Sunday, May 28, 2023

The Curse of Endless Scrolling

We have addicted ourselves to mindlessly and perpetually scrolling our social feed. This is not only depressing but also very concerning. Thanks to apps like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, InShorts, Google News, LinkedIn, Twitter and many more that aren't even mentioned here - chose your pick, they all work in the exact same way. 

We are so hooked to the endless scroll that we do that at every single opportunity, in the lifts, buses, trains, driving a car, restaurants, with friends, without friends, in washrooms, its omnipresent. Whats worse is that even children are getting hooked to this. It impacts the adults but it impacts the children more. This addictive and unending nature of scrolling comes with its own set of consequences.

  • It is killing the creativity of our children. Boredom is a gateway to creativity, but with endless scrolling there is no time left to get bored. We just open our favourite social app and start munching on it. 
  • Its manufacturing an entire generation of distracted people. The addiction to social feed is so deep that we can't even turn off notification on our phones while we are at work or even while at the dinning table with family. We have shorter and shorter attention span, this can have detrimental effects on academic performance, work productivity, and overall cognitive abilities.
  • The frog in the well effect. The entire feed is driving by algorithms, it is carefully curated based on the persons interest, behaviour and life events. It is tuned to reinforce what the person already knows or thinks they know. This causes spread of false information like wild fire. For e.g. people believing junk forwards floating around on WhatsApp to be true and fall victim of propaganda marketing. 
  • The FOMO. Social feeds inclined to highlight reels of other people's lives, leading to a constant stream of comparison and a fear of missing out (FOMO). This can lead to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and even depression, as individuals constantly compare their own lives to the seemingly perfect lives portrayed online. This is a huge problem, its painful to watch people falling prey to FOMO, showing off, living beyond their means, buying things that they can't afford forcing bigger and bigger EMI's and credit card bills. 
  • Present but absent syndrome. So many times we sit with friends and family to have a meal and all of us are busy on our phones. We are physically present, but mentally absent. We seem to care more about virtual people and their lives, rather than those who are right in front of us at the very moment! Endless scrolling leads to a decline in real-life interactions. The young generation may find it challenging to engage in conversations, build personal connections, and establish a sense of belonging in the real world.
I am more concerned about the next generation of young people, this one behaviour can have disastrous consequences. Social apps should start caring a little more about actual people and not just focus on maximising their profits!

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

15 insightful quotes from: The Courage To Be Disliked

The Courage To Be Disliked is a thought-provoking book that challenges conventional wisdom on how to live a happy and fulfilling life. Written by Japanese philosopher Ichiro Kishimi and psychotherapist Fumitake Koga, the book is based on the teachings of the 19th-century philosopher Alfred Adler and explores the concept of individual psychology. 

At the heart of the book is the idea that we are all capable of creating our own happiness, regardless of our past or present circumstances. The authors argue that we can achieve this by developing a sense of courage, which involves accepting ourselves as we are.

This book has the potential to change the course of your life. I would even go as far as to say that if there is only one more book you could read in your entire life, this is the one you should pick!

Here are some insightful quotes from the book:

Thursday, March 30, 2023

The iGig Model

When was the last time you received a marketing email asking for a tiny bit of your attention? Mostly likely, the answer is every other minute. In today's world we are constantly bombarded with marketing messages, they crave for our attention. Here is a screenshot of the marketing messages from my inbox taken today morning:

 Most of these emails either try to sell something or want to get insights on how we as customers use their product. 

What is common between all these messages?

Well you guessed it, they are all unread and they are all going to be trashed and/or unsubscribed! I am sure this is the story with a lot of other people out there too. These kinds of messages simply fail to grab any attention. If they can't grab customers attention they do not fulfil any purpose. 

Why these kinds of messages fail to grab attention of customers?

Customers have a bunch of goals that they want to achieve. Unless the message is helping them achieve some of those goals in some way, it is going to be ignored. Even if companies offer incentives like money, reward points, gift vouchers etc there is just too much friction for customers to act. Trust me on this one, we have tried and failed. 

So the question is, how can companies grab customers attention and build a long lasting and symbiotic relationship with their customers?

Say hello to "The iGig Model"

iGig stands for "I Give, I Get". Notice how Give comes before the Get: to get interesting insights from customers, first give what customers want! It's as simple as that.

