Originally published on May 24, 2012
This has got to be the best Biography I have ever read. This is a must-read for anyone working in the Tech industry.
Rest in Peace Steve Jobs .You are a guiding light for anyone who’d like to put a tiny ding in the Universe.
I will truly miss you and will always look up to you.
As for the biography. Nice job by Walter Isaacson. Thank you.
Leading a closely watched, high-growth company can be frenetic. One of the biggest problems: finding the time to be pro-active rather than reactive. But Bezos, at the end of each quarter, solves this by just going away. His solo retreats have been put to good effect, resulting in several new ideas and products, including Amazon’s fulfillment center for third-party sellers. As he has explained it, “I just lock myself up. There are no distractions from the office. No phones ringing. It’s just because with a little bit of isolation I find I start to get more creative. I do spend a lot of time web surfing during those two or three days and just looking at what hobbyists and hackers are doing. What are the sorts of things that are on the cutting edge?”
Bezos, 48, will then write up two- or three-page memos, sometimes to himself, other times to his executive team. “What I find is, by the time that process is done, I’m never really sure if I invented something or not, because it starts here and ends up there. That’s what you want if you have a bunch of smart people. Somebody says, `Well, that will never work because you forgot x, y, and z.’ And then you step back and recognize that’s true and then it morphs and builds.”…”
Source (Great article btw, if you are interested in all things Technology, Innovation and Business)
Originally published on the date specified above.
I believe it was early 2010, when I started developing a genuine interest in what Steve Jobs had to say. I don’t know the exact reasoning why. But I found myself searching and perusing everything that Steve had to say. Almost everything that Steve would say made rational sense. I realized that this guy was using clear, simple language to define concepts, that if applied properly would create powerful constructs. One could clearly tell that Steve knew exactly what he was talking about, he knew very well what he wanted and he knew exactly how he wanted to get there. Mind blogging depth of perception, combined with a sense of intuition that was perhaps, unparalleled. Steve was shrewd, he calculated and weighed in on every single word he uttered in public, he was precise, to the point. He did not believe in waste, and you can tell that from his speech to the products he helped envision and bring to the market.
So much has been said and written about this man. People who have directly worked with this man, have characterized him as being brilliant, a visionary, an enigma to being a dictator, a jerk, utterly ruthless.The list goes on and on on both sides of the spectrum. Yet, almost everyone unanimously agrees that Steve was and will be one of a kind. It’s not everyday that the world produces a Leader like Steve. If you ask Steve himself, he’d simply characterize himself to being a dreamer or more precisely, an artist.
I am still going through the biography and I am getting to learn more about this man. Mostly it’s a feeling of awe. But there are pockets where you really begin to wonder what was really going on in his brain. It’s almost as if this was a human being who was in search of something. And he wanted to express what he was searching for. And how he chose to do it was to help make great products. He was not in it for the money. Looking at his simple attire, it doesn’t look like he was in it for the glory or the fame. But going back to his childhood, specifically the abandonment by his biological parents. I almost don’t want to make this correlation at this point, but maybe it had something to do with that? Maybe all he had been looking for all this time was love, true happiness and acceptance. Although he did clarify from time to time that he wanted nothing to do with his biological parents at the very least. Fate can be cruel and twisted, but very few have the ability to take a negative experience and turn it into something positive. I think that is what he was really trying to do all this time and the so called “weirdness” he exhibited were symptoms. Things seem to have gotten much better during the later part of his life. But I think he still set the bar up quite high for almost everyone he worked with and off course himself.
Well I figured I would start with a little bit of an introduction. I am still learning about this man. He truly was an enigma. But at the same time Steve was a guiding light for the rest of us. And as Jeff Bezos would say, Steve was a great teacher to anyone who was willing to listen.
