Friday, 17 April 2015

Dream with your eyes open - book review



Dream with your eyes open is a book on entrepreneurship. According to the author this book is for all – those carrying just the disruptive (yes disruptive is the author's favourite word and not innovative) ideas, those who have been in the business for a many years and even those who are planning to give up their jobs and start their own dream project.

The author respects failures more than the success for the insights the former offers He stresses on the mindset required to be an entrepreneur when he says that it's a journey, not an outing. He says going ahead in your own business with an idea to just try it for a year or two is sure recipe for disaster.

What I liked about the book is the candidness with which the author speaks about his success, failure and most importantly the whole process which led to those outcomes. He mentions his first step into entrepreneurship – Lazer brush, which he had set up by importing discarded British machines which still were cutting edge technology in India. He advises newbies to take the first step instead of wasting endless time in research. The writer divulges his experience of being a forerunner in the cable TV business. He describes in detail the efforts made to introduce the Indian TV viewers to cable TV. He narrates how he was much ahead of time when he introduced home shopping in India and the same became a cause of its failure. He underlines the insider-outsider dynamics in the Indian movie industry when he shares the evolution of the brand UTV.

With new age quotes like I am too busy working on my own grass to notice if your is greener, the book becomes an interesting read. If everyone is thinking alike then somebody is not thinking comes another hilarious yet honest quote from George Patton. which finds a mention in the book. Along with the difficulties faced by the entrepreneurs which include finding funding, managing exits and attrition, the author emphasizes the need for core values like mutual respect in communication. The author asks us never to underestimate the power of humour as laughter makes life's darkest events conquerable. The author cautions the would be entrepreneurs to believe in their dreams by telling them that they and only they know its direction and velocity. He says entrepreneurship is a lot like life; sometimes just asking the right questions presents you with half the solutions.

The author says that insulating yourself against failure doesn't ensure success, it only makes success more elusive. He also discusses the much sought after ingredient – luck. Luck according to him is nothing but creating your own environment and then taking the advantage of the opportunity. How true! He says outcome is direct proportion of risk and effort. Business and life cannot be planned with certainty. Hence the caution to dream with your eyes open.

Throughout the book in his own words the author has discussed foolish mistakes, setbacks, missed opportunities and lessons learnt over the years. The book will indeed be of help to those who dream of becoming an entrepreneur. 

However that does not mean that the book is free from any flaws. The biggest flaw in the book is that the author has not arranged his experiences in chronological order. So in a former chapter his daughter is born and in the subsequent he meets his would be wife. Similarly first comes the premiere of Dev D and then that of Devdas. The book is replete with such chronological disorders. This creates confusion and mars the narrative. The book deserved a better editing. Had it been chronologically arranged its impact would have increased by manyfolds.

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