Career Full Interview Interview

Want to Solve Big F***kin’ Problems? Watch This Interview to Learn Where To Start

Why Give a Damn:

Yes, Manoj Sinha holds 10 US patents. That only scratches the surface. Manoj speaks about how to take on the BFPs in the world, and gives valuable advice on how to succeed in an energy market.

We know there is a problem. The question is how do we begin to address it?.  Tweet This Quote

Bio: Manoj Sinha is the Co-Founder of Husk Power Systems, an organization’s whose objective is to electrify rural India. Husk Power Systems converts rice husks, an abundant waste product for Indian villagers, into biogas. These biogas can then be captured to produce affordable electricity. By the end of 2010, Husk Power Systems will have successfully electrified 125 villages and hopes to expand its services to over 5,000 villages, providing electricity for over 20 million people. He received an MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Amherst and completed his MBA at the University of Virginia. Manoj and his founding team were named “social entrepreneurs of the year” by Fast Company and Husk Power Systems was named “top student innovation” by the New York Times in December 2008. Manoj has secured investment from the Acumen Fund and the Shell Foundation and won the Draper Fisher Jurvetson – Cisco Global Business Plan Competition. He is an alumnus of the Global Social Benefit Incubator program, previously served as a microprocessor designer at Intel, and holds 10 U.S. patents.

Fail learn. Fail learn. Fail learn. Make it an iterative process and then one day it will happen.  Tweet This Quote

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Unreasonable Media

Unreasonable Media

As a company, Unreasonable Media is dedicated to leveraging the power of stories to shift paradigms and solve problems. That's why we have made almost all the videos you see on this site. Long story short, we are not your average production company. Visit our site to see for yourself.

  • Jack Delabar

    Good interview, Dan. I also believe that immersing oneself in the suggested problem is the most basic and concrete way to solve it, but that is a problem in itself! So many of our country’s leaders are trying to solve poverty, health care, unemployment problems etc… but many of them have never had to experience the pain of being poor, unemployed etc.. It’s horrible! Something that comes to mind when thinking about this topic is the TV series “Undercover Boss”. The owners of companies dive into the every day life of their employees, going through the same overlooked hardships as they do. It is an eyeopening experience in most cases and can make a huge difference in a company. This needs to start happening on a higher level. Thanks for the interview!

  • Liemd

    Developing resilience is a step to success. If you fail that means you need to learn more. But, building resilience to succeed is not as simple as that, especially when emotion involves.

  • natebbeard

    Jack, I agree, but what does a higher level look like? Like Undercover Boss or Jeff Bezos and Amazon managers spending two days a year in the call center? How could a country leader trying to solve poverty, health care, or unemployment truly step into the shoes of someone who experiences that everyday? I thought this post gives some pretty valid advice: medium.com/p/996f52f795e7
    For me, I feel like school is purgatory right now. Sometimes I feel like attempting to dive into problems like global poverty blindly is associated with committing career suicide. Sometimes I feel like getting a good paying job that gives me experience after school is selling out. I feel like this is a decently common struggle of people who don’t grow up in poverty.

    Maybe it’s less of diving into the problem and more of diving into the shoes of people experiencing the problem?

  • TallPaul14

    This was a great video to see, inspiring as well. Fail, learn , fail, learn is a great way to look at. Although taking failure is not an easy task, people rarely solve a BIG problem on their first try. It’s this determination to solve the problem that will keep entrepreneurs going at it. Even if it is a BFP, it can be solved with enough effort.

  • I didnt like this interview so much or at least the snippet that was given because it gave an obvious answer. STOP DAYDREAMING ABOUT WHAT IF AND ACTUALLY GET UP AND DO SOMETHING. Maybe im not being fair here though…looking for something big and extravagant to be explained in this video. Maybe this is very basic and fundamental but it is crucial. a person can have the best business plan or model but if they dont get up off their but and make moves to get something done, nothing will change

  • cameruca4

    I absolutely agree. I understand the premise of the interview, but building resilience is a difficult task, especially when many people aren’t willing to get up and take risks in the first place.

