Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Jawwad Patel - I Keep a Record of The Criticism I Get

22 year old Jawwad Patel is a serial innovator. He has not graduated yet, he is studying his final year engineering, but has some 2000 innovations and 2 patents (Dew Drop and Smart Helmet). He is also nominated to the 'Young Scientist Award' I hear. I met Jawwad at the recent TEDx event held at VNR VJIET.

His story is fascinating. As a young child who preferred to play with Barbie dolls (in pink) he found he was shunned by boys his age. In his loneliness he started talking to a screw driver which he named Tony. He named all the gadgets in his room something or the other - the fan, the phone, the light etc and started talking to them - he made friends with them. In his loneliness he shared many secrets with the gadgets and was one day struck by this thought. 'Maybe I should know their secrets too,' eh thought and used Tony the screwdriver to open them up.
A snazzy pic from his website
Inside the gadgets he found many secrets that led him to understand technology really well. He would find problems - like controlling the temperature of the output from geyser (not scalding hot, not too cold but just right from drop one), putting a toaster on or even the geyser on from his bed instead of going to the switch etc. His exploits also led to a healthy dose of mischief at school which earned him many yellow cards (they had a system of yellow cards like in soccer).

His father put him in a school in Aurangabad (away from his home in Mumbai) and Jawwad would eventually wind his way back to Mumbai through a circuitous route. One fine day, in Latur perhaps, he found a young kid selling samosas looking at his water bottle. When Jawwad dropped the water by mistake the boy started to cry. Jawwad asked him why he was crying and the boy said he was from Latur where there was a drought and there was severe shortage of water. Moved by the child's problem Jawwad decided to use his mind to do something really useful. He put together a gadget called 'Dewdrop' which can produce 1.86 litres of water in one hour out of thin air. The investment in his invention is Rs. 2000. Many such ideas of his have been based on serious problems and most concern human equality, dignity. He has an empathetic soul and really feels for the people.

One thing he told me while we chatted was that he has been at the receiving end of criticism and even threats at times. 'But I keep a record of all the criticism I get,' he confessed. 'If its over mail I take a screenshot and file it. I look at it every now and then.'

Wow! That must be some motivation. To see that criticism and to prove the critics right is probably as much motivation as one can get. I haven't seen too many people do this - we somehow prefer the nice parts but if you want to grow in a hurry there is no time to be soft. Go for it.

I love Jawwad's technique and I am seriously considering filing all the criticism and knock each one off. I do believe this is perhaps the best motivation if you have the stomach for it. Like Frank Bettgar who said in his book 'How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling' that he vowed to be the most enthusiastic player and the most enthusiastic salesman once he got feedback that he lacked, energy, ambition and enthusiasm. And voila, those went out of the window and he got loads of success thanks to that.

Jawwad is such an affable young man who bowled me over with his empathy to people (which drives his inventions), his lack of arrogance and his total lack of any defence mechanisms. 'Sir, can i say this?' he asked with complete child-like innocence. I told him - just go and tell your story, forget about how. We're all here to listen to that. And tell he did in such a fashion that he got a rousing applause.

But this post is for this one important insight - that we can seek criticism, look at it in the eye and knock it over instead of flinching or hiding from it. 

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