I turned 30 and here’s my scorecard

Last week (on 3rd June 2017), I turned 30. I don’t have any bittersweet emotions about ageing and I certainly don’t feel old. In fact, I feel really good. Now I know more about the world and people than before. I have friends and family around me. Most importantly I married my best friend. So no qualms about turning 30. None at all.

But this date is semi-important to me for two reasons. One is because I recently realized that my life has been been blazing through and I haven’t been doing enough reflection on my mistakes or experiences. Sure, I used to (and still do) think about questions such as what is money, what philosophy is about and why freedom is important. But I haven’t reflected enough on my own life experiences and mistakes. I thought reflecting on my 20s will be a good start. ...  Read the entire post →

The Outer Limits of Reason: A Summary

In the last 2 years, I have picked up my reading speed to about 5 books per month. And since I mostly read non-fiction, the concepts and ideas keep swirling in my head, sometimes I get a dizzy sense of not understanding completely what I just read. I’m talking about that odd sense when someone asks you what is the book about and you feel while you understood the main ideas behind the book, you still struggle explaining the details. So taking “if you can’t explain it, you haven’t understood it” to its logical extreme, I will start summarizing books that I like. In addition to cementing my understanding of the book, hopefully it will help others decide whether they want to read the book or not. ...  Read the entire post →

Best books that I read in 2016

Happy New year folks! Someone asked a question on Hacker News on best books read in 2016. I put up my answer there and am cross posting the same here. Do check out the thread on HN, it contains a lot of interesting suggestions.

2016 was the year I ended up reading most books that I have ever read in any year of my life so far! I read a total of 60 books and you can find all of them on here (it has 59 books, one book that isn’t there is called Ray Dalio’s principles). The books I read in 2015 (a total of 34) is also on ShelfJoy. You can check out my all lists here shelfjoy.com/paraschopra...  Read the entire post →

Why do this? Why create? Why pursue excellence?

Why do this?

I’m a nihilist. I don’t believe there’s any externally given meaning to our lives. Some people find the lack of an authority like God depressing, but I find it liberating. Devoid of any external guidance, humans truly have limitless potential and can do amazing things. There’s no one to say: ‘hey, that’s not allowed’. Whatever Physics doesn’t forbid is doable.

For me, what gets me up from bed every morning is to create things than nobody else has thought of before.  ...  Read the entire post →

Welcome to India: a land where passion comes to die

I’ve lived in India all my life, and I’m not proud of my people. But I’m not giving up.

Here’s why.

Reality check for 1/7th of the world’s population

We Indians are 1.2 billion people on Earth. Yes, many of us are still extremely poor. But a lot of us in that fat middle and upper class have means beyond survival. Hundreds of millions of us have disposable incomes, we have weekends for ourselves when we go to movies and eat expensive popcorn. Yes, we have cars and ACs. Heck, now we even have Netflix, iPhones and Macbooks.  ...  Read the entire post →

What is money?

Being a CEO and founder of a startup, I’ve been concerned with money in a variety of contexts. A company exists to make money and indeed that was one of the drivers in the days of starting Wingify. I wanted to make money by myself and was pretty happy when people paid for the first version of VWO. I remember my goal was to make roughly USD 1000 (equivalent of the last monthly salary I had drawn at my employer). VWO ended up making me multiple times my initial goal.

Last month at Wingify, we hit a million dollars of recurring revenue. I’m very happy that the team has been able to achieve this milestone, especially because we’re entirely bootstrapped and haven’t raised any outside investment. There has been a lot of enthusiasm about the million-dollar-a-month figure, and all Wingifighters are pumped up to convert the ‘m’ into a ‘b’. Amidst all this, I want to take a moment to reflect on what really is money. ...  Read the entire post →

Should I publish this on my blog?

It’s not depression, it’s sadness
I know by morning, I will forget
But for now, I’m pretty sure it’s sadness

Why be sad when the world’s beautiful
That’s lame, you know that, but it’s true
And it’s not depression, it’s worse than that

There’s nothing I’m searching for; zilch is what I seek
I have everything I wanted; I should be happy, but I’m not
But I know by morning, I will forget

A happy death is the one that’s sudden and unexpected
Not just for me, but for everyone I love
You shrug your shoulders, but I know you understand ...  Read the entire post →

Strategy eats cool tech and culture for its lunch

Peter Drucker is famously attributed to have said culture eats strategy for breakfast. Every time I have a discussion with my entrepreneur friends, the discussion quickly gravitates towards what we think is fundamentally important for business success. The factors usually include technical skills, marketing capabilities, culture, hiring quality, and funding. I used to think that it was the team and culture that was most important (and certainly at Wingify, we give a lot of emphasis on building the right culture). But is culture enough? ...  Read the entire post →

What Philosophy should be about?

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading two books recently. ‘How much is enough‘, the first one, is a sensible attack on money for money’s sake and the absurdity of it. The second one, ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance‘ is a classic that I read for the second time. This time it became clear to me that the book on many levels was talking about the an ugly outcome of single-minded urbanization. It also questions the apparent superiority of intellect over aesthetics. Of course, the two books are about much more than what I’m describing here but the underlying thread was common – both books urged considering mankind’s total quality of experience, rather than just material wealth or technological / scientific progress.  ...  Read the entire post →

How increased automation could lead to a happier and more egalitarian society

First, watch this video titled ‘Humans Need Not Apply’.

Now answer this question: what would happen when all jobs that humans perform today will be automated?

The scenario of nobody having a job might seem fancy and theoretical at first, but it’s becoming more realistic with each passing day. Google, Uber, BMW, and a lot of other organizations are on track to release self driving vehicles as soon as next year. And as the video demonstrates so beautifully, this is not just happening to the transportation industry. Automation will impact every sphere of human activity – be it creative, mechanical, cognitive or managerial.  ...  Read the entire post →