Words for words

This is an unorganised list of thoughts, quotes, essays, ideas, methods that I wish I had known earlier. A work that I hope to remain in progress… 

Side Note: I am only attributing the sources from where I came to know about these. Academics, please chill.

“Your ideas are only as good as your ability to communicate them”: Viki Pavlik (While giving advice on how to pitch startups)

A thoughtful essay “What you’ll wish you’d known” by Paul Graham here.

“If great talent and great drive are both rare, then people with both are rare squared”: Paul Graham

Funny how fast the world changes: “In 1775, Asia accounted for 80% of the world economy. The combined economies of India and China alone represented 2/3 of global production. In comparison, Europe was an economic dwarf. In 1950 western Europe and United States together accounted for more than half of the global production”: From the book Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.

“Stay Hungry, Stay foolish”: Steve Jobs at Stanford commencement speech

Craving->Dissastisfaction->Sadness ->Craving->…. : Buddha (so, break the loop)

“Funding and financial problems are easier ones to solve for a startup. The big problem is when you have the money, but you still can’t make the solution to the problem work”: Sameer Mehta while working at Rabobank and having a call about my startup

The book “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari

The book “How to Win Friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie.

The book “Zero to One” by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters.

“You are the average of five people you spend the most time with. Choose wisely”: Quote by Jim Rohn. While, I don’t fully agree, but I do believe that the people/environment around someone influences him/her a lot and Garbage in –> Garbage out.

A thought provoking video “Who Controls All of Our Money?” by Coldfusion here. (Do we place our trust in money and the current financial system or is money=trust)

Look, we run at these speeds and these distances. For me, this toughness translates to real life and work as well. Even now, if I go home and at midnight, my supervisor asks me to write a paper, I will complete it: My friend Mário Diogo while pursuing PDEng at TU Delft

Everyone should know how to use Reddit. It’s a social network consisting of the smartest people (original content comes on reddit far before it follows the copy-paste-decorate job on other social networks). A good starting subreddit.

“Man, even if I have improved by just one percent throughout the day, thats more than enough. Because in 100 days, I will be…” : My friend Ngawang who I met in a hostel in Vienna.

“I actively pursue experiences that are unlike any others that I’ve experienced and cultures that I don’t know and unfamiliar places and unfamiliar history and things like that.” : Casey Neistat

“Being outside your country and still spending most of your time with people from your home country is staying in the comfort zone, something I actively disengage from!”: Me

Some of the lyrics of the songs by Lukas Graham (One of my favorite bands) are based on lead singer’s personal life and words are astonishingly true. For more, read here.

“There is no finish line…”:  A quote from the poster in the app Nike Run Club.

“Don’t believe on what someone says. If possible, see if their actions match their words”: Me

“Free time is the enemy of progress. Because free time sitting around, Is not doing.”: Casey Neistat

“It is better to ask for forgiveness than for permission”: Harvey Specter in the TV Series Suits. Very useful when deciding whether to take a risky option.

“Ultimately, it all boils down to 3 basic questions, where do you want to live, how you want to live, and with whom, you want to live”: Unspecified

“The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again”: Steve Jobs. Useful when you know you have fucked up and drowned but you know that things can only be better from here.

Happiness = Reality – Expectation, Expectation = Best Case Scenario* Hope => Happiness = Reality – Hope*Best Case Scenario, so keep low hopes and be happy in any scenario (Me on a long late night flight).

Men have three core desires, 1. a battle to fight 2. an adventure to live and 3. a beauty to love: from the book “Wild At Heart” by John Eldredge.

“Life will be unfair at times and the only way is to keep moving forward”: Admiral William McRaven

“Love what you do and do what you love”: Abhijit Banerjee in the interview from nobel banquet. Hence, it is very important to find what you love first, keep looking, and hopefully, you will realise once you have found it (work will really not be work, but a game or puzzle that one has inherent motivation to win or solve). Personally, I feel very fortunate that I have gotten the opportunity to interact with a lot of people who are like this and they keep on inspiring me at regular intervals.

“Academia is the business of telling people stuff and unicorns are usually made by keeping secrets”: Me (Inspired from Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams)

Value is usually directly proportional to uniqueness: Me

”Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference”: by Robert Frost from The Road Not Taken. So, if your goals are already different than most people’s goals, then the path to reach them will also require independent and rather different thinking.

“Coming in and making recommendations, and not owning the results, not owning the implementation, is a fraction of the value and fraction of opportunity to learn and get better”: Steve Jobs on Consulting at this 1992 talk at MIT

When a smart person is talking, the most valuable use of your time is to listen deeply: Anonymous

“Winning is better than losing, but everybody loses when the war isn’t the one worth fighting.”: From the book Zero to One by Peter Thiel.

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”: Theodore Roosevelt. To all the wonderful people I have had the opportunity to know who pushed hard to almost their limits either physically during trainings or mentally during work or studies, you inspire and remind me to push.

