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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Business Inspiration Blogs in Asian

Learning never stops for an entrepreneur. There is always something new to be discovered while running a business, interacting with customers and fellow start-up founders, and reading books—or in this day and age, blogs.

Here are four interesting blogs Southeast Asian entrepreneurs should check out:


What began as an inside joke among a group of Americans, having noticed how their Asian friends were able to accomplish incredible amounts of work, turned into a blog about “Asian efficiency.” It does, however, stress that productivity has little to do with being Asian and more about having the right rituals, mindsets, and systems. In a recent series of posts, for instance, the blog features an “Inbox Zero Challenge,” which aims to reduce the time you spend on your inbox and give you the tools to process your emails every day minus the stress.

Why is it a must-read : Everybody —multi-tasking founders included—appreciates helpful tips on productivity and time management.


Guy Kawasaki is a marketing specialist, Silicon Valley venture capitalist, and author of 13 books. He popularized the term “evangelist” as a business buzzword during the Internet boom in the nineties. Basically, an evangelist explains to the world how a product and service can improve people’s lives. The chief evangelist of Canva, an Australia-based online graphics-design company, writes about issues start-ups are confronted with, such as how to pick the right advisors, the art of branding, and tips on how to give the best presentations possible.

Why is it a must-read : Kawasaki offers lessons that can take your start-up off the ground.


Silicon Valley serial-entrepreneur and educator Steve Blank talks about a full range of topics—from things that make entrepreneurs tick, why working hard is not the same as working smart, to why the U.S. Navy is in need of disruption. He co-authored “The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company,” which offers instructions on how to create scalable, profitable startups. Forbes listed Blank as one of the 30 most influential people in tech in 2013 and was listed as one of the Masters of Innovation by the Harvard Business Review in 2012.

Why is it a must-read : Blank’s insights on what it takes to build a start-up are complemented by those of other entrepreneurs from a variety of industries.


Seth Godin is an entrepreneur and the author of 18 bestselling books, such as “Linchpin: Are You Indispensible?” and “Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us.” Godin’s posts give readers advice on a range of topics, such as marketing, managing organizations, and even reviewing contracts. He also raises questions to keep entrepreneurs on their toes, for instance, why it takes more than being right to earn attention and action.

Why is it a must-read : Godin inspires his readers to build remarkable products, embrace change, and view dead-ends and failures more positively. After all, he says, we find our way by getting lost.

Know More about The Art of the Deal

I frequently say that in the event that I’d done what I adored, I would have contemplated history. With a little fortunes I could be nestled into now in a book-lined office that ignores a verdant school quad, opening the entryway a couple times each week for available time and to make rough commitments at departmental gatherings.

Rather I began an organization, and I read history at whatever point I can. It’s shown me a considerable measure about working together, particularly about what I may call, in this race season, The Art of the (Fair) Deal. I thought it may be a decent time to share a couple of lessons I’ve found out about arranging. I considered showing them as a “match the notable occasion to the lesson(s),” yet hello, I’m not a teacher.

The Treaty of Tordesillas, 1494: Many Americans have never heard of this, but it’s how Spain and Portugal, with the help of the pope, divided up the New World that explorers like Christopher Columbus were actively “discovering” back in the day. They drew a straight, north-south line that ran through the Atlantic and sliced through Brazil; Spain got everything west of the line, Portugal everything to the east. The trouble is, nobody else was consulted, and neither conquering country knew exactly what or how much land existed in either direction. The lessons here: Know the territory. Have a clear idea of your own boundaries and interests and, especially, those of the other side. And don’t exclude any interested parties.

The 3/5 Compromise, 1787: This deal, which declared each slave as 3/5th of a person for the purposes of congressional representation, serves as a sterling reminder to treat everyone in a negotiation–and at every other time–as 5/5ths human.

