Execution + Strategy + Planning + Consistency

Why do you people struggle with results? Because they don’t strategise and plan. But they focus on execution. Execution without strategy is the dumbest mistake that people do. In fact Bill Walsh in his book just talks about how strategy and planning can change the entire game.

Let’s take the example of weight loss:

Goal: Lose weight


  • Wake up in the morning and decide I will eat less
  • Good lunch no worries / didn’t overeat
  • Samosa was ordered in the evening by the company / had half of it / felt good about not eating it full
  • For dinner cook made my favourite dish / oh damn / ate 4-5 rotis
  • Tried to compensate through exercise / but no exercise can compensate for so many calories / basic math

Execution with strategy and planning:

  • Wrote down every single thing that I am going to eat today one day before
  • Every single thing / also wrote calories next to it
  • Wrote that at 4pm I feel stressed so I will have hummus and pita / filling and tasty but not unhealthy
  • Wrote that if numbers are bad then I will maybe have a glass of wine in the night / 120 calories and not bad for health
  • Wrote that if samosa is ordered then I will not touch it I will eat tomato or strawberries
  • You write every single scenario that you can imagine might happen and you plan for it
  • You write that you will replace 1 roti with 1 bowl dal and eat less rotis / that way you’re switching to better food items and will not even feel guilty
  • Write that if you feel like having sugar then have dark chocolate

Execution with strategy and planning changes the game. Now extrapolate this to every single thing that you do.

And then comes the third step. The most important one.


This is where I also suffer in this department because of my love for food. But I try.

But when you learn execution with strategy and planning then you need to force yourself to be consistent. 

Execution + Consistency = Good Individual Contributor

Execution + Strategy + Planning + Consistency = Good Leader

Most powerful stuff I have read recently about being great at your work. I have highlighted the points that I loved the most.

If there is a single key to success, it is the trait of being able to make things happen in the world—willfulness, determination, execution focus, not giving up when you hit a roadblock, the ability to solve any problem that comes your way, and self-belief.

Almost everyone underestimates the value of fast movers, in almost every context.  Work with them.  Be one yourself.

Authentic, high-conviction vision is rare and valuable.  Double down when you find it or find people who have it.

The most value comes from doing something no one else can do, or no one else has thought of, in a way that is hard for other people to copy.  If you try to be just like everyone else, and do just what they’re doing, you will maybe do ok but certainly not great.

Follow your own curiosity, and start looking internally instead of externally for the answers.  Be honest with yourself about the intersection of your skills, your passions, and what the world values.

The best way to have valuable ideas is to understand the entire landscape of a field and figure out what can emerge now that couldn’t before.

Set and maintain high standards.  If you have to be hard on people, do it with love and a genuine wish for them to improve.  Praise people when they hit the standard.

Try committing to one day per week (for me it only works on a weekend, but some people do it on Fridays) where you work in a long uninterrupted block to catch up on the previous week and prepare for the next.

Focus on what matters.  Cut all the BS.

Notes from the interview of Peyush Bansal (Lenskart CEO)


- Started in 2010

- Earlier they were doing 5 crores revenue with 5 crores Marketing / now it’s 50 crores

- The product needs to be significantly better for the people to switch

- Largest online eyewear company vs largest eyewear company

- If you are not available in other channels then advertising is going wasted / specially the people who are not comfortable buying online

- FMCG products run a television ad and the product is available on the next Kirana store

- 400 Stores in 90 Cities

- 60% Metros

- EBIDTA Positive

- Overall advertising is less than 10% of the revenue

- Growing 100% YoY

- 300 crores revenue in 2017-2018

- 500 crores in 2018-19

- If you can’t make your own store profitable then you can’t make franchisee store profitable

- Word of mouth has worked well for them

- Product and Service

- They measure Net Promoter Score / and for their home eye checkup business the NPS score is 60+ / it’s a separate profile business

- Acquired 2 American companies and 1 Israeli company

- Eventually they want to do eye exams using a phone

- The companies had patented products which Lenskart wanted

- Plans to go IPO in 2019, 2020

- Do not do too many things / have laser focus on a few things and go deep in those

Notes from the 100x Entrepreneur Podcast

Karthik (Blume) sent me summary (which someone from his team sent him) of a recent podcast I recorded with Siddharth (100x Entrepreneur).

