18 October, 2023 - 18 October, 2023
Read the last week's blog posts for a bit more context
I know the last 11 weeks basically just went undocumented, because I basically stopped writing blogposts. I have a new system to keep myself a bit more accountable, lets see if it works. I'll try it for like a month and if it works I've struck gold.
I haven't continued reading the original book I was reading, the "The Making of a Manager" one, but I realized I can just listen to audiobooks when I'm doing mindless work like washing clothes or walking to some place or something like that, so I started listening to this audiobook for the book titled "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. I know, the title sounds extremely fucking cringe, but the sheer amount of people that have told me to read this book is staggering. I think of all people I have discussed books with, 50% or more have mentioned this book. Now this is downright insane, because first, I don't read much at all, and second, I expect the distribution to be more like 10% of all people recommend book X, then the next most recommended one would be recommended by like 6%, then the next one like 3 or 4%, and so on. This book is an outler in terms of how many people have told me to read it, so I decided to give it a try.
Surprisingly, in two sessions of listening to this book, I have already reached page 69, while I've only reached like page 89 in the "The Making of a Manager" book, so I think this strategy is working. I don't want to get too hooked to audiobooks though, because I'd like to have the ability to read a normal pdf that might not have an audiobook. I don't want the audiobook thing to become a problem.
But, I won't let the last 11 weeks go undocumented just like that. I'm writing this quite early into week 22, so I'm hoping if I set aside like 30-45 mins each day, I can eventually go over the last 11 weeks, and analyze some of the stuff I might have done right or wrong. The last 11 weeks were very important for the club, due to the fact that huge mistakes were made in terms of planning, inductions took place, and we had to square with our planning and management issues to decide our plan for ATMoS, the yearly technical fest of the college. In a sense, I am lucky, because like 7 days between Week 21 and Week 22 were midsems, and no club activity really happened. I tried to make sure background tasks happened while midsems happened, and looks like it worked mostly.
I will try my best to do it over the next few days, but I will limit the time I give it, because I don't want to sit one day and finish it all, I want to make it a habit to do this everyday. Accrual is a really cool concept.
- Week 22: contacted the CTFTime team to get cruXipher approved to be hosted on their platform, talked to the App Dev guys to try and see if they could gather resources that we can dump in a post so people learn app dev after midsems, nudged the guys that weren't done writing Round 3 tasks a little bit, got a server provisioned from the CS & IS department for ATMoS and as a server for hosting in general,
One really cool thing I want to try out from the "How to Win Friends and Influence People" book, is the part where he explains how you can make someone do something.
According to him, the number 1 easiest way to get someone to do something, is to make them want to do it. Very simple. Now, how can you make someone want to do something? The easiest way to do that is to make them feel important. Everybody wants to feel important. Everyone wants to be up on stage being the performer for the audience. Everyone wants to have that confidence and that level of importance. I didn't buy it at first either, but I think I do buy the claim that you can make someone want to do something in more than just one way, this is just one approach that tends to work more.
Additionally, I don't know where I heard this, but I think it was in Bo Burnham's INSIDE. Bo claims that social media blew up because of two things: one is that all your friends are on it, so now you feel the pressure to be on it, the network effect. But, the yellow pages can have the numbers of all your friends, doesn't mean you will then want to be on it, no. The other reason social media blew up so much is because it makes you the celebrity.
Think about it; Pick up all the baby boomers and a good chunk of the millenials too. Most of the people they recognize are Hollywood stars, people in bands, and performers. If you take Gen Z however, I think you'd see a way bigger slide towards recognizing people popular on social media. Now, I'm not saying they only recognize people from social media, or majority of their "stars" are people from social media. All I'm saying is, people today recognize people popular on social media, because social media is popular; everyone uses it.
But, how do you get from point A to point B? How do you become a "star"? In the case of hollywood stars and bands, well, get into the industry somehow, make it your day job, go at it day and night and hope to have the right connections and also be some of the best in the industry, that's how. In the case of social media though, it's a lot more convenient. Maybe it's really not that convenient, and you need to do all the same laundry list of items to get big, but you can gain an easy following of random people just by posting an image every now and then, maybe just a video of something funny, or a cat you see everyday, or fuck it maybe you can pretend to have some kind of political beliefs and you'll find people that way. You don't need to quit your day job, you don't need to be the best in the industry, you just need something. Very easily, will you start feeling important. It'll keep you hooked to the app.
This phenomenon, along with all the examples Dale Carnegie enumerates in the book, is why I now buy that everyone wants to feel important. I feel this need too, I'd be lying if I said it didn't play a conscious or subconscious role in me wanting to become Secretary of this club in the first place.
