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A life ordinary by Amit Sarkar - Issue #4

Amit Sarkar
Amit Sarkar
Hello friends,
Welcome to another edition of my newsletter.
This week was a very sunny week here in the UK when temperatures reached around 30°C.
I also completed 1 year at my work place this week. I currently work at Go Instore, An Emplifi Company which is a market leader in the live video shopping and live commerce space. Do checkout the company as they have a very exciting product.
It was also Father’s day yesterday and my wife kept a wonderful surprise party for me with our friends to celebrate my birthday (it’s tomorrow) as well as Father’s day. And it was extra special for me and my wife since our son sat up, by himself, for the first time.

🤖 Bots
I recently read the below tweet and began wondering how much of it is true. So me and Rinat decided to do a whole episode of what Bots are. The episode is still not published but we discussed some very interesting things.
World of Statistics
Humans now only make up 38.5% of internet traffic.

The other 61.5% is non-human (bots, hacking tools, etc).
A ‘bot’ – short for robot – is a software program that performs automated, repetitive, pre-defined tasks. Bots typically imitate or replace human user behaviour. Because they are automated, they operate much faster than human users. They carry out useful functions, such as customer service or indexing search engines, but they can also come in the form of malware – used to gain total control over a computer.
Not all bots are bad. But bots are essentially used a lot over the internet for various things.
There are social bots that automatically write/post/like content on social media platforms.
There are denial of service bots that disrupt services on a website.
There are chatbots, the most common one, where you talk to a computer and get automated response.
There are monitoring bots, that keep monitoring a service/website for you.
There are trading bots, that do automated trading based on rules you have defined.
And there are many more. So please be aware and careful when you think you know you are interacting or observing a bot and not a human.
✍️ Productivity
One of my friends recently asked me how do I find time to do the things I do.
So I will outline few things I follow and maybe it can help you.
Be specific not generic
I normally dedicate specific times for doing things. This helps me prioritize things I want to do over other things.
I split my week like this.
  • Sunday mornings I workout with my Personal Trainer.
  • Sunday nights I write my newsletter to get it published by Monday morning.
  • Monday evenings I record my podcast.
  • Every day I try to read a few pages from a book when I go to bed.
  • I listen to one podcast per week.
  • I keep the remainder weekday evenings free for my family or for meeting friends.
Never say I will exercise 3 times a week. Allocate specific time on a specific day for doing that exercise. Procrastinating becomes easy when we don’t have specific goals set for specific times.
Book everything in your calendar. I do it for every single event of my life, outside work, to help me plan things and refer them once they pass.
Maintain a routine
Maintaining a routine is again very important in getting things done. If I do something every week at a specific time, then people around me know that and will try to fit me in their lives around that. This also doesn’t bother people since its a routine that they themselves get used to.
Prioritize your time
Prioritizing our own time and what we do with it is very important. I have stopped watching TV after dinner to do things like writing this newsletter. This frees up a lot of my time to do things that I enjoy.
I don’t take my mobile phone to the bed. I simply leave it in the next room to avoid picking it up every time I wake up or go to bed. Instead I have a Kindle next to me in our bedroom.
In the book, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant, Naval mentions the following things.
Source - Reddit user suplexcitybih post
Source - Reddit user suplexcitybih post
In order to be successful in life, we must focus on maintaining our physical health, creating/generating wealth, acquiring wisdom from others and avoiding any bad behaviours.
I have slowly started incorporating these in my lives and through my newsletters I will ensure you know if I have made any progress.
🚀 Startup Accelerators
This week, me and my friends, who started foodGully more than a year ago, applied to Techstars London Accelerator. It will be a great opportunity for us if we get selected, but getting selected won’t be an easy task.
More than 1000 companies apply to this accelerator. So the competition is huge, as Techstars select only 10 startups for their accelerator program.
But many of you might ask what is an accelerator or even what is an incubator?
These terms are used quite often, when talking about startups, and I found a wonderful infographic from LendingTree to explain the difference.
Incubator vs Accelerator
Incubator vs Accelerator
We are already ready with our idea and its moved past the MVP phase so joining an accelerator would help us a lot.
We will need to wait, for almost two months, even before we know if we are shortlisted for the interview phase or not.
📚 Book
This week I am still reading Deep Work by Cal Newport. I have finished 54% of the book so far and have learnt some interesting stuff regarding Deep Work.
Cal talks about how to implement Deep Work in our lives through the 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) -
Focus on the wildly important
The more you try to do, the less you actually accomplish. The execution of Deep Work should be aimed at a small number of wildly important goals.
Don’t try to say no to trivial distractions. Try to say yes to the thing that arouses terrifying longing and let this longing crowd out everything else.
Act on the lead measures
In order to measure success there are 2 types of metrics - lag measures and lead measures.
Lag measures describe the thing you’re trying to improve. The problem is that they come too late to change your behaviour.
For example if you are trying to increase sales in your restaurant, then customer satisfaction scores would be a lag measure.
Lead measures measure the new behaviour that will drive success on the lag measure.
These measures turn your attention to improving the behaviours you directly control in the near future that will then have a positive impact on your long-term goals.
For example a lag measure would be published papers in a year. But a lead measure would be tracking how many hours a day you spent on deep work. Every extra hour spent increases your chances of publishing more papers.
Keep a compelling scoreboard
People play differently when they’re keeping score. A scoreboard creates a sense of competition that drives people to focus on, say an organization’s goals, even when other things demand their attention.
For example, having a public place to record a team’s progress and track the lead measures is important. Once the team notices their public success, they try to perpetuate their performance and become invested.
Create a cadence of accountability
Maintaining a rhythm of regular and frequent reviews of your work is important.
You can look over your scoreboard to celebrate good periods, understand what led to bad periods, and ensure a good score for the days ahead. This ensures a good focus on what you want to achieve.
🎙️ Video
I recently watched a video from MKBHD which was quite thought provoking. And recently I had a discussion about the ideas in it, with my friends.
The Electric Car Pre-Order Problem
Marques suggests there are 5 steps to building a great electric car company.
  1. Make a clever name for a great idea. Showcase your idea using a website.
  2. Become a company. Find a CEO. Make it fun for people to work. Make sure the idea looks promising.
  3. Build a working prototype. Just 1 is enough.
  4. Show the prototype to everyone
  5. Ship the working product to customers
These steps can apply to almost any startup. And most startups reach till Step 4 easily.
It’s only at Step 5, that startups struggle to scale and go big. Especially when it comes to building a real product. If you product is code, that does things, then scaling it can also be challenging as you would need more people to write new code and maintain existing code.
Tesla became a highly valuable electric car company simply because it scaled up rapidly overcoming various manufacturing hurdles and delivering products to its customers.
A startup can get funding, but what it does with the money defines its future. Scaling an idea is the biggest hurdle that every startup must overcome in order to be successful.
Thank you so much once again for reading my newsletter this week. I hope you are enjoying the stuff I am publishing.
Please do show your appreciation by subscribing to my newsletter.
Until we meet again next week, please take care and stay happy.
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Amit Sarkar
Amit Sarkar @amit_Sarkar007

Newsletters are the new form of blogging where instead of you coming to the blog, the blog comes to you. Every week I will aim to publish my newsletter to talk about things I have done, read, heard or watched. The idea behind this newsletter is to talk about my ordinary life in the hope that you might find something interesting in it.

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Bromley, Greater London, United Kingdom