Alibaba’s World: How a Remarkable Chinese Company is Changing the Face of Global Business

by Porter Erisman

23014882

  • Difficulty Level : Adult
  • Length : 256pages ( roughly 4 days )
  • Type: Business, Technology, Entrepreneur
  • My Rating: ***

Book Review:

This is a story of how Alibaba, from a small company survive and overcame their problems, its like a David versus Goliath story. Mr Porter was the International PR person when Alibaba started, he gives his perspective of his observations over at Alibaba.

From their relationship with Ebay, Yahoo and Google, the ups and downs, the author did a good job writing an entertaining journey when he working there. I have not read the other book on Alibaba: The House Jack Ma Built, I always think it is always good to look at as many perspectives as possible.

The quote i like from him is

” I’d joined Alibaba thinking I might learn something about business. But the most valuable things I’d learned from Jack were about life.”

At the end of the book he did gave 40 takeaways on what he learnt at Alibaba e.g.

  • In the Spring Prepare for Winter
  • Entrepreneurs Don’t Complain About Problems—They Solve Them
  •  Don’t Dwell on Mistakes
  • Embrace—Don’t Run Away from—Tough Decisions
  • Have the Team Work for the Goal, Not for the Boss
  • Don’t Let It Get Personal

 

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

by Cathy O’Neil

28186015

  • Difficulty Level : Adult
  • Length : 272pages ( roughly 4 days )
  • Type: Current Affairs, Big Data, Technology
  • My Rating: ****

Book Review:

O’Neil’s background is in education as a Math Professor after which she went to be a Hedge Fund analyst and she also sat with the Occupy War Street as well.

This book is about how Big data and Mathematical algorithms if used wrongly and blindly can lead to continuous negative feedback loops. She argues for the good and the bad of relying on such methods.

The Mathematical formulas were used to assist humankind, to be more efficient and to help save time and resource so that we can ultimately have a better quality of life. However, the intent will alter how the data will be used.

She used examples ranging from education, to policing , search engines , insurance differentiating and how we are fed with information discreetly. This is a great book for people to expand their understanding and be expose to how corporations utilize all the data that we provide to them as individuals.

The Paper Menagerie

By Ken Liu

  • Difficulty Level : For All Ages
  • Length : 13 pages ( roughly 15 min )
  • Type: Fiction
  • My Rating: *****

Book Review:

 

I think i read this short story many years ago, did not recall the name, but reading this again does bring back memories.

This is a short story about Memories and kinship, about the relationship between a Mom and her son. Mom gift to her child were paper animals (Origami), the magical aspect of it is she has the ability to breath life into them and they were able to play with her child.

There aren’t an ending and i guess it was purposefully done this way as well, to invoke each reader to have their own interpretation as well as for them to reflect on their relationship with others.

Link to story : The Paper Menagerie

The Richest Man in Babylon

by George S. Clason

1052

  • Difficulty Level : All Levels
  • Length : 144 pages ( roughly 1 day )
  • Type: Money Management
  • My Rating: *****

Book Review:

This is a book I will recommend to all people irregardless of race, age or religion. A simple book that most people will be able to read and comprehend important money management ideas in layman terms.

It can give a good basic framework to those people who just started out working. For those who have read or have some idea of money management, this book should supplement or refresh some ideas or parts of their financial concept.

3 Major Themes 1) Save 2) Invest Wisely 3) Watch your spending

Summary:

  1. Pay yourself first. ( Save a portion of your income first )
  2. Do not spend more than what you earn
  3. Concept of Budgeting
  4. Money saved should be Invested for it to multiply ( Power of compounding )
  5. Do your homework on what you wish to invest or spend
  6. Opportunities do not wait for those who procrastinate
  7. Perfect the skill of your profession so you can earn the money
  8. Self worth hinges on your own determination ( if you think you are worthless, you will be. One has to be determined to strive in whatever direction he or she will like to go towards )
  9. Focus, Determination and Hard work (+humble) will increase your chances of success

Buy the book Ebook