So, to test this out, I have finally done it. I have imagined someone else doing work instead of me. I sat down and thought of the horrors of me not being the one that does every single thing in the club, and I decided that for the sheer thrill of it, I will do it. I will delegate work, and try and see if I can make people feel important.
I pinged the flutter app devs last night, one active guy, one mediocrely active guy, and 2 inactive guys. I asked them to send resources in the same channel for learning flutter, so we can draft a basic post to encourage people to learn app dev especially right after midsems, and once they're done sending links, I'll get one of them to make a post on Free Expression Group. I know making a post on Free Expression Group isn't much, but I will tell you, it felt nice to make a post about ChronoFactorem in the town square of the campus, despite the state of that fucking project last year. I hope they get DMs and shit, and juniors look at them and think "ooh it's the crux guys." I hope that motivates them a little bit, and makes them do more club work because they get recognized.
I will try and compliment people a bit more during this week, like consciously think about it, and see of that works out, and it makes them want to do more.
Update: So the whole thing happened, and they responded pretty well to it. The inactive guy has started attending meets again, and even asked me stuff after the meet, and has been responsive to an alright degree, I hope that continues. I realize that this won't yield results in the short term, and maybe it's a long term thing.
Recently we got a server at some point, and in every mail I wrote the guys, I've been very nice and considerate of their time (partially because I know how much time and effort one needs to put in to just maintain a server). I've opened with things like "We thank you for your prompt response" or "your cooperation with us", and prefaced emails saying he can choose to respond once it's a working day again, and instantly even though Saturday night the working day had ended, this man resolved my issues at 12:00AM in the night, even though it was a long weekend where Monday was a holiday as well.
It seems to have worked so far, and I'll keep doing it more.
This is another trick that Dale Carnegie talks about in the book. People's attention spans are small, and if you open with what they want instead of what you want, you can work wonders. If the result is not something they want and it's only something you want, chances are, you are wasting your time by talking to them in the first place.
I did this with last meet. The people that didn't attend the meet got an interesting message that I had never imagined I'd send an year ago.
It started with:
- My overall approach for ATMoS is that I know you aren't too hyped for organizing the event, and I don't want to make you do more work than you want to. You want to have fun during ATMoS and not have to organize a 48-hour event. Based on this, I've come up with a flow to make your experience as smooth as possible, while getting the event done well.
- You don't want to do extra work. This is why, you need to come up with only the idea for questions now, and after quality checking the questions, we'll decide which ones will make it and which ones won't. Only after that, we'll implement whatever code is needed for the questions. You don't want to have your work wasted, and we don't want our time wasted.
- You want to chill in ATMoS and win shit instead of slaving. This is why, let's get whatever little work we have done in advance. I expect everyone to come up with atleast 2 ideas by 22nd October. This way, we can have everything ready for the event by 29th, after which you can basically chill.
- Around 29th, we'll go through the questions with their implementations again, and see if these questions are of good quality. If they are, they will make it to the final event.
- After this, since our only job is to quality check stuff, and make sure all our ducks are in order, most of the work is mine, and you can basically chill for ATMoS.
- We will be collaborating with BITS-SOS as well, so their members will contribute some questions as well.
- We can have our cake and eat it. We can have a fun and free ATMoS, while still having a better quality event than last time, so let's do this.
and then some other details about the work itself.
I was surprised to see, that even people that didn't attend the meet were doing work. In fact, of the 9 people that didn't attend, 7 responded and added something to the sheet. Whether or not these 7 people will contribute good questions is a thing we'll have to see.
I think I probably talked about this before, but you have to let go. I talk a lot about it, but I haven't done it at all.
This time I finally did it. It took club members and a senior yelling at me to finally delegate work that I like. I delegated infra to Karthik Prakash, and gave him full range. I think the exmaples that I've set up before for chrono and the infra sprint are sufficient for him to setup a staging pipeline of his own.
I think it'll get done, but it has made my life significantly better. The weeks leading upto ATMoS don't feel like hell and instead it feels like I'm a member.
Though I don't think I'll credit my sanity to that alone. I reduced my expectations for ATMoS significantly and also stopped caring about it as much. If we have the leverage to do things that are fun, then we should use it and focus it to have fun instead of forcing people to work for an event they don't care about, and were never told during inductions that they'd have to do.
I think this week was pretty interesting, since I got a few new ideas and got to try them out. I think next week will be significantly less interesting because the results won't be as ideal as I thought, and it'll make me significantly less optimistic with respect to this. Hopefully I get to read a bit more too.
One day I think I'll just sit and read through old posts and see if I've made progress on any of those, and seen any expected results. I realize it's more of an experiment than roleplay, and I'm still excited for it.