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Editorial

My envisioned Kmag

The author is the founder of Kaagmandu Magazine, and he likes to share his idea behind his venture and his long-term plan through this editorial piece.

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The website that you are right now reading this piece of writing is a mere WordPress content management system.  It’s like an apartment.  I am not here to settle in this apartment.  Everything starts small.  This is just a start.  Let me tour you to my envisioned world.  Grab a tea or coffee and walk with me.



Life

To begin with, let me begin from my understanding of life and nature.  We were microcells that got fused under right condition and then 9 months were given to develop and then ready to face the world. Level 1 got cleared.  Level 2 had different stages – from childhood to adulthood – we needed to clear them all and needed to clear patiently spending 20-30 years of our life.  It’s same with anything in nature.  Growing up is a process.  You cannot rush and should not rush.  If you try to grow ahead of time, you may grow by height and width but inside you are hollow like a bamboo, or spongy like a banana tree.

In my past post, I had hinted bit about my journey.  To me, life and business in philosophical ground is almost same.  There are many stages and phases that a business has to go through that would eventually mature the business.  So ya, business too has to go through a process and it needs to grow by the process – not too fast and not too slow – to last long, to last strong.

In other word, life is a marathon and not a 100-m race.  So is a business.

Questions

Newton would not be Newton without the question.  Every great discovery and invention, theory and ideology begun from a question.  That’s the power of a question.  A question can drive you, can motivate you, and can guide you.  Basically, question triggers reasoning and critical thinking and does not settle without finding an answer.  So my questions were

  1.  Why are Nepalese people the way they are?
  2.  What is lacking in this country making this country the way it is?
  3.  Why is standard of living different for different people in this world?
  4.  Why 7 billion monkeys can’t stay connected and share joy and pain, thoughts and ideas, like one happy big family?
  5.  What is that common point or thing that whole world can come together at?

In personal level, my questions were

  1.  What can I do to make this world a better place for people now and people from future?
  2.  How can I survive by doing what I love doing?
  3.  How can I still remain healthy and happy during all these trials and struggles?
  4. Who do I want to be known as when I die?

To find answers of those question, I needed to take a scientific approach.  I needed to form a hypothesis, build by lab, collect samples, research, experiment, test, understand.  For all that to happen, I needed to free up myself from my comfort zone and take a road to unknown.  That’s when I found answers of the questions, (though still need to be cross verified and tested before I settle with.)  Nepalese people are the way they are because of ignorance and poverty.  What is lacking in this country is informed and financially independent people.  Different people have different standard of living because of the country they belong to — people with better standard of living got born in a country with better foundation.  Humans until now have not been able to stay connected and share joy and pain, thoughts and ideas, like one happy big family because there is no medium as such to connect and lack common shared values and beliefs.  Whole world can come together at one point where there is zero threat, absolute acceptance regardless of differences, guarantee of existence, and support for individual growth.  Then, I thought over my strengths and weaknesses, my limitations, things I am passionate about, that I love doing, my challenges and potential setbacks, and I imagined myself in a deathbed and number of obituaries and response thereafter.



All those questions, their answers and thoughts and assumptions are what took me to where I am today and whatever I am up to.  Kmag or Kaagmandu Magazine is result of that. It’s a platform that will be known for informing people, connecting people, uniting people, empowering people.

Dream

A giant organisation, where comes together creative people, artists and intellects, scientists and innovators, researchers and developers, doing what they love doing without need to worry about money, and then distributing and showcasing their works to billions out there for greater good of locals and globe.  I don’t know where it will be located nor I am particular about, but I wish it be located where it was born.

That envisioned Kmagz dot com is 5-10 years far from now.  This website is a small step towards.





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Editorial

Entrepreneurship, Money, and Common Nepalese

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“The fear of being different prevents most people from seeking new ways to solve their problems”

I don’t know from where to start because sometimes I really need to take a delicate approach when I have to explain something to some of my Nepalese fellas. You know they are just so sweet and innocent, the way they think and perceive is mostly emotional, and above all, with all that years of brainwashing on absurd ideas and concepts and political philosophies, it’s really hard to explain certain things to my people, especially when it comes to business and money and things like that. Anyway, let me try to explain this.

Someone posted this in a start-up group expressing dissatisfaction for our attempt of monetizing the context. I could hear similar allegation on the comment section of the post as well.

Let’s start from this.

What is money? It’s a medium of exchange. You want a shoes, shoemaker wants rice. Money works as a medium to exchange. Is there anything evil there? No.

That’s exchange of trade for need.

