Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Observations,Patterns and Exception

I spend most of my free time reading books , blog , journals, newspaper etc. I had this hobby since my school days . I was never too good or keen with sports . only physically demanding activity I indulge in is Traveling . But most of the time my travels are a way to facilitate my thought process only . some kind of walking meditation .

If you ask me to name something in which I consider my self "Gifted" . I would say its my penchant for reading on wide range of subjects , and My more than ordinary memory for things which interest me . Somehow I am always able to remember trivial things from past . This is a funny and strange combination . This cocktail of Reading ,Remembering and Analysis sometime gives me some funny insights . they are mostly not earth shaking but they are amusing .

I had one such observation yesterday . Funny thing is that I observed something , [i thought ] i discovered a strange pattern , I was amused and inflated at my personal discovery and with in few hours an exception of that pattern was staring me in my face .

I rarely share these discoveries with anyone . My Girlfriend is very bored with my sudden shouts of Eureka!! Eureka!! Poor Girl :( .

so I decided to spare her and tell you my weird observation . Here I go ,Keep an Aspirin handy ,

Biographies :

I read biographies of a lot of Famous and successful people from different field. overtime i Noticed a strange thing in most of them . Successful and famous people somehow know each other long before they became famous .you may ask Whats the big deal in it ? Well see it like this

Statistically Only 10% of people try to do something which has a potential of morphing in to something big and more than half of them will fail. out of these remaining 5% , only 1-2% of people will be BIG enough to attract public attention. Attention of ordinary people like me . now my Question is "What do you think is the probability of the scenario where these 2% of folks know each other or are associated with each other in childhood or long before they werer famous ? " I think instincitve answer is very little or almost coincdential . well i notice these co incedencec too many times . see this facts .

  • Steve Ballmer and Scott McNealy were childhood buddy as they grew up in same neighborhood .One of them is CEO of Microsoft and other is Founder and [until recently ] CEO of SUN Microsystem . What was the probability of having two Key figures of PC and Computing Era coming out of same neighborhood ?

  • Dhiru Bhai Ambani got his first Institutional loan of INR 80 Lakh from a Banker named K V Kammth , who was just a simple Bank Manager at that time . Today K V Kammth is Heading ICICI Bank , a leading private sector bank of India . and Dhiru Bhai Ambani created Reliance Empire . Kammth was main person in resolving dispute between Anil and Mukesh Ambani . What was the ODDS that a regular banker and Trader who did a transaction and end up as Key person in their fields ?

  • As a KID ShahRukh Khan was friend with a girl [daughter of a family friends ] who used to accompany him to movies and they used to enact movie scene after ward . Name of the girl was Amrita Singh . She became a popular actress and SRK became King Of Bollywood .

  • While ShahRukh Khan was in school , He took part in a play where he has to sing a song. Teacher thought that SRK is good with acting but it might not be a good idea to make him sing too. so He asked another guy from school to be his playback singer . Name of the guy was Palash Sen ,Lead Singer of Euphoria .

  • SRK was part of a Theater group called TAG . His first movie was an experimental film , where he played a cameo role of a gay . screen play of this movie was written by Arundhati Roy .Arundhati won Booker prize for her debut novel "The God Of Small Things ".

  • SRK's Father -In-Law Mr.Chiiba was a close associate of Dr. Zakir Hussain, Former President of India .

  • SRK's first TV Serial "Fauji " was produced by Retd.Col. Raj Kapoor . Col.Raj was classmate of Shammi Kapoor , Raj Kapoor,Shashi Kapoor.

  • SRK's ancestral house in Peshawar was only few blocks away from house of Prithviraj Kapoor .

  • During his stint in politics Amitabh Bacchan bought a house in Delhi , which was few block away from SRK's Place .

  • Hollywood actor Rusell Crow is a Relative of Martin Crow who was Captain of Newzeland Cricket Team .

  • John F. Kennedy was Chief Guest at convocation ceremony of Bill Clinton.

I noticed few more points about few more famous personalities but i think these example are adequate to convey a point . Enuff said

Exception :

So once I knew all these facts I was feeling very insightful.As if I have accidentally stumbled upon some secret formula .After few hours of this cloud walk I noticed something in news paper about Geetanjali Nagpal, . An erstwhile model who once shared ramp with Sushmita sen. News paper story said she was living a life of poverty . my theory was proven wrong . or is it ?


