“Art Should Disturb The Comfortable and Comfort The Disturbed” –from a Charles river runner’s T-Shirt

Art for art’s sake is absolutely important. What is the point of rationalizing art, isn’t art a matter of the heart. Shouldn’t true art come from the heart. Absolutely. But if art doesn’t console and comfort people when they are disturbed or shake things up when they are feeling too comfortable, is it really art or is it just an amalgamation of random ideas?

raagasai.com

raagasai.com

It’s Not A Question Of Talent, It’s A Question Of Choice

Our struggles in life are not because we don’t have talent, not because we don’t know what to do but because we don’t do what we know. We lack the discipline to build good habits. Talent is overrated, just as someone said 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration is the recipe for success, I would say 99% habit and 1% talent is the recipe for success in this new world where the distractions are many. There is a ding on the phone every minute, distractions are limitless, habits are limited. You can only make so many habits, you better choose the right ones that will help you make progress towards your goals. The choice is yours.

I have often heard people say, you are the masters of your destiny and the captain of your soul. I have heard people say we are defined by our choices. I will admit that not everything is our choice, there are circumstances in life that are way beyond our control. The choice to pay attention to them or not is in our control.

“Karmanyeva Adhikarasthe Ma Phaleshu Kadhachana” –Bhagavadgita

You only have right over your actions, not on the fruits of your actions

If You Want To Do Something, Don’t Think About It, Go And Do It

I have come to this point many times. Sometimes, many times in a single day. I have a good idea and then think and think and think about it, imagine all the things that could go wrong and all the things that could go right. Weigh the pros and the cons in a rational way and of course the idea is to come to a reasonable decision. The problem here is that the original idea doesn’t actually get done, lot of thinking usually makes the idea not that interesting anymore and I lose the excitement I had in the beginning.

This line “If you want to do something, don’t think about it, go and do it” from Dyson vacuum founder in a podcast with Guy Raz made me think about this a bit. He has a point, why should you spend time thinking about the idea, what’s the fun in that, all the fun is in doing the idea and not thinking more about it.

#8 Karthish Manthiram

On Creating Fuels and Chemicals For The Next 100 Years and The Importance Of Accessible Role Models

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Karthish Manthiram is an Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering at MIT. The Manthiram Lab at MIT is focused on the molecular engineering of electrocatalysts for the synthesis of organic molecules, including pharmaceuticals, fuels, and commodity chemicals, using renewable feedstocks. Karthish’s research and teaching have been recognized with several awards, including Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science.



Our work should break us out of what we are used to, it should surprise us, disturb us –Karthish Manthiram

#7 Tirthak Saha

On modernizing the power grid infrastructure and making life choices that you are happy with

Tirthak Saha has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Drexel. He was selected by Forbes 30 under 30 for his work in electric grid modernization. He worked on Smart Grid projects at utility giant American Electric Power. One of his proposals won AEP’s Spark Tank Innovation Challenge and is now underway. The $1 billion investment will improve energy delivery across 9 states.

“Be happy with your life choices.”

Apps I Find Useful

Everyday ask yourself “How am I being useful to this world”

–Madhav SBSS

Notion, a neat tool that packs a lot of things into one app. Todo lists, documents, spreadsheets, team collaboration but is it too busy? Is it trying to do too many things, is it trying to be a Swiss Army Knife?

Spark email – love your email again. I like the app, it combines good features from Gmail, Yahoo and other popular email apps into one. Their Smart View option is interesting, it bubbles up email that is more important or relevant to the top of the inbox, instead of a reverse chronological order.

SuperHuman – what’s the big deal with this email app, why is it invite only for ever? I don’t know, interesting thing is no app has been able to monetize email clients. They certainly are doing something right!

Elevate brain games app – Not a recent find, I have been playing the games for a couple of years quite regularly, it takes just a few minutes to complete a session and I enjoy the challenges and visuals.

Flipboard – news personalized for me, hyper curated. Love the ease of use and relevancy of the articles to my tastes.

raagabox – connecting humans through music. Well, this is a website and app I have been maintaining for over a decade now. It gives me so much joy to listen to the beautiful voices of many of my close friends and family.

mint – not a day goes by without checking my portfolio, networth, bills and expenses in this cool little app that has been around for over a decade and hasn’t changed much. UX could be better but I won’t complain, it’s free and it connects to all my banks, investments, real estate and does a decent job of giving me clarity on my finances. It’s time someone developed nextmint that actually personalizes financial planning, is free like mint!

Google Voice – I don’t like most of Google products, with the exception of their Search, Maps and Docs. I have to say Google Voice is a blessing for those who need to call international at cheap rates and get the reliable service. My monthly telephone bills have dropped by 5 times.

Stockpile – a cool little app that I have given to my kids so that they can learn the value of investing in stocks. The app allows them to invest in partial shares, for example, even with $100 they can own AMZN stock which is trading at $2388.55 today.

digit.co is interesting, it is kind of like Acorns. It has been around for over a decade, it connects to your checking account and pulls small amounts of money regularly into a rainy day account.

#6 Vijay Nadadur

On using machines to help humans to understand natural language faster, cheaper and better and on feeling comfortable with your life choices

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Vijaykant Nadadur is the Co-Founder & CEO of Stride.AI. His expertise spans the areas of Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Understanding. He is also a mentor at Techstars Paris and Bangalore. He has lived in 6 countries and speaks 7 languages. 



Enjoy my conversation with Vijay

Lessons Learned From Ben and Jerry

We didn’t think of it as a business, we thought of it as a venture. We wanted to do it for a couple of years and then become cross country truck drivers.

A lot of our problems would be solved if we made the ice creams shittier.

Business is essentially “busyness”, it’s mostly commonsense and lot of work.

We ran a promotion in winter called “Penny Off Per Celsius degree Below Zero Winter Extravaganza (POPCBZWE)”.

Ben and Jerry are two great friends and amazing citizens of the world delivering happiness by the pint, under $5

Random tweet (credit: Marche’ Lawton) about Ben and Jerry, haven’t fact checked but if it is true I’m definitely buying more chunky monkeys as well

Jerry Greenfield, left, and Bennett Cohen, the founders of Ben and Jerry Homemade Inc., pose in front of their “Cowmobile” in Burlington, Vt., on June 15, 1987.
( Toby Talbot / AP Images )
Source: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/heresthething/episodes/ben-and-jerry-warm

Notes and Links

https://www.amazon.com/Ice-Cream-Wendall-S-Arbuckle/dp/1461380677

#5 Sreekanth Vemula

On following ones curiosity, being comfortable with not fitting in and taking care of his next patient

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Dr. Sreekanth is a leading Neurologist at Apollo Hospitals Hyderabad. He received his MD from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and DM in Neurology from Institute of Medical Sciences at Chandigarh. Teaching medical students is one of his passions, he has been actively teaching and advising students over 10 years.

“Thinking clearly, unselfishly, solves most problems in this world” and “Don’t worry, you will be automatically happy” –Sreekanth
Enjoy my conversation with Sreekanth

#4 Sidharth and Somvir

On a mission to rebuild real human connections locally, worldwide

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Somvir and Siddharth are co-founders of MyScoot platform which helps people discover great local experiences and meet amazing people through house parties. They are part of the Y Combinator Accelerator program and are fired up to change the way people build and develop social connections locally all around the world.

“By the end of this week, there will be 50 people who would have met each other through something that we’re doing”
Enjoy my conversation with Somvir and Siddharth