Enough has been written about Steve, so it’s redundant for me to pen an entire narrative about him. But going back to where I started, and that would be the title of this blog-post , here are two observations that I have picked up after watching, reading up on Steve Jobs. These principles are powerful and they will continue being relevant for a long time:
So staying true to the Jobsinian way of doing things, I want to keep it simple, with a wish and a conviction that our children will be able to enjoy the same saner surroundings that we did. That our generation will not live a life of lie. We will not slide into a mindless totalitarian reality. But rather, we will understand and fix the underlying design that drives our reality. With an eventual desire of continuing to think free thoughts. Continuing to innovate and so that many more Steve Jobs could flourish.
May you rest in peace, Steven Paul Jobs. You truly have been a great teacher.
Originally published on Dec 16, 2011
Brin speaks out against SOPA and PIPA. link
In just two decades, the world wide web has transformed and democratized access to information all around the world. I am proud of the role Google has played alongside many others such as Yahoo, Wikipedia, and Twitter. Whether you are a student in an internet cafe in the developing world or a head of state of a wealthy nation, the knowledge of the world is at your fingertips.Of course, offering these services has come with its challenges. Multiple countries have sought to suppress the flow of information to serve their own political goals. At various times notable Google websites have been blocked in China, Iran, Libya (prior to their revolution), Tunisia (also prior to revolution), and others. For our own websites and for the internet as a whole we have worked tirelessly to combat internet censorship around the world alongside governments and NGO promoting free speech.Thus, imagine my astonishment when the newest threat to free speech has come from none other but the United States. Two bills currently making their way through congress — SOPA and PIPA — give the US government and copyright holders extraordinary powers including the ability to hijack DNS and censor search results (and this is even without so much as a proper court trial). While I support their goal of reducing copyright infringement (which I don’t believe these acts would accomplish), I am shocked that our lawmakers would contemplate such measures that would put us on a par with the most oppressive nations in the world.This is why I signed on to the following open letter with many other founders – http://dq99alanzv66m.cloudfront.net/sopa/img/12-14-letter.pdf
See also: http://americancensorship.org/ and http://engineadvocacy.org/
Originally published on November 15, 2011
Jeff Bezos on:
On disrupting business practices in order to create new revenue streams:
“As a company, one of our greatest cultural strengths is accepting the fact that if you’re going to invent, you’re going to disrupt. A lot of entrenched interests are not going to like it. Some of them will be genuinely concerned about the new way, and some of them will have a vested self-interest in preserving the old way. But in both cases, they’re going to create a lot of noise, and it’s very easy for employees to be distracted by that. It could be criticism of something that we actually believe in. It could also be too much praise about something that we’re not doing as well as the outside world says we’re doing it. We’re going to stay heads-down and work on the business.”
On the broken patent system:
“For many years, I have thought that software patents should either be eliminated or dramatically shortened. It’s impossible to measure the toll they’ve had on the software industry, but on balance, it has been negative”
On long term strategy:
““It’s all about the long term.” If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you’re competing against a lot of people. But if you’re willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you’re now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that. Just by lengthening the time horizon, you can engage in endeavors that you could never otherwise pursue. At Amazon we like things to work in five to seven years. We’re willing to plant seeds, let them grow—and we’re very stubborn. We say we’re stubborn on vision and flexible on details.”
This is what Jeff had to say about Steve Jobs. And I completely agree with him:
“Steve was a teacher to anyone paying attention, and he’s gone way too soon.”
Originally published on August 24, 2011
Found this awesome interview on Youtube and thought I’d share. Basically it is an informal interview with Randy Komisar, one of the fellows at Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. KPCB is a VC but they are more than just that, as they have helped incubate some very successful names in the Tech industry and continue doing so. Anyhow, this blog-post is not about kpcb. So without further ado.
Below you will find the 8 part interview that I was referring to. Each one of the clips is 6-8 minutes long. So fairly easy to digest. And if you are a geek like me, then you’d want to pay close attention to what this guy (Randy Komisar) is saying. Some interesting themes that I picked up (in random order and amongst others)
Clip 1 – Path to KPCB
Clip 2 – Teaching Entrepreneurship
Clip 3 – Working with VC’s
Clip 4- Hot Startups
Clip 5 – Entrepreneurs
Clip 6 – iPhone and Mobile
Clip 7 – Work Life Balance
Clip 8 – On VC and Google