This newsletter comes from Utkarsh Amitabh, the founder and CEO of Network Capital. You may know him from his Harvard Business Review article, TED talk and recent globally bestselling book “The Seductive Illusion of Hard Work”.
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Now on to Utkarsh’s newsletter.
After a 7 month lockdown, I finally took the flight from Delhi to London to begin my book tour in Europe.
Thanks to your support, my book “The Seductive Illusion of Hard Work” became an Amazon #1 best-seller. More than fleeting metrics of success like book sales and rankings, I am moved by the feedback from readers. As an author, hearing (in specific terms) how your words impacted others is an indescribable feeling.
I love being a citizen of the world and diving my time between great cities like Delhi and London. These two cities help me write the book, build Network Capital into a global community and learn about fascinating cultures, customs and micro-cultures.
Right next to my London home, there is a stunning Gandhi wall adjacent to a restaurant run by an Palestinian-Israeli couple. Every time I walk past it, I feel elevated. Once my quarantine period is over, I will do a masterclass from this spot so that you revel in its beauty as well.
Now on to what we learned together on Network Capital this week.
** Dr. Shashi Tharoor on the Art of Writing**
Through our masterclasses, we aspire to bring the brightest leaders from all walks of life teach you what they know best. Enjoy Dr. Tharoor as he walks us through nuances of writing.
Thanks to our partners, we were able to arrange free passes (original cost ~ $100) for our subscribers interested in impact investing. There were two major takeaways for us.
a. Learning is fun together. Attending digital summits is exhausting unless you do so as a community. We formed a subgroup and constantly discussed key takeaways throughout the summit. Even today, the subgroup is alive and kicking. We plan to keep sharing blended finance and impact investing opportunities there.
b. Filter signal from noise. There is too much low quality content online. It is dizzying to figure out what to focus on and what to ignore, who to connect with and who to pass on. We have put all impact investing content in one place and have a board of mentors who will help navigate interested people towards meaningful careers in this space.
Overcoming adversity with Bumble CEO & Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe
Like most twenty-one year olds, Whitney Wolfe (co-founder and Vice President of Marketing Tinder and co-founder and CEO of Bumble) was clueless about her ‘post-college plan’. With a bachelors and International Relations and an aim to do something meaningful she took a gap year after college. She divided her time between volunteering in orphanages around Asia and meeting new people in the US. In one of these chance encounters she came across a marketing job at Hatch Labs, a tech incubator in Los Angeles.
A combination of luck, timing, being at the right with the right skills place got Whitney a spot on Tinder’s marketing team. In 2012, post Tinder’s launch Whitney went from campus to campus to introduce the dating app for millennials and college students. While the app was a phenomenal success, in 2014 Whitney left the company due to ‘growing tensions’ and later filed a lawsuit against Tinder for sexual harassment and discrimination. What followed the legal proceeding was a social media trail. She was publicly assaulted and digitally harassed for her feud with Tinder.
Brain Jam for the Week Ahead
Every day we read scores of articles, research reports and select the most interesting ones for the Wednesday edition of our newsletter. We know that there is content fatigue among all of us so we try to be as selective as possible. By the way, “Letter to Your Exhausted Self” was the most popular newsletter of the month. We know this is a tough time. Don’t feel compelled to go through everything at once. Take your time, take it easy.
Ending the zoom hangover with a cup of coffee
After almost seven months of lock-down, quarantines and social distancing the idea of stepping out in the world can seem intimidating. What is interesting is that this intimidation is not just a result of ‘virus-paranoia’ but also the decay in social skills. A recent New York Times article looks at this phenomena in detail. It states ‘We are subtly but inexorably losing our facility and agility in social situations’. Drawing from research on people who have lived in social isolation (prisoners, astronauts, war veterans), psychology and neuroscience it concludes that social skills are like muscles that need to be excised. They will atrophy if not used actively.
Yes, we did have a physically distant but socially intimate coffee meet in Delhi and will be conducting many more in other cities, taking adequate precaution and care.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and INSEAD Professor Erin Meyer have written an iconic book “No Rules Rules”. In the book, they analyze the culture that contributed towards the growth of Netflix. It isn’t a victory lap or a celebration but an intensely thoughtful analysis of how to build companies / institutions that last. We are excited to welcome Erin for a masterclass.
*** Noteworthy Conference***
CyFy 2020 will identify, interrogate and interpret the new normal emerging in our global digital society. I have written a paper on the future of work for Observer Research Foundation and will be on a few panels. Hope you are able to join.
Afterthought: “What they are doing is no closer to engaging in politics than watching SportsCenter is to playing football” Read this article by David Brooks and don’t get too caught up or attached to your views.
That’s a wrap from our side. Have a rejuvenating week ahead.
Your INSIDER Team,
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