I promise you the title – formula actually – is not a bait and switch. In fact, it is a formula that I discovered recently about how to write articles of note, the ones that truly resonate and make us better human beings. Would that be of value to you? If so, read on. If not, read on.

And I hope the article does not suck. In fact, I am sure it will not. How am I so confident? Because it digs into an incident that happened to me and my post as a result of my uneasiness and the subsequent reaction to that post. A post on my deep-rooted bias towards women in the workplace. 15411 views, 68 likes and 10 comments. Viral by my modest standards. And that is how I derived the formula for articles of significance. If your head is spinning, give me a moment and I will explain.

Let me start with the “I sucked” incident. In fact, I posted it on LinkedIn recently and it seems to have made some mini-waves by my modest standards. And this is the first part of what I posted verbatim.

An unnerving discovery – I have unconscious #bias towards #women in the workplace. The illusion of my own bias-free mindset – blown! A seemingly innocuous incident blew my cover. A reference check for a friend from a VC firm. The phone invite had two individuals – let’s call them Joe and Jane. Just before the meeting, I get an update from Joe that he can’t make it and that Jane would cover for him. I felt baited and switched – he was handing me off to his admin at the 11th hour! In my indignation, I looked up her LI profile. #Boom. She was an accomplished investor.

That was it. I confess this LinkedIn post was one of the most difficult admissions I have made public in my life. But I owed it to the countless others to do it. And that was the propulsion that gave me wings to express my deepest feelings. And by doing that I believe I addressed the first two constituents of the equation – I suck and you – the reader – may suck too. Some expressed their feelings publicly through comments and likes, but most were in the silent majority. Either way, the connection was established.

And the concluding part of the update read – For me, this incident is a watershed moment. My bias is obvious and I need to actively correct it going forward. The reason for this unconscious bias could be manifold – few women investors in the male-dominated VC world etc. Regardless, it is a bias and needs to be corrected. Being an advocate of #AI + #Ethics, data and algorithmic bias is a mission so the irony is obvious. Machines can be programmed with skewed data sets and biased humans. We need to acknowledge it, account for it and actively work towards correcting it, starting with human minds. And to all my fellow males who may harbor similar biases but may not realize it, stay vigilant. When you encounter it, acknowledge account and correct it, my friend. As I am.

This is what I consider is that “how do we collectively do better part”. And arguably it is the most important part of this update. Why? Because just talking about incidents using shock and awe tactics or even driven by guilt may give short-term satisfaction to the writer and reader alike. But it is transient. And we have enough of these in our social media crazy world. Leaving the reader with something tangible to introspect and noodle on is in my opinion what makes extraordinary articles differentiate themselves from pedestrian ones.

So, there you have it. One formula for your writing genius to express herself. Give it a shot. One note of caution – don’t fake it. Life is too short. It is hard enough trying to reach the goals that you are passionate about. You must believe in what you write. And help others along by expressing your own vulnerabilities, connect with others and together evolve to a better place. #Onwards



    Empathy, Education, Empowerment

    Mine is a typical Indian immigrant story: an Engineer who became an Engineering Manager, who grew antsy and segued into Product Management then rose to VP and SVP. During those years I fancied I was innovating and experimenting, but in reality I was wearing a corporate straitjacket. Constrained by my industry’s insular mindset, I became a slave to the definition of my job. Inevitably, I ended up dissatisfied. So, I did something unusual for a man in my position: I stopped to reflect. I searched my life and talents for what was fulfilling and had purpose. I discovered I enjoyed storytelling to promote understanding. I loved mentoring and helping people become the best version of themselves. Importantly, I realized I was still passionate about the tech industry, particularly the issues surrounding privacy and ethics. Today, I’m pursuing my passions. I like to think of myself as an accelerator of technology and positivity. I’m the COO of UberKnowledge, bringing cybersecurity awareness and training to demographics that are underrepresented in the industry. I speak at conferences highlighting the need for a sharper focus on the ethics surrounding the technology industry.  I write articles and blog posts using analogy to simplify technology trends and complex topics like AI and IoT. I host podcasts with CISOs and other industry experts. The purpose of these is not to sell snake oil or products but to bridge the chasm between security vendors and customers so that the real problems can be solved to make the world a safer place. Underpinning all of these efforts is my belief that life’s purpose for us all is simply to connect. And the best way to do that is through generous and positive gestures.