General Thinking

Evolution of a thought

We all stand on the shoulders of giants.

Past knowledge serves us as foundations for the future leaps. But it is important to understand where that past knowledge came from. Understanding those fundamentals gives us deep insights into the future leaps that are feasible.

How did we realise the universe was larger than we thought, what was the leap of thought?

In the 1500’s there was a supernova event. Supernovas are so bright it can be seen during the day. It lights up the night sky and depending on the distance can look like a pretty huge star. Obviously, after the explosion over time, the energy will dissipate and the light will fade.

At the time, the prevailing theory was that there is a disc of fixed stars that envelop the earth at a distance. When the supernova event was sighted and it dimmed away, it did not fit into that model.

The question – what the fuck just happened?

Based on prevailing knowledge, one of the suggestions made was perhaps this star was a passing star and grew in brightness when it moves close and dimmed as it moved away. This was radical shift from the fixed sphere model. The possibility of the universe being larger than what we thought and more distributed arose out of this one incident.

We have learnt a great deal since but it is important to know that this was the moment in time where the question of the grandness of the universe got re-evaluated. It is important to keep revisiting the foundations of how a thought evolved in order to take the leap to the next level. It helps you identify flaws in thinking, if any, as well.

Your ability to innovate, to develop, to grow depends on your understanding of where things started out.

Spend more time figuring out the evolution of a thought

Did you know?

What is Stem Cell?

I happened to learn about Stem Cells last week and wanted to share this short note!

Cancer researchers started treating cancerous cells with radiation. While they found that this kills the cancerous cells, along with it, the radiation also kills several types of blood cells. We call this chemotherapy

After the treatment was done researchers started introducing fresh bone marrow and found this marrow was able to create all sorts of new blood cells not just marrow cells and this led to the thought that the marrow has some cells that was capable of producing all kinds of blood cells. Red blood cells, white blood cells, etc.

The researchers spent decades sorting the cells. They started pouring mouse blood through a long series of high-tech strainers. With each pass, a different kind of cell was removed. Finally, they isolated the cell that gave birth to all of the other cells.

The cells that they were left with at the end of cycle were called Stem Cells.

Now you know why Stem Cells are such a big deal and so much money is getting poured into stem cell research. Stem Cells are capable of generating cells that we cannot and this opens up the possibility of several health solutions.

It can be the most potent regenerative medicine ever.


Growth CEO Vs Turnaround CEO

Almost every company is a real life experiment which is led by a CEO who determines them. You never know what is going to come out of the experiment. Leaders who build these companies are hoping that the experiments play out in their favour. Once an experiment is found to work, more and more money is spent on the same experiment in order to grow the business.

At times, companies get into a bad position. This can be because they got disrupted or ran a bad experiment too long. The choice that stakeholders are left with is to shut the business or turn it around. Often, new leadership is brought in to change the way things have been run.

Now, there is a fundamental difference between the two situations. In the former case, things are headed up and taking risks would be rewarded even if they do not play out. In the latter case, things are headed down and the requirement is to cut risks.

Growth CEO

This person is tuned towards taking risks and growing the company.

Here the leader sees possibilities that do not exist and heads out towards them.

This person seeks to add more avenues and multiply revenue streams for the business.

Here the leader seeks to find more people to bring into their business.

Turnaround CEO

This person is one who is seeking to curtail risks and reduce the uncertainty that the business faces.

Here the leader wants to do away with anything that is unprofitable and does not have a clear path to profitability.

This person wishes to pursue the optimum path and do away with people who fall outside this.

Here the leader looks to cull out people and verticals.


This fundamental difference means we seek out very different people for the differing leadership scenario. One cannot replace the other because their skill sets and their outlook towards the world tend to be tremendously varied. One requires an optimist while the other a cynic.