Pizza & Sushi, Joy and Mediocrity

Water, cheese, enzymes, tomato paste, oil, and many other things, that’s all the things that go in your regular pizza.

The Pizza You Grew

In the US, there are more than 70000 pizza places, and almost all of it make terrible pizza.

Sushi is made by hunting a rare almost extinct animal and then combining with rice and then refrigerating it. And most sushi places are terrible.

How is that?

Let’s try to understand by this axiom, a true statement: the pizza you grew up eating is the pizza you love.

Extending it, if you are from India growing up eating spicy food, then you will like spicy food.

Lots of people grow in the suburbs and so they take their kids to a pizza place and serve them a frozen pizza. And you like it because that’s the pizza you grew up it, which was convenient and easy.

Domenico Demarco Pizza

He is the one who makes pizza with love and care. He says the ingredients are the same and wonders why everyone else doesn’t make it right.

He might take 3 minutes to make pizza before putting it on the oven. So people might be waiting in line for over an hour.

They aren’t waiting in line for convenience or cheap pizza. They are waiting because he did something different by adding care.

The Story Of Maria

Maria worked at the Johnny pizza store for over 40 hours. She understood that pizzas quality is inversely proportional to how nice they were to an outsider. So you might call on Sunday, and no one would pick up because they were closed.

And if you order pizza, it won’t be put in the oven before you arrive because: they wanted you to wait for their pizza and she didn’t trust you.

Unfortunately, she got killed in a car accident and Johnny pizza shut down.

Because of how good pizza is personal. It is interconnected with the effort and care of the person who makes pizza.Pizza In Arizona

Someone would tell you that you can’t make a good pizza without coal or the type of water in Arizona and a bunch of other absurd reasons.

But Chris made good pizza in Arizona.

And Domenico showed everyone all the ingredients and made his pizza in a standard electric oven.

So it’s not a secret.

The convenient way to make pizza is the wrong way to make pizza. E.g. adding bunch of yeast so you can bake in 2 years.

On the other hand, Chris adds a tiny amount of yeast and bakes after 15 hours.

That’s a lot of inconveniences. It turns out convenient is the enemy of good pizza.

On Sushi

Fifteen years ago, you would have to take a risk if you wanted to have fresh sushi who didn’t know how to make them.

Then the industry discovered that by freezing fish up to ‘minus degree Celsius’ that it taste good for convenient sushi. Add to that a robot was trained to do the rice work.

So by averaging it out many times, sushi is safe and convenient. And so is buying pizza from your local store freezer.

Convenience isn’t the point.

If you are going to walk away from a good pizza place to save 5 minutes. Then what else are you willing to walk away from.

There is an absolute scale of pizza quality. So a good pizza is better than lousy pizza regardless of where you grow up from.

A pizza made in an inconvenient way with care is better than any pizza made the lazy way.

Seth’s exception of never eating sushi at the airport is a corner in Marriott airport in Tokyo. At that corner, there is someone who cares. They don’t make sushi in a hurry. You need to sit down and tell me what you are going to eat.

Then humans who have learned only to make ice and fish with the real wasabi for you. All of that is a total inconvenience to them. And you will realize that it’s a worthwhile inconvenience.

Making better doesn’t mean adding a robot to make it faster or cheaper. But instead, maybe there is something in life doing it inconvenient way because that’s better.

Questions

  • How to get a feel for numbers in case of maths? What’s the approach? And how to apply it to creativity

As it turns out, music is a game because there are rules, choices, and outcomes. Games help you think of understanding choices. You are not using any formula, but rather you are using your knowledge of numbers and upgrading them.

This happens when you played tic tac toe when you were a kid. The idea is to play the next game happened which is more complicated.

  • What is risky when trying for creative work, should you quit the day job?

You get to play the game as long as you have cash flow. So you have to work, it might not be art, and that’s okay.

If you are the person who is fueled when all the chips are down, then you know what to do.

If you are the person who thinks of continuing playing game is more important, then you should keep that day job. Because you have plenty of hours after work to make your rent. And since your primary income comes from day job, then the art will be more generous.

You get to choose the art and audience. So if you pick an audience or art too big is a fallacy.

Instead go for the Minimum Viable audience, one who pays back for your time and effort. Small enough to make you sustain.

Because aiming big while working day job is difficult to do. Make a boundary and priority as per your goal and do the work that matters to you.

And do the work good enough that people pays you money to do it more. Then you can think of expanding your hour of making art.

Be Supple And Resilient

Not only a cool word, but it is also something you aspire to. To bend, be flexible.

