College life was really good. Not because we had nothing to do most of the time, but friends really made it better. We would spend longs hours talking nonsense on any topic. Many a times there was no topic in fact but still we could keep talking forever. I remember whenever there was an awesome weather we would stop doing whatever we were doing and just enjoy. We never needed reasons to enjoy and still we were happy. I always liked company of friends. Although I did the least of talking and was mostly found laughing.. :P even though some one cracked the worst PJs. I hated PJs initially, but these guys eventually succeeded in making me laugh. In college I was not a very social guy, involved-in-many-things kind of person, so called actively-participating-and-doing-work. In fact none of my close friends ever did much, compared to others if you see. Actually if you divide the kind of groups then we are in the middle with a perfect balance. There are people who are involved in so many things, always working here and there. Honestly I think they were in hell :P . Always in tension, running here and there, okay its good that they utilized their time in useful things, not wasted unlike us.. :) But seriously those politics guys, what the hell. But few who were involved in useful activities, I would say they were good if they really enjoyed doing that and found it meaningful. But honestly I am happy I was not like them. I found getting involved in projects more useful than spending time running between groups.
In my group we enjoyed among ourselves so much, that we never thought much about involving in any other group. There were only six of us who did something outside, rest four almost did nothing. But we were not very much involved in those, we always had more time for ourselves even though it was about wasting time in talking. Tuxxie got more involved in programming side, hobbies club, then cogni. I limited my self to hobbies club (very limited except last year). On request from Mohit, I did something in Cogni. But honestly, many a times these things just seemed to me a waste of time. I have a very simple rule in my life. I never do things that is not different or new. I appreciate people involving in Cogni or Thomso, carrying out events (nothing new) and involved in various other societies or groups. It soon looked like, more than the work all they want is to get themselves attached to these. I have seen, things just remain the same year over year, they don’t try something that is more challenging and rewarding, involves risk. I left IEEE Magazine just because of this reason. They were not so much enthusiastic about doing something other than the usual, printing magazine. I actually hated that because it was less scientific and more literary. And when they added their own fest, that was the time I left it entirely. What is the point of having another stupid fest if already there is Cogni. Frankly speaking these things just happen because some seniors are not able to get chance in these big events. I seriously wanted to organize paper presentation and research events on a large scale.
And on the other side, we were also not like those groups, who just used to waste all time in gaming, gossiping and drinking (at a later stage). We had our own period of extreme gaming for one semester. Rahul and I used to play NFS. I tried CS but, I couldn’t, I always felt like fainting whenever I see the screen of someone playing CS.
Last weekend when we had hangout, I was very happy to again re live those days, even for like 2 hours. Honestly, I used to enjoy reading physics and mathematics much more than I do now. My ability to grasp them, has just exponentially gone down. My interest grew in these only because I had a very good friend who would talk with me on these things in school days. In college I missed that. Because no one in my group, was into physics. But still, their company helped me in reading all these. But now neither I have someone who would discuss with me on these, nor I have such a company. I don’t feel like coding, working on my ideas, always feel like in a hell, with all those tensions. Maybe I should have been involved in many groups in my college, I would have developed a habit of doing work whatever it be. I am not a geek, I don’t enjoy sitting long hours in front of computer. I do that, because I have no choice. In college I had awesome friends like Vishal, Rahul, Ajay, and everyone, Just talk to them for even one minute, they will make you laugh, and cheer up. I used to just bang into their room, have small funny moments, shouting and laughing.. And after such moments I would get back to my stuff and would do better :( Thanks God, we have again decided to always hangout every weekend :).
I never used to chat much or scan facebook. I never used orkut, and facebook only in last year. But now I always feel like someone ping me and talk anything apart from tech stuff. Although I enjoy that too, but its more like something is better than nothing. I visit facebook now only for our group’s private page, because there we still have fun like we used to… We never think before saying anything to anyone, we are more than friends, even more than brothers. I still laugh, thinking what kind of persons we were when we entered IIT Roorkee, most of us serious kind. But some of us changed everyone.