When it comes to a deal, whether it’s to acquire another business or negotiate a contract with a supplier–or even an employee or customer–too many people view it through the distorted lens of winners and losers. But from my perspective, if both sides don’t come away feeling they got most of what they wanted, then neither side can claim victory.

The Purchase of Alaska, 1867: This U.S. deal to buy Russia’s Alaskan territory–586,000 square miles for $7.2 million–was nicknamed Seward’s Folly by its opponents, after Secretary of State William Seward. They thought the price exorbitant for mosquito-infested frozen swampland. Thirty years later, the Gold Rush was on and the rest is history. This just goes to prove that, in terms of dealmaking, it pays to take the long view. And don’t listen to the naysayers when your instincts tell you otherwise.

The Treaty of Versailles, 1919: The Allied Powers had Germany over a barrel at the end of “The Great War,” and the terms of this agreement, from reparations to territory loss to military restrictions, reflected that. It made lots of Germans very, very mad–one in particular (see Munich, above). The lesson from this? Don’t treat the people you’re dealing with like they’re Germany and it’s 1919. They’ll hold a grudge the size of Western Europe.

The Munich Pact of 1938: This “deal,” which permitted Adolf Hitler to annex a big chunk of Czechoslovakia, offers several valuable lessons about dealmaking. Widely viewed as one of the most egregious examples of appeasement in modern history, it’s perhaps best known for the famous last words “peace for our time” uttered by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. Less than a year later, poor Neville was declaring war. So what can we learn from the Munich Pact? Rule 1: Never negotiate with a megalomaniac, or any other kind of maniac, for that matter; which is related to the subrule: Know who you’re dealing with. And Rule 2: Whatever you do, don’t brag about the deal. Your boasts (or wishful thinking in Chamberlain’s case) might end up being all you’re remembered for.

Simply put, if it’s not a win-win, then it’s not a win.

Business Writing, Here Its Tips

I took numerous written work classes in school however maybe the most valuable was one centered around business composing. My schoolmates and I spent a semester altering a great many examples of drifting or confounding letters, updates, and other expert materials. Here are seven bits of basic guidance for clear and brief written work.

# Avoid “very.”

It smacks of laziness and indicates your sentence needs editing to pack a stronger punch. For example, consider: “The very tall man strode to the front of the line.” The phrase “very tall” doesn’t help a reader understand if the man is six feet tall or having to duck seven-foot doorways. How about: “Standing a head taller than everyone in the room the man strode to the front of the line.” The second version paints a better picture, right?

# Limit prepositions when possible.

If you don’t remember what they are, here’s a list and primer. When overused, prepositions can weaken writing and contribute to wordiness. For example: “The meeting on December 1 about the budget” is sharper when written “The December 1 budget meeting.” Also watch out for prepositions following a verb, such as “come up with” or “find out.” Instead, you could use “generate” or “determine,” respectively.

# Watch out for forms of the verb “to be” such as am, are, is, was, were, being,and been.

Usually you should aim for an active, not passive voice. “There are three things you can do to improve your golf game” is tighter when written “three things can improve your golf game.”

# Limit emails to five or fewer sentences.

“Seriously. I know it’s painful. You have so many important things to say. However, getting it read is more important than getting all that explanation in there. Preferably, it’s three sentences. Your goal is to make it easy for [a recipient] to respond immediately from his smartphone,” advises 42Floors founder Jason Freedman.

# Don’t try to impress with jargon or big words.

 Use exclamation points sparingly.

Overusing them reduces their impact. And never use more than one at the end of a sentence.

“Elmore Leonard wrote of exclamation marks: ‘You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.’ Which means, on average, an exclamation mark every book and a half,” points out Stuart Jeffries of The Guardian. “In the ninth book of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, Eric, one of the characters insists that ‘Multiple exclamation marks are a sure sign of a diseased mind.'”

# Read it out loud.

Before delivering your writing to a recipient, read it out loud. Doing so will likely oust any typos, missing words, or other errors you may not have spotted.