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TODAY’S STORY
17 Apr
,
2022

What we are reading this Sunday

"Sometimes, magic is just someone spending more time on something than anyone else might reasonably expect." — Teller

Here are 3 articles you’d want to read this Sunday. And of course, you do not have to read all 3; even one of them read and assimilated well would be enough learning for the day!

Alcoholics Autonomous

A post by our very own Stoa alumnus Pranav Manie that substantiates the quote by Teller at the start of this post. With curiosity-driven research spanning 6 months, Pranav really went out of his way to find out the reason behind Gurugram’s thriving drinking culture and the economics that made it all work. Absolutely recommended reading.

Strategy needs good words

What makes this piece so good is that it doesn’t discuss strategy as isolated from tactics, but as a document that actually gets people to act. Hands down our go-to guide for making compelling strategy documents and presentations.

Maintenance by Design

This essay discusses the problems with treating maintenance as a routine, scheduled activity to search and fix problems and suggests an alternative approach: designing maintenance within the system itself. The author uses the example of wheat farming and how farmers design their systems to handle uncertainty in the environment and weather. Great read if you wish to get better at systems thinking.

Parting thoughts

10 rich anecdotes are better than 1000 statistically analyzed impoverished anecdotes with their details and context scraped off and put up in a dull graph.

If you really care about building customer-centric products, anecdotes offer you information not just about what decision was made, but also what context and incentive structure led the customer to make a certain decision. Data is devoid of these insights and leaves the job of extracting any insight up to you — an activity that mostly falls prey to our own biases.

And unless you know what environment and incentive structures your target consumers inhabit, you can’t really build products that solve a pressing problem and create delight.

That’s it for today, I’ll be back with another piece tomorrow morning. Till then, stay tuned! And do share the newsletter with your friends.

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