A few unpopular opinions.

1/ The same people who hate on Indian CEOs for hustling, creating a cut throat culture, worship Jobs and Musk. I tried to find the WHY. Debated with a lot of friends and even senior people in the industry to understand their POV.

After like an hour of debate, they would casually mention something like “but he is doing just X, not creating the new iphone or something.” This was the epiphany for me. People do not hate CEO X and Y in India because they are assholes or have created a toxic culture, they hate them because they are toxic while creating an incremental product, and not doing something that is seen as world changing.

“Itna kya chaud, ye to bas X kar raha.” “lol X copy kar raha aur apne ko Jobs samajhta hain.”

This is why I have this graph now where Y axis is the perception of world changing behavior and X is how toxic you can be allowed to be.

Jobs can park in the handicapped spot. Steal ideas of his employees. Make his software and hardware chiefs fight over direction of a major product, then delete the contact of the one who lost during demo, and then let him go.

Zuck can call for a lockdown and get people to work 24*7 to fight against Google+ threat. Musk can call people in during peak Covid to work at the factories. But you can’t work 12 hours as an Indian CEO because you are not Musk and incapable of taking us to Mars.

I am not advocating for hustle culture. I personally work 8 hour days. But if I did work for an early startup and had to work longer, it would be a choice I am making for this period of my life.

2/ Most cultural values and principles are statements people talk about retrospectively during performance reviews and not actually used while running a company.

I have lost count of the times I had to do something because some exec asked, and inspite of my best effort. I could not change their mind because “business” always takes precedence over “customer obsession” in the long run. Hence I laugh when I see leaders spew gyaan on Twitter.

And it is okay to prioritise business over everything. I agree with what one CEO said recently in an interview: if there is not business there is no culture. Or customer obsession [my words]. But make sure your team understand the trade offs. Else it will break the heads of your junior employees who think these values are physics laws and can never be broken.

3/ Talking about mimesis, you can see how founder behavior of portfolio companies start looking the same with time. Irrespective of sector.

A, B, C = founders of X fund talk about branding all the time, big on social media, brash, growth at all cost. E, F, G = founders of Y fund heads down building, don’t even appear online.

[Can’t go deep into this because don’t want to piss of any founder or VC, but think about it.]

4/ People just look for confirmation bias on social media. And a lot of them just spend their days being outraged. QTing, Dunking. Going aackchuaallly. If you are doing this to signal to your tribe, get clout, and the likes, I would say sure good for you, my man. Go for it. But if you do that because you have never thought deeply about things and are just coping then I pity you. If someone can see your first 10 likes and tell your worldview, then you are just living in your own bubble.

5/ If you don’t want to use your clout and distribution to startup, sell your course, or become a VC, then it is useless building an audience.

A lot of people, thanks to mimesis, want to write threads, shitpost, because they think it will help their career/ build status. But I would say it is far better for you to crush at work, develop a reputation, grow faster, earn more, get status and then netflix and chill post work. What will you get if more people know you?

I write shitposts because I have this immense need to let people know that I am funny. And liked because of it. But you posting jokes from reddit will do nothing to get you to a senior software dev from software. Unless you are doing this because it makes you happy or something. Or planning to sell a course or startup. Most people put 0 thought into what they do. They just copy what is the “current thing”.