  • kabbasuf

    Being from a developing country myself, stories like Manoj’s really inspire me. I mean, there’s a lot to be done in our respective countries, and sometimes it feels hopeless. You just want to give up and live for yourself, yet you know that is not a choice. Thank you for showing the rest of us what is possible. Failure is a chance to get the F*ck up and keep moving.

  • mollymorrisey

    I like the quote about repeating the process of failure and learning. Failure should always be seen as an opportunity to learn and grow.

  • Britnee_Kay

    I agree with what you are saying completely. If more “rich” people started knowing what it was like to be a “poor” person working their asses off for the little they get, maybe there might be more people willing to fight for fair wages for everyone.

  • nguyenb7

    As a soon-to-be-gradate, I am planning to go back and work in my country-which is still developing. And to be quite honest, I am very nervous about this as a penguin worrying about his migration from the North Pole to the Zoo (or somewhere else). The metaphor maybe funny but the fear is real for me to move to a complete different environment (I’ve been far away from home for too long). And the only things I hold dearly is the faith to be successful and the will to learn from every situation. Well, thank you so much for the video. It helps.

  • mcniffm

    So interesting to hear his perspective of solving big problems in the world. The big take away for me was that you don’t have to know exactly how to solve the issue but once you are aware of the problem and know the demand is there, the biggest step is just addressing it and starting there.

  • I agree that it is important to learn from failures and improve from it. Rather than just failing and giving up all together.

  • Mcgrailkk30

    As a future educator I LOVE his approach to solving problems. In my opinion the philosophy can be applied to solving all sizes of problems not just the BFPs. In life if we have a problem we have to just “do the work” to go out and solve it. If you can’t do it alone “partner with someone.” Most importantly understand that you’re going to fail but you learn from it. We learn from mistakes in the “fail learn, fail learn, interactive process” How do you think it is best to handle someone who gets discouraged by the fail learn fail learn process?

  • tayler_schroeder

    Failure is the best way to find out what does not work! If you hit a bend in the road that doesn’t mean it is the end of the road. It’s just a new chance to begin again more intelligently.

  • jsuuu

    His perspective of solving problems is so interesting to learn from. Failure is exactly the effective way to learn during the process to success. I agree with his approach of where to start.

  • Brian Tanudjaja

    Good interview. I agree that failure is one of the best teacher if you are willing to learn from it. Successful people are those who have an unwavering resolve and keep learning from their mistakes.

  • IndartoEpriladinata

    I think Manoj Sinha deserves to receive those accomplishments
    because it seems that he perseveres in his careers.

    I really like his quote, it reminds me to never give up on what we want.

  • Jane Park

    Fail, learn, fail, learn, fail, learn.. One can’t simply give up if their original plan doesn’t go where he/she wanted it to go. Although almost everyone knows that failure can result in growth/ more knowledge, it’s tough to get back on our feet when it actually occurs. Entrepreneurs must have resilience and a genuine desire to affect change in the world, or BFPs would just never be solved!

  • Drew Cox

    Thanks for the short clip Daniel. I couldn’t agree more that to get anywhere in life we need to fail and fail again. Because when we fail, we learn and then we fail again only to learn more! Noone will ever go out and succeed their first time. One of my favorite quotes is “fall down 7 times, stand up 8” – Dwayne Wade. The idea that we shouldn’t give up when failure occurs. Overcoming frustration is half the battle, the other half is being able to address and overcome that obstacle holding you back. Manoj made some great remarks that we can all embark and carry in the back of our heads as we move forward!

  • ignatius epriladinata

    I really like this post. This post actually remind me to never give up when we fall down. It’s part of the learning to be success. And therefore, when you fail don’t ever think to be given up, but try to learn from your mistakes. It is said that the best teacher is not your teacher in school, instead your experience when you fail and you learn from it.

  • Kait Harman

    This is quite an interesting video. We all need to know how to solve problems and Im sure most of us think we know how to. Even if you are not a business person this video can help out everyone. The key point to this video was when he say “know the real problem then you know the real solution.” People believe they can solve problems when they aren’t educated enough about the things they are trying to fix. Why do people not take the time to educate themselves about problems before fixing them.