Normally, when a girl comes in someone’s life, then they forget friendship, but this never happened in our group. On the contrary this brought us together more, because it became more than one person’s effort to get her.. :D they whole group discussed how he should approach. :P We had many awesome so called Kaands with this… I really miss those.. :P Me always asking Vishal, to believe in true love.. :P not get attracted by people having GFs… And he always explaining me something, I would never understand…. :P or maybe don’t want to understand. I have so many stories to tell…
Seriously, life without good friends and fun is a hell and I pity those who have learned to live without it… :( I would better like to be imperfect, do mistakes, and waste some time, than being a machine :)
Some would say I am a person who gets bored too easily. And honestly I too think of that, myself. This is the reason why, I keep shifting between tasks I have, always have many of them on my list, try something new for some time or even change the way I do. I have come to learn that if something is not working out, its better to change the way to do it, instead of trying hard and hard to fix it.
If you are in an infinite loop, where u keep trying the same thing again and again, without any success, then its better to break off.
I believe, change for a moment helps you remain dynamic, easily adaptable and full of energy. There is a simple reason for this. Don’t you feel like deviating from how and what you normally do and explore new ways or new areas to discover ? There are so many exciting things to read or do, and I always have intense desire to try them, that I virtually have an infinite list of items in my to-dos. Those can’t be taken as main tasks, but could be interleaved, sometimes at least just for the sake of some excitement in life. :)
I normally don’t plan much. For me planning, means correlating all the tasks with the exact time of its inception to conclusion. Now that is something, I believe can never be as accurate as possible, at least not to the granular level of daily life. Planning without taking into account of failure is not a complete plan in itself. And you can never make a complete plan.
Sometimes its better that life don’t turn out the way you planned, instead it bring in more challenges, with a hope for something better.
But yeah I do plan for long term goals. Something like, I would finish certain task in next four months or this year. They are never concrete plans, and I always have more than what can be normally done. Reason being initially everything seems to be a good idea, but in the middle, one might think its better to let go off it and try something else.
So what I normally do, is every morning, while I am getting ready or reaching my office in cab, I think of all the task that I can pick for that day, assigning higher priorities to some that needs more attention. The tasks I pick are generally of mixed nature. For example, If I have a lot of coding work in office, then I wont be coding some of my personal projects, instead I will spend my time at home to read Physics, play violin or sketch. Although I play violin and sketch normally when nothing is working out, or exhausted pondering on a idea for a long time and I need a break for a moment. Or I am very happy and just want to enjoy. I seriously don’t have potential to keep doing one thing the whole day. I have found mixed strategy to be helpful to stay longer on a particular task. And I keep coming back to a task, if it has been neglected for a long time.
But there are some drawbacks, as it’s always there with any strategy, and I too have come to realize it. If you don’t have a plan then mostly you don’t have a deadline. And then the task takes too long to finish. And the second drawback is, sometimes a task gets neglected so many times, that it virtually don’t exist any more, especially if you keep taking up new tasks. If you don’t have the habit of analyzing the development of each task regularly and modifying the way you do them, then there is a high chance that you wont be able to complete anything. This happens with me a lot of time.
Only if there had been a tool, which works like this. I mean help you lay down all the tasks in mind, every morning suggest tasks that you can pickup based on the pattern you normally follow and the priorities. This would be a helpful tool only if its intelligent enough to suggest you and show the prediction of completion of tasks that you have thought of. (You see I just now got an idea of an excellent app.. :P, and this is going in my app ideas pool) Also the app should allow you to put long term goals and then show the feasibility of achieving it, telling you what changes you need in terms of priorities, pattern of picking up tasks, etc. For example, I have an app to make in next three months, but I wont normally have any goal regarding reading Relativity or maybe it could be set to one year. Then the app should not tell me to work entirely on the app task for next three months and then start Relativity. Instead based on how I normally spend my days, it should say, ‘considering you will spend 6 hours on Relativity every week, office work and some other tasks, you might want to set this goal to four months, as it seems more feasible’ and also come up with a plan of how much I need to spend on this.
