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Well-Being of the Mind

Quality of Thoughts as a Means to Quality of Life

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

What is Quality of Life?

Once you have done enough to reasonably meet the basic needs of your lifestyle, the next jump in the quality of your life is not going to come from external factors. It will depend on what you cultivate inside of you — the quality of your thoughts.

It is easy to assume that life in another country with better infrastructure will correlate to a better quality of life. This is true, however, only to a certain extent. …


Hiring Done Right

Cracking the Candidate Experience

Text stating “Recruitment”’
Text stating “Recruitment”’
Photo by Anna Tarazevich from Pexels

A lot has been written about how candidates should approach interviews, not so much about how interviewers should. Candidate experience is a hard problem to solve if you are trying to do it at scale and especially if people helping you in scouting and interviewing already have a day job. However, it is critically important to get right what could be someone’s first potential employee experience.

Consistent adoption of a few simple micro-habits across the company can help. Few examples below:

  1. Be on time. Few things show as much respect for the other person without uttering a word besides caring…


The Culture-fit Conundrum

The Art of Interviewing the Interviewer

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

“There are no stupid questions” is a nice sentiment that may be appropriate in some contexts, however, the art of asking questions is an underrated skill, especially when we look for our next career move.

For example, asking “How is the culture at your organization?” to an interviewer is like asking “What kind of a person are you?”. You may not hear intentional lies, but human minds are often incredibly biased against acknowledging vulnerabilities.

If you truly want to understand the culture of an organization, you need to ask questions that focus on the choices, behaviors, and actions during a…


Re-imagining Education

Quality Education is a service design problem.

Image of accessories used by students like tablet, scissors, glue stick, erasers, pencils, notebook
Image of accessories used by students like tablet, scissors, glue stick, erasers, pencils, notebook
Photo by olia danilevich from Pexels

(This article was “written in public”. After a skeleton draft was posted on LinkedIn and Twitter seeking feedback, the attributed responses below were used to further refine and add to the key takeaways.)

The term “Ed Tech” feels like an oxymoron in India, an attempt to change the cover of a book when the book itself needs a replacement. Most technology-first solutions attempting to revamp education in India are primarily using the scale, speed, and standardization of technology to accelerate the adoption of an outdated educational experience. An enterprise architect himself, Vivek Anand, shared his experience of attempting free trial…


The Unsolicited Fortunes

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The word in Pali language for gratitude is kataññutā. The word consists of two parts: kata, which means that which has been done, especially to oneself; and annuta means knowing or recognizing. I am likely missing yet another fifty but doing this exercise revealed the many things that are easy to take for granted.

The Serendipities

  • Being born healthy
  • A dependable mental and physical faculties
  • Never having to sleep empty stomach
  • Having never been in any serious accident
  • Not having to suffer any critical illness
  • Having access and means to a good education
  • Having lived in geographies without life-threatening conflicts

The Family

  • Growing up…


What do Product Managers really do?

A tactical guide to understanding the craft.

I no longer assume I know what someone actually does when they say they are a Product Manager. This year, I had a chance to have over 40 or so 1:1s with folks from outside of work in different stages of their product management journey. No two roles were the same. I distilled our conversations into one picture in an attempt to put a unifying model to the various flavors of product management discipline out there.

The Approach

A significant amount of work that product managers do oscillates between two key questions:

Are we building the right product?

Are we building the…


Power of being in the present

Photo by Snapwire from Pexels

Can an eye ever see itself? Can a leg ever kick itself? Ever seen a hand that grabs itself, or perhaps, a tooth that takes a bite at itself? If you are “it” then you cannot exist out of what you are.

So tell me how can you be defined by the thoughts alone that ring in your mind? For surely you have at least once or more heard a voice within that observed your own.

When in fits of anger, it appealed to you for calm. When driven by hate, it spoke to you of charm. When in depths…


Crafting Careers

A Story of Building Blocks and Jigsaw Puzzles

An artist creates her work as an aggregate of her creativity applied across many layers of perception for an immersive experience for the audience, no matter if you are reading a poem, enjoying a book, or staring at a painting. In that sense, engineers may not be too different.

What does an engineer do?

To deliver a well-defined objective, an engineer:

  1. architects the layers of abstractions required to achieve the outcome
  2. devises a system of interactions across these layers to interconnect them
  3. and finally, reuses or creates patterns of code at each layer to fulfill each of its purpose on the way to orchestrating the…


Building a sustainable career in consulting

Team bonding
Team bonding

The popular character forged by movies and TV series for a successful consultant often involves a pompous extrovert, mostly male, sweeping the clients off their feet with his pretentious know-it-all jargon. In reality, successful women and men leaders in consulting from whom I have learned the most have been introverts. They are great at direct concise communication when needed and always effortlessly step out of the celebratory limelight to let their clients and their teams shine in the success.

Aldous Huxley, an English writer and philosopher, once said, “All science is the reduction of multiplicities to unities”.If I were to…


Planning career transitions to become a product manager.

Image of a potter’s hands giving shape to clay
Image of a potter’s hands giving shape to clay
Photo by Regiane Tosatti from Pexels

Lately, I have been getting a few queries from recent graduates on how to seek a job for a Product Manager (PM) role. My 2 cents: don’t. Trying to be a PM straight out of school is like attempting a competitive sport because you have read the rules and watched it unfold from the stadium seats. In that state, neither do we have enough muscle memory built in our minds to do most things right nor enough battle scars to be remotely successful.

That begs another question. With so many flavors of the PM role out there in the market…

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