Thursday, January 31, 2019

Why I startup

This is a blogpost to express my views on what I have realized from my startup journey so far. This post is part of the series on thinking and writing about the why behind certain decisions. 

There appears to be a tendency to attribute a significant decision or an important development in one's life to a single historical event or a "turning" point. While it is true to some extent, in my experience, often times it is a sequence of smaller events occurring at varying time intervals, present conditions, the location and network proximity, and the culmination of these different elements that lay the foundation for an important development to occur. It seems hard and unscientific to think of them in isolation and draw causal conclusions. To use Josh Wolfe' terms, randomness and optionality.

Starting a company is one such important event in my life and when attempting to reason it, it becomes increasingly clear that it is indeed a series of smaller events that led to such a development. Generally speaking, it is a combination of desire to build and create something of your own, to be the driving force for the change that you'd like see in the world, the support and existence of the community around you, life stage, circumstances, prior work and experiences all play a role to a varying degree to be able to sustain a startup and associated life style. It is rationalizing your irrationality aka being delusional in some ways but recognizing it.

Personally speaking, for me it allows me to follow my curiosity and engage in deep work as it is improbable to build a successful company with surface level information. Startups often require deep meaningful work and the willingness to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. It is a test of not just your skills and experience, but also of your character. The most exciting thing about the experience for me is that engaging in this kind of work takes you to places, connects you with people that you probably would have never imagined. The sense of rawness, purity, uncertainty, placing bets, getting better by being wrong and managing risk makes the journey quite rewarding and a fulfilling one.

On the outside looking inside startups may seem glorious. It is an adventure into the unknown with no guarantees of success. However, the thinking that comes with it is the only way to make outsized returns, adjusting for life circumstances your were born into and not accounting for the impact of luck.

It is for me, my attempt at leaving a mark on this world in the finite time that we have. In closing, I think Freud had it right, it is the work of your life that matters in the end. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Why I yoga

This post is part of the series on thinking and writing about the why behind certain decisions. 

I started practicing yoga in the year 2015 as means to stay active and find an outlet from all the other things I had going on in life. One of the first yoga classes I took was at the CorePower Yoga studio in Streeterville, Chicago.

I recall walking out of the classes in my first few weeks, thinking, if this was for me? Do I really want this? Am I flexible enough? and all the negative thoughts and self-doubts one can think of.

However, I somehow persisted and continued practicing, often times mixing up the different styles - flow with power yoga and restorative classes.

Over the years, yoga has become an integral part of the life, something that I feel committed to and make time for.

I believe it is important to think about why practice yoga.

Over time I have made a few observations on effects of yoga on my life and people around me. In the increasingly connected world we live in, I find myself always thinking about and anticipating the next thing to do. Yoga for me has become a tool to stay more present and connected with the physical world around us.

It has helped me explore other interests - biking, hiking and philosophy (although it is debatable interest in Economics interest led me to this) and help make new connections and friendships.

Grateful for the practice!