November 2019: My reading and listening list.

Blog: The Fyre Festival Deck Shows What is Wrong With Modern Fundraising

Serial entrepreneur, Seth Kravitz penned down this article in February and I just read this last month.

This is an interesting read for two reasons:

  1. Seth shares how Fyre Festival is not an outlier, in fact, common phenomena that happen anywhere from the startup belt of San Francisco to New York City. 
  2. He talks about ‘the fake it till you make it culture’ that is thrown away as advice to so many aspiring founders in the ecosystem that is is not even surprising seeing such questionable pitch decks.

An interesting quote I found:

"It’s sad that in 2019 startups still feel like the only way they can make their startup worthwhile (and be a “real” founder) is to try to prove they can explosively grow their company."

Final Verdict:

If you are a founder who is looking to pitch, fundraise now or anytime in the future, spend 10 minutes and read this. It is a quick 101 on what NOT to do.

Book: The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

I ordered this book when Barack Obama recommended it earlier this year but never got to it until last month. To be honest, I wondered what could this book teach me. And now that I have read it, I would recommend it to anyone who wants to understand how gender equity and equality impacts people, planets, and profits. 

This is an interesting read for 2 reasons:

  1. The narration of this book is in the first person and it feels like Melinda Gates is on her journey of equality and equity as she paves the path from Microsoft to Gates Foundation. She has an interesting take on how empowering others and listening to stories from around the world taught her more about empowering herself.
  2. DATA: And I say this with no joke. Gender equality is still a topic that is in the nascent stages. But when you see how equality improves the lives of everyone through numbers, it is really impactful. This book takes you through the stories of people around the world, the changemakers, the victims, the fighters, the solutions and leaves you with hardcore NUMBERS around how much has improved.

Interesting Quotes:

"Wisdom isn’t about accumulating more facts; it’s about understanding big truths in a deeper way."

"When people can’t agree, it’s often because there is no empathy, no sense of shared experience. If you feel what others feel, you’re more likely to see what they see. Then you can understand one another. Then you can move to the honest and respectful exchange of ideas that is the mark of a successful partnership. That’s the source of progress."

"What extreme poverty really means is that no matter how hard you work, you’re trapped. You can’t get out. Your efforts barely matter. You’ve been left behind by those who could life you up."

"It’s often surprisingly easy to find bias if you look. Who was omitted or disempowered or disadvantaged when the cultural practice was formed? Who didn’t have a voice? Who wasn’t asked their view? Who got the least share of power and the largest share of pain? How can we fill in the blind spots and reverse the bias?”

And my most favorite:

"Opportunities have to be equal before you can know if abilities are equal. And opportunities for women have never been equal."

Podcast: Hidden Brain - Creating God

Religion has always fascinated me. It unites and divides people. It brings chaos and discipline at the same time. And that is one reason, I would recommend this episode of the Hidden Brain.

This is an interesting listen for 2 reasons:

  1. It talks about the reason for diety as a punisher to bring fear and discipline. It further discusses with some renowned people in the field of whether the history suggests that it works or no. 
  2. It goes into depth of the purpose of why God was created, needed and its origination. Since there is a healthy discussion of both sides, your left with an aftertaste of openmindedness and a few lingering questions. I would say, that is exactly what a great podcast should be doing.

Enjoy reading this! I will share my December reading list next month. Please share any books, articles or podcasts that you have enjoyed.

Cheers,

Arjita

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