i would sincerely recommend everyone to read the entire transcript of the podcast. This podcast will seem philosophical in nature but with limited experience in our lives we can communicate that every word discussed in the podcast is worth re-reading.
1 - Ben Franklin said, “Little strokes fell great oaks.” The Japanese have talked for centuries about Kaizen, which means ‘small continuous improvements.’ And you must have seen this equation showing the power of compounding 1% per day over 365 days: 1.01365 = 37.8. In other words, 1% compounded each day is almost 3800% better each year. Big change, with just one percent. What this equation and the accompanying advice means is that instead of trying to make radical changes in a short amount of time, if you can just make small improvements – just 1% better – every day, that will gradually lead to the change you want in your life.
2. At its very core, meditation is basically pure concentration, if I just strip everything out and try to demystify it. we have certain memories embedded, or certain aspirations or aversions embedded, within ourselves. As you go deeper and deeper and deeper into that concentration mode of meditation, you find the whole drama of going between the past and the future, instead of being in the present.
3. Investing Vs Entrepreneurship - A past communication between Vallabh bhai (Vallabh Bhansali) and Manish Chokhani: “Son, you are coming from an industrial family, you will find an opportunity, you will gather the managerial resources around it, and then you will exploit that opportunity by having ownership and control. If you can bring that same mindset of an entrepreneur into the investing world, and you look at a business opportunity, here you get an option to look at various management teams, which are kind of readymade. And you can have as much ownership of that business as you like. The only trade off in your mind you must make is that you will have ownership, but you may not have control. But the flip of it is, you can have the benefit of various businesses, not just the one you are doing. And you will enjoy meeting the best people in the world and constantly be learning.” That resonated so much. Even Warren Buffett said that a better businessman is a better investor and vice versa. And that really resonated.
4. Till today, like you asked me in the beginning that what do you do every morning, I do the same thing every morning. I try to learn more, and I try to apply more, and I try to become better each day. That is really what the journey of life is.
5. On Critical Periods of Great Learning: I think, in that sense, bull market tops are great teachers because they test your emotions, along with whatever you have read. And only when it comes together, it makes you survive for the next cycle. Similarly in 2000, when everything is going great in the world and Infosys and Wipro and all are trading at multiple lakh crores, and can do whatever they want, even in that period, to see signals from the merger of Time Warner with AOL at hundred and sixty billion dollars that something big is going crazy, and this is not sustainable, and I do not need to be here. It is periods like that change your thinking completely. Human greed and fear come alive in real time
6. I would say one is that early period of learning from market cycles, avoiding FOMO, patience, objectivity, human and crowd psychology, etc.
7. On his Learning from Session about Technology at Singularity University: I had the chance to go and live there for a while. I took the initiative to attend a program at Singularity University, where I got exposed to emerging technologies. While I had read about lot of technology, getting exposed to all of it and seeing it present, and here, and now, it was like a switch going off in your head that lot of the things in which you are investing in, and investing is about terminal value, which is what you are valuing…lot of these terminal values are not going to be around 10 years from now. And, therefore, your mind must now think a lot differently than what you have thought about your businesses or beyond the hope that this business leader is so smart that he will kind of morph his business and grow out of it and so on.
8. On Exponential Mindset required in India if we need to be in forefront in the Future: While we are a very tech-savvy country, we still tend to be just the service providers to a lot of the real deep tech. Or the cutcopy-paste guys. Amazon will get copied and made into a Flipkart here, or Uber will get copied as Ola here. But we are not really at the forefront of what is going to change the world in the next 10-20 years.
9. Continued on above: Whether it is the whole field of AI, whether it's the whole field of Robotics, whether it’s the whole field of genomics and biology. All of this and similar emerging technologies are going to transform the world we are living in. And if we are just the service providers to these people, we will end up like Mexico is to America rather than being at the vanguard of what is coming.
9. Process of Thinking and Decision Making (part we loved the most): Point 10 - Point 18
10. If you have the right people around you, and I think even you wrote it very well in your book that the biggest decision you make in your life is choosing your life partner and then the people that you work with. So, get the right people around you, I think that is the first thing to think about.
12. Secondly, I am a big believer of nature cycles, life cycles. I think I have mentioned somewhere in another interview, that if you see evolution of how mankind had the Cambrian explosion when our brains really grew, and we could stand upright, and we kind of broke out from other amphibians in the world and became a different species. The same thing applies to countries, the same thing applies to sectors. So, 200 years ago, it was agriculture, then industry, then IT, and going forward, deep tech and so on. Are you in sync with what is happening across various underlying cycles?
13. ‘Target – Plan – Execute – Review.’ As in if you do not know what you're shooting for, and for that also you have to be in alignment with what the trends are, how will you hit the goal? It is like trying to shoot an arrow, but you do not know where the bullseye is. So, you got to know where you are heading. Then, if you are trying to do that, what's your plan to get there. Because the biggest mistakes we make is that we just embark without thought, and then then we have to rework and keep reworking and so on and we lose time and waste a lot of effort doing that. So, if you can plan it in terms of what you need to do, put the resources, put the framework around it, you are likely to be far more successful than others. Then you execute to that plan. But the fourth link, which is the most essential is, then you review that plan, which is what we would call as the introspection period, to see what worked, what did not work, and how do I alter the course.
14. I also want to mention our brainstorming sessions that were at the root of our creative, rigorous, and accepting culture. At Enam, we confidently used a tagline of IT’S POSSIBLE. We examined many key ideas, proposals, situations using Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats in open dialogue meetings. It is an extraordinary framework to help decision making, avoid group think or adversarial/bureaucratic outcomes.
15. The third is what we call margin of safety, or resilience, or what Taleb also describes as antifragile. You need that buffer. We are not here to optimize everything, make the last buck in the world, exploit the last resource in the world. So, I would think of that as a third kind of mental construct that I always have in my head.
16. Fourth, I would think of what is a ‘no-go.’ What not to do is more important than what you want to do, because then it narrows it down and sharpens your focus as well.
17. Fifth, I would think of the discipline to stick to what you have put down.
18. Then, of course in investing there are lots of decision-making frameworks. Like, you do not double count because it is a good company, a good management, a good this or that thing, therefore this price. So, if everyone just went and bought the best management, best business and did not worry about price, we did not need a stock market. So do not double count. Equally applicable on the way down when things are going bad.
19. You can make a hundred billion dollars. You can be the most famous person in the world. You can be the most powerful person in the world. But does it really matter? What really matters, eventually, will be your relationships and the one person or the three persons who are going to miss you when you are not there, if I put it in a very morbid way.
20. Nature is not linear. Nature is cyclical and there is something else you are meant to do at a certain point in your life and you must have a road map of where your life is going to take you. I do not know who said it, Andrew Carnegie or Rockefeller or someone, that it is okay if you are born poor, but it is a very sad thing to die rich. You must be doing something constructive with it.