The Story Of Lucille

The world is going to change, and it’s inevitable, what are you going to do.

It doesn’t matter what your ambitions are; things will change faster than your expectations.

So being supple is a choice.

Lucille Ball made a video about new kind of technology, and she kept changing as per the latest technology. She was the first woman to run a studio in Hollywood.

If it weren’t for her, then you wouldn’t have gotten Star Trek or Mission Impossible.

She didn’t insist that the world mustn’t change. Nor she assumed that her way of working would remain the same.

Similarly, in sports, you need to keep changing your strategy, or you will get stuck when opposition changes their approach.

Imagine if everyone invested your money with a specific belief. Then when the world changes, your brittle strategy will hurt you.

7 Elements Making It Difficult To Be Resilient And Supple: This affects anyone who is trying to make money and having a career.

Scale

If your scale is significant, then it is difficult to change when the world changes. Suddenly if the neighborhood becomes vegan, Mcdonalds can’t change quickly.

This doesn’t mean big means wrong. It just means for you it is a tough decision because you need to change in 10000 locations, and there is a considerable risk. All because of scale.

Rule About Money

If you run out of money, then it isn’t easy to be supple. So if you can run in a dry period, you can change when the world changes.

Bottom line, have some cash reserves.

Choosing To Talk

Often, when the world changes, you might think that when you don’t talk, it will go away.

It doesn’t.

This happened with Microsoft. Bill Gates was two years late to give a memo to all the employee about changing world – the internet.

You have to face it. So you can catch up. Microsoft future would be different if they talked about it two years earlier.

Steve Ballmer was arrogant when he said that iPhone was not going to take off.

He was refusing to talk about the shift that was happening. That’s the only way to evolve your thinking and the way ahead.

Mindfulness

You have to make a choice. Either you can insist that it isn’t fair and not accept change. Or you can dance with it.

It’s raining outside. It doesn’t matter your plan has been canceled because of it. Or that because of rain you wouldn’t get any customer.

It’s still gonna rain. Acknowledge that the world is changing is different than denying that it isn’t.

Indeed Seth was a victim of not being mindfulness. When he was running Yoyodyne. Most of the work was run by email.

Someone introduced Seth to the early internet, and he neglected it.

This cost Seth 1 year to catch up and so many missed opportunities like buying domains or creating search engines. All this because Seth was brittle and he was ignoring when the world was changing.

Choice

It’s all a choice. Being resilient is a choice, so choose to be not brittle.

Bias For Experiment

Fruit flies are a fast evolving creature and have a short life span. So they reproduce in huge numbers. And thus, those who get along with their current environment, evolve.

There is a bias among people with high-status career and organization to be right. But then it means you aren’t experimenting. That means you aren’t doing what got you here.

You aren’t evolving by not experiment, which is a mistake.

Once you have enough resources and scale, then you are in a position like Lucille Ball to keep cycling.

How Fast Are Your Cycles

This is related to the idea of quitting from Seth’s book Dip.

Consider you are going to open a bookstore to sell books. But many of those are out of business because the world changed.

Maybe you are a violin seller; it doesn’t matter to her because her scale of selling one violin remained the same when the world changed. It’s enough for her.

Bill gram presents an artist who can bring something by having connections with the venue owners.

Music changes, and it always will be but bill gram can always present.

So the challenge going forward is – the world changed, how to go about it.

Have a scale which allows to change along with times.

Don’t fall in love with the medium; fall in love with the mission.

Questions

  • Two percent of people return the product, and they didn’t like the design.

You have access that all the upset customers are reaching out with their complaint. Once you are past that, then 2 percent or even 10 percent of the return is okay.

Of course, try to work on your product or service based on two people who return your product.

But if doing that would break it for the rest of the 98 percent then gladly give them the money back.

Don’t take this as an excuse for doing sloppy work. You have to make your work awesome, be better, and receive feedback.

But this will always result in some people not liking it. Ninety percent of people wanting your product is an impressive ratio.

Don’t shy from creating, impacting and changing lives just because some small, minuscule percentage of your customers didn’t like it.

Math Class Is Hard

Talking Barbie was awesome until one day she started saying – math class is hard, which is a stereotype which resonated with a lot of people.

You Are Good At Math

Math class might be hard because math isn’t what they teach. They want you to take a test so they can find an easy way to shuffle you.

So you might be not good at memorizing equation or arithmetic.

You do math all the time. Even for walking, you need to take calculated force so that it lifts enough and you can place it down.

