Saturday, March 21, 2009

Beyond "what ifs" and "Somedays"...

It is ages - more than 2 months - since, I posted here...

One of the reasons was also the 1st National Conference on Social Entrepreneurship, which we organised at XLRI on Jan 31-Feb 1, '09... and this post is about some of those "entrepreneurs with a social cause"...

Their presentations videos - and links to their websites - of course are available there at:

...and the photo slide-show of how the Conference unfolded is here:

Photographs of Day 1:

Photographs of Day 2:

But, listening and interacting with them, made me recall the preface to Rashmi Bansal's book Stay Foolish, Stay Hungry:

    "Of all the questions we leave unanswered, the one that comes back to haunt us the most is: "what if...

  • what if I had married my college sweetheart?

  • what if I had the good sense not to?

  • what if I had been born in this joob market?

  • what if...

  • what if I'd planned a little less?

  • what if I'd planned a little more?

  • what if I'd chucked it all, and started my own company?

    "What ifs" are never idle fantasy. They are hopes, dreams and desires.

    Logic and reasons are the naphthalene balls we use to pack them away into a sandbook called "someday". But when that day comes, we are too old, too poor, too tired or too lazy.

    .... those people who seized their moment. So they would not wake up one day with regrets. Of course, they saw markets and opportunity and need gaps. But more importantly, they stood in front of the mirror and saw their true selves.

    That self told them it was meaningless to sell soap just because you are paid well to do so.

    That being corporate slave was in easy option, but not the one that felt right.

    That there was something bigger and better to do with their talents."

Many years back, I had read Odyssey: From Pepsi to Apple. In one of the conversations, Steve Jobs had asked John Sculley:

"Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world."