Companies want to understand in detail how the customers use their products, what are the frustrations they face, what do they like about your product, what do they hate etc. For this to happen, customers have to start conversing with the company. But customers will not start conversing with a company just like that. Companies have to find a strong reason for customers to start the conversation.

Companies need to understand the Jobs that the customers are trying to get through. They need to genuinely help the customers get through those jobs. This delights the customers, it builds trust and a stronger bond between the company and the customers. At this stage, customers will be more open to starting a conversation with the company. And this will mark the beginning of a long, healthy, strong and symbiotic relationship.

The model in action

We wanted to get a insights on Monster Math usage from our customers. For a very long time we tried just like everyone else to send numerous emails, trying to start the conversation with our customers, but we only heard crickets. Customers would occasionally write to us when they were facing an issue with the app or wanted help with their subscription etc. We would diligently help them with the issue, but it felt very transactional. Once the problem was resolved, again we would hear mostly crickets.  

Recently we started trying the iGig Model. We thought of what the customers goals were in context of our product. Some of the things that came to mind where:

  • To eliminate the fear of Math.
  • To develop the interest of Math.
  • To keep the child creatively engaged in a fun way. 
  • and lots more.
Once we identified some of the goals, we ideated on what are the things we could do so that customers could achieve these goals. How can we help them in some or the other way? It is important to understand that our product comes later, its important to focus on only the customer goal and genuinely offer to help achieve those goals.

We ideated, experimented and started doing things that help customers achieve their goals. Once we tuned the emails to give our customers things that will help them achieve their goals, we saw significant improvement in all trackable matrix. Its still early days, but we were able to start conversations with our customers and get important insights. 

This essentially is The iGig Model: Give Before Get!

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

15 insightful quotes from: Running Lean

If you're an aspiring entrepreneur, "Running Lean" by Ash Maurya is the perfect book for you! It's packed with useful advice and tips on how to make your startup a success.

The book starts off by helping you define your vision and understand your customer. It then moves on to helping you build the right product by testing and validating your assumptions. It also covers the importance of setting goals and tracking your progress.

Book also explains the Lean Canvas, a tool Ash Maurya created to help entrepreneurs plan and validate their business models. 

Finally, book provides tips on how to secure funding and scale your business. 

In short, if you're looking to launch a startup, "Running Lean" is a must-read. It provides practical advice on how to make your product a success and how to avoid common mistakes. 

Here are some insightful quotes from the book:

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

My Messy Work Desk

Recently I posted on LinkedIn about My Messy Work Desk. Here are more details about each item and where to find it.

I started out with the laptop on my bed and let me tell you, it was a bad idea. Remote working when not done right, can easily go very very wrong.

At Makkajai we encourage and enable everyone to make all necessary changes to their work desks so that we do not have adverse impact on our bodies. Other than getting a proper table and a chair, here are some more changes I did to my work desk.

The Stand

Got a raised metallic stand for my MacBook. It's a small investment (~Rs. 2000) that makes a huge difference to your posture and comfort.

The Monitor

Got a 24" monitor (~Rs 24000) to increase my efficiency. Now I don't have to keep switching between windows. This monitor also comes with an All-In-One USB-C port for power and data transfer. This means if you use the USB-C connector, it can charge the MacBook as well.

The Monitor Stand

To make sure the monitor doesn't take up too much space, I got a dual monitor stand (~Rs. 3000). This one is underrated but totally necessary. The arms of this stand can be moved in different direction so that you can get that perfect title on your display. 

Initially I thought I will create a 3 display setting. Left monitor, Centre MacBook screen and Right Monitor. But after trying for a few days, it didn't workout for me. It might be because the older monitor looked so much worse compared to the new monitor and MacBook display. 

PS: I already had an old monitor when I got a new one. You can see that on the right side behind the MacBook screen. Because both monitors are from different companies and their dimensions are different too, they do not align perfectly. Now I use this monitor as a display for my Mac Mini. 

The Keyboard

A set of bluetooth keyboard and mouse (~Rs. 2500) to avoid pain in my hands.

The Desk

This is the desk (~Rs. 6000) on which everything fits perfectly.


A total investment of ~Rs. 37500 - this has already saved me a lot of future body pain and has given many hours of productivity boost!

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Books Of 2022

 This year I managed to read 24 books. All of these are very good reads. But my top 3 books of the year are:

Here's the complete list:

Have some Fun!