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Top 10 Inspiring Facts About Jack Ma

Smruthi Kishore

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Imagine an online e commerce platform that is more valuable than Facebook and combines all the benefits of E Bay and Amazon, while giving us products more than both the platforms combined. Yes. You guessed right. The platform in question here is Alibaba, one of the largest e commerce platforms not just in China, but the whole world.

While so much is known about Alibaba, how much is really known about Jack Ma, the founder behind this giant? Today, we are here to give you ten facts you may not know about the brilliant founder.

 1. The time he was kidnapped

In 1995, Jack Ma was travelling to the United States for the first time business, functioning as an entrepreneur. Part of his business included trying to collect a debt for a friend from an American businessman in Malibu, California. Turns out, the businessman did not want to pay Jack Ma and instead, locked him up in his house out at gunpoint! Jack Ma barely escaped with his life intact.

2. An English teacher to an entrepreneur

Jack Ma began his career as an English teacher. In fact, when he was thirteen years old, he started learning English by waking up at 5.00 A.M. every day and travelling around on his bike to speak to foreigners. This practice helped him learn English the right way and also helped in increasing his people skills. He started his career as an English teacher!

3. When he first discovered the internet 

Jack Ma discovered the internet in the year 1995, when he laid his eyes on a computer. When he discovered the internet, it inspired him to start his business, China Yellow Pages. He started this company with 7000 yuan ($1140) and a loan from a family member.

4. The inspiration behind the name Alibaba

Jack Ma came upon the name Alibaba at a coffee shop. He asked the waitress what she thought about the name and she said it sounded like “Open Sesame.” According to Jack, this is exactly what the point of the e commerce platform was and that is how the name came to being.

5. His hero 

Did you know that Jack Ma’s real life hero is not even a real human being? It is Forest Grump! Explaining his love for the character, Jack said, “I watched the movie again, telling me that no matter whatever changed, you are you. I’m still the guy 15 years ago, you know, I only earned like $20 a month. Today I can do that much.” Now you can see why he is Jack’s hero!

6. The first Chinese to appear on the Forbes cover 

Did you know that while Forbes celebrates entrepreneurs and ground breaking philosophers, Jack Ma was the first Chinese entrepreneur to appear on the cover of Forbes!

7. His true love 

The man behind Alibaba has one true love and it is not the world of technology. He loves showbiz and dogs! He has a gorgeous husky named Apollo who is always by his side.

8. His parents were illegal performers 

While Jack Ma is the founder of a very legal business, his parents worked in an illegal practice. They practiced the art of “pingtan”, a Chinese tradition of musical storytelling that was banned during Mao’s Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976.

9. His alter ego 

Did you know that Jack Ma has an alter ego? Apart from his given name, he also goes by the name of Feng Quinyang, a legendary swordsman who is known for his aggressive, unpredictable and reclusive character. The nickname fits his business practices but not his public life. Jack Ma is no recluse.

10. His wife thinks he is ugly! 

Clearly, looks are not important for Jack Ma’s wife. She fell for the brilliantly hard working man behind the very ordinary face that is Jack Ma. Quite an adorable love story, this one!

Ma was brought up in a communist country. He saw his first computer at the age of 31 and barely graduated from University. Despite all odds, he has now become one of the most successful entrepreneurs. Jack Ma may have had many failures in his life but his tale to success is one a lot of us aspire towards. Start now and if you work hard enough, you can get to where he is without writing a single line of code in your life!

 

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Entrepreneur Stories

Lyft And Its Drive Through To Success

Smruthi Kishore

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Lyft And Its Drive Through To Success,Startup Stories,How Lyft Drives Growth Through Purpose,Lyft CFO Brian Roberts On What Drives Success,How Lyft Can Better Engage Customers with Content,Tips and Tricks For Success with Uber and Lyft,Lyft Scales the Success of Hyper-Regionalized Social and Search Campaigns

Even though Uber is looked at as one of the key ride sharing facilities being offered in almost all the countries in world, not many know about Lyft. With a revenue of over $ 700 million as of the 2016 financial year, Lyft secured the second position for itself in this particular section, standing neck to neck with Uber. With an extremely impressive marketing strategy and a plan that surprised everyone since the moment of its launch, Lyft has seen major growth from its inception to date.

