How to work with me

Apr 21, 2023

Hi, I am Malay. I am a generalist. I build whatever is required, and solve whatever problem comes my way. I reason from first principles and think broadly.

Note: This document is not static. It will evolve with me.

My values

Following are a few principles I operate with. I try to stick to these in every aspect of my life

Curiosity beats expertise

I believe if you are curious you can figure out anything, and learn anything. Experts are only valuable in super specific problems and these problems are rare. I believe if I focus on asking the right questions I can find out the answers myself or I can find out the expert that I need to ask for help. Either way, being curious beats being an expert in a specific thing. 

Value beats process

If what I am doing doesn't create value, I won't do it. If I don't see how a thing creates value, I will talk about it. If I find out what I am doing is not that valuable in the middle of my doing it, I am okay with dropping it. I don't attach myself to my work in that manner. The only thing I care about is whether I am being valuable or not. I own the value I create, not the things.

Processes are important. But value creation still stays at the top of my priority list. If your process comes my way or if it doesn't make any sense, I will bypass it and take measures to remove it.

A faster iteration cycle beats intelligent design

I am a big proponent of the lean startup method. I am all for building MVPs. Let's build the stupidest thing that gives the signal of directional correctness first. We can add bells and whistles later. Let us launch asap. If shit goes south, we'll figure it out.

I apply the same methodology to the ideas I have. Get your ideas a glimpse of reality, and purge them if they don't work. Because if you build on top of a faulty foundation, you will have an unreliable belief system. So test your beliefs regularly.

Measuring directional correctness is worth the effort

Always set up instrumentation to measure whether the direction you are headed takes you to the place you actually want to go.

Creating requires some chaos

As companies get bigger we tend to pile processes on top of each other and end up in a place where movement becomes harder with every passing day.

I understand you need some process to create sane working conditions. But a lot of processes prevent progress. And process piling on each other is a slippery slope, which can only be avoided if someone injects a little bit of chaos into the system once in a while. I will do it if I see the need.


Things that I actively avoid. If you have these, we will have a lot of friction working together.

You value consensus and process more than getting things done

I am not a fan of deep-multi-approval-multi-signoff-hierarchical processes. The reasons are detailed above.

And consensus is not equal to truth. I value truth over consensus. Also, consensus converges to the average, not to the best.

You value expert opinions as if they are gospel

Most experts are wrong most of the time. Because they have a deep but narrow view of reality and most of them are unable to zoom out to see the bigger picture.

If you are an expert at something, I respect you for the investment you have made in the field. And I will come to you for your help.

But if you are doing something and you expect people to have the expert knowledge to come and ask you questions, we will have a problem. 

You don't value my time

I protect my time with my entire being. If you take it for granted, we will have a problem.

You get butt hurt by feedback

If I see something not working out, I will tell you. I will also lay out why it might not be working out if I have some thoughts. I always want to be proven wrong. (Lean ideas!). So correct me if I am wrong.


You work with me

Thanks for working with me. I hope you enjoy being around me. Here are a few things you probably should know

If I am not learning around you, you won't find me around you

This is how I operate. I value learning above all.

How to give me feedback

I actively seek feedback. Any form of it is welcomed. I will owe you one if you give me valuable feedback. Here is how to do it.

Be direct. Don't worry about hurting my feelings, bring it on. E.g.:

  • On execution: "I notices you did X and it wasn't good. Can you do this differently? <suggest an alternative if you have anything, if you don't, that's also fine>"
  • On my personality: "You can improve your communication skills. You sound X way. < suggest a solution or a direction >"
  • On directional correctness: "I think what you are doing will not get you to where you want to be. < Please continue, I value direction feedback the most >"

How I give feedback

I ask questions and lay out what I think. 

I trust my intuition. I find it generally useful. So If I have an intuitive understanding of something that I can't explain well (yet), I will lay it out truthfully and we can discuss it. If you think I am being stupid, say so. I will be okay. That's the whole goal of the discussion.

How to help me

Point me in a direction. I will figure out the rest. 

How to ask for help

I am deeply interested in trying to help you figure out the direction you should be going in. Lay out your goals and where you are at right now and we will work out the trajectory together.

If you want technical help, ping me on Slack. Will get back to you as soon as possible.

How to explain things to me

  • Layout your assumptions and your hypothesis/theory behind whatever you are explaining to me. Start with the first principles. Meaning, if we are in a company together, start with the business value proposition first and build on top of it.
  • Assume I am ignorant
  • If you feel like using jargon, please don't. Unless you know for a fact that I am well-versed in your lingo.



You want to work with me

Thank you for your interest. Please read this document fully to see the cultural alignment. If you have any clarifying questions you can reach out to me. 

Here is what you need to know before we work together:


Sell me why you are doing what you are doing. If I buy your intentions and agree with the value proposition, you won't have to motivate me ever again. I go all-in on whatever I do. No half measures.


I will ask you so many questions that you'll start questioning your existence. And in the process, we will figure out the problems we are trying to solve. If you can't accommodate this we can't work together.

Org size

Do you have thousands of employees? Yes? Chances are, I won't like working with you. (with a few exceptions. Ping me if you think you are one of the exceptions after reading this)


Again, I will ask a lot of stupid questions, to begin with. I am okay with being called a fool, but are you okay with me asking?

I hope we make some cool shit together! Cheers!