You want a gem, gem dealer wants ticket to Goa to chill. Money works as a medium to exchange. Is there anything evil there? No.

That’s exchange of trade for luxury.

You want to build a road in your village, you pay the dozer guy for the work and the money received will be used for his need or luxury by the dozer guy. Again, money is a medium of exchange here. Is there anything evil there? No.

That’s exchange of trade for societal cause.

Money is nothing but a medium of exchange and it’s the most popular medium of exchange because everyone accepts it. Money itself is neither evil nor divine. A money received by a prostitute may be donated to temple or in paying school fee for her children. Also, money received by the most reputed man in town may go to a thief to buy a knife.

Basically, money is nothing but a medium of exchange. However, some people in Nepal has considered money as something special, something rare, something big and something like …I don’t know what to say, a God, maybe? They have this idea that you should exchange only certain things for money and not for everything …definitely not for societal or political thing.

Like for example, if someone is making road for all, don’t ask for money..just work for free. If someone is trying to raise voice for all, don’t ask for money, do it for free.

Now, in reality, it does not work that way, because everything is exchange in this world and money is invented as a solution to ease the exchange.

Today, humans have everything from nano robot to rocket because of the concept of money. Money itself has no meaning. It’s we humans who have agreed to give a meaning to it to self-motivate and let the exchange to go beyond daily needs. As a result, we have this world full of devices and gadgets and technologies, books and toys and cutters.

That’s what money does.  It motivates people to think beyond and produce stuffs, which otherwise would not be produced.  It motivates people to be creative, innovative, so that they could make something that others would buy, and the money in return could be used to buy foods for home, or pay bills and fees for kids or go for a vacation with loved one.

Coming back to badge

If I have to distribute that badge for free, I need to get it printed for free, which means printer guy has to get his ink for free.  The chain goes on.   If not, someone has to fund the project and I distribute it for free.

This country is f* because of that very same idea of “better get funded than monetize, when it’s for societal or political cause.”

Dull boring posters everywhere, whenever it comes to political or societal activities.  Dull, boring people everywhere, when it comes to political or societal movements.  Because we think it’s so f*cking wrong to exchange anything for money when it comes to political or societal thing.  Guess what? Only dull and boring people with their talent-less works and activities.

So dear cute little innocent Nepalese fellas, there is nothing wrong in selling badges or t’s or even dance party tickets for social causes.  Yes, the other side will collect some money, so what??  What do you think the money will be used for? It will be reinvested on people and market to get more creative and innovative that would inspire many others, filling market with more talented and creative activists.

In the end, society gets social message in more creative, innovative and effective way.  Team gets better motivation and energy to carry on.  Market gets more money flowing in.  No one dies taking money.  It all will be in the economy.  But, new products, new scope is added on.

Take the money out of the equation and see what will be there.  No money in economy.  Boring and dull products distributed for free, thus no value, nothing.   No scope, no motivation.

Which one is better?

So, go sell something for Nirmala, for Kalapani, for climate change, for whatever you are deeply moved by.  There is a name for it, and it’s called social entrepreneurship.   That’s better because you don’t need to beg around for funding, and it’s sustainable way of carrying on.  It’s hard for socialist and communist to understand that.  You don’t be the kind.

Just remember this:  We collectively have been so poor for so long – from generations to generations – because we never understood the concept and idea behind money.  How will you make something, that you have not understood in first place?

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Editorial

We are poor because we hate money

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“If you hate rich people, if you hate money, if you hate how economy works, you are destined to die poor,” a wise man once told.  

During my recent Bangalore visit, I got to meet some start-up founders.
 
One of them was a lady probably in her mid-20s. Her company is into digital marketing. They call themselves branding experts and they claim themselves to be quite creative. Went through couple of videos made by them and also couple of their works. They also do social media marketing. I asked, “how much do you guys charge for handling a page?” She said “depends…starts from 2 lakhs.” She employees 15+ people.
 
Met another team who runs a research company. They charge anywhere between 5-25 lakhs for conducting a market research.
 
Likewise, had also met entrepreneurs, business enthusiasts, freelancers. They all have similar stories, similar spirits and passion and they all are hungry for money, bold enough for money.
 
Meeting those people, I didn’t find myself any less or inferior, nor I find my people less creative or less talented, but I noticed there is something in them that we don’t have and that is, guts to throw numbers, guts to dream numbers, guts to chase numbers. Personally, my heart would tremble to ask 6-digit fee for a consultancy or a month-long research and they ask the number for social media handling. By the time, they start their business, they are in few crore valuation. In a year or two, 10 cr company. In 5 years, 100 cr company. That’s the trend and target, they all are up to.
 
