Entrepreneur Stuff

9 years after starting my first biz in my mom’s basement, and 4 companies later – these are my biggest takeaways so far… from Entrepreneur

After raising over $360,000 on Indiegogo and creating a 7-figure business in less than 1 year – this is everything I learned about crowdfunding. from Entrepreneur

EMSK: Doors don’t close anywhere near as often as you think. from everymanshouldknow

I am ambitious, talented and intelligent, but I lack willpower, discipline, and organization. I am an impulsive procrastinator of the hig…

I am ambitious, talented and intelligent, but I lack willpower, discipline, and organization. I am… by Stephen Guise

Answer by Stephen Guise:

Be careful about advice—which includes the currently-top-rated answer—telling you "you have to want it." Desire and motivation are NOT your problem, nor were they mine when I was in the same boat. Your issue is your subconscious mind and current habits. You need new habits.

Motivational advice makes you feel good, but it's not consistent.

To Shana, who asked you "how much do you want it?", I would ask you both if you've ever not wanted to pursue your goals. In my years, I've always wanted to be in good shape— 24/7/365. That desire has never changed. What has happened is my motivation to pursue that goal and do the work in particular moments has always been volatile. And because motivation is based on how you feel about an activity in any given moment, it's unreliable. The "get motivated" strategy is all about trying to get into that motivated mindset, where taking action is easy, but it incorrectly assumes that when you're unmotivated, that you'll even want to "get motivated." It's a strategy full of holes, yet spewed out by all the self-help parrots.

The other lever of action is willpower—doing things even when you don't feel like doing them (i.e. are not motivated). Because your subconscious is used to doing things a certain way, anytime you intentionally veer off that path, you lose willpower energy. Studies have found that willpower is limited, and generally speaking, typical goals will burn you out and put you on the couch to watch TV (or waste time in however you're accustomed to doing it). It's too much change.

So anyway, long story short, I changed my life by doing the following:

  • At least 1 push-up a day = best shape of my life
  • Write 50 words a day = write 4x as much
  • Read 2 pages in a book a day = read 10x more books

I call the strategy "Mini Habits," and the book I wrote on it has sold 20k+ copies and is rated 4.7 stars (the highest of any habit book)—the simple reason being that it works. It doesn't require motivation to do one push-up, it requires a TINY amount of willpower. And once you start, the dynamic changes, your motivation increases, etc. And by doing it consistently, you'll gradually change your brain's neural pathways so that your subconscious prefers the same things as your conscious mind.

Can Shana's advice work? Kind of. That's how I made mediocre progress for 10 years. Aiming for increased motivation is better than nothing and it works sometimes. She says she's the same person, and that's what you'll get with the short-term nature of motivational techniques. Though, from the sound of it, I think she's begun to develop better habits too, which is great.

I'm a different person because my brain has changed: I like exercise; Writing is easy; Reading is bearable too, which is an upgrade.

Consistency matters more than quantity, because consistency can permanently change your brain. Mini habits are habitual behaviors so small that you won't fail to do them every single day, and the results tend to blow people's minds (including mine, when I had to admit that doing one push-up a day changed my life).

Don't believe me? Read the reviews of Mini Habits (They're all unsolicited, honest reviews): Amazon.com: Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results eBook: Stephen Guise: Kindle Store

I recommend that whatever it is you're aiming for, shrink your target into something you can do every day without fail. If you can do it on your worst day, what can stop you? Nothing!

As for the meaningfulness of doing one push-up a day, etc. There are two reasons:

  1. It allows for remarkable consistency to change the brain
  2. Bonus reps (you can always do more)

I am ambitious, talented and intelligent, but I lack willpower, discipline, and organization. I am an impulsive procrastinator of the hig…

Do you have a simple childhood memory that you could never forget?

Do you have a simple childhood memory that you could never forget? by Corey Herbert

Answer by Corey Herbert:

Yes. It’s 1986, I’m 9 years old and I come downstairs to get ready for school. My dad is reading the paper and he says, “Hey Corey, what do you know about comets?”

