Benjamin Franklin once said ‘It takes many good deeds to build a reputation and only one bad one to lose it’.

Eminem (yes, getting contemporary now) said “Trust is hard to come by. That’s why my circle is small and tight. I’m kind of funny about making new friends”

Einstein (going back to the masters) said “Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason, mastery demands all of a person.”

Where am I going with all of this? There is a common undercurrent that threads the above three character traits of Reputation, Trustworthiness, and Mastery. You may have guessed it! It is time, patience and persistence. None of these can be built overnight. It takes self-awareness, forgiveness, courage applied consistently and constantly to build a stellar reputation, gain the trust of people and become a master at your craft.

But sadly, I feel that there is an existential threat to this philosophy. That is Amazon Prime Now. Before you label me as batty, give me a minute to explain. The ability to get instant gratification on anything under the planet using your Smartphone app, Alexa, TV or (for the dated technologists) your laptop – is turning us into impatient and unforgiving beasts. I realized this myself when checking something out the other day on Amazon and they only had 2-day delivery that made me mad – I wanted same day delivery and felt cheated. And my mood was sullen the rest of the day. Or when I had to wait for an Uber for an entire 7 minutes. I must have jabbed at the screen of my smartphone 100 plus times as my blood pressure rose!

And later when I did some introspection was when I started realizing what I had morphed into. An instant consumer junkie. And that got me thinking. This has to be bleeding into our daily lives. Our interaction with others, recovery from an illness, loving and being loved. Everything needs to happen now. And that’s a scary thought.

But this instant gratification is all around us. Take Facebook Live. Anywhere, anytime – you become an instant video live streaming professional. Any your loved ones (and the not so loved ones) consume this in real-time. And my fear is that – just as it has been finally proven that smoking rewires the neurons in the brain and that’s why it is some hard to quit nicotine, we are all getting rewired to get what we want, when we want it and sometimes even in advance of when we think we want it – the predictive era that is engulfing us. That must be rewiring our brain.

Can we start demanding Reputation, Trust, and Mastery the same way? Alexa, enhance my reputation so my fellow classmates start worshipping me now. Or, cleans all the knave deeds that I have done that color my ex-friends’ memory and make them trust me more. Or, I want to become a Ronaldo in a week, make it so! Never, gonna happen right. #Sulk #Hate #Depression

Ok, let me banish the morbid thoughts. What, if any, is the recourse here? Start slowing down and take the long way where possible. As Robert Frost put it a long time ago ‘

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I …

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference’

Personally, for me, I have started putting this into practice in my blogging ideation and creation. I let ideas simmer for a day, a week sometimes before I start writing. And let articles half finished lie for a while so they can germinate and flower. All it needs is time and patience on my part. And the result is always better than rushing through. I have some other idealistic goals as well. What are yours? When are you going to take the path less traveled and take time to stop and smell the flowers? Believe me, you won’t regret it. #Alexa do you agree?



    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.