Compounding

Compounding – For everything 

The concept of simple interest was first taught to me in 6th standard. I was 12 years old then. Compounding is best understood as a mathematical formula, which is probably the only reason why it is taught in Maths. And that’s how I had always thought about it until 2013. In early April 2013, Ankit, my then room mate and childhood friend started complaining of backache. As engineers and problem solvers, we straight away started talking about possible solutions. Less driving, working on a table, fixing the laptop height. Nothing seem to work. The last solution provider on the list was a trip to the doctor. Ankit swallowed his macho-ego and made the trip. He got back in an hour and was silent than usual. It was probably the pain but then Ankit told a profound statement that the Doctor said – “ you have developed this pain over the last 10 years – because of wrong sleeping posture, lack of sleep, driving in a bad posture and you want this to go away in 3 days? Your pain has compounded over the years. You want to fix it – fix your lifestyle and see a compounding return over the next 30 years. Simple but not easy. Vice versa – smoke your lungs out for a long enough time and see your lungs rotting.  

In another casual conversation with Sachin, my cofounder, we discovered that compounding is a phenomenon that applies that not only to money, health but also relationships. Looking back, the friends I am closest with are not the ones that I work with 8 hours a day but the friends I made when I was in school and I have spent few hours every week with. These relationships, these fewer relationship are the one’s that I refer to as my support system. And support systems are not built in an year but over decades. Compounding at its best. Giving time is probably the best thing you can do with a habit, a routine, a friend, a spouse. Also explains why the bond we share with our siblings and parents is the strongest one. That relationship has compounded over years and continues to. 

In hindsight the concept of compounding should have been taught in every subject and the application of compounding to money should have given to students as a project. 

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