Here comes the weekend. This week has been especially significant for the region in terms of investments (read GrabTaxi, AliBaba and SingPost, and Sequoia Capital). In addition, the world has lived vicariously through coverage of CodeCon in the US, learning how amazing technology can be.
Here are some of our top reads this week:
Internet Trends 2014 – Code Conference, Mary Meeker, KPCB
This is a definite must-read for every tech enthusiast. Mary Meeker’s annual report summarised the top internet trends in various verticals like advertising, Big Data, mobile, on-demand TV, in 164 succinct slides.
As expected, in terms of markets, the spotlight was thrown on China, a country which is beaming with potential in the mobile commerce innovation space. In fact, the Northeast Asian giant has garnered four spaces on the top 20 global internet public market leaders with Tencent, Baidu, JD.com and Qihoo 360.
“It’s 1998 and I’m working at a multi-national bank. A co-worker and friend who got me the job plays more games than I do and sets up an emulator on my 486 computer at work and I play Ghosts N’ Goblins for the first time since I was 11. Realising it is way too hard, I switch to Ghouls N’ Ghosts. It plays better, it’s prettier and it ends where it should. In a few months, I’ll get a job hosting Gamespot TV on ZDTV, and suddenly alt-tabbing away from balance sheets and cash flow statements to a knight in his underwear is research.”
This piece on Kotaku was written by Adam Sessler, a former editor renowned for being one of the guys behind making video games a mainstream thing. I found it interesting how each game he played and/or reviewed on the article highlights a significant chapter of his life. The bits about Ninja Turtles in 2009 and Mass Effect 3 in 2012 were the most profound.
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
Today actually marks the last day that I will be working in e27. Very soon, I will have to serve the army for two years. Upon stumbling upon this quote by the author of The Little Prince, I thought that it accurately sums up what I feel is a differentiator in running a startup company – to have a vision and inspire others to believe in the vision as well.
There are definitely steps necessary to build the startup boat, and with some help, the founder may even be provided with a detailed schematics to do so. Today, there are methodologies to build successful startups – e.g The Lean Startup – and many resources in the ecosystem for prospective entrepreneurs.
Sometimes visions are a little vague or materialistic, but what’s important is how it makes the people working in the startup feel. Does it make them yearn for the endless sea?