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

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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…


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

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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

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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. …


Influence, the psychology of persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say yes — and how to apply these understandings.

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As humans, every single day we are either trying to persuade others for something or are in turn getting persuaded for something.

The ability to persuade others to buy something from you or like you or agree with your point of view is an extremely desirable skill. The question is how do you develop that skill when humans are inherently unpredictable.

This books aims to demystify the psychology behind how humans are persuaded. …


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28th April, 2020 — The day I made a switch to a fully remote company. Over the past 10 months, I have had some great learnings about product management, productivity and collaboration.

One learning that has stood out for me is the art of communication. Communicating effectively and efficiently in a remote setup is an incredibly hard thing. Gone are the days when you could walk to someone’s desk and discuss ideas or brainstorm solutions.

Talking to someone in real-time means that you either block a time on their calendar or give them a call (which can be considered intrusive…


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“Hey, is the testing done for this?” I asked the QA engineer Q.

Q responded, “No, we haven’t received it for testing from the developer yet.”

I was hearing the same response on the third consecutive day.

Exasperated, I looked at the developer, D. “What’s the issue man? What’s taking it so long? You know we decided a deadline for it?”

D looked at me sheepishly. “Actually code review is pending.”

I shot back “Its been pending since the last three days. When it will be done?”

The Team Lead T said guiltily, “I haven’t gotten the time to review…


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QA — The unsung superheroes of software teams who ensure that only bug-free and quality products are shipped.

In agile teams, there exists an inherent conflict between QA and engineering. One wants to ship it asap and the other wants to ensure a bug-free product before giving a sign-off.

I have experienced this conflict multiple times. You decide upon a release date. Things seem to be perfectly on track. Then suddenly, 1 or 2 days before the release, you get an onslaught of bugs being reported.

By the time you realize, the feature is already delayed by few days (and…


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Go and talk to your customers” is the advice given to every entrepreneur out there. Only after we talk to customers, can we understand their needs and goals.

However we commit a lot of mistakes during these “customer interviews” and end up with insights that are not useful.

The Mom test is a book by Rob Fitzpatrick that will help you understand how to hold insightful customer conversation and know if your business idea is actually worth it. The content of the book makes it extremely useful for entrepreneurs, product managers, user researchers and sales professionals.

It offers some fantastic…


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The good thing about product management is you get to do so many different things. The bad thing about product management is you have to do so many different things.

When you juggle a lot of responsibilities, the scope for making mistakes and missing crucial things increases.

As a product manager working in a startup, I often have to manage multiple things. Thus, I am always looking for ways to become more productive and efficient.

One solid ally that I have discovered in this journey has been the humble checklist. Checklist is a wonderful tool that offers myriad benefits. It…

Vikram Goyal

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

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