Mohit Ranka

The curse of the gifted

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“See, we’ve seen the curse of the gifted before. Some of us were those kids in college. We learned the hard way that the bill always comes due – the scale of the problems always increases to a point where your native talent alone doesn’t cut it any more. The smarter you are, the longer it takes to hit that crunch point – and the harder the adjustment when you finally do. And we can see that *you*, poor damn genius that you are, are cruising for a serious bruising.”
- Eric S. Raymond to Linus Torvalds in his essay “The curse of the gifted programmer” (Full text here -

What it means to work for a startup.

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Someone much smarter, much experienced than me, told me this once. This is something I think contains immense wisdom and real world experience, which I feel needs to be shared with other too.

Working at a start-up requires an irrational amount of commitment. This either comes from the love of the vision, or love of the team, or love of the work you’re doing, or all of the above, or something more irrational than any of the above. A start-up does not pay well, cannot manage well, and has process gaps that are inanely obvious, and other things that one rationally expects. Start-ups do not lack the understanding or appreciation to solve these problems, but lack the luxury to spend time on those important things because of other more important things. Only when you dissolve yourself in the start-up as an owner (not an employee) does it start making sense, and every problem is seen as one you need to fix and not something that the company needs to fix for you.

On being a champion

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Its 2.00 in the moring right now and my boss is going to rip me apart if I am late for office another day. I am just off from watching one of the most dramatic football final, you would ever see, and cannot resist the complusion to write something about it.

The confenderation cup 2009, South Africa final between Brzail and United States just ended with brazil snatching a 3 - 2 Victory, after being 0-2 down after the first half. It made me wonder how many teams in the world would be able to do that? Coming from being after being favoriates , bogged down by the minnows in the big match final. What would Dunga (Brazil coach) had said to them  in the locker room, in the break, and how  well the players responded.

Being a champion is something much more different than having the skills, the talent and putting the acts together.

It is about trulely believing in your abilities, in realizing that second best is no good, in giving everything you’ve got, in understanding “it has to be done”, its about not even thinking of giving up for even a single second, its about realizing your own potential, its about realizing you are a champion, its about your willingness to succeed, its about your ability to maintain your poise in tough situation, its about the character.

Brazil may have not pull off another victory EVER after being down in the second half, but the truth is, the fact is they are the champions today, and deserving ones.