Saturday, May 15, 2021


When Elon Musk launched SpaceX, his idea was to buy a rocket but he ended up building one. He discovered that the cost of one rocket would pose a serious economic threat. Musk explains his next action:

"So I said, okay, let's look at the first principles. What is a rocket made of? Aerospace-grade aluminum alloys + some titanium, copper & carbon fiber. Then I asked, what is the value of those materials on the commodity market? It turned out that the materials cost of a rocket was around 2% of the typical price."

Ok, all of us don't make rockets for living but 'First Principles Thinking' as a problem solving approach is universally applicable.- break down a complex problem into its foundational elements.

How does one get started here ? Towards this, Loved the way Sahil Bloom articulated ( these questions-

What is the problem I am trying to solve?
What do I know to be true about this problem?
Why do I believe these "truths" to be true?
Is there real evidence to support these beliefs?
Are my emotions clouding my judgment & reasoning?
What alternative viewpoints might exist?
What are the consequences of being wrong in my original beliefs?

Without a firm grasp of the basics, there is little chance of mastering the details.

My Sketchnote:

My LinkedIn Post:


A few weeks back, I was a part of a meeting- Ask Leaders Anything (open to all employees).There was no talk,written chat was the only mode of communication.I was astonished at the rate at which questions were asked by employees.I compared it with pre-Covid times when the All hands were held in person when people rarely came forward to ask questions.

Online meetings are a great equalizer but there is more to it. I learned about the concept of Silent meetings while reading the book- 'Always Day One' which quotes Square's product executive Alyssa Henry

"Lots of research says that minorities, women, remote employees & introverts are talked over in meetings &/or have trouble getting their voice heard in traditional meeting culture."

Silent meetings are inclusive.

My curiosity to find more led me to the David Gasca 's work. Read more here "The Silent Meeting Manifesto.."
(summary in my sketchnote)

Silent meetings possibly can't replace 1:1 where you need conversations but most of the meetings which require discussions, cover multiple point of views can benefit.

4 steps:
1 Prepare Agenda + Choose facilitator
2 Create a "Table Read" (doc that is read during the meeting)
3 Read + Comment
4 Facilitator Synthesizes + Leads Discussion

My Sketchnote:

My LinkedIn Post:


In the last few months, we saw the emergence of new talent in Cricketing world. Washington Sundar is one such player. He was selected for Australia tour as a net bowler & in the last 3 months has surprisingly emerged as a serious batting prospect. He was a good T20 bowler but it is his batting that surprised many. Ravi Shastri also started as a bowler & ended his career as an opening batsman. Steven Smith started as a leg spinner & is now a leading test batsman.

Looking at these cases, it appears that these players were ready to disrupt themselves when the opportunity presented itself.

I get reminded of the book "Disrupt Yourself" (refer sketchnote) which applies disruptive innovation's S-Curve theory to career disruption. When talking about personal disruption, you are both Netflix & Blockbuster. You are the disruptor & the incumbent because you are disrupting you.

When considering personal disruption, i quited liked the perspective shared by Deepak Jayaraman in his podcast-
"Think of ourselves as balance sheet & not P&L. More often we think of ourselves as cash flows & expect to grow upwards year on year but sometimes taking a step back and building our assets could temporarily put us back but could create the new stream of cashflows."

What do you think ?

My Sketchnote:

My LinkedIn Post: