My Bucket List

I Always Thought of Putting up a Bucket List of Things I Wanted to Do, And see how Much I can Accomplish.

1)      Sky Diving

2)      Scooba Diving

3)      Hitch Hicking across the Country

4)      Living a Minimalist Life (Maximum 10 Items)

5)      Spending a week without money and other necessities

6)      Educating an unprivileged child

7)      Meet Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee

8)      Meet Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

9)      Meet Lance Armstrong

10)   Meet Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw (Unfortunately He Passed Away in Jun 2008)

11)   Own a Stock Brokerage Firm

12)   Start An Educational Institution

13)   Work in a Non Profit, NGO

14)   Join Politics

15)   Fall in Love

16)   White Water Rafting

17)   Bungee Jumping from a Cliff

18)   Run a Complete Marathon

19)   Complete Four Deserts Race

20)   Own a Library

21)   Direct a Movie

22)   A 1000+ Km Road Trip By Bike

23)   Give a TED Talk

And a Lot more to Come in Future, if you have any please add them in the Comments Section.

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Beer and The Tax System

 

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. He said, “Since you are all such good customers, I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.”

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men — the paying customers?

How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his “fair share”? They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from every body’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay!

And so:
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free.

But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got $10!”

“Yeah, that’s right,’ exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!”

“That’s true!!”shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only $2 ? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up any more. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

Courtesy –
David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics, University of Georgia

 

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 !!

Click here for Source.

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.

Satisfaction – What it means to you?

English: Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Resized,...

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs discusses about human needs on various levels Starting from Physiological, safety, love/Belonging, esteem and moving up to self actualization at the highest level. Abraham Maslow in his paper titled “A Theory of human Motivation” talks about these needs which he has categorized into two parts “D (Deficiency)-needs” and “B (Being)-needs”. Deficiency needs are the first four needs which are physiological, safety, love/belonging and esteem needs while B needs is the need for self actualization. A person feels the need for self actualization only after his deficiency needs are fulfilled.

Entrepreneurs are always driven by the need for self actualization and are thus happier when they get freedom to create and think. They also become more creative and are able to solve problems more efficiently when they think freely. Coming back to Satisfaction, It is defined as “fulfillment of a need or want” according to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/satisfaction.

For most of the people needs fall into the D-Needs category which means they are satisfied when their materialistic desires and basic needs are fulfilled. While others look at the top of the pyramid beyond the need of food and safety. They look for freedom to create things and experiences and are satisfied only when these needs are met. And once these needs are met they move on to solve bigger challenges.

For some, satisfaction can generate from a monthly income which is enough to take care of their family and instills a sense of security in them. For a School student satisfaction means getting good grades in school. While for a college student, satisfaction means getting a placement in a good company.

As we walk up the ladder our needs keep increasing and thus levels of satisfaction decrease. And finally we reach a level where we learn to cope up with need and satisfaction imbalance on the material level and strive for the final goal of self realization and start searching for our purpose in life, which is when we are totally satisfied. And this is the need which motivates a person to solve a problem and becomes the mojo for an entrepreneur and drives him on and on towards excellence.

Whats your mojo and how do you derive satisfaction form it?

Importance of MBA !!

Today afternoon I received an interesting call from a lady from a famous Management institute urging me to join for an MBA program. And then the discussion veered off to Importance of MBA’s with regard to success in life.

Here are the few reasons why I think doing an MBA does not hold much relevance in India.

In current scenario the approx salary of a MBA grad from a normal school is around 25k which is also the normal salary of a freshly passed out Engineering Graduate. And if we talk about premier management institutes like XLRI or IIM’s in India then there is a very different scenario out there.

Around 3,00,000 Candidates appear for CAT(Common Admission Test) each year out of which around 300 candidates get selected per institute in a batch which amounts to 0.1% success rate.

An average candidate has around 2 yrs of work experience and would have prepared for anywhere between six months and one year before appearing for CAT.

Then he spends two years doing MBA from an Ivy League college in India.

This means the person has spent four to five years after his graduation when he passes out of the management Institute and get a good job offer.

Now my question is that “A candidate who can beat 99.9% of other candidates in a national level admission test and be among top 300 out of 3 Lac candidates wouldn’t be smart enough to get to the same salary level in five years?”

And when you take the best talent out of the country and then train them for two years aren’t they supposed to be good. I think the quality of an Institute should be measured only when you take a mediocre student and make him the best in the league. Because then the credit of nurturing the student can be passed to the institute.

Starting Up in this context can teach a lot to a person in real world as compared to A MBA degree from an Ivy League Institution. As we always learn more from the experiences as compared to theory classes (I am not saying that MBA is all about theory and doesn’t contain on field work or assignments).

And again the experience of starting up is very different as we learn a lot during our journey as compared to theory classes. No MBA class will teach you that your suppliers almost never pay on time or the way to get it from them. And MBA classes generally do not give you any unknown or unsolved problem to face everyday which can be solved by innovative thinking. I do agree that there is a lot of unexposed learning and high quality case studies which we encounter in MBA but we all have to agree that firsthand experience is most important than a second hand case study.

Talking about placements, we must agree that they give great placements and the average package is more than what a middle class Indian can save in a life time. But again in my perspective freedom matters more than money (I mean excess money from daily expenditure).

And given a choice I would choose to be a founder of a company which has revenue of 10 Lac than being a Product manager earning 50 Lac working in a multinational company.

What would you choose?