#5: Didn’t cultivate a good working relationship with my boss

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

It was somewhere around June, 2019.

I was staring at the email on my computer screen.

It was from my boss.

It went something like, “I won’t allow you to schedule a 1:1 meeting with me until you have demonstrated sufficient progress on the tasks that were previously assigned to you.”

Now, I consider myself a tough guy. I have been battered with slippers/insults both at home and at college.

But getting blasted at the workplace was something new.

The email bruised my ego pretty badly. I stopped doing my…


Simple, yet effective practices to increase your delivery speed.

Source: Here

How do I ship things faster” is one of the fundamental questions that troubles every product manager.

Shipping fast is especially important for startups. Because if you are not shipping fast enough, you better start packing up.

Having been part of multiple projects that were delayed by weeks (and at times even months), I have learnt some valuable lessons from the mistakes made.

In the subsequent paragraphs, I highlight the problems generally faced during development and provide potential solutions.

What can go wrong and how to pre-empt it?

1. Corner Cases being discovered late

Often corner cases tumble out towards the end, leading to unexpected delays…


Image from hubgets.com

“Why do we have two ears and one mouth?” asked the instructor.

It was a rhetorical question.

So that we listen twice as much as we speak.” he proceeded to answer.

It was a workshop on communication skills and the 15 year old me was hanging on to the instructor’s every word.

That was the first time someone had explicitly made me realize the importance of listening.

Since then, I can distinctly recall the same lesson being repeated by a number of teachers and elders.

With the importance of listening drilled at an early stage, I have consciously made efforts…


‘Predictably Irrational’ highlights how emotions and norms influence our behaviour

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Classical Economic Theory states that Man is a rational being who makes smart, logical choices. However, human behaviour in practice is usually at odds with what is expected in theory.

Dan Ariely’s book seeks to bring out this ‘irrational’ side of humans through a series of illuminating experiments. Each experiment illustrates how ‘invisible forces’ such as our emotions or social norms influence our behaviour. Interestingly, our irrational behaviour is neither senseless nor random. It manifests itself in systematic and predictable ways.

The author illustrates that these ‘irrational behaviours’ hold important implications for individuals, businesses and policy makers.

In the subsequent…


‘Listen Like You Mean It’ will help you stop talking and start listening

Image Source: Here

Conversation by conversation you can discover in others emotions, hopes, fears, dreams and anxieties that make each of us unique. You can know others as they truly are, not as you assume they are or wish them to be and in turn they can get to know the real you too.
When we listen with empathy we raise the bar for our conversations and relationships and inspire others to do the same.

Listen Like You Mean It — A book that will provide you with the roadmap to becoming a better listener. It is written by Ximena Vengoechea. …


Image by Clubhouse

It was my first week at work as a product manager at a fully remote organization.

I carefully observed as my manager ran the daily standup on a conference call.

As each developer’s turn came, my manager would filter the tickets assigned to that developer on the clubhouse software. For each of the tickets in progress, the developer would provide a status update. If progress had not been made on a ticket for frivolous reasons, my manager would take the developer to task.

That was my first experience in running a diligent standup meeting. Prior to this, I had participated…


A person standing while holding a laptop in one hand and a one in another hand. He is writing while another person looks on.
A person standing while holding a laptop in one hand and a one in another hand. He is writing while another person looks on.
Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

Vikram, do you think the customer will be able to understand this level of complexity?”, said my boss during the design review.

Reluctantly, I responded. “Yeah, this design looks a bit complicated”.

There was a deafening silence that lasted for a minute. I was cursing myself for not defining the scope of the problem clearly. The clarifications which should have happened earlier were happening during the review process.

To save my skin, I pulled out some competitor screenshots and said that this what I was expecting.

The boss nodded, “Yeah. This looks much simpler. Why don’t you work closely with…


Reflections of a Surgeon on what it takes to succeed in medicine

Image by medicinspires.com

Better is a book about performance in medicine, a profession where expectations are sky-high and failure is often very easy.

Through his own personal experiences as a surgeon as well as the stories of countless others, Dr. Gawande presents a riveting read on the lives of surgeons and the constant onslaught of challenges they face.

Dr. Gawande takes us on a fascinating journey around the globe. From the pulse polio eradication campaign in India to the battlefields of Iraq, his stories are intense and gripping.

Through these stories, Dr. Gawande highlights how medicines has been constantly improving despite the endless…


12 principles that can help you become a great leader

Extreme Ownership is a book on leadership written by two US Navy seals, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.

The core premise of the book is simple. To be a great leader, you must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame. This is ‘Extreme Ownership’.

The book is targeted towards anyone aspiring to be a great leader.

The authors take us through 12 leadership principles, with one chapter being devoted to each principle. The chapters follow the SCAL format Situation, Complication, Action and Learning.

Each…


#2. It improves the quality of your day-dreaming

Image by computhink

There was a deathly silence in the room.

It had been three weeks since our engineering team had started work on a project involving a third party integration. After three weeks, the team realized that we had made an incorrect assumption about how the service worked.

The error was not small. Significant changes would need to be made to the backend. The effort would delay the project by atleast two weeks.

I was silently blaming the engineers for not being diligent enough. …

Vikram Goyal

Currently PM@Airmeet — building a kick-ass product for conducting remote events and conferences.

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