Saturday, September 17, 2016

Signal & Noise

Finally after a lot of start-stop, false starts , I managed to finish Nate Silver's Signal and Noise - Why so many predictions fail and some don't. Nate Silver and his blog were hugely successful and popular for his US presidential elections and analysis.

This book covers a wide range of chapters - economics, stock markets, earthquakes, weather forecasting, terrorist attacks, baseball games. Reading can get a bit cumbersome and boring especially if you don't have a finance background or US-centric baseball/election stuff. The purpose of the book is to in a way identify what we know and what we think we know. The constant recurring in the book is to embrace uncertainty and bayesian way of thinking. The constant need to revise your understanding and hypothesis as and when you encounter newer evidence is what is missing most predictions and forecasting. Isolating false positives, noise from signals plays a key role - but on most occasions, it is difficult to differentiate signal from noise. This is where the bayesian reasoning provides a contextual information to solving.

Most times we think we are good at prediction than we actually are.

we focus on stories about the world as we would like to be, not how it really is

When you can't state your innocence, proclaim your ignorance.

When facts change, i change my mind -  John Maynard Keynes

A forecast is no good if no one is listening to it

Prediction is as much a means to the end. It can play a key role in hypothesis testing. Model is a tool to understand the complexities of the universe, not a substitute.

Heuristics are useful, but they are prone to biases and blindspots.

what good is a prediction, if you arent wiling to put money on it - put money on your predictions

Bayesian thinking : New evidence should not lower the estimate of likelihood. Should increase the overall strength n theory

A consensus is not synonymous with unanimity. The consensus is merely a simple majority

Known knowns, unknown knowns, unknown unknowns - Donald Rumsfeld

Monday, November 23, 2015

Hello Singapore

4 months since I landed on this foreign land. There’s this jitteriness. Then there’s this fear that numbs our body. Did I make the right decision? Should I continue working at Verizon, leading a comfortable life at home? SWOT analysis and 2x2 impact assessment on my aspirations and where I can be in my career. Mind and heart take turns in decision making where rationality goes for a toss.

As Dumbledore says, it is the choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. Life begins at the end of our comfort zone. There will be newer people, newer challenges and newer frontiers to capture. I’ve decided to take on all of them with a growth mindset. If my today is not better than yesterday, tomorrow will be just be a dream. Here I’m at Singapore to Live, learn and excel.

It is indeed a first world country, in terms of people’s mindset and the government to serve the people. I’d learnt about a man called Lee Kwan Yew. The more I read about him, more he raises in stature. In a way, Singapore is LKY’s product. Meritocracy, racial and religious harmony, and clean governance.

Some of the positive things I’d observed in my stay so far:

1. Singapore story: The great Singapore story (was new to me) itself is so inspiring and think about. How a nation converted its short comings into its strengths and where it has progressed.

2. Insanely hard working people: People who are self-motivated and driven. I need to set newer levels of productivity and work-impact matrix to match their levels. Everyone works. Young, middle aged, old. Seeing so many aged people who are active is a pleasing sign.

3. Long term vs Short term: Singapore has built solutions that are long term sustainable such as for water supply, desalination, housing development, Public parks etc. Every house has a MRT or Bus stop connectivity, that itself shows their thoughtfulness. Government that focusses on governance with policies that directly impact their life.

4. Mindset of the people to follow the rules and regulations. Whether it is the fear of punishment or by nature, people following all possible rules

5. Being physically fit and agile: With so many parks, running tracks and stadiums, I can’t afford to be indoors. Thanks to the compulsory military training, this place has vibrant sporting culture. 

Positives okay. What about the negatives? Outside off stump, well left. Everyone has negatives, cribbing doesn’t make it better. This place is great. Period. 

I’ve put an L-board before I earn.To Learn. So much to do, so much to learn and so much to enjoy. Singapore I’m here to win my spurs.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Greatest Pleasure

The greatest pleasure I’ve had is to try to do something that people said would never be done              - Mr.Ratan Tata

courtesy: NYT

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Creative Confidence

Creative confidence busts the myth that only few people can be creative and others are not creative. Most people under-utilize the creative talent. Creative confidence helps us reclaim our creativity, passion and fun. True potential of our brain is unknown and it is not limited by what we’ve done before. The Process of Guided Mastery will help to overcome fear and help people believe that they can change the situation and accomplish what they had set to do in the world. To be creative, we need to fail more. Experiment with experiences; embrace continuous learning and start designing your own life. Life is a creative innovation lab. Life is full of side hobbies and experiments. Try doing experiments, do it creatively.

Be a fly on the wall in your customer world, understand his pain points, try your own service, talk with unexpected experts. The best way to gain creative confidence is through action – taken one step at a time.. Doug Diez at GE with scan machine, Embrace infant warmers, Pulse news creators, etc and many more examples.

Failure sucks, but instructs – IDEO

Job.Career. Calling – People’s relation to their work Amy Wrzseniewski (Curse of competence. (Actively unhappy about work)

How can we ‘Improving video conference’ to how can we provide viable alternative to air travel – John Chambers Cisco (reframing challenges)

Knowing – Doing gap : HBR  how to turn knowledge to action

How to draw anything (Napkin academy)

Kelley brothers – David and Tom Kelley, Albert Bandura, SirKen Robinson, Claudia Kotchka (P&G)

Toolkits : | OpenIDEO |

Key methods (writing this so that I keep track for my future use):
  1. Mind maps – for convergent + divergent thinking
  2. Note down list of all ideas you get in a day
  3. SAY – Think – Do – Feel (all need to be aligned to successful)
  4. Empathy maps
  5. I Like / I wish Constructive and effective feedback (My favorite!)
  6. Speed dating 
  7. - how would your family members describe you
    - If you had $100000000000,..
    - You wish your parents told..
  8. Nick names in a group event
  9. Journey maps
  10. Dream/Gripe. Convert Dream/Dripe into  Problems to works – How might we..?

Another review of the book in yourstory