Category Archives: Life

Dear Santa (from a Future Politician or Salesperson)

As many Indian-Americans do, we’re celebrating Christmas today just like our ancestors did. (Oh wait)

Seriously though, I love Christmas. It’s a fun holiday filled with ugly sweaters, great music and overeating.  And having a kid who is excited about Santa is cool as my parents never really did the whole Santa thing. Immigrant parents have more important things to worry about as you might imagine.

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Dancing Like a Freak

We’re going to be late to my daughter’s school this morning because we spent some time dancing to Billie Jean by Michael Jackson. There are a few songs that bring me back to another time (often college) and make me bob my head or dance.  I’m not sure of all others, but here are a few:

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Look mom! Look dad!

I turned 41 a few days ago. So while I may still act 21 at times, I’m no longer there.
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Kids Just Want Venture Capital

I really like Chris Dixon’s ideas. In fact, his bowling pin strategy post is one of my favorites of all time (I know the idea is not his but I learned it by reading his blog so he gets credit in my book).

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Private Bubble

I was at dinner a few weeks ago with some old Penn friends who are all quite successful.  I was the lone startup guy. The others were a hedge fund guy, a private equity guy, two VCs and one semi-professional poker player.

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Train show at Bronx Botanical Garden

Yesterday, we went to the annual train show at the Bronx Botanical Garden. I’d never been before to the Bronx Botanical Garden or the annual train show which features trains (surprise) as well as some replicas of famous NYC buildings. What makes the replicas so amazing is that they’re created using tree parts (branches, bark, twigs, acorns, etc).  So imagine a massive model of Penn Station cobbled together from those materials.

Pretty cool stuff.

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Nail Biting – Wife Goes Medieval with Mavala

Mavala nastyMy daughter sucks her thumb and generally seems to have her fingers in her mouth all the time especially when she is asleep. It’s not cool.

I’ve also bitten my nails for a long time. I don’t know if it’s due to nervousness or just occurs when the internet is not near, but it’s something I need to stop doing.

As my wife is inclined to do when a problem arises, she looked for a solution on Amazon.  And came across this thing called Mavala.

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If you build it, they will not come

I think a lot of folks will start podcasts in 2015.  Just like most blogs (this one perhaps included), they will suck.

Here is a chart of this blogs visitor stats from when it was started in March on a monthly basis.  I’ve done a post every day since then.  See how amazing the growth curve is?

Yup, it sucks.

anand sanwal blog

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The Help of Others

This post originally appeared on the CB Insights research blog.  I’ve added some additional commentary to the beginning.


I read a great post by John Scalzi entitled A Self-Made Man Looks at How He Made It. He talks about all the people and organizations that have had an impact, directly or indirectly, on the direction of his life. I couldn’t find his post when the aforementioned CB Insights post was published, but it is such a good piece, I spent some time this weekend looking for it, and I finally did.

You should read it. One of my favorite passages is below:

I know what I have been given and what I have taken. I know to whom I owe. I know that what work I have done and what I have achieved doesn’t exist in a vacuum or outside of a larger context, or without the work and investment of other people, both within the immediate scope of my life and outside of it. I like the idea that I pay it forward, both with the people I can help personally and with those who will never know that some small portion of their own hopefully good fortune is made possible by me.

The point that his article underscores is that self-made success is bullshit. Beyond it being a lie, I was reading an academic paper that said that the idea of self-made success is “destructive to the social and economic infrastructure that fosters wealth creation.”

So besides being a lie, it is destructive to society.  Fantastic.

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The NY Hall of Science

normal distribution hall of science

On Friday, we, the family, went to the NY Hall of Science in Queens. It’s a great spot (akin to Liberty Science Center near Jersey City). While some of the activities are better for older kids, there was plenty to do for a 5 year old.

Tons of great interactive exhibits, an awesome 3D movie on the Galapagos Islands and great work areas where we built a building with lights (which my daughter had to light up using a battery).

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