The origin of Lyft 

Lyft was initially known as a Zimride and was founded by Logan Green and John Zimmer in the year 2007. The two met through a common friend, when John Zimmer posted on the said friend’s wall, saying he was looking for opportunities in the ride sharing business for long trips. Logan Green’s interest was immediately aroused and he knew he could not sleep till he contacted Logan.

When the two started working together, the first thing they did was to create a business model for Lyft. Green and Logan decided Lyft would be the go to service for people looking at sharing rides when they were travelling out of town. People would hire drivers to use their cars to transport them to their destination and after the drive was completed, riders would automatically be debited for their journey. 80% of the money would go to the person doing the driving while the rest was allocated for Lyft.

Initially, Logan and Zimmer introduced Lyft as a subsidiary of Zimride, without giving it a complete identity. However, looking at the rising popularity of a car service as this, the two founders dropped Zimride altogether and Lyft was the only service they marketed in the year 2013.

The reason for Lyft’s popularity 

One of the major reasons Lyft became so immensely popular was that not only did the founders create a new ride sharing format, they also encouraged community building. Drivers were asked to put fuzzy mustaches on the front of their cars while riders were encouraged to sit in the front with the drivers. This method was not used by Uber so far and because of this unique ride sharing concept, Lyft took off with unexpected popularity.

Growing everyday, Lyft became so popular that by the year 2017, the service announced it would be adding a further 100 cities of the United States to its continuously growing roster. In an industry that was for so long dominated by classic styles and clean cuts, Lyft made a splash with its shiny cars and bright logos.

From changing the way people drove around to turning ride sharing into a community affair rather than just another app like Uber, Lyft has created a niche for itself in this sector. Despite facing several regulations and restrictions just like its contemporaries, Lyft has managed to grow through the years and turned into a billion dollar company not through luck but through its no nonsense and purely business attitude!

While the bright pink mustache may have disappeared from Lyft’s logo, it still plays an integral part in the journey of this innovative ride sharing service. From introducing female drivers for the first time in this field to becoming a unique community, Lyft has really lifted the way people share rides!

 

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Twitter Unknown And Strange Facts

Smruthi Kishore

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When Jack Dorsey sent out his first tweet over 12 years ago, little did he know he would start a revolution like never before. Since then, there have been close to a little over 500 million tweets sent out into the Twitter world on a regular basis and with people responding to this new wave of social media, the world of texting got a much needed makeover. Before you send out your next tweet to the world, check out these super cool facts about Twitter!

1. Twitter did NOT invent the hashtag

Contrary to popular belief, Twitter did NOT invent the hashtag. The origin of hashtags can be traced all the way back to the year 1988, when people communicated through internet chat rooms called Internet Relay Chats. In fact, the first hashtag was used on Twitter only in the year 2007, when Chris Messena, a former Google employee, thought it would be a good idea to lump tweets by using hashtags.

2. The Sweden account 

While every country has a dedicated person handling its Twitter account, Sweden used to use different citizens to handle the account on a weekly basis! However, as of September 2018, this is no longer going to be the norm. Now, after 365 curators, 119,000 new followers and more than 200,000 Erik was the last citizen who managed the Twitter account.

3. The first tweet about Osama Bin Laden

When Barack Obama pulled off the unimaginable and successfully led the mission against Osama Bin Laden, one would have thought the United States government would be the first to tweet about this spectacular news. However, it wasn’t the US media but Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who tweeted this news for the first time ever!

4. Iceland used Twitter for its Constitution 

While other governments used their ideas and inspiration on what they wanted for their constitution, Iceland used Twitter to crowd source ideas on what people wanted. The articles were documented through a vote which had six questions. Twitter users had to vote by saying yes or no and after a thorough research, the Iceland Constitution was formed! This crowd sourcing technique was termed as the first time ever in terms of forming the constitution.

5. Jim Carrey really is a doting father 

Did you know that despite having over eighteen million followers on Twitter, Jim Carrey only follows one person: his daughter? Is that called being a doting father or what?

6. The Hangtag 

Hangtagging is a very real thing. In simple words, this means that when you end a tweet with just a hashtag and without any text before the hashtag, the incident is known as ‘hangtag.’ Further, Twitterpated is also very real. It is used to describe the feeling of being so overwhelmed with information or excitement, you forget to tweet or share the information you are excited about.