“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”: E.B. White. Heard in Lex Fridman’s Podcast.

“Most people never pick up the phone, most people never ask. And that’s what separates people who do things from the people that just dream about them”: Steve Jobs (though nowadays, that phone has been replaced by instant messaging, twitter and email).

“The destination will be found only by moving adrift, while on the way. Truly lost are those who never left the house”: Anonymous, heard in Rocket Boys.

The poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling.

“Wanna play safe, reduce risk and uncertainty” or “Go All In”: Me while reflecting on the broken education system and startups.

“I love my job, I suspect you do too. And That’s a real privilege, not everybody get’s to say that.”: Sam Altman on the Lex Fridman’s podcast.

The entire blog post “How to be successful“: Sam Altman, recommended also in the Lex Fridman’s podcast

Tony Fadell brilliantly explains the complexity of hardware, software, and courage: Lex Fridman’s podcast

“If you believe in trying to make the best of the finite number of years we have on this planet (while not making it any worse for anyone else), think that pride and self-righteousness are the cause of most conflict and negativity, and are humbled by the vastness and mystery of the Universe, then I’m the same religion as you.”: Sal Khan

It’s Not the Years in Your Life That Count. It’s the Life in Your Years: Abraham Lincoln, from Casey Neistat’s awesome MakeItCount video.

“if literally, no one else wants to touch this space in a world where everyone and her dog is starting a company, is that a good thing?”: Matt Clifford, co-founder Entrepreneur First.

The golden talk by Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder of Nvidia.

There is a certain delicate beauty that arises only due to suffering and pain: Me, after experiencing true suffering. Also, inspired by Lex Fridman’s podcasts with GSP and Yuvan Noah Harari

“Away… beyond all concepts of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there.”: Rumi, heard in the movie Rockstar

There is a difference between patriotism and nationalism, I identify myself as a patriotic: Vir Das, heard on Vir Das: Landing

“This is so cliche, but when I had all the money in the world, I was miserable. But when I got out with nothing, I was happier”: Matthew Cox discussing his real-life story in depth on the Lex Fridman podcast. Read through Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to understand more.

“Keep going until you find an idea that won’t let you go”: The book Build by Tony Fadell

When you are at far left, everything, even if someone is center left, will appear as right-wing and that’s a dangerous place to be: Me, inspired by Elon Musk’s discussion on Lex Fridman’s podcast regarding X, formerly known as Twitter.

“If you want to make everyone happy, don’t be a leader, sell ice cream”: Steve Jobs. I have experienced this while working on Respire, working on my PhD and ideating startups at EF. People are inherently not equal in the sense that a major proportion is susceptible to be distracted by short-term goals instead of long-term vision. Analyse this video to learn more.

“Why do you have want to be at the top in everything? What is going inside you?”: My father after my interview at Apple. Led me to introspect on why I am always pushing at what I am doing. Over a few days, realized that this might be coming from a bad end of me. And later realized, it was coming out of passion for quality.

In computer science, the approach to solving a problem, and whether it is even a problem in the first place is highly dependent on the size of the input. Similarly, I have encountered people from smaller countries within the E.U., having never lived even short-term outside the E.U., make strong comments about large countries and economies like U.S., China, and India. These friends are often unaware about their biases, sometimes compensating with moral arguments (such as liberalism) when they struggle in logical debates. Overall, I believe they may benefit from challenging their biases and broadening their perspectives through first-hand experience, much like how understanding the context of input size can fundamentally change the approach to solving and the existence of a problem in computer science.: Me, after listening to a debate between three friends at a snooker bar in Delft. I just felt pity for their ignorance.


(This page was started at 12:21am, 1st September 2021)

EDIT: Minor updates on 4th September 3:59pm, 19th October 1:24am, 30th November 2:55pm, 1st Dec 11:19pm, 5th March 2022 11:41pm, 14th March 2022 16:43pm, 28th March 2022 11:54pm, 1st May 2022 4:10pm, 8th June 2022 1:01am, 18th June 2022 11:48pm, 20th June 2022 11:53pm, 18th July 2022 5:59pm, 13th Oct 2022  11:27pm, 10 Dec 2022 11:38pm, 4th Jan 2023 12:54am, 25th March 2023 12:24am, 26th March 2023 12:24am, 27th March 2023 10:59pm, 27th April 2023 11:39pm, 3rd May 2023 12:08am, 3rd May 2023 6:00pm, 7th May 2023 10:15pm, 17th May 2023 11:56pm, Jun 3rd 2023 11:40pm, Aug 10th 2023 15:40pm, Aug 21st 2023 17:30pm, Nov 27th 2023 16:17pm, 27th Jan 2024 1:35pm, March 7th 2024 1:11pm, March 18th 2024 10:29pm, 21st May 2024 3:10pm, 18th Jun 2024 1:14am