Sajith Pai Profile picture
18 Oct, 12 tweets, 5 min read
I thought this podcast of @rorysutherland w @patrick_oshag was really good.

Learnt about psychological moonshots, hypothecated pricing, and why you should do mass advertising. Clippings fm my notes.…
Psychological moonshots (as opposed to regular engineering-led moonshots).

Great Q fm Rory - are we in startupland predisposed to more expensive engineering moonshots?
How reframing a negative as a feature, basis our understanding of human psychology, helps. A faster ship would have been harder to pull off & would have still meant slower speed vs an airplane. Instead they focused on slowness and the romance of sea travel.
This is good advice for startups - start with one specific customer friction to be solved; do that well. Then 'land and expand'.

Remember, marketplace / Platform is an outcome of your product success. It is only a way to solve your customer's problem.
Remembering @arnav_kumar's wonderful tweet in this regard.

Hyopthecated pricing...
...and other pricing innovations which come out as thinking hard about consumer problems and desires.
On doing mass / inefficient advertising.
Sudhir Sitapati in his book, The CEO Factory, says much the same thing as Rory albeit from a different perspective. “There is not much else to understand in media planning other than: Reach more people fewer number of times than reach fewer people more times or impactfully.”
A great way to look at your marketing department, as the repository of all the interesting behavioural insights of your stakeholders.
There is lots more than the above. As always @rorysutherland is a fascinating mind. For those of you prefer a set of distilled notes, please check out my public notes here =…
And for those of you prefer the audio version, here is the podcast link again as I sign off.…

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More from @sajithpai

14 Sep
Tailwinds > Moats.

A thread.

Worth noting that when Softbank acquired ARM in ‘16, both NVidia and ARM had similar market cap - in the early $30bns. Now Nvidia is at $300b and ARM is being acquired for $40b!

Nvidia has perhaps been amongst the biggest beneficiaries of rise of ML, self-driving cars, gaming where their GPUs have come in handy. As the need for compute power grew Nvidia found itself on the right side of ML tailwinds.

Whereas ARM, a virtual monopoly has languished.
Sure, there have been perhaps management issues at ARM etc. And the comparison isn't exactly like to like. But if there is a takeaway here, it is that riding tailwinds is perhaps far more important than having moats.
Read 7 tweets
19 Aug
New (and a tad long) post on elite colleges in India,, national economic mobility, privilege and what it says about us.

It is common to use IIT/IIM as a shorthand to refer to elite colleges in India. Sometimes IIT/IIM/BITS or IIT/NIT/IIMs and so on.

We lack a moniker like the U.S.'s Ivy or France's Grande Ecoles.

So I created one.
We can look at any top tier college in India, from the IITs to Xaviers / Ashoka, and you will see that they tick these 4 boxes – selectivity in intake, all India (national) intake, presence in a metro or residential nature, and English-fluency.
Read 17 tweets
14 Jul
Enjoyed this podcast where @deepakshenoy chats w the ever interesting @kunalb11

Brief thread of what I found interesting.
(there is also a transcript if you prefer that)…
Why Indians don't value time!

I dont know if this is true but this is a fascinating hypothesis.
Finance skills ≠ Financial literacy.
Read 8 tweets
5 Jun
Thread. Thoughts on hiring / recruitment tech in India.

Spurred by an interesting discussion on desi startup twitter led @banglani & @arnav_kumar on why hiring is broken in India.

In turn spurred by a response to a tweet by @avlesh

From all of that discussion + data from our blue collar thesis research that my colleague @SanchitaBamnot1 is driving, here is what I make out.

The resume is the basic unit of hiring, thus far. All business model innovation happens around that or reinventing that.
However the resume is largely useful only for organised sector white collar jobs which btw only number ~35m or so in India.
Read 13 tweets
4 Jun

On the NYT controversy over Sen. Cotton's piece, the NYT's changing business model, and what it tells us about the news business.
It is fascinating to sit 12,600 kms away from the US and read all of the angst over the NYT's opinion ('editorial') section, featuring Senator Tom Cotton's piece on dealing harshly with looters and rioters by calling in the Army.
2/ 19…
What I want is not to talk abt the politics of the piece, or anything around that. I am too far removed from it. What interests me is to interpret the ferocity of the reaction in light of the underlying business transformation of the NYT.
Read 19 tweets
15 May
A thread for venture nerds, esp if you dig VC history.

On the 3 broad investment styles in VC - backing people, tech, markets & the personalities who embodied those styles

Arthur Rock: people
Tom Perkins / @kleinerperkins: tech / product
Don Valentine / @sequoia : markets
Interesting to note these different investment styles were a point of debate in the 70s-80s as Don Valentine tell us
Why does Valentine not care as much about people / team as other investors do? Well, his belief is that great people are hard to find or select. And a great and growing market can always make up for the seemingly ‘non-great’ but effective people.
Read 10 tweets

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