I immediately spout off everything a space-addicted 9 year old kid can/should know about comets. My dad beams at me and tells me bedtime will be postponed.

Night falls and my dad comes home early. We get into his Ford Escort and drive to K-Bee toys where he buys me a pair of GI Joe binoculars just as it is closing.

I can still remember what they looked like in the packaging.

We drive to a subdivision that is under construction and park on a mound of dirt that is now someone’s home.

We both lay on the hood of that car and look at the stars. We talk about space. We talk about life. He tells me that the next time this comet passes by Earth he will be long gone, but he hopes I will watch it and remember what it is like to be a child staring at the night sky with his dad.

We never saw Haley’s comet that night. Our binoculars were too cheap, the light pollution was too strong, the comet was too far away. To be honest, I think I prefer it that way.

Because what I want to remember about that day has nothing at all to do with a comet.

There’s a great many things I wanted for my life. Some of them have come to pass, others never will. But above all I hope that, one day, I will sit on a mound of dirt as an old man. I will sit with the great love of my life and our children and our children’s children.

And we, all of us, will look at the stars. And maybe we’ll see a comet and maybe we won’t.

But we’ll look regardless and we will think of the ones we have loved.

Do you have a simple childhood memory that you could never forget?

How do IITians get a package of almost 1 crore?

How do IITians get a package of almost 1 crore? by Aman Goel

Answer by Aman Goel:

They don’t.

  1. The Facebook package you’ve heard of includes 4 years of stocks that are ‘one time’
  2. The base packages are low. In the range of 60–90 lakhs per annum
  3. The purchasing power parity is way different in India. If you are saving all of the money and sending back to India, then the story is different. However, this isn’t generally the case. For instance, a pizza in the US costs around $20. That’d be about Rs. 1,350. With Rs. 500 or so, you will get the best pizza in India. The $20 pizza in US will be just okayish. Typically, the real value of $1 is Rs 30. So, the $20 pizza above will cost Rs. 600 in India.
  4. Tax rates are high. In the US for instance, you need to pay 35% on your salary in California. If you are in San Francisco city, then you got to pay 5% additional city tax.

Some edits based on feedback from comments:

  • 60–90 lakhs IS low. 60–90 lakhs is NOT 60–90 lakhs. It is $100k – $120k. Don’t convert the money to INR when you won’t be spending it in INR.
  • Some have talked about the ‘real’ value of $1 in INR. I have used a value of Rs. 30 for $1. Some have suggested that the value is actually Rs. 15. That in fact makes matters worse because that means, Rs. 500 pizza will not cost $20, but will cost $30+. That’s expensive man!
  • There is a big opportunity cost of staying away from family. This holds particularly for Indians because we Indians tend to have a collectivistic society. This certainly won’t count in the ‘package’, but it does count overall.
  • Definitely the work life and the amount of cutting edge research going on is more in the US. But that won’t mean that nothing is going on in India.

Overall, there are pros and there are cons. An advantage factor for someone might be a disadvantage factor for someone else. Make your own call 🙂

Finally, if it adds credibility to the answer, then I would like to mention that it isn’t the case that grapes are sour for me and that is why I am writing this answer. I am one of those who has a 1+ crore package in my hand. I am writing this just to enlighten people who are obsessed with ‘1 cr’.

How do IITians get a package of almost 1 crore?

New year, New look, New URL, New goodness

Woo Hoo! FInally I’ve migrated to an own domain for this site that has always been my side chick! 😀

So yeah. dumped the old subdomain freeloading off of spsdarj.org and moved to… err… another free domain. But this time, things are real. Top level domain better than sub-domain bullshit any day. Let me now explain what’s going on.

New year: It’s 29th Dec, 2016 as I write this today. 2017 too close for comfort. Yeah, you’re welcome!