When a kid picks up grape, she knows those are five grapes. Not because she memorized it. But because math is pure and real and you are good at it.

The Monty Hall Problem

If you are above 30 years, then you would know that Monty was a great host. And the game revolves around giving deals which were based on probabilities.

Here is the monty hall program:

Monty gives you a choice with three curtains. Behind one curtain is 3 million dollars, and the other two has a goat behind each one. And by the way, you can’t keep the goat – they are to humiliate you.

You are asked to choose by giving your $1000. That’s an excellent bet because there is a ⅓ chance of you winning 3 million dollars.

So you choose curtain number 2.

Now Monty shows you curtain number 1 has a goat. And ask you – do you want to switch.

You might feel you shouldn’t switch or the odds might remain the same.

The truth is switching increases your winning probability by more than 50 percent – about the ⅔ chance of winning.

Maybe you should pay upwards of a million dollars to be able to switch.

What’s Going On

How the odds of switching increases and how the odds remain the same by sticking.

If you are brainwashed by talking barbie or you think math class is hard, then you might ask what’s the formula.

But the problem of memorizing the formula is that life rarely looks like a textbook.

You have to look at the information Monty provides. You already knew that there were two goats. So by showing one goat, you don’t have any new information, so the odds don’t change by sticking.

It happens because Monty already knows where the goat is, and that curtain has been opened.

Now if a friend of your walks in, by the information available they have to choose between your curtain and remaining curtain, so she has 50 percent chances.

But for you, if you switch, then you know that curtain with a goat is deliberately showed. So the chances of winning behind three curtains dramatically increases.

Edge Case To Understand

What if there were 100 curtains with one having 3 million dollars and rest have goats.

And you choose curtain number 2. So Monty proceeded to show goats behind every curtain, and there is only one curtain number 3 remaining.

It’s pretty clear the remaining curtain is a good bet.

So you can understand intuitively that switching is a no-brainer.

Sticking still has winning probability 1/100.

Total Probability

In all cases, the total of all probability is 1. The only way to lose if you switch is if you guessed it right by randomly selecting curtain 2.

In any case, switching has more probability, so you have more chances of winning.

What To Do?

But Monty Hall Problem doesn’t happen in real life. That’s what you might think.

But similar problems are there in real life.

Kids aren’t encouraged to understand infinity, play such games, or what is a probability.

This is one reason why sunk costs aren’t understood. Because you are stuck with emotional baggage, don’t go and learn Bayesian probability.

Instead, the way forward is to understand what a royal flush is or what cards are in the deck when some card is played. Try to navigate with situations by following them.

Questions

Difference between freelancers and Entrepreneurs

Freelancers get paid when they work. Entrepreneurs build assets who hires best someone else than you.

Find more about bootstrappers workshop here: https://thebootstrappersworkshop.com/

  • When to do face to face meeting and when to use online meeting technology like Skype?

Some people are born into wealth, certain privileges, and talents. But your time is limited.

So when you want to show that you care about the meeting or person, going in person is a statement that you care.

But online meeting video technology saves a lot of time and other secondary things like fuel for the vehicle.

The best way is to meet the first time in person to show that you care. And next time switch to online conferencing video like Zoom but there needs some convention.

Such as better lightning, use of a microphone, and a good posture so that you care is a statement is still communicated.

Of course, there is a long Ethernet cable between you and the other person, but you don’t have to act that way.

  • How to change the culture of payment terms of paying with delay affecting cash flow?

Accepting delayed payments is a competitive advantage. So if you are going to tell you that you want a payment on time, then you might lose business.

But you need to figure out what is that you are unique.

Because if you are selling the generic thing, then you will lose to another generic company with deeper pockets.

If you are only providing a sure thing, then you will be paid on time.

Another thing is to raise your price if you are being paid later. Acknowledge them in your standard pay.

You won’t get many gigs, but the god that you get will pay for you to survive better.

Go ahead and be better at your competitive advantage and play by it.

Money Is A Story And Money Flows

There is a river called the mighty Hudson River, and it is calm. But that’s a lie because it is a fjord (half fresh and half salt water).

Water flows in both directions depending upon the time. And it appears calm although it is moving most of the times.

Let’s try to learn about a movement of another kind – cash.

But first, remember that you need to understand the cash flow if you interact with money in any way.

Your Value

Thanks to capitalism from ages, money is everywhere. And everything has value in relation to money.

But it isn’t a measure of your value. The world’s richest person means they have more money than anyone else, and that’s all it means.

If you set out to make money and you fail – then it doesn’t mean you are a terrible person. You just were unable to make money.

