It has been a strange few months. Like most people around the world, I have been locked up at home with family. That means me, my wife, two young kids (12 & 10), my parents, my mother-in-law, and our 4-year old German Shepard – Toto. And these are the only people I have been talking to face-to-face (yes, you can speak to your dog!) over the last few months – I’m sure the same is true for many of you. We stopped all our domestic help as well, and thanks to that, I’m back in peak form when it comes to mopping the floor or washing dishes. The past 90+ days have also been very productive from various aspects of life. For one, there is no commute time anymore and, the world of zoom meetings, which tend to be shorter and sweeter, have unlocked time to do stuff that I have always wanted to do.
For example – in no particular order: read more, listen to more podcasts/audio-books, spend more time with family, spend time thinking/reflecting, spend more time with colleagues and portfolio founders, to name a few. But, one thing I have always wanted to do, was writing more – and this newsletter – “Musings” – is an attempt at that.
I have always found writing to help in crystallizing semi-formed thoughts to concrete reflections. Try it, take any topic, and try writing about it, and you will learn a lot more about that topic through the process. And so, the reason for “Musings” is to crystallize the various inputs that go into my life weekly and to make sense of the more salient aspects, especially as it relates to startups, productivity, and life. You could ask why not do it in a journal? But, I have found myself learning better by discussing it with others. And hence, I wanted to share thoughts with those interested and “jam” together (borrowing from one of the founders I work with, who uses this phrase – any guesses who?).
The plan is to publish this as a weekly newsletter with the following structure:
- Reflections: what I’ve been thinking about, personally or professionally, over the last week.
- Highlights: what I’ve been reading/listening/watching throughout the week and why you might find them interesting too.
- Spotlight: the most-recommended item from the week and why I connected with it deeply.
- Productivity: few of the productivity hacks I came across which might prove helpful to you as well.
- Quote/Tweet of the week: anything that stood out as a nugget of wisdom.
I want to keep this conversational, and so, if there is something that you would like to add, do not hesitate to share as a comment or ping me directly. With that, let’s get started now. We already covered Reflections above for this week, and so here’s the rest:
Book: Biographies give you a window into some highly-accomplished people’s reasons for success – and this one, on Disney’s ex-CEO Bob Iger is a real masterpiece and a must-read/listen. I will share more about Biographies and this particular one, in the coming weeks.
Podcasts/Blogs: Shane Parish through Farnam Street publishes amazing content in case you are not familiar with them, highly recommend checking it out. And this particular podcast on parenting, in the Knowledge Project podcast series, by Farnam Street, is a real masterpiece – and made me reflect on how I can be a better parent.
I chanced into this high-quality podcast series by Lex Fridman. And this particular chat with Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates (one of the world’s largest hedge funds), gives us a peek into one of the sharpest minds on the planet. In the podcast, he says something like, “I’m 70 now and want to share my learnings…” – that got me thinking on why not start sharing whatever I’m learning, starting now. One of the many inspirations behind starting “Musings.”