My top 16 Linkedin posts of 2020 and a journey to 1.5 Million+ views
1. A letter from the president of India — 900k+ views
16 yrs back in 2004 my mom showed me an unusual letter delivered to me. It was a personal letter from the “President of India” back then — Sir A.P.J Abdul Kalam.
We lived in a small town Wanaparthy (35k population). Everyone at my home was in shock.
But I knew exactly what was up.
2 weeks ago, I just got an inland letter, wrote a few of my best poems (class 6), and posted it addressing “Abdul Kalam, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Delhi”.
Remember that I didn’t even know the term “Google” or used a computer up until that point. So I wrote the generic address knowing where the president of India resides, on the letter.
I told my gully boys whom I play marbles with & they seriously thought I was joking.
I also didn’t think much after that since the odds of the address being right -> the president reading it -> responding was a chain of very low probability events.
But the unthinkable happened — my parents & my school teachers were ecstatic.
No one told me it was impossible so I went ahead and did it.
Later at 27, I flew my dad in business class (India-> USA & back) and picked him up in my Porsche on his first international trip.
If a weak small-town kid with a modest background could do it without any mentor in life, I bet the odds are much better for most of you.
2. The Data Monk who sold his Porsche — Podcast
Catch a glimpse of my 𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗿 path from struggling in my first job as a 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗴 𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗱𝘂𝗮𝘁𝗲 to driving a 𝗣𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗰𝗵𝗲 to work every day at 27 in the silicon valley. And the best of all was quitting the lifestyle and moving back home to 𝗜𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗮 to chase 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗲𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 :) The power ⚡ of online education is underestimated. Thanks to the great folks (Kunaal Naik, Yogesh Kothiya and LAISHA WADHWA) at Co-learning lounge for hosting me and making a super awesome video podcast :)
#motivation #datascience #machinelearning
3. Keep calm and trust the young grads
No matter how much ever one achieves technically, socially, and financially, there will always be a fresh grad right out of college who will be on a much-accelerated path and will beat him/her out effortlessly in no time.
Wisdom is knowing that and staying humble than letting the fleeting success go to one’s head.
4. The only skill you is the ability to learn
Learning to 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻 is the only skill you need to develop. And secondly, the power of 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆 is underestimated.
I never worked on 𝗡𝗟𝗣 if you take out the last ~𝟭.𝟱 𝘆𝗿𝘀. But it didn’t take long to 𝘁𝗼𝗽 the 𝗴𝗹𝗼𝗯𝗮𝗹 charts and do unique projects that never existed.
I didn’t have any friends in my close circle who had a funded 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗽 or was chasing 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗲𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 full-time. It didn’t take long (~1.5 yrs) for me to get into entrepreneurship and launch a 𝗳𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗔𝗜 startup.
For those parents who are spending huge amount of money on teaching 𝗰𝗼𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴, and making them wanna be steve jobs or Elon Musk (𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆: 𝗪𝗵𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗛𝗮𝘁 𝗝𝗿 ), I only have 𝗼𝗻𝗲 advice -
The world will be a 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲 when they 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘄 𝘂𝗽. Teach them 𝗳𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗹 building blocks — Math, Science, Finance, Health, Emotional Intelligence (EQ), etc.
And let them explore the 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲 to the fullest.
5. The power of creativity
There is a reason why I try to stay away from 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 be it in data science or in general. I do have 𝗵𝘂𝗴𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝘁 for the impact these competitions and 𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗻 𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗮𝘀𝗲𝘁𝘀 create, no doubt on that.
While some amount of healthy competition is good, overdoing it just 𝗸𝗶𝗹𝗹𝘀 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆.
We wouldn’t have so many “𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗹𝘆𝘀𝗶𝘀” tutorials if only we let people be 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 than just compete for 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝗯𝗼𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝘀𝗰𝗼𝗿𝗲𝘀. The 𝗺𝗮𝗴𝗶𝗰 of observing the world, finding a problem that could be solved with cutting edge research is 𝘂𝗻𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲. One should strive to evolve from 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 to 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴.
6. Open source and the power of it.
𝗙𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗺𝗲: Why do you want to 𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗻-𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗰𝗲 the projects that have taken months for you to build?
Now anyone can take your code and replicate it. What is your uniqueness?
𝗠𝗲: If you copy you know one way to solve a given problem. If you have built it yourself, you know 𝟭𝟬𝟬 𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀 that the problem 𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗼𝘁 be solved. This is way more 𝗽𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗳𝘂𝗹 than just knowing one way to solve the problem.
7. Tips for hypergrowth in your 20's.
If you are looking for hypergrowth first learn to discard generic advice of having a safety net.
Here are my 11 tips (mostly unconventional) for hypergrowth in your 20’s -
➤ Switch from being an expert after 25 to being friends with experts and being a broader generalist. Deep expertise in only one thing has an upper cap.
➤ Build an audience online. Just being good at a job is one-dimensional power and will be erased if you leave it.
➤ Understand how the rich operate. Understand their hobbies and money sources etc. Be prepared to be rich.
➤ No one in this world knows you better than you.
Stop asking around for advice and learn to take your own decisions and make bold moves.
8. Goals for the next decade
I like simple and humble goals.
Here are my goals for the next decade -
𝟭) Become the world’s #1 motivational quotes writer.
