Have you heard the story of Icarus? The mythical Greek hero who flew triumphantly out of prison with wings made of wax, only to fall into the sea when he went against his father's instructions and flew too close to the sun?
What if that story was a lie, told by people who stayed on the ground all their lives and never dared to fly? What if the sky is full of people like him, living among the stars, after discarding wings they didn't need any longer?
Our world is full of deep-rooted lies, ones we tell ourselves, to each other, and our children.
We are told money is a fair measure of value, and that actors deserve to be paid more than nurses.
We are told there is an "us" and "them," although the entire human race has lower genetic diversity than a group of 50 chimpanzees.
We are told kids have to sit still and learn from a book from 9 to 3, and never chase a butterfly.
There are many more, big and small, because our world is built on myths, not truth. The only thing real about it is the people in it, their hopes, dreams, and pain.
As we stand on the pinnacle of human achievement, we face a choice. Dare to fly with fragile wings or fall into the abyss for lack of courage.
In this newsletter, I explore what is real and what is not at the intersection of technology and humanity in the most populous country in the world, India. I talk about writing, culture, technology, and startup life in Bangalore. I also discuss my constant battle for focus in a noisy world and share practical lessons I've learned.
Now, a bit about the person behind these words.
I am a writer and brand marketing strategist based out of Bangalore, India, where I live with my wife and 3-year-old daughter. Like many Indians, I got a degree in Engineering before figuring out that wasn't the right fit, especially because I needed a break year to graduate. I did an MBA in marketing and ended up in a decade-long career in market research, starting in social listening for global healthcare companies and broadening into digital analytics and strategy.
At the pinnacle of my career, as a VP at a massive company, I found myself miserable again. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 35, which in hindsight explains everything from my eternal curiosity to my constant chase for novelty. I took a significant risk and quit my job with two home loans and a child. Since then, I've been on a mission to find my calling in life, which currently involves me becoming a professional writer and brand strategist for B2B companies and social enterprises. I now work as the Head of Strategy at Everything.Design and run Talini, a small fashion label I co-founded with my wife. You can find out more about my professional pursuits at sharathcgeorge.com
The "Icarus Project" was the name I penned down in my journal at a cafe, shortly before taking the plunge into the unknown, and the name of the folder on my computer with all the work I have done since then.