Mental Health, Passion Economy & Career Principles of Nikhil Kamath
Community action and learning adventures on Network Capital
This past week has been all about COVID response, NC School and cohort-based learning. Before we dive into the details, here is a quick overview for you -
🚀 Fellowship: The Side-Hustle Fellowship
PS. This is the link to the NC COVID Resources server.
Our mission is to make the Network Capital Summer School the most meaningful learning experience for every student. We will of course learn deep-reading, critical thinking, public speaking and writing, but we will partake of all assignments and micro-experiments keeping self and community care in mind.
After deep reflection on the educational crisis in countries like India, Network Capital has decided to set up a chain of schools on the cloud. Our first iteration is the summer school that will admit 50 students. It starts on June 1, 2021.
500 million people lost their jobs during the pandemic. These jobs are not coming back. Instead of settling for a job you don't really care about, think of monetizing your passion by building a side hustle. You never know where your side hustle will take you.
Gumroad was built over a weekend. Patreon was set up in a few weeks of hacking. The first version of YouTube was ready within days as three former PayPal employees decided to act on their frustration of struggling with sharing videos online. The YouTube of today is far more sophisticated but its origin can be traced to a few weekends of trial and error
Use this chaotic time to help others, take care of yourself and figure out the work you would do even if you were not getting paid. As yourself 'What feels like play to you, but looks like work to others?’
Reflecting on this question is how we will start the fellowship. By the end of it, you will be able to
Figure out your super power
Monetize your passion
Scale your impact
Nikhil started equity trading at the age of 17. He co-founded Kamath Associates at the age of 19 to manage High Net Worth Individual portfolios in the public market space, before going on to co-found Zerodha with his brother Nithin in 2010. Zerodha today has grown to over a million active users, facilitating over 3 million orders daily, with a daily turnover of over $10 billion. As India’s top brokerage, it now commands a valuation of more than $1 billion and employs 1,500 staff across the country.
Nikhil’s passion for analytics and financial markets stems from his unorthodox childhood. His focus and passion has been in developing alternative investment strategies. In August 2019, Nikhil co-founded True Beacon to bring his fund management experience to a global group of Ultra High Net Worth strategic investors.
Gayatri Jolly, having worked with companies like Armani and Diane Von Furstenberg has gained years of experience in design and management in the fashion industry. She is also an Acumen, INK and Unltd India Fellow. She is the creative director of HEIMAT, which is MasterG’s in-house fashion brand led by the Makers of the all-women ecosystem. She has designed MasterG’s Breaking Patterns Pedagogy and wants to make it an ideological tool to inspire systemic and generational changes.
She is driven to democratise the power of making patterns and provide affordable training to individuals who aspire to but lack the access to tools to realise their fullest potential.
Shock therapy is one dark way of looking at this pandemic. For those of us who manage to survive, we will become relatively more anti-fragile. But that will be long-term. The challenge is that while we understand the power of long-term thinking, we are wired to think in the short-term, i.e. we often prioritize urgent over important.
Marx’s views on work are starkly opposite of Adam Smith, the father of modern capitalism who made a compelling case for hyper-specialization as the tool for economic progress. Marx worried that such specialization will make work devoid of meaning as people would not be able to connect their micro-inputs to macro-outputs.
Some of that rings a bell even today. Most if not all of us have had some jobs where we were super busy doing something that didn’t matter. Marx’s explanation would have been that we got so specialized in doing something so narrow that we lost sight of the bigger picture.
The beauty of this question is that it that it contextualizes our skills and strengths. A regular strengths finder / personality assessment test is useful in that it gives us a flavor of what we are good at but it fails to put that in perspective to market realities.
Also, many of us are great at things we don’t really love. Case in point, engineering entrance exams in India. There are thousands of NC community members who studied at top engineering institutions but dislike engineering. Should they work as engineers just because they were good at taking an exam?
⚡️If you are new to Network Capital, start by going through our most popular - masterclass (Career Principles with Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller); newsletter(Writing Fast and Slow); and podcast (The art of writing with Dr. Shashi Tharoor)
💞 If you need an invite to Clubhouse or Lunchclub, let email@example.com know. You can also reach out to them for feedback, suggestions, doubts and any help navigating the Network Capital ecosystem.