e27 Reading list #4: How Jack Ma did it; Page optimizations and successful entrepreneurs

Jacky Yap

Other than reporting news, e27′s editorial team reads extensively and we want to share with you some valuable takeaways. Here’s our reading list for the week.

How I Did It: Jack Ma, Alibaba.com, by Rebecca Fannin

Snippet from the article:

“There were three reasons why we survived. We had no money, we had no technology, and we had no plan. Every dollar, we used very carefully .”

What I really enjoyed about the article:

Reading the founding story of Alibaba inspired me. Jack Ma seems to have a knack for breaking status quo. His interest in learning English gave him that lead above his peers in China as he began to understand that what he is seeing is not the limit of reality. Even his lack of knowledge in the Internet did not stop him from establishing one of China’s most dominant Internet companies.

- Joash Wee, Editor


Will the real CIO please stand up?, by Peter Hinssen

Snippet from the article:

Many so-called CIO’s limited themselves to supplying their colleagues with copies of Microsoft Office on laptops, and ever so kindly offered them SharePoint servers to store their documents. But very few had a solid influence on how companies deal with content, build up knowledge, and how they could innovate with information. Many CIO’s provided their employees with cell-phones, then Blackberries, and – when it became impossible to postpone the inevitable – with iPhones and other Smartphones. They gave the gift of nomad hardware and software – secured it – and that was it, basically.

What I really enjoyed about the article:

The increasing consumerization of IT has led the role of the “CIO” to be fast-evolving. While traditionally, the IT department was seen as the go-to people for tech support and the folks you asked for an upgrade when your smartphone was obsolete, the new challenge now is for the CIO to actually step up and become the voice of reason in an enterprise when it comes to productive use of new technologies. It’s not just about blocking Facebook and Twitter from the corporate firewall anymore, but it’s about harnessing these newfangled technologies for increased productivity, better engagement and a overall healthier work environment.

- J. Angelo Racoma, Senior Writer


23 Landing Page Optimization Articles From The Best In The Business, by CrazyEgg

Snippet from the article:

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably as obsessed with landing pages and conversion rates as we are. And you’re probably looking for some great learning material. We’ve assembled some of the best landing page optimization articles from the brightest minds in the business.

What I really enjoyed about the article:

Crazyegg compiled a great list of articles pertaining to landing page optimizations – from landing page to optimizations to case studies, be ready to discover the various tips on how to tweak your page conversions. The more I read, the less I know.

- Jacky Yap, Writer


Do Troubled Teenagers Make Successful Entrepreneurs?, by Elizabeth Palermo

Snippet from the article:

“Our data revealed that many successful entrepreneurs exhibited aggressive behavior and got in trouble as teenagers,” Levine said. “This is the person who wasn’t afraid to break the rules, take things by force or even be involved in minor drugs.”

The study found that young people who possessed these trouble-making qualities went on to become high-earning salaried workers. And when opening their own businesses, they made 70 percent more money than they ever had as employees.

What I really enjoyed about the article:

This led me to think of Michael Ross, casted by Patrick J. Adams, in television series Suits, a genius with an eidetic memory, who fell through the cracks, got involved with drugs but in the end, became a lawyer without a Harvard degree. Sure, it might not have a great example – the guy is a lawyer, not an entrepreneur, but at the end of the day, do we not want these troubled individuals to be successful? The story of the underdogs is so much more prevalent than we think. Slumdog millionaire, Harry Potter, even Batman. All these are people, albeit fictional, who have been deeply troubled since young. More than just being troubled, these teenagers or youngsters face challenges and roadblocks which they find difficult to overcome.

And more than just asking ourselves, “Do troubled teenagers make successful entrepreneurs?”, I think the pertinent thing to ask how exactly we can help these troubled youths walk in the right path. And if these delinquents really do make the best fit for a successful entrepreneur, what on earth are we still waiting for? Go to the next shelter and do something already.

- Elaine Huang, Writer


Top Five Contracts Small Businesses Should Have, by Veronica Picciafuoco

Snippet from the article:

Handshakes are nice, but you can’t afford to spend your time, energy, and money arguing over who said what. A written document signed by both parties eliminates that hassle and allows you to concentrate on making your business a success.

What I really enjoyed about the article: 

Running a business is exciting, adventurous and romantic. Well, according to the media.

What really happens behind the scenes at the beginning of  a startup are sleepless nights, a perpetually stressed out face, and a very unhealthy discouraged heart. Basically, a very imbalanced lifestyle. But what has this article got to do with this?

In an attempt to be the jack of all traits, I often find myself stressing out the most over the legal aspects of the business. This is why this article at Docracy, an open-source platform for legal contracts, has helped me tremendously. For those of us who are not lawyers and run a small business, this is definitely a recommended read just as a checklist of the legal contracts your business has. And to all the lawyers out there, kudos to you all.

- Elizabeth Tan, Writer

Read also: e27 Recommended Reading List #3

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