The status quo
A lot of knowledge in the business world is locked up in jargons. And it puts it out of reach for many folks. And this problem needs to solved. ASAP. Because, in recent times, business knowledge has become a horizontal skill layer like math or english. Everyone needs to know some bit of it. If you are in a job outside the typical business realm – like a developer, designer, UX researcher, legal counsel – I am sure you know by now you can add even more value than you already add, if you have an understanding of business models, pricing, basics of finance & accounting, and marketing. Knowing this stuff adds more context to your work and equips you to understand the larger picture of what’s happening in your company and industry.
But I also know many of you don’t want to spend ₹20 lakh on a MBA for this. Which makes sense. So the only option left is to google stuff on a need-to-know basis to learn. But Google throws a lot of links at you. You don’t know which one will explain the topic well. Many of those posts also use other jargon whose meaning you have to search for again, in parallel. One hour into googling, you have 20+ tabs open and still haven’t understood the basics of the topic.
What if there was someone who could explain to you all the basics of a topic in one place. So you don’t need to open 20 different tabs.
What if that someone promised to keep everything simple. So simple that you will not only understand the topic instantly but also remember it for long.
And what if they delivered these explanations regularly right in your email or whatsapp so you keep learning continuously and never break your streak.
That someone is Simplanations.
Simplanations is an attempt by me and my college friend, Azhar, to explain the inner workings of businesses using simple words and visuals so you can skip the hard work. The core idea is – if you want an intro to a business topic, you begin with reading its ‘simplanation’ before graduating to more advanced content on that topic elsewhere. But the promise remains. You want to understand a topic quickly – maybe for some reason at work, for an upcoming interview, or you are just a very curious cat – spend 10-15 minutes on the topic’s simplanation and you are done.
I say 10-15 minutes because that is the mimimum time required to get a basic but true understanding of something. One-minute explanation posts or videos scratch only the surface level. They don’t make you truly understand something. They just give your brain a dopamine shot and make you think you have learnt something. And content on sites like Wikipedia and Investopedia explain more of the ‘what’. They don’t go into the ‘why’.
Azhr and I want to avoid that with Simplanations. We don’t want to just say what something is (“definitions”). We really want to get into why something works the way it is (hence “inner workings”). What its history was. How did a series of events or decisions happen to result in something the way it is today. What other factorys influence it. Let’s take the topic of ‘venture capital’. We will not just explain what it is but also get into how did venture capital come into existence, how does it function, what are its different components like, say ‘carry’, and what’s the reason ‘carry’ exists.
Getting into this much depth obviously means you will end up with a 10-15 minute long read which can get boring. This is why for every Simplanation, after spending 10-15 hours on research, we also spend more than 10 hours on crafting an interesting story our of it that keeps you hooked till the end.