One the way back home, I was thinking, why do we fear so much to dream big numbers? why do we tremble? why are we so cheap? why do we settle with peanuts? and many similar questions.
I think I found the answer in those thinking. It has something to do with the society and culture I belong to, and what they say and how they say when it’s about money and numbers, especially big numbers…and I grew up thinking as if it’s a shame and insane to think big numbers, chase big numbers.  Somehow, I am psychologically programmed to fear the number beyond certain point.
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Editorial

Nepal deserves the best…let’s not see the world in East and West

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Every now and then, when we differ on values and ideas and concepts of how life should be, how society should be and how country should be, we start labelling each other as eastern and western, and I know where it is coming from, so I am writing you this opinion piece, not to change you but to make you think, make you understand to help you make an informed decision on concepts, ideas, philosophies, beliefs that you would be living by and nurturing your children and grand children by, because kids that are nurtured by informed elders will make a wonderful country and society, and I care about that because my children and grandchildren are going to be in the very same society and country. So, please read it with patience with bit of smile on your face.

“Our country is not west. Keep your western sh*ts away.”

If I could really take away “western sh*ts” to make you happy, I would be ending up taking away democracy, gender equality, human rights, property rights, constitution, concepts of power division, freedom of expression, science and disciplines, and many many more things that guide today’s business, politics, industries — almost everything — based on which all the great inventions have been made, been distributed, and consumed. What would you be left with?

Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you feel inferior but just give you a bit of reality bite.

See? That is why we should not make things about east and west. Because if you remove the label, it’s all about human things.

Let me take you to history. Somewhere, 300-400 years back, in another part of the world, which happened to be west of Earth, some humans were pissed off with church, their priests, bible, the so called culture and tradition, their kinds and their kins and clans. They deeply felt something not right with their world, so they started thinking, discussing, debating on how the world should be, how politics should be, how human lives should be. They would write essays on, books on. Those humans would be later known as philosophers and thinkers, based on whose thoughts and ideas, modern values and principles were set, politics were based, movements were anchored, that pave the path for science, industry, technologies turning the world into as we know.

What were we doing that time? I am talking about the so called Eastern world, or to be more precise, Indian subcontinents? British came much later if that’s what you want to blame to. Answer is, we were in our own religious interpretation of the world and instead of making it a discourse driven, we were imposing it through kings and his kins and clans- sometimes Muslim empires and sometimes Hindu empires. When humans from west were dumping their Bible and trying to search answers from multi-dimensional approach and spreading it through essays and books, humans from east were only busy proving if answer is in Geeta or Veda or Quran or other doctrines.

That’s how humans from west got ahead of rests. Then came the Prithvi Narayan Shah, then became Nepal. Sadly, source of knowledge for this newly born country was only from North. And we know what happened for next 200 years.

So here we are, the humans from Himalayas, fighting over east versus west, who historically neither had a role in making of western philosophies nor in making of eastern. For what??

I tell you for what, and where your hate towards west is coming from. There is again a history, but I will make it short. If you remember when you were a kid, you would hear something like “paschatya sangit” “paschatya sanskriti” in a hatred tone as if that is such a bad thing. Those running radio/TV were quite against them. Where was that hate coming from? Who was behind? I leave that up to you to your own rational thinking, that you are capable of. All I am trying to say is that this East Vs West thing in Nepal, which anyway had no contributions whatsoever on any front, been into this division long before you were born.

Now, here we are and the steering is in our hand. Our option is to either see the world as East and West like some people want us to or see the world as One Earth, humans as one race, and pick up good things from every corner possible. I understand your concern for cultural identity but hey it’s just an illusion. Our grand father thought lighting a ghee candle is culture, dad replaced it with wax candle and called it culture, and we replacing with electric bulb and calling it culture.

Anyway, in short, everything that we call east, west, Chinese, Indian, is nothing but a label we created just for our own ease of communication. Problem arises when we make it a matter of ego, dignity, pride, identity, and get more political that we only miss the broad options available otherwise.

We are in a way fortunate that we are the youngest country who is building its foundation in the era of Internet and social media that information is freely available on anything and everything.

Unlike old Nepal, this time, we are neither east nor west. We are a part of the world, who deserves the best and taking only what’s working. We don’t want to be the kind who goes around talking about benefits of cow pee but only visits Manipal Hospital. That happens when your ego is bigger than your rationalism.

Our children and grand children deserve better. It starts from us. Let’s cut the East/West crap.

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