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Sundar Pichai, JK Rowling and Ryan Graves: How to be in the right place at the right time

Source | LinkedIn : By Raja Jamalamadaka

A young entrepreneur was working on a radical business concept. Unable to find help, he tweeted “Looking 4 entrepreneurial product mgr/biz-dev killer 4 a location based service.. pre-launch, BIG equity, big peeps involved–ANY TIPS??” A 26 year-old database administrator and marketing professional Ryan Grave responded:

That simple tweet marked the beginning of a wildly successful entrepreneurial venture: Uber Inc was valued at 41 Billion in 2017 and its iconic entrepreneur founder Travis Kalanick at nearly $5 billion. What about the “The BIG equity” that Kalanick mentioned in his tweet? In 2017, it was valued at a little over $ 1 billion.

On a routine train ride from Manchester to London, a young woman vividly visualized several characters having magical powers. Excited, she took to writing and over the next five years wrote a book around these characters. Bloomsbury publishing, at a paltry sum of $4000, gave the woman’s manuscript a chance. The rest is history as the book – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – became an instant hit catapulting its hitherto unknown author – JK Rowling – to superstardom and billionaire status.

Sundar Pichai was raised in a middle-class Indian family, was very shy and struggled with money before he made it to the US. In 2015 when Larry Page was searching for a CEO to replace him, he chose the then head of Google Chrome – Sundar Pichai – to one of the most important and powerful positions in the technology business.


Reflecting on these three stories throws up a few questions: The technology world is full of database administrators and marketing professionals who access social media and tweet everyday – why did only Ryan’s tweet make him a billionaire? In the literary world, there is neither a shortage of authors who write on characters with magical powers nor a shortage of books published by publishing houses – how could Rowling become so successful? Google hires some of the smartest engineers in the world. Obviously, there were several contenders for the role of CEO – how did Sundar Pichai make the cut?

Is it plain luck – or is there a way we can influence the outcomes in our life? It turns out that we can – and it has a lot to do with the brain and its functioning.

Read on…

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