No online tools does that. A suggestive planner is more required, that suggest not on generalized pattern, but learns the way a person does, which differs widely.
Actually my intention was not to write about an app idea, but as it clicked while writing this post, so just scribbled it out here… :P
So if you are a person like, who gets bored easily.. :P, maybe you wanna try out this. And if you have a better way to manage then please tell me, I really need them.. :) at least for the suggestive planner app… :P
Remember? In the film “The Social Network”, Mark used to put on his blog everything on his mind. I think its a good idea to write as diary entry. Of course mostly I wont have anything to write, because not all days are interesting. But I conveyed to one of my friend too that I have been thinking to do so from a long time. This is not for general audience, but me talking to myself :), but even then I would like to write it publicly because then I would be able to project myself without fear who actually I am.. :) So first before continuing, there is a rule I am going to follow. I am never going to name any person and would try my best to hide the identity or even give hints :P.
Anyways so today, I got up late, checked mail and hacker news as usual and was thinking of what should I do today. Normally I don’t make plans because its never successful but at least listing them out help me to be aware of all the tasks.. Although its weekend and I am supposed to be enjoying and resting as many others but I find it boring. Although I spend most of my weekends watching series, films and relaxing, because otherwise I wont have time to relax after 5 days of office.. So first after a talk with a friend, I took up the first task to work on using Nash Equlibrium to solve Google and Facebook strategy in Search engine and social networking space. Believe me its not as exciting as it sounds. And I am not Game theory person. But when, few days back I was asked to read an article describing about four big companies in the internet world, what attracted me was the idea of Google+ used as decoy to keep Facebook busy and not entering in to search space. The article talks nothing about game theory, but I found it amazing how such a decoy can help a company in bringing the equilibrium point to its advantage. At that time I thought it would be a wonderful topic to further research on, where a strategy which does not affect in increasing the pay off directly but help in bringing the equilibrium point to its advantage and make it more stable by increasing the cost involved in shifting it.. I thought, can we measure how stable an equilibrium solution is ? And how it could be affected by the decisions made ? Whether player should choose strategy to increase the stability of the point thus strengthening its position or take decision to increase payoff? This could be of great importance ? I don’t know if such a theory exist, and most probably, only after completing few more books in game theory, I will be in a better position to answer that. I did not study it well today but would do someday for sure. Today I only solved it as a simple two player game using elimination strategy as one would find in any book.
After that soon, electricity went and I thought it was the right time to sketch the cartoon script I have been trying from a long time. I am still not finalized with the characters. I mean how are they going to look. I made only the rough sketch and electricity came back. I was not in, much of a mood to sketch. So thought I would better read theory of relativity book, as I do every weekend. Basically I was reading Vector Spaces, Tensors and algebra around it. These are important in understanding Riemannian Geometry. I read all these in another book some times back, but there it was more from physics perspective not as a mathematical theory. So I had to read this again. The beauty of mathematics is that in mathematics u have no boundary or limit or something that needs to correspond to some physical phenomena, which is given high priority in physics or any other science. This reminds me of a question a friend asked me sometimes back. He asked, what is the physical significance of Tensors. Actually he asked this as a joke we had about a professor in our department, who always asked physical significance in lectures and we never used to understand what he said. I tried explaining him using all definitions and example i read but I was sure that even I dont know.. :P and honestly I still dont quite understand it. And because it was almost three in the afternoon, I was feeling very hungry and also had to answer doubts from a friend. So I ended up making pazzta.