  • Keiichi

    I can agree what he is trying to say to entrepreneur people. If we do not get into the real fact, we could not feel real problem in the market. To be succeed in the market, we have to keep feeling the problems and learning it. This is best way to keep up a new business better.

  • Cory Zaeske

    Nobody is perfect. In the world today if you want to succeed you have to learn from your mistakes. I believe the big problem for people is the fear of making mistakes but if you don’t look in the past and simply move forward, you are going to succeed and learn from your mistakes. Have their been mistakes in your life that you moved on from and eventually found success?

  • chrinsmas

    it seems it is important to have a goal and keep on trying what you believe even though it fails you. You will get to the point after learning lessons from those failed moments.

  • Palecekb

    Drew, I completely agree with your outlook of agreeing we need to fail to learn from our mistakes, it is beneficial. Relating to the quote “fall down 7 times, stand up 8” was actually a japanese proverb that translated into “seven falls, eight getting up”. Although Dwayne Wade, the famous basketball player may use this saying because it could have related to his life personally, it is not words of his own. You must feel Wade does a good job of relaying the ideas of others, would you say that Manoj did a good job of relaying his own opinion to readers such as you and me as Wade does to his fans?

  • Palecekb

    Thank you for this video, it is very inspirational to tell people if you want to fix it, go fix it, simple as that. I am curious though of what you would suggest if the fail cost you money, money you did not have. What would be the next step of recovering from the fail and trying to move forward in fixing the big problem?

  • Jessica Mendoza

    Thought this video is really straight to the point, it is very interesting. I love the concept of “we need to fail and fail again. No one will ever go out and succeed on there first time. People need to learn that failure is okay, it only helps you learn, and with that comes great growth, We have to learn to overcome everything that comes with failure; sadness, madness, frustration, and just remember that YOU will make it. We are a strong and powerful human race full on passion and we have to remember that we can get through any obstacle. We should use what Manoj had said and put it into our everyday lives. Thank you for this article!

  • laurenkraft

    Thank you for sharing this post. This interview was very interesting I believe this can encourage many different people to go out and do the things they want to do. I love the quote “fail learn, fail, learn, fail, learn”, this really inspires me because sometimes I feel like giving up. But like he said you need to make it an initiative in order to succeed! If I could ask you one question I would ask, what is one thing that you have failed at so many times before you made it an initiative to not fail?

  • kalscheuar30

    I think almost all of my previous places I’ve worked with should watch this. In particular the part where you mentioned to emerge yourself in the problem and solve it. I think most people higher up in authority make decisions that don’t make sense because they have no idea how things are actually run. Also using that method you would actually see the problems instead of making decisions without fully understanding them. The quote is also really cool as well. Do you think by failing and learning from it can be a long process?

  • Fabian Laguna

    Sinha is a truly inspirational man. Creating something out of nothing is what entrepreneurs do, and he is of those entrepreneurs who use that skill where it is most needed. In years to come, I hope to see more entrepreneurs who use their genus like Sinha does- to solve big f**king problems!

  • Ashley Nicole Rietbrock

    Thank you Daniel for another great post. I found this one to very inserting. I think this can be encouraging for many people especially for college students for going out and doing what they want to do. I really enjoyed the quote “fail learn, fail learn, fair learn,” because they are many times after a very stressful week at school that I want to give up and wonder if I made the right choice to come to college, or if I’m in the right career field. If I could ask you one question it would be how many times do you keep perusing something, but keep failing? Thank you again for the video/article I really enjoyed it.

  • Brandon

    Thank this is great post. i agree with the people below sure is inspiration to not give up when you feel like it.

  • pinsolera

    Thank for you for the post and the article below the video. A great aspect about this video is that Minoj said that even if he fails, he keeps going and going to find solutions to the BFP’s. Yes, without being relentless as he is, the world would not have as amazing stories. This is a great way to live and I completely agree with his way of life to solve the problems. For anyone in a rut that and are afraid to make that first step to prosperity, this is a great post to look at here.

