Handcuffed MLA !!

It is common to hear people say that their elected representatives are not addressing this or that problem. What is less commonly heard is that the representative is NOT ABLE TO address a particular problem. As voters, we should think seriously about this – because this is actually true in many, many cases.

Think of the way our city works. There is a municipal corporation, which runs vastly under-budget on the revenue side, and therefore can barely do the minimum that it is supposed to. The para statals have better finances, but they are not directly under the corporators, so it’s not easy to work with them in the ‘representative democracy‘ framework.

The MLA’s are also mostly in a similar bind. Many MLA’s call the average IAS officerSir“, and this is not just a courtesy. Compared to the average MLA, the typical officer leading a department or agency is usually English speaking, well educated, keeps the company of other informed people, travels around to see things much more globally. This is a massive deficit to overcome. Of course the MLA’s can use their ‘authority’, but that’s not usually an effective weapon, because the officer has a permanent job which means he will continue to rise in influence from year to year whereas the politicians’ fortunes can dwindle any day.

A second reason is of course corruption. In an environment where netas milk the system, they can’t really ‘order’ the babus around. The risk of pushback that will land them in jail is too high. Therefore, even though in public the netas appear to lord it over the babus, in private things are very different. At least one Chief Engineer, to common knowledge, used to refer to a sitting CM in first person.

The elected representatives also have another weakness. Even ministers at the state level are unable to reach into the corridors of power in Delhi, because those institutions operate by a different logic. Ministries, PlanComm, Commissions, Missions, etc. operate in a ‘knowledge’ world much more like an aristocracy than like a representative layer of government. In that world, what counts is not how many votes you got, but how wide and deep your network of influence is.

Voters need to understand all this. The only problems that can be tackled locally, through the use of authority, are minor ones that should not have existed in the first place. For everything else, we’ll need a different kind of representative, whose COMPETENCE allows him/her to straddle multiple worlds – not only the on-the-ground fix-it universe, but also the worlds of finance, policy, ideas, etc. If your corporator or MLA is scoring zero on these counts, it tends to show up in the way your neighborhood looks !!

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Brainwash yourself to startup

The Big Idea - Light Bulb & Socket

The Big Idea

When an idea strikes our head, the first thought is often to disregard that idea or counter that thought by using various statements like “this won’t work out, I don’t have enough money, I don’t know how to do that, I don’t have enough resources, nobody will buy my product etc”. Unfortunately our subconscious mind has been trained by our experiences to question our beliefs and thus the idea is killed by our skeptical thoughts.The solution to this problem is to train our thought process to rephrase the questions in a different way and then ask “how can I make this work, how can I generate enough money, how can I learn to do that, how can I use current resources to start executing my idea, who is my target customer etc”The trick here is to keep asking questions like “why” and “how” rather than reaching conclusions and making declarative statements. The biggest hurdle in Starting up is about starting up itself. And Starting up is what differentiates the elite 1% from the 99% crowd. Once we take the decision to implement our ideas we start figuring out the ways to move forward as we face new challenges and keep repeating these questions and figure out the answers.

Another good practice is to consistently read about startups and people who make it big and their biographies. All the self-made people started out with just an idea and created cult companies out of it. Steve jobs with his design skills and technical expertise of Steve Wozniak became a messiah among the geeks and non geeks alike. But we must remember that he started out with nothing apart from an idea to form a company which sells computers which everybody can afford. He wouldn’t have attained the godly status if he would have been apprehensive about his abilities.

So don’t let that idea of yours die a slow death by not working on it and doubting your abilities and start working on it immediately.

Brainwash yourself to startup

The Big Idea - Light Bulb & Socket

The Big Idea

When an idea strikes our head, the first thought is often to disregard that idea or counter that thought by using various statements like “this won’t work out, I don’t have enough money, I don’t know how to do that, I don’t have enough resources, nobody will buy my product etc”. Unfortunately our subconscious mind has been trained by our experiences to question our beliefs and thus the idea is killed by our skeptical thoughts.The solution to this problem is to train our thought process to rephrase the questions in a different way and then ask “how can I make this work, how can I generate enough money, how can I learn to do that, how can I use current resources to start executing my idea, who is my target customer etc”The trick here is to keep asking questions like “why” and “how” rather than reaching conclusions and making declarative statements. The biggest hurdle in Starting up is about starting up itself. And Starting up is what differentiates the elite 1% from the 99% crowd. Once we take the decision to implement our ideas we start figuring out the ways to move forward as we face new challenges and keep repeating these questions and figure out the answers.

Another good practice is to consistently read about startups and people who make it big and their biographies. All the self-made people started out with just an idea and created cult companies out of it. Steve jobs with his design skills and technical expertise of Steve Wozniak became a messiah among the geeks and non geeks alike. But we must remember that he started out with nothing apart from an idea to form a company which sells computers which everybody can afford. He wouldn’t have attained the godly status if he would have been apprehensive about his abilities.

So don’t let that idea of yours die a slow death by not working on it and doubting your abilities and start working on it immediately.