7. People read about earthquakes before they felt it 

Social media is a very powerful tool. Did you know that during the devastating Virginia earthquake of 2011, some people in New England actually read about it on Twitter before it happened? Social media clearly has its hands all over the world! Also, the Virginia earthquake has a Twitter handle as well!

8. Mikey Welsh predicted his death 

Musician Mikey Welsh predicted his death almost close to the day on Twitter. In fact, he tweeted on 26th September 2011 saying he was going to die the weekend after the tweet in question and decided he had to tweet about the event. Shortly after, almost on the predicted day in fact, Welsh was found dead in his room. The death was suspected to be because of a drug overdose followed by a cardiac arrest. Creepy.

9. The most number of followers on Twitter 

Katy Perry remains undisputed when it comes to having the most number of followers on Twitter. Did you know that this beautiful singer has tweeted 9,294 times, she now has 108 million followers! For the last three years, Katy Perry stands at the top of the most number of followers list!

So much to learn about Twitter and so much to know about the rest of the world. If you think we missed out on any facts about Twitter, comment and let us know!

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Paul Allen: Remembering This Tech Genius Through His Journey

Smruthi Kishore

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When you think Microsoft, you invariably think of Bill Gates. However, how many times have you stopped to think about Paul Allen, the other man behind one of the most successful tech companies in recent history? While not many know Allen was the reason Microsoft came to be, the history of Allen’s life journey is just as enriching and exciting.

The first seeds of invention

Paul Allen and Bill Gates were friends since they were really young. Growing up, they discussed their dreams and hopes, but never thought they would ever work together as adults. When the time came for them to branch into the world of innovation, invention and creation, it was Allen who came up with the genius idea of him and Gates working together.

Their first ever venture together was way back when they were in school, in the year 1972, when Allen and Gates launched Traf o Data, a software company which analyzed and tracked traffic patterns. Although this project didn’t do as well as the two hoped, it definitely sowed the seeds of a new line of thought for both Paul Allen and Bill Gates. Both of them grew up and went to different colleges, with Allen landing up in Washington State University and Gates going to Harvard.

While Gates lasted a little longer at university, Allen dropped out after the first two years, realising college was not his cup of tea. When Allen found out Gates was looking at creating new software for computers, he suggested they work together and this is how their first successful project, BASIC, came to being. Allen also played an integral role in naming the company Micro-Soft. In fact, he was the one who suggested the name!

By the time Gates and Allen had reached the point of success that propelled Microsoft to the number one position, Allen was already looking at how to market Microsoft’s patent software. When Gates promised the world IBM would change the way personal computers functioned, it was Allen who completed the successful purchase of the software (Quick and Dirty Operating System) which changed the world!

The beginning of the end 

Three years after one of the most historically turning points in the journey of Microsoft took place, Allen left Microsoft to focus on his health. He was fighting with Hodgkin’s lymphoma for and his deteriorating health was making it difficult for him to keep with the day to day going ons of Microsoft. Three years after he left Microsoft, Allen started Vulcan, named after the Roman god of fire, making sure personal investments were in order.

Despite struggling with cancer for this long in his life, Allen loved to live life king size. From owning a magnificent yacht to owning more than one prominent sports team, Paul Allen made sure he lived a life where every moment was lived to the fullest. In October 2018, Allen announced he was diagnosed with cancer that came back after a long period of remission and nothing he was doing was really helping him get better.

With Vulcan growing into one of the largest investment firms, Allen has been able to fund several prominent places in Seattle including the city’s Museum of Pop Culture, Washington State University and University of Washington. Also known for being a lover of rock music, Allen also founded a band called The Underthinkers and wrote or co wrote EVERY single song in the 2013 album!

An inspirational man, a dreamer and creator like never before, the day the world lost this tech genius (October 15, 2018,) was a truly sad day. Forever labelled as the day the world lost a brilliant genius, recovering from Paul Allen’s death is not going to be an easy feat. Despite officially leaving Microsoft in the year 1983, Allen stayed on the board of directors till 2000 and when he passed away, he stood as the 44th wealthiest man in the world. Just like Bill Gates mourns the loss of one of his oldest and closest friends, so does the rest of the world.

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