Post-Bangalore post-mortem post

I am just back from Bangalore. I was there for putting up a show for a client at Excon 2017 and since its a 7-day exhibition, I thought that I will do a million things while I am in Bangalore. The top few included...

  • meeting friends and almost friends
  • making new friends
  • exploring the city 
  • click some pics
  • work with a friend on a book 
  • work on my next book 
  • eat properly and get fitter
And so on and so forth.

Guess how many of these did I do? 


And why did I do nothing while I was there? No, time is not the culprit. After 7:30 / 8 most days, I had the rest of the evening and night to myself. And the reporting time the next day was at 8. And since I was leading the tram, I could actually come in by 9. So I had 12 hours each day to do all the things that I've listed above. But I could not. 

Here's a list of reasons. 

1. Bad planning. 
For starters, I was put up in a hotel that was in the middle of nowhere (about 20 KMs away from Bangalore). And most people I had to meet were reluctant to travel all the way. 

Two things from this. 
  • A, become so good, so valuable that people are willing to go through large quantums (quantum but added an s for effect) of trouble to get a sliver of time from you. 
  • B, Plan well. For example, when you know that you are in a city that you know is notorious for traffic, try to be at a place that is accessible. 

2. Energy. 
By the time I spent 12 hours at the exhibition, I was so sapped that all I could do is sleep. And snore. And then drag yourself to work the next day. 

Can this be fixed? Yes. I can work on my health and ensure that if I am up, I am full of energy. Most times I am but lot of times I am not. And I need to fix it. Health HAS to be the number 1 goal #in2018.

3. Team. 
I am in the process of creating a team, a set of people that are aligned to the purpose that we as a group are supposed to serve. And deliver. That of entertaining the world in such amazing manner that it inspires others. 

Now, to do so, I don't need people who work for a salary. I don't need people that stick on a list of holidays on their whiteboards. I need marshals that are aligned to the mission. And if not aligned well to the mission, then at least a part of their personal missions has to get delivered if they work with me and others.

Right now I have a few people that I think are in the zone. I need more. Are you the kinds? Help me. I am on 9819981337 /

4. My working style. 
I get super emotional about my work. I want everything to work with clockwork precision. I want robots that stand as long as it is required. I want machines to not overheat, to remain intact, to perform to the capacity and never burn out. 

While its possible most times, I know its tough to expect this all the time. After all there is a huge element of technology and people dependence. While you take every care to ensure that things don't go wrong (get the best crew, get the best material etc etc) there are times when you cant control things. 

And when things go out of control, I get unnecessarily harsh at people. I am rude to the point that I am amazed at myself. Reminds of that experiment where they made ordinary people cruel by giving them a role of a jailer. 

At this exhibition, I was the jailer and because I thought people were slacking, I fought with no less than 10 people. This included my team, my outsourced staff, other agencies that were working there and other people at random. I continue to believe that I was right in fucking their happiness but may be I was wrong. After all 10 people cant be wrong. No? Whatever it was, I know it has to change. I need to work on it or I will not reach anywhere.

The event otherwise as perfect. Apart from one time when the band was to play and the mics' cable came out loose. Of course we checked it right before the show but if a cable has to come out, it will come out. Wish I could ensure that as well. 

5. Raison d'ĂȘtre
So, why do we work? For love! 

Why do I talk about this? At the exhibition, I repeatedly saw people work for money. And not for love. And to save money, I saw people do things that they would otherwise not do. And that's not cool. I believe that money is important. But the mission has to be larger than just a hefty bank balance. 

I am the kinds that is ok to lose money to deliver a great job. Of course for a client that gives me the freedom to do things. The idea is, we must be able to do great work and charge the money that will make us happy. And find clients that are willing to pay the kind of money we want, to allow us to do great work! Its a vicious circle but I am sure we can find an opening. 

6. The silver lining
During the event, at one of the conversations that I had with the client (PV) on the side was about life purpose and all that. I realised that my life's purpose is to entertain people and do it so well that I become an inspiration to others. And in the process, grow as a human being. And then use the money I've made to inspire others. Its still shorter than making a dent in the universe (like Steve) or trying to save the humanity (like Elon) but its something larger than myself. And worth chasing. 

See this slide (from my companies' creds deck).

C4E's masterplan

I just need to work on it. 

7. Exit stage left
When the thing ended, I was out of there in 5 minutes. I did not say my good byes. I did not hang out to chill with the team. I did not want to get a group pic clicked (but I had to). I dint go out to grab a beer or something. DS tells me that its not cool. And I agree. 

But the thing is, I hate to say goodbye. 

And then there is post-event depression that hits you so hard that you don't know what happened. DS said it best when he said that a minute before the show ends, you are the master and you control lives and times of the crew and the event. And right after the event is over, you are nobody. It sucks. Thing is, I get super emotional about what I do. SC says that once an event is over and you get into a flight (or a car), you move on. To the next event. Or the next thing. Like, I shouldn't be writing this post but focusing on what will the next one be like. 

And third, I feel that once I have delivered what I was supposed to deliver, I can take off and die in my misery of an event getting over. Or I can go and sleep. Or do whatever. I am no longer on the client's clock. 


Now it has happened. I cant undo it. But I can take lessons. And these are things that I will do - no matter what.

  • Figure out a minute to minute plan of my time. If not a minute by minute, an hour by hour for sure. I will start doing this from the next trip (that starts tonight). 
  • Get anal about how and where I spend my time. And try to earn time. How do I do that? By putting in place processes that save me time. By getting people who can do things that save me time. 
  • Try to detach emotions from work. I am not sure if I want to do this. But lets see how it happens. 

In all, this trip was a clear case of setting expectations too high. Going forward, I need to lower down the expectations and then try to exceed those. Or may be not. One life. If you don't hustle hard enough, why are you alive?

That's about it. Until next time, over and out.

P.S.: Here are some pics from the exhibition. Do give feedback.


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The Nidhi Kapoor Story

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