A list of strong opinions which I held once but no longer belive in:
- Management consultants are con artists who try to hide their lack of deep understanding behind frameworks. This was something I believed in when I was a fresher out of college. Since then I have worked with my ex-consultants, who are super smart, organized, can break tough problems, and come up with solutions backed by data. They have a bad reputation because people think consultants don’t have skin in the game, which might be somewhat true.
- Using frameworks is lazy. I love frameworks now.
- Making money is evil. If you are passionate about something, then the money does not matter. Now I think that money gives you the independence to do whatever the fuck you want in life. The 2020 Manas works as hard as 2013 Manas. The 2020 Manas is also obsessed with building products. The only difference is 2020 Manas can leave his job tomorrow, and live comfortably for 5-10 years on his savings.
- I don’t need anyone. My life is a single-player game. Having a girlfriend you emotionally connect with, and you know will be by your side through thick and thin is amazing. Having a few close friends is amazing. As I grow older, I have realized how much people, not everyone but a few good ones, matter.
- You don’t learn anything at a big company. Most people go there to retire. I know many people who have traded their startup life for the big 4 (Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Google), and they are super happy. I guess there are pros and cons of everything, and you should not have strong statements about where to work, and how to work.
- Network. Network. Network. I believed proximity is power. And networking is the best way to gain proximity to people who will help in my career growth. I still believe that. But over years I have also realised how much I hate networking. I also hate webinars. I hate going to conferences. But that is me. There are a lot of people who have found their dream jobs thanks to their networking skills. I should not hate on them. Hence I keep my opinions on conferences and webinars to occasional Twitter rants.
- PMs need to know everything. Most of my past confrontations with a few of my managers as well as other PMs came because I deep down did not respect them enough. Why? Because some of them were not “technical” enough. Others lacked an “eye for design”. A few I thought were far too political. With time I have learned to appreciate the pros of people than judging them for their cons. If I know someone has mad skills in Excel, should I not try to learn from them than bitching about their lack of coding skills? Took me years to learn this.
- Office politics is eww. Avoid at all cost. In an organisation there will always be competition for better roles, bigger charters, resources. Most work places are Darwinian. Either you learn how to navigate politics in the workplace or you have to start up on your own. No point complaining.
- Grow fast in your 20s or you are dead. I have started thinking of my career in decades instead of 2-year chunks. I think a lot of us are greedy and optimize mostly for short term, instead of thinking about a longer time horizon. The book Catalyst was a life changer.
- Fuck soft skills. If you are good, these things don’t matter. Nope. Communication matter much more than your tech or design skills. Spend a year in a large organisation and you will know why.
Note: I will keep expanding this list