal relationships, academic papers, policy solutions, diplomatic strategies, new businesses. I find it striking that new-business formation has declined over the last 15 years, despite (or perhaps partly because of) the digital revolution.
 
My goal with this column is to persuade you to add a Shultz Hour, or something like it, to your week.
 
I’ve just begun to do so. I have committed to carving out an hour each week with no meetings, no phone calls, no email, no Twitter, no Facebook, no mobile alerts and no podcasts. Sometimes, I plan to spend the hour sitting down, as Shultz did, and other times taking a stroll. I keep a pen and paper with me and have set my phone to ring only if my wife calls. (My boss can’t start a war, so I’m willing to ignore him for an hour.)
 
The fact it felt hard to commit to a full hour was a sign of my need to do so. Like many people, I’m overly connected. I have confused the availability of new information with the importance of it. If you spend all your time collecting new information, you won’t leave enough time to make sense of it.
 
The science of the mind is clear about this point. Our brains can be in either “task-positive” or “task-negative” mode, but not both at once. Our brain benefits from spending time in each state.
 
Task-positive mode allows us to accomplish something in the moment. Task-negative mode is more colloquially known as daydreaming, and, as Daniel J. Levitin of McGill University has written, it “is responsible for our moments of greatest creativity and insight, when we’re able to solve problems that previously seemed unsolvable.”
 
Whether you decide a Shultz Hour makes sense for you, I’d encourage you not to fool yourself into thinking that you can easily change your habits in little ways here and there. The ubiquity of smartphones, together with our culture of celebrating busyness, makes ad hoc approaches difficult. You are much more likely to carve out time for strategic thinking by making concrete changes to your habits.
 
Wake up to an alarm clock rather than a phone, to collect your thoughts at the start of each day. While you’re driving, put your phone out of reach, mostly for safety, but also to let your mind wander at red lights.
 
Around the house, hide your phone — in a backpack, a drawer or another room — for set periods of time, as Sherry Turkle of M.I.T. recommends. Or carve out a few hours each week when no one in your house can check a phone. The filmmaker Tiffany Shlain and her family do so for an entire day — a “technology shabbat.”
 
If you remember my recent column on sugar, this advice may sound familiar. Like sugar, technology makes life more enjoyable. But it’s better in moderation, and modern life pushes us toward excess.

What differentiates the winner ( stock )?

 
What differentiates the winner ( stock )? 
Great, scalable, highly profitable business run by a great team of managers. 
 
“Roller coaster journey of stocks are barely visible if you look at the 45-10-15 years chart as every massive decline represent a minuscule part of the chart. 
 
For investors who bought those kind of stocks like Wabco 5 years ago and have held it till now, those major declines didn’t matter. And for people who understands the long term wealth creation, such sudden declines are a wonderful opportunity to average up - which is contrary to the wisdom of many. 
 
identifying the great businesses where the valuation is not crazy expensive relative to its long term potential earning power, then don’t sell after massive sudden drop ( let’s say 50% or more). Buy more of it that time. 
 
In the book “Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits”, he wrote: 
 
If the investment is in a well run company with sufficient financial strength, even the greatest bear market will not erase the value of holding. Unusual stocks have subsequent peaks many times the previous peaks. Therefore risk and reward considerations favour long term investment - holding. 
 
Identifying and staying with the right stocks through even a major temporary market drop, you are at most going to be temporarily behind 40 percent of the former peak at the very worst point and will ultimately be ahead  but if you would have sold the right stocks to prevent short term temporary losses, and you don’t buy them back you will eventually lose long term profits.
 
Either you will sell too soon and you would have postponed reinvestment too long to recapture the profits possible ( a situation which prevents you from holding multi-baggers ).
 
“There is more to learn from the Texas Instruments and Central California Electronics situations. When I originally acquired these Texas Instruments shares in the summer of 1955, they were bought for the longest type of long-range investment. It seemed to me that the company fully warranted this degree of confidence. About a year later, the stock had doubled. With one exception, the various owners of the funds I managed, familiar as they were with my method of operations, showed no more interest in taking a profit than did I. However, at that time I had one relatively new account owned by people who, in their own business, were used to building tip inventory when markets were low and cutting it back sharply when they were high. Now that Texas Instruments had doubled, they brought strong pressure to sell, which for a time I was able to resist. When the stock rose an additional 25 percent to give them a profit of 125 percent of their cost, the pressure to sell became even stronger. They explained, "We agree with you. We like the company, but we can always buy it back at a better price on a decline." I finally compromised with them by persuading them to keep part of their holding and sell the rest. Yet when the big drop occurred several years later and the shares fell 80 percent from their peak, this new bottom was still almost 40 percent higher than the price at which this particular holder was so eager to sell! 
After a very sharp advance, a stock nearly always looks too high to the financially untrained. This client demonstrated another risk to those who follow the practice of selling shares that still have unusual growth prospects simply because they have realized a good gain and the stock appears temporarily overpriced. These investors seldom buy back at higher prices when they are wrong and lose further gains of dramatic proportions. 
At the risk of being repetitious, let me underscore my belief that the short-term price movements are so inherently tricky to predict that I do not believe it possible to play the in and out game and still make the enormous profits that have accrued again and again to the truly long-term holder of the right stocks.” 
 
