Random Thoughts

I am recently questioning my Product Monday series. I don’t feel natural as I am doing it. Part of it is because I am a generalist and it feels like I am trying to become some sort of authority on product management which I am not. I sometimes thought about it as some sort of hedge against making the blog too personal and to express my product experience to those who might learn from it, or want to know my thoughts for job opportunities. I will keep doing it for some time but I don’t know until when.

Today I read this How Not to Be Stupid. The description in the post for stupidity perfectly matches some people I know. 

“I defined stupidity as overlooking or dismissing conspicuously crucial information.”

We all do it from time to time, but I wonder what makes someone who has all the tools of knowledge and ability to broaden their horizon insists on ignoring crucial information while forming their point of view. I asked my “Ward of the Sane” which is my group of Egyptian intellectuals that I normally talk to. Back in the time they said you can do nothing about it you just need to run away from those people. I am still not satisfied by these answers.

I cooked this Shish Tawook today. It tasted good. A bit sour as I think I put too much mustard. But overall it was satisfying. I still suck at rice though. I don’t like rice in general but I don’t know why I insist on mastering how to make it.


As usual, a random thoughts post can’t end without talking about books. For some reason recently I went on books shopping frenzy and bought more than I can chew (Kindle: 7 Powers, The Headspace Guide to Meditation, and The Order of Time. Audio: Why violence is the answer, Blood sweat and pixels, and a friend gifted me “The Dream Machine”).

I am currently listening to “When violence is the answer”, in which the author teaches you how to prepare for the unexpected violence any of us can get exposed to. His argument about the randomness of violence and the necessity to prepare for it is compelling to me. He distinguishes social aggression from violence, explains how to spot each, and how to react to each. I personally started making changes to some aspects of my life and I think everyone, especially females should read this book.

I finished “A man for all markets” and started reading “7 Powers” on my Kindle. The former was entertaining but got boring by the third part. It got too technical about investing tactics and that’s when I lost track. Although there is a chapter at the end about saving and personal finance that I want to read again to compare to my strategy. The latter is in my opinion stating the obvious about what strategies businesses adopt to give them “Power” in their domain. Economies of scale, network effect, competitive positioning…etc. I also feel the author is trying to over-complicate things and give terms to things that already have a term. But apart from this, it is a good refresher on these topics and I am curious to see what he talks about in the second part after he explain the 7 Powers.

Speaking of the 7 Powers, one thing mentioned in the book in the economy of scale section is that it has to be coupled with operational excellence. I am recently thinking about this as it is one of the themes at work, and one of the aspects Amazon is famous for. I wonder how startups should balance between moving fast and breaking things vs operational excellence. How much is too much? Asking for a friend.