How to handle trolls?

Linking to this blog post on how Steve Jobs managed a troll at him, here’s the transcript but throws a great idea for building consumer / enterprise software apps:

Question: I would like, for example, for you to express in clear terms how, say java, in any of it’s incarnations, addresses the idea (inaudible). And when you’re finished with that, perhaps you could tell us what you personally have been doing for the last 7 years.

Steve: You know, you can please some of the people some of the time, but…. One of the hardest things when you’re trying to effect change is that people like this gentleman are right in some areas.

The hardest thing is: how does that fit in to a cohesive, larger vision, that’s going to allow you to sell 8 billion dollars, 10 billion dollars of product a year? And, one of the things I’ve always found is that you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards for the technology”. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you’re going to try to sell it. And I made this mistake probably more than anybody else in this room. And I got the scar tissue to prove it. And I know that it’s the case.

And as we have tried to come up with a strategy and a vision for Apple, it started with “What incredible benefits can we give to the customer? Where can we take the customer?” Not starting with “Let’s sit down with the engineers and figure out what awesome technology we have and then how are we going to market that?” And I think that’s the right path to take.


Month of Independences

If you retrospectively look at histories of nations, August can be crowned one among the 3 months where lots of countries have achieved independences. A few to quote, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Cyprus – apparently one of my closet associate got his independence from the corporate mumbo-jumbo on August 16th the day when Cyprus went free and India went free a day earlier – what a coincidence. Sometime things happen for some grander reasons nobody knows not and any impetuous prophesizing yields no comfort except only time can reveal it later. For now my advise to him – never, never ever give up – because peaks and valleys are part of the terrain and prepare for the next peak in this valley.

Harvard Business Review–Selecting & Retaining Talent

As I was contemplating at my closest friend’s job predicament, I became painfully aware of his company management’s inability to perceive, strategize and triumph from oft repeated mistakes, a colossal waste and drain. Perhaps a startling find and coincidence, when I came across this ‘Idea In Brief’ in Harvard business review book on selecting and retaining talent.:

Who’s most critical to your company’s success, especially during a weak economy? who supplies stability, knowledge, and long-term view your firm needs to survive?
B-Players – competent, steady performers far from limelight. These supporting actors of corporate world determine your company’s future performance far more than A-Players – volatile stars who may score the biggest revenues or clients, but who’re also the most likely to commit missteps. B-Players, by contrast, prize stability in their work and home lives. They seldom strive for advancement or attention – caring more about their companies’ well-being, infrequent job changers, they accumulate deep knowledge about company processes and history. They thus provide ballast during transitions, steadily boosting organizational resilience and performance.

Yet many executives ignore B-Players, beguiled by stars’ brilliance. The danger? if neglected, these dependable contributors may leave, taking the firm’s backbone with them. How to keep your B players? Recognize their value – and nurture them.

Your most valuable B-Players are:

  1. Former A Players
  2. Truth Tellers
  3. Go-to Managers

Corporate backbone: during turbulent times especially, B-Players provide stability by:

  1. Accumulating organizational memory
  2. Adapting to inevitable change
  3. Staying focused during management shakeups

Nurturing B-Players

  1. Accept Differences
  2. Give the gift of time
  3. Hand out the prizes
  4. Give Choices
    My parting thoughts to my friend on his departure was, well it’s the start of a negative spiral that may end in yet another shakeup, neither good for the company nor it’s employees. A sad situation indeed and hope it can revive for long term. To him, I emphasized rather philosophically, every change is for good no matter how worst – for you, community and the world at large.

Walden Pond–remarks to cherish & keep following

My sweet micro memories of reading Walden Pond: following quotes taken from Thoreau’s great experiment and his observations captured in Walden Pond.


