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Pre-empting Vs Reacting | Report 281

21 Aug 2022 . category: report . Comments
#houseware #startup #bengaluru #covelong #surf #travel #fitness

Welcome to 281, a two-week report!

A theme that’s been running internally is that of how proactiveness can change outcomes. If we can judge the under-currents before paddling towards the shore, or we can pre-empt the enemy’s move even before they’ve charted it out in their head, we gain time and can play the game on offense. Reactivity puts us on defensive, i’ve seen this in leadership and relationships up close.

At work, spent went hands-on with data and backend engineering in the last couple weeks - switching modes quick makes the initial inertia a little higher to climb, and makes me feel rusty at what i do. Need to figure the fastest way to get into flow mode as soon as i switch modes. Although - i’ve now begun to understand that warmups and stretches are not just limited to exercising – and even while working, the initial few hours of warm-ups and dopamine hits are required to get into peak performance.

Heard somewhere that while building a startup, we’re building two products - one for the external users, and one for the internal team. At Radicali, i didn’t think much of this concept and would put all focus on the former. Making this an active part of the mindset forces me to now think about narratives and the right space for the team to execute. Realized that having independence in thought across the board is sometimes difficult to steer but most certainly better for the long term. Feels hard in the short term, but what’s something good that isn’t hard?

Headed out to Kovalam(Covelong) for the long weekend with Anukshi, and witnessed how surf culture has literally taken off in India. Surfed one day with coach’s assistance and realized how a lot of it has now become muscle memory for me – i need to work on independently watching the waves and hitting the right timing. On the second day, i tried stand-up-paddle for the first time and was in the deep waters pretty soon. It’s a solid full-body-workout, as well as a fairly meditative exercise if i’m all alone! Explored the fishing village and also hit Mahabalipuram for a day to explore the temples.

Quite a lot of learnings as i watched the different lifestyles of the young boys playing cards, the surf instructors living their lives and the old aunties cutting the fish’s heads and tails. Good reflection for the self, travelling with someone is always eye-opening because it puts me in unchartered territories - where i can either play offensive or reactive, a single-player game now in multi-player mode. Over the last couple weekends, we talked in depth about the concept of luxury vs forced struggle, and when is the right time to choose what. Does luxury make us soft, or does luxury act as a reward mechanism, struggle makes daily life look easy but what’s the point of always struggling? We talked about the average of the 5 people around us and how we want to be designing this set, and i realized i have one open slot :))

On the fitness front, i have come back strong with JiuJitsu sessions in the evening – practiced back control and hand fighting recently, and also blew out my front hip for a couple days.

  • This week: 2 Gym Workouts + 1 BJJ + 1 run + 1 sauna
  • Last week: 1 Gym Workout + 2 BJJ + 1 run + 2 surf

Read up more than half of “Extreme Ownership” on the trip, and had a few good podcast listens this week. i’m starting to incorporate more protein in the diet and experimented with protein oat fruit breakfasts + chicken tikka over this weekend, too much fun! Overall well-rested, discovered a spinning top and played with it for some time, reminded me of my Beyblades. Keep hammering!


Shubhankar is an awesome person. He's Co-Founder & CTO of Houseware, building the command center for modern revenue teams. In his spare time, he likes to go out on runs!