But if you set out to make a difference, then the money isn’t the point.

Money Flows

Money always flows. If you put it in the right place, then it increases in its value. And if you put it in the wrong place, then it’s value decreases.

So even the money in your mattress is moving – it is decreasing in value.

The entire economy is based on the movement of money.

Understanding Cash Flow

If you are selling a product to big supermarket and you are getting to paid after two months, then you will not have cash for two months.

And if your supplier has to be paid two months before the product arrives, then you will not have the cash invested back for at least four months.

So you might get a profit, but your cash flow went in the wrong direction.

Another way to look at this: if you are Amazon then there are chances that in 5 days the product is sold and the inventory is filled again.

But the companies who put their product on Amazon they get paid only after 30 days.

Which means the more Amazon grew, their cash flow grew too which is interest-free money from suppliers.

Why Cash Flow Matters

Because if you are doing a project and you end up with zero, then you are out of the game.

Unless there is a bank to loan you money and they might charge you high-interest rate which might be all your profit. But companies do this so they can have enough cash flow to get the product going.

One thing to do is to organize your work, so you have positive cash flow.

For example, bootstrappers find customers who are in tremendous need, so they pay up upfront. For example, you buy a ticket for airlines for five months in advance.

So you need to approach clients who have a significant problem that pays up in advance.

Understanding Margins

Let’s say you are selling lemonade, so you price it to $2.50 because you got it made for $2.

But that’s not true – if you add up all the costs before making that sale, then you need to charge at least $8 to stay in business. This is different than some greedy profit maker.

You need to pay bills every month even if you didn’t make the sale consistently. So you need to account for that, so you stay in business. Not accounting for that means, you as a small business will fail.

Yes, you can scale and then profit from volume game. But it is unlikely you will become the next Starbucks.

So the alternative is to find clients who have burning pain, so they pay upfront and charge them a fair and good margin price, so you keep doing your projects.

Inventory Costs

Also, there is an inventory cost you need to pay for all the stuff you made in advance. And every day it doesn’t sell you need to pay for it.

One thing is to clear it off for discount, but then it will create a problem to sell later for a fair price.

But taking a lesson from the fashion industry – they clear out the stock. And use the cash to create the next fashion thing.

Four Types Of Services

Based on the Boston Consulting Group, all services can be classified as follows:

Stars: If something is growing and giving you money. Good on you if you get one.

Cash Cows: It doesn’t grow but gives good cash flow. Use them to pay your bills. And invest in problem children.

Problem Children:  Anything that can grow but needs money. Use your cash cows to invest in here.

Dogs: Low cash flow, and they aren’t growing, shut down them.

Either you are managing money or money is managing you.

On Debt

Banks are all over the place to give you credit cards so you can get money in advance.

And if you fail to pay in time, then there is a charge of 20 to 30 percent interest rates. No wonder the banks make billions.

Here is a pointer to use debt.

If you are investing in something that goes high in value compared to debt costing you then go for it. Maybe higher education or anything crucial to your business.

Also, don’t borrow money for anything that goes less in value. So don’t get a car loan.

If you calculate how much you save within interest over the years, then it would be upwards of $1000.

It is you who need to be disciplined to save for things to buy which you desire. So you break the cycle with the bank.

Advice For Artist Doing Projects

When you are starting, you can decide to cut back as much as you can and not to borrow. This will create positive cash flow for your business.

So when a right opportunity comes, then you can invest it in, and if necessary you may take debt.

It’s Not Personal

Money management is a game. So when money is involved, you are playing a game. And it’s not personal.

As soon as you tie it with your value, then you will lose the game.

Because if you are checking your bank balance for your value, then others will push you down. The alternative is to play the game as it is.

And use the means to create something because you are capable of making an impact.

Questions?

  • How does Moore’s law apply to writer/blogger?

Moore’s law and its principle apply to everything. Earlier, there were only physical book printing with many limitations. But because of technology advancement, it was natural that publishing will become easy and it will be cheap. And it did.

But the quality degraded. So you as a writer, need to give something more than words on paper because now everyone can write.

Similarly, in other jobs. Say in plumbing the tool to check on pipes have gone down by a Margin of 90 percent. So everyone has that device which is connected and cheaper.

So you need to upgrade yourself, and that’s how everything will follow.

That’s why there are Akimbo workshops now – that’s a leap forward because video conferencing is getting better, and community is scarce.

  • Since limited resources are on Earth so how to keep innovating?

As computers evolved- in the short run, they consume more power. But in the long run – they keep getting efficient. Example, LED lights or computers organizing supply chains efficient.