  • Mass of men lead lives of quite desperation
  • To be philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts but so to love as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity and trust
  • Cart before the horse is neither beautiful nor useful
  • I’ve learned that the swiftest traveller is he that goes afoot
  • Most of the stones a nation hammers goes towards its tomb only. It buries itself alive
  • I’m convinced both by faith and experience, that to maintain one’s self on this earth is not hardship but pastime, if we live simply & wisely

Where I lived & What I lived for

  • As long as possible live life free and uncommitted. It makes but little difference whether you’re committed to a farm or a county jail
  • To philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over their tea


  • Classics are noblest recorder thoughts of man
  • A written word is the choicest of relics
  • Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations
  • Their authors are a natural and irresistible aristocracy in every society and more than kings or emperors, exert an influence on mankind
  • Those who have not read the ancient classics written in their language must have a imperfect knowledge of history of human race


  • There can be no very black melancholy to whim who lives in the midst of Nature and has his senses still
  • Next to us grandest laws are continually being executed. Next to us is not workman whom we have hired, with whom we love so well to talk, but the workman whose work we are.
  • I never found a companion as companionable as solitude
  • The indescribable innocence and beneficence of Nature, – of sun, and wind and rain, of summer and winter, – such health, such cheer, they afford forever


  • A Canadian-French woodchopper suggested that there might be men of genius in the lowest grades of life, however permanently humble and illiterate, who take their own view always, or do not pretend to see at all, who are as bottomless as Walden Pond was thought to be, though they may be dark & muddy.

Higher Laws

  • The practical objection to animal food in my case was its uncleanliness; and besides, when I had caught and cleaned and cooked and eaten my fish, they seemed not to have fed me essentially. It was insignificant and unnecessary, and cost me more than it came to.
  • I think water is the only drink for a wise man; wine is not so noble a liquor; and think of dashing the hopes of a morning with a cup of warm coffee, or of an evening with a dash of tea!
  • we’re conscious of animal in us, which awakens in proportion as our higher nature slumbers. Its reptile and sensual, and perhaps cannot be wholly expelled.; like worms which, even in life & health, occupy our bodies. Possibly we may withdraw from it, but never change its nature
  • The generative energy, when we are loose, dissipates and makes us unclean, when we’re continent invigorates and inspires us. Man flows at once to god when the channel of purity is open.


  • Universe is wider than our views of it
  • Be rather the Mungo Park, the Lewis and Clark, and Forbisher, of your own streams and oceans; explore your own higher latitudes. Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels
  • I learned, at least by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with a license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, not poverty poverty, not weakness weakness.
  • However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is.
  • Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Turn the old; return to them. Things do not change; we change.
  • Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only. Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul
  • Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth
  • There’s an incessant influx of novelty into the world, and yet we tolerate incredible dullness

Walden Pond by David Thoreau

One of the greatest masterpieces that I’ve ever read or perchance it relates to what I aim for in life, hence synergy in thinking and acting triumphs to catapult this to pinnacle rating and some strange coincidence of his emphasis of eastern teachings in a western setup. Well, it was so refreshing, mellifluous, intoxicating yet alert, waxing and waning in flow – all were potent potpourri that made this read memorable and insightful. Anonymity, solitariness, simplicity, naturalness, magnanimity, self-care, moderateness – all takes its right application and meaning to one’s life, profound clarity and righteousness in thought and action and wonderful experiment that yielded practical and insightful observations perfected by his style of inimitable expression – it’s so natural as it is about nature itself. Hats off and his simplicity reigns me going forward.
One of the western scholars so knowledgeable about eastern teachings with apt philosophical intuition. This leaves me with 3 unfinished business: to read his biography, other literary works and reread this masterpiece. Observations that kindled me and left stunned – will reserve for next blog entry.
I wanted to have a retrospective glimpse at Walden and what it makes of now: hit the Bing maps – Walden has some woods left but it’s shoreline is full of residences – progression at its throes. But I was wondering in next few hundred years, would there be enough Walden Ponds with lush and thick woods with full of wild life left to conduct such experiments? Convivial exploitation of natural resources will happen in the name of legitimate growth – a perennial problem for which none have answers until the man making man machine stops and sees there’s no more man, hence no point to hoard and exhibit, then this degradation comes to end ones for all!

