2023 in words on Network Capital
Important writing on Network Capital
Content has always been a corner stone of Network Capital. It is no coincidence that most people who have worked at Network Capital are also writers in their own right. Writing is the most powerful way to scale individuals and ideas, and in today’s newsletter we will look at the ideas that resonated the most with our community members.
In the final week on 2023, we will look back at the year that went by and share the key highlights for the community. In today’s newsletter we will look at Network Capital 2023 in words.
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Let’s start with the larger writing projects.
Utkarsh’s first co-authored book will be out with the Harvard Business Review.
It will build on this insights on creating Network Capital and enabling 200,000+ people across the world to have meaningful careers. Similarly, Varya’s book on Ambition in Indian GenZ will be out with Penguin Random House. Using personal anecdotes and long form interviews, the book attempts to make sense of young India and its growing existentialism.
These books a product of smaller and more detailed writing pieces that have been written for Network Capital newsletters over the year. Out top newsletters for 2023 were —
"Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” — When we think of creative work, we often think of artists getting sparks of genius where great works of imagination flow. While there may be some truth in that, most creative work results from rigor and diligence toward the art form. In simple words, being at it for long and consistent periods of time. The unglamorous toil occasionally makes way for what we call genius. The mistake is listening to part of the story and focusing only on the “Eureka Moment”.
Ambition and breakfast rituals — But that’s just one side of the story in India’s market for ideas and ideals. The other, slightly quieter side is learning to live on their own terms. They’re embracing slow living and defining ambition in their own way. By not following the trodden path and resisting what is expected of them, they are leading the everyday revolution of household ambition. They are like Sheivani.
From Drug Addiction to Founding a Media Empire Valued at $6Billion: The Story of the Rise and Fall of VICE Media — Vice went from being a media company valued at $6B to bankruptcy in a few years. In this newsletter, we will reflect on how the company started and what went wrong. There are lots of important lessons here. Let’s get started.
Advice from Alice - How do you live in a wonderland? — A book I seem to go back to more often than I would like to admit is Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Despite its whimsical and fantastical nature, understanding Alice and her eccentricities has helped me understand myself better. In addition to an escapist retreat, I also see the book as an excellent how-to guide. As I think of my lived reality as a wonderland with obnoxious goodness and giddying darkness, here is some advice from Alice.
Week 0 at Oxford — Earlier last week I was interviewed by a leading Indian newsletter to talk about my decision to pursue a Masters degree in the UK and share the factors and criteria, I considered while deciding. I gave a fairly simplistic utilitarian answer of my interest in academia and how getting a Masters ‘felt like the natural next step’. It’s only after the interview and with a little bit of self-reflection that I have realised that the decision for Masters is a lot more layered. In today’s newsletter, I would like to share my mental frameworks for college selection and applications, and reflections from the first week at University of Oxford.
The State of EdTech in India 2023 — In today’s newsletter we look at the state of play in 2023. In the last three years the world of EdTech has lived through a lifetime. It’s seen massive wins and rock bottoms, and is now heading towards a middle ground of operations.
India’s first Dalit standup comic — In a very Oscar Wilde sense of ‘give a man a mask and he will show his true self,’ the Indian GenZ Twitter processes this superpower of expressing their deepest thought and most random experiences online in 240 characters. As true digital natives, they are not alone even in their darkest reflections. They have other Indian GenZ Twitter members replying, retweeting, and giving unsolicited commitments. Born in a world that democratised access to media, GenZs have this constant need to publicly articulate their existence and experiences as they go through it.
Writing Fast and Slow Part II — In the early days of your writing, it is very unlikely that your actual writing in itself will be great. Getting better at writing is an iterative and time intensive process. Your first few published pieces will be bad. You’ll just have to get comfortable with it.
To be a chill normal dude feat Elon Musk — By all means. Being a chill, normal person does not preclude you from doing great things. The idea of the eccentric genius is overrated. History is filled with people who did great things at work while being wonderful friends and family members. In the startup culture and our society obsessed with achievement, tweet-worthy quotes like “Extreme people get extreme results” are plastered, but they end up teaching us the wrong lesson that in order to have extraordinary results we need to be a jerk, walk all over other people, and let the ends justify the means.
Outside of Network Capital, our writing made its way to Harvard Business Review, Vogue, Observer Research Foundation, Indian Express and other leading platforms. Here are some of the best pieces —
Hard Work Doesn’t Always Lead to Success by Utkarsh Amitabh for Harvard Business Review — Over the years I’ve had the chance to be a part of several global communities, including my alumni networks. In my chats with high performers, I’ve seen a pattern: People who make informed and intelligent choices about the work they choose to focus on have been quicker to reach success. Hard work has helped them get there, but only because they’ve chosen to focus on tasks, projects, and roles that align with their long-term growth goals.
Does the Barbie movie have an answer to Indian Gen Z’s growing existentialism? by Varya Srivastava for Vogue — As a young twenty-something who has recently bought her first pair of Birkenstocks (mine are black though) and had her first existential crisis, I can’t wait to watch the new Barbie movie and see “to live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you're a Ken” play out. But before I intellectualise our shared existentialism and make some sociocultural commentary on rising disillusionment, I would like to take you back to a decade when our lives weren’t Greek tragedies.
Hope you enjoy reengaging with these ideas as you look back the year gone by. We also hope these words give you fodder for inspiration and invite you to write as well. As you look at the year gone by, also consider joining in for our Career Transition Fellowship on Dec 28 & 29.