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User Experience Researcher at • I help design accessible & inclusive products that users love!
  • In 2019, the failure rate of startups was around 90%
  • Here’s how to not become a statistic & help your startup achieve the celebrated Product-Market fit

The sobering reality of startup failure rates

  • In 2019, the failure rate of startups was around 90%. Research concludes 21.5% of startups fail in the first year, 30% in the second year, 50% in the fifth year, and 70% by their 10th year.

Early-stage startup failure rates

9 out of 10 startups fail (source: Startup Genome)

7.5 out of 10 venture-backed startups fail. Harvard Business School lecturer Shikhar Ghosh says in a WSJ article that 75% of venture-backed companies never return cash to investors and…

UPI payments look unstoppable in India with the lockdown driving record adoption, but how easy to use are the existing digital payments apps for the typical user? Our findings might surprise you.


While living in Kerala, I observed that certain user groups were finding using digital payments very challenging & frustrating.

I was helping my neighbour set up his Google Pay, and he asked a few questions that I would never have thought to consider.

This exploratory research study is inspired by that incident.

That exchange motivated me to carry out an Exploratory Study on Digital Payments use in India

Where do we end & our digital selves begin?

“We’re already a cyborg. People don’t realize — we’re already cyborgs because we’re so well integrated with our phones and our computers. The phone is almost like an extension of yourself. If you forget your phone, it’s like a missing limb. — Elon Musk

The rise of the modern man-machine

Kraftwerk are the fathers of all electronica

It’s interesting we’re still having this conversation because it’s been almost 15 years since I remember reading an article in Reader’s Digest Magazine about Kevin Warwick, who is known for his studies on direct interfaces between computer systems and the human nervous system.

He implanted an RFID…

Accessibility means how well a design maximises equal access to digital interfaces for everyone in society


User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services and its products


UX Design

UX design is a human-centred design approach that is entirely built around the journey a person takes from first engagement with the company or product, to the point at which they end engagement.

It involves market research, usability tests and user feedback analysis to try to streamline the user’s journey and make it as seamless and pleasant as possible. UX design is not limited to the digital domain.

You’ll be shocked at how fast it really is to master skills if only you stack all the work upfront

Tools, Concepts & Frameworks

These are what Tim Ferriss calls meta-skills.

These are conceptual and cognitive frameworks which improve the rate & quality of your skill acquisition, and the quality of your information processing.

Pareto Principle or 80/20 Rule

The Pareto principle states that for many outcomes roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of the causes (the “vital few”).[1] Other names for this principle are the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity.


A mind map is a tool for the…

My approach for learning Malayalam, or any other language really

Notes before you start

If you’re not used to the sounds & flow of South Indian languages (if you’re primarily a hindi or english speaker), you’ll not be able to pick up sentences just by learning vocabulary.

I speak English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Kutchi, and because of similarity between languages & immersion/exposure when young, understand some Sindhi (similarity to Kutchi), Marwadi, Rajasthani (Similarity to Gujarati & Hindi) & Punjabi.

Sanskrit vocabulary is also easy to pick up for Hindi speakers.

I should point out I don’t have a particular gift for languages as such, and even after months & years of staying in places…

The view from my workplace in Dehradun

A huge mass of dark clouds approaches. A few determined raindrops patter me & my phone occasionally. The smell of rain, wet mud & assorted forest foliage light up my olfactory nerve. A thin sliver of crimson underlines the clouds in the horizon, like a divine teacher has marked the evening with a perfect score in red ink.

I see clouds breaking against the mountains in the distant, finally winning & covering the peaks in a thick, heavy blanket.

I spent the day working, talking to people & connecting on LinkedIn.

I don’t think many people have an office quite…

Table of Contents

  • The 80/20 Principle aka Pareto’s Law
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle gain
  • The Minimum Effective Dose (MED) & Parkinson’s law

The 80/20 Principle aka Pareto’s Law

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes

SImply speaking, the 80/20 principle states that 80 percent of your results will come from focusing on 20 percent of the work. This principle holds true to fitness as well.

From Wikipedia
The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 principle) has…

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Your willpower is limited
  • Motivation doesn’t last
  • The 5 Stages of Fitness Grief
  • Habits
    0–3 Months
    3–6 Months
    6–12 Months
    1 Year Onwards
  • Tracking variables


It’s the new year. You’re done with the hedonism of the holidays & make a resolution to get fitter & have the body of a model by the end of the year. You watch your diet, get started on a new fitness regime & hire a personal trainer to keep you motivated & accountable.You’re doing good, with some initial fat loss & some muscle gain, & get compliments from your friends.

And then, you…

Don’t feel bad if you’re not doing anything *AMAZING* or *SPECIAL* for Christmas & NYE or spending it solo: you’re not alone

The whole artifical facade of semi-forced holidays has been designed that way to make us feel like shit about ourselves so that we’ll go out looking to fulfill that *loneliness* or *emptiness* & spend more money on overpriced reservations & shit service.

Marketers & especially social-media has conditioned us into thinking that way, taking advantage of our inherent *cognitive biases* & the *dopamine reward system* so that we're constantly comparing ourselves to others: our body-size, income, partner & friends, vacations, toys we buy for ourselves & so on & so on.

Since we're also tribal creatures because of our hunter-gatherer…

Yash Chheda

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