Help Your Partner Say Yes

Excerpts from what I enjoyed reading this stuff:

Seven failed strategies in partner communication:

  1. Lecturing – alternative: offer help & step back, let partner learn and reach out
  2. Sarcasm – alternative: for any barbed comments, don’t rise to bait, simply walk away
  3. Demanding – alternative: negotiate, discuss timescale of the project & joint ownership
  4. Nagging – alternative: ask how can we resolve and be prepared to listen to viewpoint
  5. Inducing Guilt – alternative: Instead of blaming, think of changing your behavior
  6. Dropping Hints – alternative: Value yourself and its OK to express your needs clearly
  7. Placating – alternative: address issues however unpleasant rather side-stepping

3 Keys to successful persuasion: Equality, Putting yourself in partner’s shoes & Win/Win Solutions.

Lazy Guide to Working your relationship:

  1. Spend 10 minutes chatting over your day
  2. Watch each other’s favorite TV shows
  3. Kiss with open eyes
  4. Buy something small but fun
  5. Share a bath
  6. Give in with good grace
  7. Look at each other more
  8. Report your –ve feelings rather than show them

Carrots and sticks in action: This is about finding appropriate carrots but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for occasional small sticks:

  1. Instead of criticizing what you don’t like, praise what you do like
  2. Keep reinforcing good behavior
  3. Make your intervention timely
  4. Small reprimands can work
    Transaction Analysis is a good tool to judge our behavior of communications. This was proposed by American psychiatrist Eric Berne

Some pointers to handle situations:

  1. My partner is not only critical but something downright nasty: Acknowledge your partner’s feelings – could be unpleasant – but it’s better than don’t dam or divert, keep calm & report your feelings back
  2. My partner is shutting down his or her feelings: Sometimes things have to get worse to get better, so at least problems finally came forth to be addressed
  3. I feel like I’m wasting my time: Understand what went wrong and start making changes & implement

Balance of a different kind

After a thoughtful & intellectual discourse with one of my friend and hearing his experiences, I started to pen this: Marriage is akin to a balance. Until wedding happens, the balance is balanced at least for arranged ones and as events unfold, tilting is inevitable. How, why & to what extent it tilts no one knows not. As Shakespeare said in Twelfth Night:

Oh time, you must untangle this, not I
It is too hard a knot for me to untie

I always wonder whether all horoscope matching done prior to marriage nuptials are accurate and can prevent all woes, why can’t it be an oracle and prevent incompatibles versus compatibles and make astrology more scientific and glorious, perhaps lend an aura and credence to this century old practice? Well, I believe even if these practitioners do their due diligence (hope we don’t end up with dubious ones), there’s still an element of karmic influence as time unfolds which no one can stop. Hence the best way to manage unforeseen situations is to go through it without biases and start contemplating to the universal call of meaning & purpose as to what this all entails to one’s behavioral, mental and spiritual make-up?

How to manage & endure behavioral violence – that doesn’t involve a physical injury but a mind one – not necessarily leading to mental disorder but still traumatic. Sorts of no escape in whatsoever manner due to various familial strings attached and the only way out is to endure and be calm, composed and contemplative. This asks for tremendous grit and Zen like qualities never summoned before by an individual, a tall order in this world of quickies and short cuts. The only last resort is to contemplate on Shakespeare’s timeless saying above – for there’s no solution until a satori like awakening can totally annihilate problem and solutions altogether! Alas, in this universe, we’re a tiny spec of entropy with no knowledge of our creation, path and demise – yet we happily and blindly cling to whatever unfolds but to start question each of them in a Socratic manner, traverse to its root and follow perhaps “Who am I” satori question to untangle time.