There was another thought kept me busy the whole time, while I was enjoying my pazzta and reading the book, amazing myself of these equations.. :P. Few days back my friend was telling me about what he learned in the class of game development. I motivated him to take that lecture series and teach me too, if he finds something interesting :). So he was telling me how using four co-ordinates instead of three (ie x y z ), the calculation of transformation could be made simple. its was something like this.. (x y z 0 ) represents direction (x y z 1 ) represents the point, (x y z inf) represents origin. Basically its like this, a point is represented as (x y z w ) which actually corresponds to (x/w y/w z/w) . At that time I got a thought, that by changing w I can define a straight path of an object. That means I don’t have to change the x y z but only w. I wondered can such a dynamic theory be constructed where any motion is described by doing transformation on this four variable quantity. Today I thought what if i make (x y z wx wy wz) and then define… where wx = wy = wz = 1 as the initial point and then changes in this quantity by using transformations could describe the whole path. I am not going to put here what further thoughts came by reasoning through this. But I was more looking from special relativity perspective, because there the world lines are always straight in space time. I mean defining like this (t x y z wx wy wz) could be useful. Honestly I was only thinking guessing how equations will behave. Someday I will have to work out the exact mathematics, but for that i have to read that part of game development book too.
Anyways, I felt so sleepy after pazzta that I cant help taking a nap… After waking up I had to practice violin, which I did for abt 1.5 hours and then went to violin class. Finally my teacher said I am playing nice and gave me hope that someday I could play good.. :)
After coming from the class I was talking with my roommate and he as usual asked me if I learned some Hindi song or not. Its really hard to explain that its not easy, especially for me :). But the result of talking, ended up me watching the most romantic film Mohabbatein, just for the violin part of that film. :P And all through the film he kept pointing me to the dialogues, and asking me to follow it. One that I remember now is that, he said if you want to learn violin, then you will have to say to the girl you like. Now come on, thats the worst reason I have ever heard, and he just kept proving me all through the film.. This is the same guy who few days back tried to convince me that what happens in film can’t happen in reality, and I promised him to prove otherwise someday.. :)
And then had to video chat with my family over gtalk, showed them what i learned in violin and then completed the film after that. read few more pages of the relativity book and now writing this blog.
Lets access my standing with these 4 steps….
1. Have and idea….
Lots of them and from a long time.. Joel mentions that “its important that you work on what you love” and “best ideas are the ones you will use yourself”. I follow this because all my ideas are based on what I think and feel I need in daily life.. how the existing products could be made better and what i think people might like.. :)
2. Cut it down…
Okay so in this case I originally started out with a very big idea and slowly I broke them down in many phases. Each phase has become like a startup idea in itself but basically a stepping stone in the whole process to make the final idea work out.. But till now I was breaking down in terms of plans to achieve the final idea. But as Joel suggested I think I should now start with the first one and break down the features of it. “If you don’t cut out features from your initial vision, you’re much less to ever launch it”.. I think this is what is happening with my ideas.. But the problem that I faced was that unless I release the complete thing.. its not an idea as such.. :P But I guess even if its not anything new with least features.. maybe releasing with less feature will enable to pace up the development .. as he mentions “the idea of big splash is inevitably going to cause you to delay getting feedback”
3. Share the idea, get feedback…
He is right and I too missed out and ignored this step the most and “Missing it is actually killing my startup endeavor.. ” I did not do this in the first place because very less people are interested around me in startup ideas.. but I guess there are lots of people who can give feedback from an user perspective which is actually what is needed. And yeah another reason for getting feedback is “Lack of motivation at least don’t kill my startup idea”. Also I will start sharing my ideas with already successful people for feedback.. and Joel would be the first person as he is interested in helping. So the next step would be to write down the ideas and mail him… :P
4. Go with your gut
Honestly I think I should restart from the first step again, as I missed the most important 3rd step and made mistake at 2nd step. I didn’t pay too much attention to testing.. but yes I did pay too much attention on various other aspects of development like the architecture and all (it has benefited me in other areas but not here). Actually I thought if I ever have to catch up with increase in load then I should be ready to scale.. But I was missing a very important point.. ie.. the need to scale up is a very later stage and I will always get enough time.. before that important point is to release, get feedback.. and then take decision.. I should accept to work with incomplete information …
Thanks Joel for this post.. :)