New look: Well, WordPress just announced their new theme, Twenty Seventeen. Before switching to this, I was using Twenty Fourteen. Which also had a nice look, but made the block quoted text look ugly. And it’s significant to me as I share a lot of Quora content, and they all get block quoted, which the twenty fourteen made into a dull grey colour with a grey vertical line running the entire length of the block quote on its left. Ugly as my 2nd ex!

Oh and also… you saw the new video at the home page? Yeah! That’s a new feature introduced by WordPress in this new theme! So I got my hands dirty and boy does it look amazing! The video is 720p and only 7mb.

New URL: abhinav.ga

It’s so named because I’m originally Abhinav Singh. The Singh when pronounced, sounds like the english “Sing” which translated to hindi is pronounced “Ga”. That means the present site url says Abhinav Sing(h). Cool right? Also, I got it free from this site http://dot.tk. Although it says only .tk domain can be registered free, actually there are 5 different TLDs that are free to rent for a year. After which, renew your rent for another year. It’s that simple.

New goodness: That’s because our 2nd year theory papers at KMC just finished today with the last paper being Forensic. And as I type this, I’ll tell you this! I’ve been awake now for 22 hours straight. That too the sleep before that was 4 hours long! Damn that exam was scary. At least the preparation was. Heck! So I’m enjoying myself after customising and moving this site to its own domain. At least new year’s day will be exam free! Plus… I’ve been in the exam phase since 10th November. And they will finish on 12th Jan. But this crucial gap in the middle of exams… worth it!

Alright then! I’m done with this blog post. I don’t generally make a personal themed post. Too much typing! 😛 (Should’ve narrated, come to think of it now.)

Hasta La Vista, Babayyy!

What the Hell is Linux?

Alright. Here we go! I’ve done some itty bitty research and will shortly forget what Linux is all about cuz I vaguely remember searching the same info before. So yeah! Let’s Start!

Unix: Initially, it was a AT&T built operating system. Now, It’s a family of operating systems that derive from it, like

  • BSD/Berkeley Software Distribution (386BSD (FreeBSD, NetBSD…), Darwin (macOS, iOS), SunOS))
  • GNU
  • Linux (Android, Chrome OS)
  • QNX (BlackBerry 10)

Based on its design, Unix like operating systems have come to exist. Most Famous: Linux.

Linux releases a new version of their “kernel” every now and then. And due to the flexibility, customizability, free and open-source nature of Linux, it becomes possible to highly tune Linux for a specific purpose or just make a general purpose version. There are different foundations/groups who pick up the kernel release, modify it and package it along with a bunch of mostly free (called GNU stuff) or paid software in a form known as a Linux distribution (or distro for short) for both desktop and server use. You cannot use Linux without a distro since Linux by itself is just a kernel. Read more here.

Linux Distribution timeline 2016
Linux Distribution timeline 2016. Btw, the image is Ctrl + F able.

General purpose Linux distributions: Some of the most popular are Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu (which is itself based on Debian) together with commercial distributions such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Specialized Linux distribution: There are two main methods for creating them: building from scratch (i.e. Pure Linux) or from a general-purpose distribution as a base. Linux distributions built from scratch do not have general-purpose bases; instead, they focus on the JeOS philosophy by including only necessary components and avoiding resource overhead caused by components considered redundant in the distribution’s use cases. Eg of Specialized distros: Kali Linux for digital security (Based on Debian).

Packages: Each distro, while they may be based off of one another need to be “binary compatible” to allow packages (or softwares/apps) from one distro to be used in another. So care for that must be taken.

Did your child ever hear you say a word that they now repeat?

Answer by Justin Franco:


My wife and I use the word poodle as a sort of safe word when we’re discussing issues that might force one of us to lie just to make the other happy (we stole it from a Chuck Palahniuk novel). It’s a standalone question, “Poodle?” Or a confident statement, “Poodle.” Basically, it means I’m being completely truthful.

For example, my wife might want me to accompany her to a dance costume expo in Atlanta on a Saturday morning. She really wants company because her dance teacher friend had to cancel at the last minute, so she asks me. I reluctantly agree.

She asks, “Are you sure you’re ok going to this dance costume expo?”