The most interesting idea is the sports metaphor of business, which comes below (see Thoughts / Ideas) as well as in one of their leadership principles - We are a sports team, not a family.

100x Entrepreneur - Gaurav Munjal

Highlights of the podcast 


- Started student portal (student magazine online) called exrays.com which still exists at his school St Xaviers, Jaipur. Started earning Google Ad Words when 16.

- NMIMS U Computer Science, then Directi for 1 yr, then started Flat.to

- Flat.to acquired by CommonFloor and then rebranded as Flatchat; CommonFloor was then acquired by Quikr in Sep2015 to go full time into UA.

- Unacademy (UA) then was a YouTube (YT) channel doing 1m views / month. Today 140m video views. UA was a project that was on since his college days (NMIMS U) along w Roman.


- Initially we were a YT for edu now a test prep platform.

- Made it easy for educators to create videos in 3 mins which took 3 hrs earlier (IG, TikTok all made creation easy)

- Educator app -> moved it from YT channel to a platform

- Milestones

    - acquired WifiStudy to penetrate govt exams

    - launched Plus subscription

    - 72k paid subs

- Have got great investors aboard not as much because of storytelling as much as relentless execution.

- UA did not replace anything, rather it is democratizing access to great content and teachers. 80% of Indians dont have access to coaching centres or the best teachers. UA gives them access to that content. 70% of UA learners are from Tier2/3 cities.

- He / UA uses tools like Loom, which are used by the industry 18-24m later

- Different traction channels required at each points of scale. Early days Quora, then Youtube, now TV and Newspaper ads.

- One of the many innovations at UA is their Educator Delight Team - focused on giving educators a memorable moment. Like Secret Santa, cakes on their 100th class etc. There are also gamification elements built in here to create delight (learner hats given by students, which are then posted by educators on social media).

- UA is heavily copied and watched, like everyone copies our subscription model, and everyone is waiting to see where we enter next. This shows UA is changing the industry.

- Before Plus Subs took off, we tried 7-8 different experiments including students paying directly to educators etc.

- UA will be unicorn in 12m. Decacorn soon.

- Raised $88m and $60m is in the bank.


- Very close to Sumit Jain of CommonFloor (acquired his co Flat.to -> Flatchat)

- Aakrit Vaish (of Haptik) was his first investor.

- Bhavin Turakhia of Directi is a big influence. Gaurav worked there for 1 yr before Flat.to -> Flatchat.

- Kalyan of FK, Sujeet of Udaan were investors in UA and have been people he has learnt from. 

- Shailendra Singh of Sequoia, Kunal Shah of Cred have been important influences.

- Enjoys reading Deepinder Goyal’s writings and interviews

Thoughts / Ideas

- Jack Dorsey / Steve Jobs / Elon Musk. Watches all of their videos. One mistake he sees founders doing is to watch occasional podcasts. They dont do structured learning. He is specific abt how he does structured learning.

- Entrepreneurship is a science like surgery. Why wont you study and prepare since there is so much good content out there.

- He sees building companies / entrepreneurship as a sport. Training is an important part of sports. You wont start playing the highest level or attend a tournament without training. Similarly w entrepreneurship. Hence learning is an important aspect of entrepreneurship.

- There are 2 kinds of successful cos - ones merely successful cos and the other successful cos that leave a a dent, create impact and change the industry. Apple, Oberoi are examples. Oberoi has an unparalleled obsession for the customer. UA wants to be like them.

- Great orgs are not built on excel sheets. Great orgs that create a dent are built on obsession and paranoia. The word obsession comes multiple times in the podcast.

- The values, culture of the org are not what is put on the wall, but what is done everyday. When I recommend books, read, watch videos and do structured learning, the org sees that and follows.

- Branding is standing for something in the consumer’s mind and communicating that.

- Apple stands for beautiful products to create something with, and this is communicated. UA thought abt empowering educators to create great content and helps those without access connect to that.

Books / Recommendations

- Startup Playbook by Sam Altman is a favourite book. 

- Traction(by Gabriel Weinberg, DuckDuckGo founder)

- 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Al & Laura Ries

- The Score Takes Care of Itself by Bill Walsh was given by him to everyone.

Personal habits

- 5-5.30pm everyday is dedicated to learning. Learning is part of his schedule. There is no such thing as a busy founder who doesnt have time to read / learn.

