Day 1

  1. Great leaders are great because they handle challenges and setbacks well – John Chambers, CEO, Cisco
  2. Real education is like building a house – you set a good foundation first and then you build the house, floor by floor. Traditional education forces everyone to move at the same uniform speed and does not do justice to learning – Sal Khan, Khan Academy
  3. It is important to have a growth mindset (anything can be learned) as opposed to a fixed mindset (eg. I am good at X and Y but not A and B) – Sal Khan, Khan Academy
  4. Choice of narrative always triumphs over the choice of selection in the long run – Amit Agrawal,  Head, Amazon India
  5. Hard things like entrepreneurship should not be tried half-heartedly since anything less than a full-fledged effort is going to go nowhere – entrepreneurship panel
  6. Keeping emotional highs and lows in check is critical to success – entrepreneurship panel
  7. Good mentorship is valuable, relationships are more important than results and an idea without data backing it up is not worth talking about- Patrick Gelsinger, CEO, VMWare
  8. Both Andy Grove and Larry Ellison are amazing but ruthless people to work with  – my observation based on talks (and in-person conversations) of (with) a few people who worked with them.

Day 2

  1. You start a company not to compete with others but for a mission to make the world better – Elizabeth Holmes, CEO, Theranos.
  2. Don’t just think about what you are doing, also, consciously think about what you won’t be doing, there is always an opportunity cost of doing something.
    Most people don’t like risk, therefore, most won’t do anything interesting.
    Tech is my religion.
    Normal jobs will be gone in 50 years.
    Experience is another word for bias, systems with too much of experience are frozen, therefore, innovation happens at the edges.
    Have an internal compass, spend time following it, not reacting to what’s expected out of you.
    Steam engine challenged humans in muscle power, machine learning will challenge them in mind power.
    In face of driverless cars, rigid public transport like railroads is a bad idea.
    Spend more time doing things which can not only make a difference but makes you happy as well.   – Vinod Khosla, Khosla Ventures
  3. Lessons in Product Development from Deep Nishar, MD, SoftBank
    1. Know thy user
      User’s use LinkedIn on iPad differently (more at night) compared to LinkedIn (on the desktop), therefore, the iPad app is designed differently than desktop (focuses more on leisure content).
    2. Focus on simplicity
      An average human cannot hold more than 7 things in their head at a time.
      80% of request for new features which Microsoft gets are already in one of the 35 toolbars but users cannot find them.
    3. Embrace constraints
      How nutella was invented
    4. Data is your guide but don’t fall off the cliff while following it
    5. Innovation is not instant
      Multiple lead bullets lead to one silver bullet.
      There were productive phones, beautiful phones, easy-to-use phones before the iPhone, except iPhone combined everything into one.
    6. Adapt to changes
      Or someone else will win in changing environments.
    7. Expect success
      Believe that you will succeed and engineer systems accordingly.
  4. Work and entrepreneurship are a means to an end goal of having a more satisfied life and not end in themselves – Mallika Sarabhai