I answer, “Yes.”

She replies with, “Poodle?”

Ugh. If I reply with “Poodle,” it means I’m being completely truthful about wanting to go, but I’m not really, so it forces me to admit that I’d really just rather lie around in my jammies playing videogames.

When one person invokes poodle, you’re not allowed to lie in response. It’s a staunch rule. That means it also has to be used sparingly.

We have never explained this rule or our reasoning for the word poodle to our three-year-old daughter, and yet one evening as we’re cuddling on the couch, I squeeze my daughter and say, “I love you.”

She looks lovingly up at me and asks, “Poodle?”

I smile.


Did your child ever hear you say a word that they now repeat?

What rights do I have if I have been arrested by the police in India?

What rights do I have if I have been arrested by the police in India? by Tejasvita Apte

Answer by Tejasvita Apte:

The first thing you need to know is –

Every person who is arrested is supposed to be taken before the nearest magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest. (Time taken to travel to the Magistrate is excluded from the 24 hours)

This is the most important thing you need to know.

You then have the following rights –

1. Right to be silent / Right against self – incrimination

You have the right to remain silent. In fact the police is supposed to tell you that everything you say may be used against you in the court of law.

Regardless of whether they tell you this or not, remember you have the right to remain silent.

2. You have the right to legal aid-

You have the right to call your lawyer. If you ever get a call from a Police station and they ask you to come and answer some questions, even then, first contact your lawyer. Do not walk into the station. You can ask the police officer to summon you in writing.

3. If there is a warrant, you are entitled to see it –

Remember you can be arrested even without a warrant. But if the Police say that they have a warrant, you have a right to see it.

4. Right against Handcuffing and torture

You have a right to not be handcuffed. Only if the police suspect that you are likely to run away, should they handcuff you.
You cannot be subjected to torture and it is a crime.

5. Right to have someone informed

If you are arrested without anyone's knowledge or presence, you have a right to inform someone. The law puts an obligation on the law enforcement agency to inform another person.

6. You cannot be illegally detained –

If you are being detained by the Police and are not produced before the Magistrate within 24 hours, it is illegal. You (you friend / relative) have the right to directly approach the High Court and file the writ of Habeas Corpus.

7. If you are a woman, you cannot be arrested after sundown and before sunrise unless there are extraneous circumstances. If there are, Magistrate's written permission and the presence of a woman police officer is required to make that arrest.

Some other useful important points –

1. After detention, you are the responsibility of the Police. Remember that. If you think that procedure is not followed, be mindful and make mental notes of everything around you. Names and designations of officers, etc.

2. The Police officers cannot do anything they want with you. They are bound by law. Co-operate if it is not going to incriminate you.

3. Do not resist an arrest and try to run. You cannot. If you are being arrested, be mindful and assert your rights. Let them know, you know.

4. If someone you know is detained but you don't know where, you can file an RTI application in the Police station you suspect and they are bound by law to give you information within 48 hours as to the whereabouts of your friend.

5. Sometimes people are arrested on Friday/ Saturday and kept in custody till Monday morning with the claim that Magistrate isn't available. That is not true. A magistrate is available 24*7. Know that.

6. The Police officer cannot force you to make a confession. Confessions made to Police officers are inadmissible in evidence.

7. If you are arrested for a Bailable offence, you can get bail from Police itself. If you are arrested for a Non-bailable offence, only the court can grant you bail. If you get a bail, it doesn't mean the trial is over.

(Bailable offences are less serious offences in which bail is a right. In such cases you must get bail immediately from the police. Non-bailable offences are serious offences where bail is a privilege and only the courts can grant it.)

8. If you anticipate being arrested, you can move the court and take an anticipatory bail.

9. Unlike, what is normally believed, a traffic police officer can also arrest you. He is also a Police officer who has just been given traffic duties.

Thank you for the ATA, Himel Sarkar.

If you found this answer informative, you can follow my blog about Indian laws – Blawgniti.

What rights do I have if I have been arrested by the police in India?