𝟮) Become the world’s #1 in practical AI projects. Apply state-of-the-art AI techniques to use cases that the world has never seen or imagined.
𝟯) Amass 1 million+ follower count on any of the social media channels.
Takedown every raging bull because of their privilege by success and success alone.
The last decade (age 20–30) was more of a materialistic chase but was apt for the youth's anger in me. Driving a Lamborghini on a race track, maintaining athletic fitness at times, taking private chopper tours in foreign countries, dining in the world’s most luxurious hotel, driving a Ducati on the Malibu coastline, I have done it all with my own hard-earned money.
I had my fair share of downs, battling chronic health issues, and going through surgery, etc.
Fidget spinners are cool but how about taking the world out for a spin?
The infinite skies will bow down before your unflinching courage.
PS: The tone might be a bit aggressive for some but bear it for once :)
9. Launching AiArtist chrome extension
Launching my side project, Aiartist chrome extension for bloggers and writers.
You can find relevant copyright-free images for your blog without even leaving the blog page.
Please find the link to the chrome extension in the comments below.
PS: If the chrome extension asks for read permissions, don’t worry! It is only needed as we need the extension to suggest images for selected text on any webpage.
Also if you want to know about my projects ahead of time and also get exclusive access to the open-sourced code of my projects, subscribe to my email list. Find it in the comments below :)
10. Self-written Quote
Don’t say your story at the base camp.
Tell your story after you conquer the mountain peak.
If you say it at the base camp, it hits the next rock or mountain and dissipates.
If you say it at the top, the fierce wind and open skies will carry your words far, across the sea, across the mountains, far to the lands that you cannot see and hear !!!
The single most high-valued quality that I find consistently in people who do well in their life holistically is -
Knowing when you are on the verge of burnout, knowing when you are angry, knowing when you are not skilled enough, etc.
If you are self-aware you don’t make decisions that are biased by your mood.
If you are self-aware you don’t let others bear the brunt of your bad day.
Every manager during the recruiting interview: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years ?”
Honestly, if you are ambitious start asking “How big can I grow inside the company in 5 years if I perform well?”.
Quite often, I am more concerned about rigid company politics hindering an ambitious employee’s growth than an average employee not performing his job functions. #interviewing #recruiting #hiring #growth
13. Taking the unpopular route
I read 0 books (non-textbooks) in the last 10 years and wrote 0 lines of code on Kaggle as a data scientist.
No this is not to disrespect book reading or Kaggle. I believe both are great.
If you think you can carve out a unique path for yourself, you must and should!
14. Launching my personal website
15. Inspiring story of a friend
Some people aren’t famous because being famous is not in their priority list.
Let me tell you an exceptional story of a close friend from a top college.
While doing undergrad, he once wanted some money for personal expenses like buying a laptop, saving for an upcoming trip next semester, etc
Studying in Mumbai, he walked into a top tutoring centre, mentioned
his college and said he wanted to tutor for a semester.
Instead of choosing a subject that he is good with, he simply asked what was the highest-paid subject.
French was paid at 50$ an hour to tutor. Without knowing an iota of French, asked for class textbooks, started tutoring French in a week.
Taught students how to learn any new concept at a fundamental level.
One of the student’s mother called up after the semester thanking for her son’s A grade and requested to continue tutoring even for the next semester.
My friend politely declined owing to time constraints. Got a laptop, cofounded a multi-million dollar startup right after graduation along with college friends.
He is one of the best mix of IQ+EQ+SQ, I have ever witnessed in my lifetime offline/online.
Simply not as famous as he deserves to be, because being famous is not in his priority list. At least not yet :)
16. Keep your learning constant
➤ Doing all my schooling in a 𝗧𝗶𝗲𝗿-𝟮 town, I neither had sophisticated speaking/writing skills nor a polished demeanor when I entered undergrad. As a result, I couldn’t get into any of the 𝗰𝗮𝗺𝗽𝘂𝘀 𝗰𝗹𝘂𝗯𝘀 (literary and debate club, quiz, aeronautics, etc) despite multiple trials.
Since then, I have trained myself to reach the quality of getting paid 𝟱𝟬-𝟲𝟬$ an hour on Upwork for writing content, wrote 𝘀𝘂𝗯𝘁𝗶𝘁𝗹𝗲𝘀 for parts of the film — “𝗜𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗮 𝗶𝗻 𝗮 𝗱𝗮𝘆”, produced by 𝗥𝗶𝗱𝗹𝗲𝘆 𝗦𝗰𝗼𝘁𝘁, etc.
➤ Being generally thin, I weighed around 𝟰𝟴-𝟱𝟬 𝗸𝗴 (~105 lbs) all through my undergrad. I learned about 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 and 𝗻𝘂𝘁𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 over the years. And at the peak of my physical training, I could 𝗯𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗵 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀 70–75 kg (~165 lbs), put on abs, and run 4–5 miles a day.
➤ After my 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀, in my job, I was advised to stick to hardware and 𝗰𝗼𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 wasn’t ideal for me. I took it as a challenge and finished 𝟱𝟬+ online courses in software and related fields. At 27, driving a 𝗣𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗰𝗵𝗲, when people asked me what do I do for a living, I told them — I 𝗰𝗼𝗱𝗲.
Train your mind, body, and spirit to 𝗱𝗲𝗳𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝗱𝗱𝘀.