  • Tim Rutkowski

    Great approach to solving the BFP’s. I know in today’s modern age, with the population ever increasing, the world has a higher demand for goods and resources. By starting to develop solutions to these problems now that can lead to more time and resources to solve future issues. I didn’t like how there was only one example of solving an BFP, maybe list other examples that others in your discipline are working on.

  • Jake Eckhardt

    I liked the quote about failing. Too often people see failure as a bad thing and give up prematurely. You really need to just learn what you can from that failure and move on instead of dwelling on it.

  • Jake Eckhardt

    I agree I always respect higher-ups who actually work with their employees that deal with the problem most and work with them to fix it, instead of just thinking they know the right solution every time without consulting anyone else.

  • Steven Bichler

    I love the fail learn part of this video. Its one thing to just get it right, right off the bat which is great. However you don’t fail at least once you don’t know what problems their may be and how to fix them for the next time. Sometimes the key to success is failure, and those failures can lead to successes that can change the world.

  • Katie Ackerman

    Obviously I was drawn to this post because of the title. I think you nailed it with the approach of emerging yourself in the problem to solve it. “fail learn. fail learn. fail learn.” I think college students deal with that every day, and it’s how we eventually succeed. How would you encourage someone who gets discouraged by this process?

  • Willie

    I like the solution he gave to people who don’t know where to start or how to start. I think it is great advise to use in any situation big or small. Just start doesn’t matter where or how little just start by doing something, whatever you can is defiantly better than nothing always.

  • Taylor Schulz

    Totally agree with your quote “fail learn. fail learn. fail learn.” I think that way too many people don’t think that failing is a part of becoming great. Without failures what will be learned? Failing is a part of life and a part of success. Thank you for sharing this article!!

  • clemonsel02

    I picked this article first of all based on the title. I feel like every person has come across one of these problems. I think that people when they get to them feel that they are going to fail so why even try. The video tells the complete opposite. I love the quote “Fail, learn, Fail, Learn, Fail, Learn.” This is the most important idea I think from this video it shows that it is okay to fail. That you are going to fail, but one day if you keep failing and learning you will achieve success. I believe that

  • Connor Driscoll

    Thank you for posting this interview. I cannot express how helpful this is to anyone looking to make a difference in the world. Too many people know about big problems in the world but fail to address them as they would like to. For example, people spend their time planning for long periods of time only to never execute their plan and then eventually give up. The key to success, as was stated in the interview, is to simply start and then ideas will come to you as you fail and learn. Daniel, would you agree that the bad times (when failure occurs) make the good times better?

  • Morgan Dowd

    What a go getter way to envision problem solving. But then again, entrepreneurs are go getters any ways. I agree with the interview. I just think that most entrepreneurs start businesses to help solve a problem and/or make a difference in the world. By fixing one problem, more problems may arise from that. I don’t think that a business can be started without a goal of solving a problem in the first place.

  • Anthony Urbanski

    Learning through failure is an extremely useful tool. I agree with the video that you should put yourself out there and try to solve the problem. However, I don’t think you should go at it as quickly as they illustrated in the video. I think after a time of failure a reflection period is needed in order to learn from previous attempts.

  • Amy Rink

    Thank you for posting this interview! Listening to Mr. Sinha speak as he discussed how to help with the world problems, he made it straight forward. We must go to the sight that needs help and just begin, once they find the real problem then they will find the real solution. Only the problem is no one is taking action on the issues. Without trying no one will know what truly can be done to help those that need it most. How would you get someone to help with the BFPs?

  • kristinwagner32

    Completely agree! College students are constantly going through this on a daily basis. The “fail learn” concept can only go so far before someone is so discouraged with themselves they give up. I think that is also a good question and I am wondering the same thing about how to motivate and help someone who has a hard time dealing with this process. Thank you!