- 8,000 notes in his notes app. All of his meeting notes, ideas, diaries go in this Apple notes app. Spend 1-1.5 hrs on these notes later (weekly?).

- Has a slot called work calendar. Say 5 ideas - i earmark it for 21st Dec and go through it.

- The day the interview happened (at the Oberoi), it was his introspection day.

Qualities of a Great Iconic Leader / Founder / CxO / SVP

  • Spine and Audacity to take bold calls, pick the right fights, not afraid to abolish projects for lack of quality even if $$$ were spent, forcing oneself to come out of the comfort zone, take a strong stance even when odds are not in favour
  • Thinking. Thinking. Thinking. What separates managers and leaders is the ability to do Smart Work. Ability to ideate and come up with solutions that change the game
  • Frequent Orbit Shifts. Great Leaders shift their orbit quite frequently and move to the next level. Takes a lot of work, but again they don’t see it as work
  • Smart work = 9/10 at least, Hard work = 9/10 at least and Long work = 8/10 at least
  • A lot of Leaders don’t pay as much important to Smart work as they give to Hard work and Long work / Smart work gives you such a great edge that it can single handedly beat everything else
  • Intelligence to spot patterns when others can’t
  • Ability to build systems and scale processes
  • Ability to attract and hire the best talent and give them the right direction and resources
  • Strong Opinions and Stance but also very adaptable to change the opinions and stance if proven wrong
  • READING. READING. READING. The best videos are out there, the best books are out there, the best blogs are out there / the good part about this industry vs let’s say Bollywood or Cricket or Politics is that here people share their insights, their art, their tools and everything they do very very frequently. Steve Jobs, Sam Altman, Jack Dorsey etc have created so much content about how to be a Great Leader that it’s a shame if you’re not using it well

The future has already arrived: Jack Dorsey

Link to the video: 

The future has already arrived: Jack Dorsey

Notes from the first 15 minutes

  • The future has already arrived. It’s just not evenly distributed yet
  • The future is already in your head. You have to distribute to the rest of the world
  • Instead of constantly talking about disruption we should talk about revolution
  • Great companies don’t have one founding moment, they have multiple founding moments
  • We are not going to do everything right today, others will come and finish the painting / great example of how USA was made
  • Lincoln came and created another founding moment
  • Twitter has had multiple founding moments throughout its history
  • Definition of entrepreneur is someone who takes significant financial risk to create something new (it’s not about creating a company, it’s about creating something new)
  • I became a programmer because I wanted to create maps (I didn’t want to be a programmer, I wanted to create something)

Unacademy - Leadership Principles

  • Impatience for Action not Results. Unacademy Leaders don’t shy away from taking action and making changes. They are impatient about taking action but not results. They know that if the fundamentals are solid and if continuous action is taken towards improvement then the Results will come. The score will take care of itself.
  • Obsession starts with the “comma”. Unacademy Leaders are obsessed about getting not only the bigger stuff right but also the smaller stuff right. How do we reply to our mails. How do we write. How do we communicate to our Educators. Do we point out when the comma is not in the right place? Yes. Unacademy Leaders do.
  • Showing not telling. Unacademy Leaders are hands on and they train their team by showing the team how something is done and not by telling. Leaders get involved and help empower the team to the next level.
  • Insist on the Highest Standards. Leaders have relentlessly high standards. Many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and driving their teams to deliver high quality products, services, and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.
  • Learning and Unlearning. Unacademy Leaders constantly learn and become better. They also unlearn the behaviours that they might have picked up due to pre conditioning. They know unlearning is as important as learning. They understand that Mastery is a process and not a destination.
  • Unconventional Thinking. What makes Unacademy Leaders stand out is their unconventional approach to problem solving. They come up with innovative ideas and solutions that are game changing and revolutionary.
  • Sports Team. Not a Family. Unacademy Leaders understand that they are a part of a Sports Team and not a family. A family tolerates everything unconditionally. A Sports Team gives chances but eventually if the attitude, performance or the quality of execution is a mismatch then the Team parts ways with the non A+ members.
  • Overtly Transparent. Unacademy Leaders are transparent with their teams regarding the numbers. Regarding the good or the bad. Information is not concealed. It’s openly communicated to everyone.
  • Leaders create Leaders. It is very important for Unacademy Leaders to empower and create more Leaders like them. That’s done through motivating the team members, empowering them, energising them, having no bias towards any of them, constantly help them learn and more.