Own the fantastic business for long time. Be prepare for the roller coster ride. The ride will be worth it if you have chosen a fundamentally solid business.
 
Big money is in buying ( at reasonable valuation ) and holding great businesses. 
Owning such businesses will produce gut-wrenching roller coaster rides ( happens in all businesses but pays off in great businesses - they are tiny blips on a chart ) - which the investor has to take. You can’t just successfully jump in and out without getting harmed. So stay invested.
 
Inspired by the PDF ( largely taken ) written by Sanjay Bakshi
 

Financial Resolutions for me - to practice from now to future

1. Never rely on your memory when it comes to finance, Never.
Avoid equities when they become historically expensive. Never stay invested in an expensive market. 
 
NIFTY PE - < 14, 14-16,22-24 = 3 year returns were 152%,112%,-14% ( according to some research ).
 
Always look for PE trends ( even if they aren’t the absolute truth ). The lower the P/E better are the prospectives of earning money from the bull market ( provided that the income of the company doesn’t diminishes ). 
 
Bull market v/s Bear market 
 
Bull market produces large profits for investors which gives them a high. This euphoric feeling is similar to someone who is high on drugs. It feels great to ride on the wave of being high and that’s when the rationality is lost and great losses are made. Walter Bagehot, the famous British essayist once said, “All people are most credulous ( when people believes in everything ) when they are most happy.” 
 
When market falls, every stock falls too. There will be cheap things in the bull market but they are possible traps because eventually they might become cheaper after another market decline. 
 
“What we learn from history, is that don’t learn from history” - the insane occurrence and which holds absolute truth in all aspects of lives ( in military campaigns - forgiving enemies who would come back with double might and annihilate you completely ).
 
2. Never ever speculate in IPOs.
 
IPOs are meant to be valued first. Probably they are overpriced, probably they are not. You just can never be too sure about that. 
Rationally speaking, everyone wants good returns from their disinvestments so why would anyone offer you shares at cheaper price. It is matter of chance that due to huge demand the prices of shares might have soared up but they can come down 2-3 months down the line. 
 
Since people have positive sentiments in bull markets, most of the IPOs are released in bull market. For instance in year 2017, the PE is above 23 and we have seen IPOs like Avenue Supermarkets, HUDCO which have received extra ordinary interest. 
 
IPOs are market really well by promoters and they create positive vibes and possibly artificial demand around the IPO. They are paid to do it. One has to resist these temptations as supply of greater fools is not infinite. There are plenty of IPO speculators / so called traders who have stuck to massive amount of stocks only to see their costs declining every day. 
 
Financiers who invites people to invest in IPO rarely invests in these IPOs and they earn much more returns from the interest incomes. 
 
3. Avoiding leverage at all levels. 
 
You really need to be skilled / highly experienced and successful investor to leverage - so never borrow money from outside nor invest in over leveraged companies. Leverage hurts.
 
When you leverage, you are hopeful that you will earn more than the lending rate ( could be between 6%-15% p.a. ) and as per the performance of BSE 500 Index, 90% of the stocks have declined more than 50%. Betting on these stocks will wipe out your majority of capital and worst case scenario, you will lose the collateral which you gave to financier and their friendliness will turn soar as you start tasting loses. 
 
Leverage can be associated with the word “confidence” and when you become over-confidence blindly, you suffer. So avoid leverage / margins at all levels or costs. Missing opportunities is better than losing entire fortune. 
 
4. Learning from other’s experiences:
There are two types of experiences which are direct and vicarious. We overmine the former and undermine the latter (thinking others are not well informed / that cannot happen to me ).
 
Consciously learn from the experience of others and also the errors of judgement made by others. Study about mass errors of judgements. 
 
Read the books : (1) Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay; (2) The Great Crash, 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith; (3) A Short History of Financial Euphoria by John Kenneth Galbraith. 
 
History shows how little things change and also how human nature stays same and is still prone to errors of judgement. 
Charlie Munger once said, “You don’t have to pee on an electric fence to learn not to do it!” 
 
The content above was majorly referred from the PDF shared by Sanjay Bakshi who was a Visiting Professor at Management Development Institute, Gurgaon. 
His Website URL is www.sanjaybakshi.net
I am a big fan of him and I follow him religiously!
 
 

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