  • Jen McKiernan

    I love that Mr.Sinah describes solving a problem with the “fail, learn, fail, learn” method. It is so easy to give up when you have failed especially when you have failed more than once but this video shows that even people who are as smart and successful as Mr.Sinah are constantly failing and that is what is making them better. Learning from your mistakes is the best way to succeed at something. How do you keep from getting too discouraged when things don’t seem to be working out?

  • Jessica Walker

    I like how you stated something along the lines of “start the work, know the real problem, find a solution.” And just like you said maybe you will screw up or maybe you will be successful. You don’t know until you put yourself out there to try. Yes we will all fail at sometime, but that is how you learn. If you do everything the right way all the time, you aren’t really taking something away from what you just did, you will just hope it works out the same way next time. Life is about trial and error. So many times we have problems and turn away from them. Is there a sequence of events you use to approach a problem?

  • benbl

    Try to solve a problem by
    working on the problem and go somewhere and work. If it does not work you try
    to again and improve your technology. I agree with this method of taking a
    business solution but what I learn is that it is also really important to learn
    from your success and know why you succeed is as much valuable that your
    failure.

  • Leahrebout

    Thank you for sharing Manoj’s interview! After watching the clip and reading his bio I can see that there probably isn’t anyone better to ask about how to solve big problems. To give electricity to that many villages is a huge accomplishment that is changing the world for those who live there, and I’m sure many would agree that that is a big f**king problem he was able to solve. How would you start to address a large scale problem and how would you find the help needed to solve it?

  • lshortreed

    I try to go workout, and remind myself that a grade doesn’t define me. I keep trying because quitting isn’t in my vocabulary.

  • lshortreed

    Tell them that it’s life and you have to learn somehow. You wont know how to fix a mistake unless you make on and fail.

  • lshortreed

    In addition your fail moments don’t end there. Through your entire life you learn lessons and make mistakes.

  • lshortreed

    Don’t just learn and grow in college or during your professional career but for the rest of your life.

  • Tammy Hartmann

    Thank you Daniel, for sharing your short and sweet article and your video; unfortunately, once again, I could not understand the video because of the lack of captions. I would also like a transcript of the video if possible.

    You wrote, “Fail learn. Fail learns. Fail learns. Make it an iterative process and then one day it will happen.” Exactly. Mistakes are learning opportunities. I am reminded of the movie, “Waiting for Superman,” and of how I feel that so many teachers and professors need to be more careful about the messages they send to students. Too many have given up after labeling themselves (or being labeled) failures.

  • Katie Ackerman

    “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein. You make an excellent point.

  • Ryan Geisel

    This is a really great idea. Compared to what I’d consider a normal way to solve a problem, this is great. It encourages people to go out and start working on the problem, while getting a complete understanding of what it is that the need to accomplish. While there are some who will research a problem and never understand it because they aren’t there to experience what needs to change.

  • Bangyan Zhang

    The best tool for us to solve big problem is doing. Everybody has their unique ideas and views for those problems around the world. Sometimes their ideas are useful or valid to solve the problem. However, the problem is that people only think about the solution. After that, they forget or they are lazy to research further. Thus, the most important thing is doing. Testing, researching, improving. We will learn a lot of things like knowledge, skills in study. Finally, maybe we can solve problems, learn some knowledge and improve the problem.

  • Kyle moore

    I love this article and speech because people always complain of problems but never seem to try and face them and understand what they can do to beat them. The true key to beating it is to never get up, to set short and long term goals, and to research many ways to accomplish the task. Problems are presented to people daily whether it is something physical, emotional, spiritual, etc. and people need to reduce those problems so stress levels can be lowered.

  • ReneeBinder

    I think this is a really good idea because he is helping people all over get electricity and making their lives easier. I also think the way he talks about goals is really important. This is something I try to do in life.

  • purperoar21

    The fault in solving problems effectively is not knowing where to start. That is due to thinking that if something is possible, its going to be simple. Going about solving a problem that is out of your reach is only possible once you start believing it is within your reach. From their realizing that it isn’t something you can tackle in one try, but rather putting multiple small efforts consecutively, will add up to make a huge difference. When it comes to making changes or solving problems, it really comes down to taking the initiative to actually try.