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The ContraMind Code
Welcome to The ContraMind Code.
The ContraMind Code provides you with a system of principles, signals, and ideas to aid you in your pursuit of excellence.
The Newsletter shares the source code through quick snapshots for a systems thinking approach to be the best in what you do.
The Code helps you reboot and reimagine your thinking by learning from the best and enables you to draw a blueprint on what it takes to get extraordinary things done. Please share your valuable thoughts and comments and start a conversation.
Take a journey to www.contraminds.com. Listen and watch some great minds talking to us about their journey of discovery of what went into making them craftsmen of their profession to drive peak performance.
The Curious Genius Of Amar Bose
Amar Bose was an American entrepreneur and academic. An electrical engineer and sound engineer, he was a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for over 45 years. He was also the founder and chairman of Bose Corporation.
In this article from Popular Science, it was fascinating to read the mind behind a man and legend called Amar Bose.
Here are some brilliant nuggets from the article that were quite inspiring:
As an MIT professor and CEO of the eponymous company he built from scratch, Bose made breakthroughs in an astonishingly broad range of disciplines, including acoustics, aviation, defense, and nuclear physics. At times, he says, he has risked the entire company in pursuit of a particular idea. “I would have been fired a hundred times at a company run by MBAs,”
“One of the best decisions I ever made was keeping the company privately held, so we can take short-term pain for long-term gain,” he says. “Public companies have to look good every 90 days to please the markets, so they can’t do that.”
“There were professors who had an enormous influence on me, but it wasn’t in the subjects they taught. The benefit came through conversations in which they conveyed their way of thinking. That was what I wanted to give to my students: I wanted to teach thought, not formulas.”
“The future isn’t in solving the problems to which we already know the answers. It’s in learning how to work through the problems you’ll experience in life.”
The value of Amar Bose isn’t so much in the things he invented but in the sense of possibility, he inspires.
Read the article here.
Unicorns vs. ‘Proficorns’: The Pragmatic Path to Building Private, Bootstrapped, Profitable and Valuable Businesses
According to Business Standard, a leading publication, in total, around 105 start-ups in India attained the status of Unicorns between 2018 and 2022, but the active number of unicorns has now been reduced to 84.
Proficorn is a term that Rajesh Jain, a technology entrepreneur based out of Mumbai, India, has come up with - Private, Bootstrapped, Profitable and Valuable Businesses.
In this conversation, he outlines some of his thoughts on:
The Unicorn vs. Proficorn Entrepreneurial Mindset
Compass vs. Map in a Business’s Journey
Ability to Look at Mountains Beyond Mountains
Short Term vs Long Haul Mindset
Need to Balance Operating Expenses and Vision
Why Having an Advisory Board for Your Startup is Valuable
Why Startups and Businesses Need to Have a Storyteller, Storywriter and Story-builder.
How Proficorn Entrepreneurs Attract Like-Minded Clients
You can listen to the entire conversation on:
Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, IIT Chennai: Retirement Speech
Prof. Jhunjhunwala is a pioneer in nurturing Industry-Academia interaction in India towards R&D, Innovation and Product Development. He conceived and built India’s first university-affiliated business park (IIT Madras Research Park). He has been developing products for the masses - affordable yet technically advanced products in India, like Wireless in Local Loops, Remote health monitoring systems, ATMs, Solar-DC to homes, Affordable electric vehicles, etc.
Recently, Prof. Jhunjhunwala gave his retirement speech, which is a fascinating story of his journey, motivation, drive and passion, tribulations, memories, penchant for taking up challenges, love and emotional connection with his students, etc.
Here are a few thoughts and ideas to reflect on:
If you want to innovate or build a product, commit first and figure out how to keep up with your commitment.
Don’t be afraid to fail.
How Academia-Industry Interaction & Collaboration is vital to driving innovation
Being humble enough as a teacher to accept students can help the teacher learn and build products if you throw a problem at them.
Being willing to learn from anybody around you who can help solve a business problem or need.
Only when you have a larger purpose can institutions be built which will last beyond you and where you can leave a legacy.
Purpose and mission transcend money.
True love for teaching and students’ welfare can inspire minds and transform lives.
Give yourself uninterrupted time and watch Prof. Jhunjhunwala talk by clicking the above link.
Overcoming Short-Term Pain For Long-Term Gains
It was fascinating to see today’s stories and articles having a common theme and thread that you may want to think about - ‘Never compromise the long-term for the joy of the short-term.’
Often, when you hear the success stories of great people, you never hear what it took for them to get where they are today and become successful. It never really brings out the hardships, years of toil, failures and rejections that they have gone through over many years, yet they remained doggedly persistent in their ideas and beliefs.
Who would have thought the first speakers designed by Amar Bose were a flop, yet he remained steadfast in his belief in the idea of building a genuinely world-class audio system. Some ground-breaking research in inventing next-generation audio systems took over ten years for Amar Bose, who founded Bose Corporation.
Also, what is fascinating to observe is that it takes each of them insatiable curiosity and a lot of patience to stay the course, even when there are no quick wins to celebrate, and keep themselves motivated to wake up and work on them every day. Hence, the path to success and greatness is slow and requires relentless focus and extreme patience.
Similarly, the thought that best-of-the-best entrepreneurs are risk reducers and not risk takers is very contrarian to what one hears typically or believes. Again, a need to have an ‘infinite mindset’, which requires incredible tenacity to focus on the problem despite all odds, take a long-term view of the bet or problem being pursued, and be customer-obsessed rather than capital-obsessed is vital. With this approach, there are bound to be short-term hiccups, failures and pain, but in the end, what gets built is robust and solid in the long term. Also, being flexible in the short term to survive but not losing sight of the long term is another thing that comes out clearly.
What’s more, putting the cause ahead of self is critical when it comes to institution building. This requires a lot of sacrifices in the short term, which is inexplicable to many people. It also may not be the path a majority of the people ascribe it to. Some results may not be visible in the short-term, but staying away from distractions and not-so-kind comments or opinions requires ‘Conviction of Purpose’.
To look back at success at a point in time now is easy. But to look back over time and understand how it was done is where you will have the most significant learning. You will find that many successful individuals assiduously do what took them years of hard work and toil while wondering whether they will succeed or fail. It requires a ‘mindset wiring’ of a different kind.
Staying invested in the purpose, backing their instinct despite disbelievers around them, committing their time, money, and resources disproportionately to their idea, and their willingness to accept any outcome irrespective of the results in the short-term is what legends and their success are made of.
Learning not to compromise the short term for the long term is vital to building excellence and success.
Some of the lessons we learnt from this week’s mission:
‘Insatiable Curiosity’ is vital to excellence.
The fundamentals of building a business do not change with access to more capital.
The best teachers are your own young students/colleagues, or peers. Also, there is no better alternative to learning by doing.
Keep thinking about the legacy you will leave behind in people’s lives and the institutions you work for.