So this was my little story of the day , I am still wondering if all these were some random occurrence or it has a hidden meaning . I am not sure . what do you think ??

PS: BTW I share my birthday (24th of March ) with Steve Ballmer and Imran Hashmi . Now i am wondering if it is a sign of things to come .:)

Thanks for reading my rants.

UPDATE: Recently I came to know another supporting evidence. Before joining Microsoft, Steve Ballmer worked at P&G . He used to sell Brownies and Cake mix . During his sting at P&G Ballmer has some co worker .One of them was Jeff Immelt , He is CEO of GE Today. Other was Steve Case , who Founded America On Line [ AoL] . if that's not enough there was a third guy too. His name was Scott Cook who started a hugely successful financial software company called Intuit .Microsoft tried to buy that company but some legal technicality forced them to give up the idea. Now you tell me is it strange that i smell something here


Ankur said...

enjoyed reading your post ...

Piyush said...

Hi Prashant,

Nice Post. I,ve also observed this pattern.

I met a computer hardware engineer at my relatives company. He interestingly had lots of things, common with me . and couple of years later i came to know that he happens to share the same Date of Birth with me(date, month and year).

I came across your blog from noneck 's blog.

Will you be there at the Delhi Conference on 8th and 9th.


@ Ankur : Thanks
@ Piyush: Thanks for your comment . its great to know that you also observed something simillar. I will try to be at OSS Camp .

Ramjee said...


I see more and more similarities in the way we think. I just can't belv. it.
I really liked the analysis on how u arrived at the numbers ;).
Think of it the same happens with scientists who won nobel prize..
i was reading Richanrd P. Fennymann's "Surely You must be joking !!"

and then you notice that most of them knew the others long before or worked with them earlier !!

Navin Dutta said...

interesting observation .. hmmm u share your bday with Steve n Hashmi n so if the formula works thats a great sign for 4 u..

hold on .. i know you .. so am starting to wonder .. if you succeed .. what is my probablity .. :P

any predictions ;) ???


@ramjee : Great to know that . Great minds think alike .would meet you whenever i will be in Bangalore next time .

@Navin: Lets hope that my observation and subsequent hypothesis about my Date of Birth will hold true .
regarding your probability of success ,its 100% dude with or without the fact that you know me . Good luck

Beji said...

Great people have the uncanny ability to spot the greatness wonder they have enough logic to recignise it!!

Manoj Awasthi said...

Another beauty post. I agree to some extent but don't you think that this contributes to another example of survivorship bias ?



@ Beji :You are absolutely right . you know what ..your words in comment echo the thoughts of Ex CEO of CITI Group . I am wondering if that points to some thing ? :-)

@ Manoj : I agree with you that i am looking at the pool of survivors only and any pattern observed there is not a rule to base your strategy . In fact this post was not meant to be as pointer to "How To Accomplish" . it was just an amusing observation which i wanted to share with the readers . something on the line of Simmilarity in life of Abraham Lincoln and J.F. Kennedy .

These are unquestionable fact about two people who belong to a elite fraternity [ President of United Sate of America]. Does that mean they were a case of Rebirth or is that a eligibility criteria to become Prez in US ?
No .
But is it amusing and a story worth telling ? YES.

Manoj Awasthi said...

certainly an interesting thing. thanks for the link.

arts-n-more said...

enjoyed reading ur my son bhanu, 12ym had gone to colonel kapoor's place to give audition...and i wanted to show my wife something abour about how srk got breal thru serial "fauzi"....who knows one day bhanu may also be....


@arts-n-more : thanks for the kind words . I wish good luck to Bhanu , let us know when his show is aired on TV . we will surely watch it .

Manoj Awasthi said...

hello prashant,

in continuation to our talk:

what the document does not tell you is that Lincoln and Kennedy were born and died in different months, dates, and states, and neither date is 100 years apart. Their ages at death were different, as were the names of their wives etcetera (you can obviously get to lot many dissimilarities which may weaken any arguments that document wishes to use to prove something they "want") ..

sorry for the break but thought to put it here for completeness of the dialogue.



@Manoj : thats interesting .