Or something like irrigation of plants. There is tough work ahead, but more efficient is waiting for us.

  • Having a kid of 10, as a culture thing, we give her smartphone. But is that an equivalent Of giving her pack of cigarettes – what to do?

As a parent, you need to encourage kids not to fit in.

You need to ask yourself what is the goal of your parenting.

Generally, giving your kids smartphones later than at least two years than others help them grow in other areas.

Ultimately you need to decide do you decide to fit in or you let her feel okay not to fit in.

Moore’s Law

It’s not just a good idea…

Law Vs Theory

The law defines how the world around you functions. The theory is the explanation of why it happens.

And people keep on explaining better things. Thus theories get better.

In 1968, Douglas gave demo – of a mouse, hypertext and many other things. But 10 years prior he predicted computers will become faster, shorter and cheaper.

About 5 years later, Gordin wrote a theory in a paper that based on innovation; computers will get cheaper and faster. In fact, you can buy 2 times for what you buy now in the next 2 years. One of this colleague turned it into Moore’s law – stating in 18 months, computers will get double in power and speed.

If it is applied to your house, you can buy your current house @30 dollar.

Practice Effect

Imagine a world in which things get better by practice. For example, if you used a wooden stick as a crutch and the more you used, the better crutch it became.

So, you could work for rich people so that your tools would simply get better by practicing.

But this isn’t true in real life. But Moore’s law is.

So many things computers are touching are getting better by Moore’s law:

  • LED watches were super expensive. So one company sold at a lower price to ramp up the volume and then effectively make a profit because of new production. So in effect, they made a huge profit by selling cheap. Because they got better at making more things.
  • Once you build one thing and make it efficient. You can make things better and cheaper next thing. Not true for all things though – for example, oil drilling.
  • The experience curve makes us efficient at scale
  • Computers can now make computers. As you get more powerful computers, they make more of them.
  • Big networks get more efficient. So a computer network is more powerful than just a computer.

The Future

Your smartphone didn’t exist 50 years back. So in the future, the smartphone or computer will get cheaper and more efficient. Hence, because of the network effect – a computer in your pocket will cost $8 instead of $800.

This will make it abundant at every place – in tyre, clothes and many other things.

Let’s take yahoo’s downfall – Yahoo was a directory so they hired hundreds of people – and judging which websites belong to which category.

Google turned that upside down – they based their search on PageRank which was dependent on computer chips. And those were getting cheaper and faster every 18 months.

More computer power tomorrow means everything you do will get affected by Moore’s law.

Onto You

Moore’s law isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So the question is – are you behaving like Yahoo and focusing on now.

Or you are focused on the things you use will get better and cheaper. And are you ready for the upgrade. Don’t be too much focused on the convenience of today. Be ready to take the leap – because it will come.

And when it comes you need to be on the acceptance of Moore’s law. Thus making your life better and efficient.

Questions

  • How to connect with large groups efficiently, is it possible?

Groups are getting better, it is not possible to connect with 100s of people at a time.

You have no choice but to create a smaller group. You can choose based on random or semi-probability or based on some form of merit.

So you can say – there are only 100 spots and that’s it. Just make sure how you make the selection. Whatever you do – base your selection on how you want to be seen.

  • How to get rid of compliance?

If winning in a system helps you then you may pay the price of compliance. On the other side, if losing doesn’t matter to you, do lose but prepare for the consequences.

Most of the times you don’t choose the system. If you don’t choose metabolism and you don’t go to the gym, you can’t walk like Linda Hamilton.

As long as you chose this, you need to do what you have do because you have decided to pay the price of compliance.

Monopolies, Big companies and letting them charge what they want is a good thing. Why should they be not allowed to do that?

Yes, Walmart is an example of a big company working efficiently. Hard to say that about many countries in the world. But once it crosses a threshold, Monopolies come in place and it has major problems:

  1. The choice is a big thing. There can be consequences but at least you have a choice. Walmart has not crossed that threshold. So once it reaches a monopoly status, they will keep the innovation away.
  2. So they can charge what they want because consumers have no choice. And thus you are not happy. Taking away choice is a big problem of monopoly.
  3. When people who want to make a change, they find a new place where there is no monopoly. When AOL’s permission was needed to make a content site, there was less innovation. After internet, there came much great innovations.
  4. So a choice needs to be there as a consumer and as a creator.
  5. Of course, many big companies have made what is possible today as efficiently as possible.
  6. But if a monopoly would have been allowed, they would have cornered one market. And then went after another market.