The Art of Pivoting

The Art of Pivoting

Recently, I came across this wonderful quote from Mark Zuckerberg:

“Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough”.

At first instance, I just glanced over it. But then, couldn’t avoid getting stuck with the impact of this statement. It epitomizes the core of everything that we want to do at TES. If we aren’t breaking enough things, we aren’t doing enough!

That’s the sutra of entrepreneurship.

I want to ask each one of you, what have you broken yesterday?

It could be anything – not necessarily a complex code or a porcelain cup. Have you dropped anything? Deliberately or by chance – that doesn’t matter.

But we need to be breaking things!! That means, we are going to learn something new. The more we break things, the more we discover. Why because breaking involves damage, which comes with a cost and if we are conscientious, learning is a natural fallout.

As a 5 year old, I was curious to know who is hiding inside the radio and when I was 8 or 9, I opened up radio when no one was there. I fiddled with it and the inevitable happened. The radio stopped working. The result was that my ears got pulled by elders. Sad.

Here’s the good news. All elders in the family were afraid of touching the radio. In a remote place, while they would wait for the mechanic, I would dare to open it again. This time more confidently. Playing with the wires until the waves would make magic. Believe me, I didnt know that radio works on waves. It was pure trial and error.

And I broke things again. This time it was a transistor set. Then the cracker bomb – only to burn my finger. Then the Anaar to burn my brothers hand…The mixer-grinder, television and what not. Once, I broke the cricket bat to check if there was a hidden spring. Even mixed water in kerosene oil to increase the quantity… and many more stupidities, such as confidently opening up my neighbour’s scooter (Hamara Vespa), every nut and bolt and the damn thing couldn’t be packed again. Imagine the embarrassment of my parents. No wonder, every time I would have to face the music… but on each ocassion, I had some message going into the brain. These were the moments of learning. Aha!

What Zuckerberg says, essentially means, break small things frequently to keep learning and mending, instead of getting so careful that we are afraid of breaking anything and almost always moving into a situation, where you commit one huge blunder. One of my close friends is very methodical and systematic, so much so that it borders on paranoid. You just can’t keep a thing anywhere else. With him, we are so afraid that we can’t just try anything new. It feels as if we are all frozen in the negative loop of life. Think of unabashed joy and you can picture a fully charged up kid, totally unafraid of what he is doing. He doesn’t mind a bit falling down, dirtying himself or do a mess. Those are his moments of experimentation.

Smart guys have coined a terminology for such experimentations and learnings – Pivoting.

All pivoting begins with creating a mess.

So, what mess have you created in the last one week? If you arent creating any mess, there is no new learning!!

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