Focus on simplicity, listen to your customers and iterate if you fail – Jan Koum
Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp, has lived by this principle and now, he has become one of THE most successful entrepreneurs we have seen in this century. Born in Ukraine, Jan faced a life of true hardship. He knew the meaning of living in the throes of deprivation. At one point of time, Koum was so poor his house did not even have electricity.
Jan Koum’s mother decided enough was enough. When Jan was 16 years old, both him and his mother left their home in Ukraine to move to Mountain View, California, in an attempt to create a better life for themselves. Even while they moved to have a better life, they had to leave Jan’s father behind. He never made it to the states and passed away in 1997.
The great American dream did not make its way to Jan’s life as quickly as he hoped. Everything in the United States was expensive. By 18, Jan knew he wanted to learn to program. He knew this was his destiny. Jan studied by buying second hand books and stationary and returning them after he was done.
Just when things seemed to fall into place for Koum, he was hit with a major blow when his mother was diagnosed with cancer. Koum had to work odd jobs in order to scrape together enough funds to get his mother the treatment she needed. Unfortunately, she succumbed to cancer in 2000 and Koum was left to fend for himself in a strange and unknown country.
While working and studying, Koum realized nothing about college excited him and he decided to quit. In 2007, Koum joined Yahoo and this is where he met Brian Acton. Acton would become one of Koum’s closest friends. Very soon, Koum and Acton realized they were not excited about the direction in which Yahoo was going and decided quit together.
WhatsApp was developed over cups of tea. What started off as only an idea had now developed in a first of its kind, full blown app. By 2009, Jan publicly released the app and it became an instant hit. This pushed him to create the 2.0 version.
WhatsApp now has over 1 billion users worldwide and no one can seem to shake off the greatness of this app. WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in a landmark $ 19 billion deal over the course of a few days and a bottle of Johnie Walker!
WhatsApp has come a long way from just being a messaging service, to being a globally used app that enables voice calls, video calls and provides end to end encryption of messages. Watch the amazing journey of Jan Koum from Ukraine to the United Staes of America and the development of one of the easiest and earliest messaging services, WhatsApp, here!
Fun Facts About Netflix
Gone are those days when you would have to spend your pocket money on buying DVDs to watch your favourite films. This is the 21st century and in this age of technology, whether it is for watching a popular film or your favourite web shows, you know where to reach—Netflix, of course! With new films, documentaries and shows being added on a daily basis, Netflix is the most popular streaming platform in the world. Today, we bring you some interesting facts about Netflix which may surprise you.
Fun facts about Netflix
1) Though Netflix started renting out DVDs only from 1998, it was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. This makes Netflix a year older than Google.
2) Netflix was originally called Kibble. Kibble was the name of Netflix’s co founder Marc Randolph’s dog. This name was to remind everyone, “No matter how good the advertising, it’s not a success if the dogs don’t eat the dog food.”
3) House of Cards was not the first original content produced by Netflix. Netflix made a test video called Example Show in 2010. In this 11 minute long test video, you can find pretty inane content like an actor moonwalking with a laptop and reciting a monologue from Julius Caesar. You can still watch it on Netflix.
4) As of October 2018, Netflix accounts for 15 % of the world’s web traffic and approximately 36.5 % of North America’s web traffic. If Netflix did not compress its videos, this number would have been three times higher. YouTube, which is also a streaming platform, accounts for 11.4 % percent of the web traffic.
5) In 2013, Netflix hosted an award show of its own and aptly titled it “The Flixies.” It allowed users to vote for their favourite films and shows under various categories.
6) Orange Is The New Black, 13 Reasons Why, The Crown, House Of Cards and Stranger Things are some of the most watched Netflix original series.
7) Netflix is available in more than 190 countries, from Australia and Europe to most parts of Asia. However, it is most popular in the U.S.
8) As of January 2019, Netflix has around 139 million paying subscribers. More than 58 millions of these subscribers are U.S. based.
9) In 2014, a glitch caused the summaries of various titles to merge, creating completely hilarious and ridiculous summaries. One summary which appeared to combine the Power Rangers installments with Inglourious Basterds read, “The Samurai Rangers get stuck in the Megazord’s cockpit on Christmas Even when it breaks down. Can the Rangers get out and assassinate Adolf Hitler?”
10) Netflix was instrumental in coining the word “binge watch,” when it started to release its series’ episodes all at once.
Which of these facts about Netflix surprised you the most? Comment and let us know.
Reasons You Need A Mentor To Succeed As An Entrepreneur
Behind every successful entrepreneur, there is a mentor. Be it Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or Richard Branson, they are all where they are because of a mentor who backed and supported them on their journey to success. As an entrepreneur, you will have to take several decisions on a daily basis and if you do not have an experienced person to help you take those decisions, then you might end up making mistakes. These mistakes can sometimes lead to your business failing altogether. So, if you are a newbie trying to start a business, keep reading to understand the importance of a mentor.
Who is an ideal mentor?
Now, before you set out to find a mentor, you should understand who an ideal mentor is. Not everyone who gives you advice is a good mentor.
Good mentors never take their role for granted. They feel responsible for their mentee. That being said, good mentors do not give you as much advice as a coach, sometimes they let you make your own mistakes and learn from them.
You must remember, people who have never tasted success of their own cannot guide you on your road to success. As an aspiring entrepreneur, your ideal mentor should be someone who has an established business of their own and can yet take some time off their busy schedule to help you build yours. You will be surprised to know, Steve Jobs, while running the tech giant Apple Inc., mentored Mark Zuckerberg and helped him build Facebook.
Reasons you need a mentor
1) You can learn from their experience
Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.”
No matter how educated you are, nothing can beat experience. Mentors have already gone through the journey before you and their experience can help you navigate through all the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. Apart from this, you can also learn from your mentor’s mistakes and this can make life much easier for you.
2) You can get access to your mentor’s network
Over the years, your mentor must have built a strong professional network and when they choose to mentor you, they give you access to their network. This makes it much easier to find investors, market your business and also establish a customer base. Without a mentor, building a professional network is a hard task.
3) Mentors can double up as investors
Mentors sometimes tend to invest in their mentee’s business if they find it scalable. Steve Jobs’ mentor, Mike Markkula, was also an early investor in Apple Inc. This, to an extent, can save you from the hardships of finding potential investors.
4) Your mentor can be a great support system
Entrepreneurship is a lonely and tiring process. Here, the chances of failure are higher than the chances of success. When things don’t seem to be going the right way, your mentor can provide a shoulder upon which to cry. If you ever feel like giving up, your mentor can help you rekindle your confidence and can urge you to try once again. Research shows entrepreneurs who have a mentor are less likely to give up.
5) You will always know the truth
A good mentor is also your first critic. When you perform well, they should be the first to applaud for you and when you miss you mark, they must be the first to criticise you. Even if it hurts, they should always tell you the truth.
Your odds of success in life and in business can be amplified by having the right mentors. According to an executive coach survey, 80 % of successful entrepreneurs said they received mentorship in some form or the other. From giving valuable lessons and moral guidance, to timely advice, a good mentor can take you to heights you never thought you could achieve on your own.
Do you have a good mentor in your life? Comment below and let us know.
Four Books About Finance Every Young Entrepreneur Should Read
“You’ve got to tell your money what to do or it will leave.” — Dave Ramsey
Well, we could not agree more. Entrepreneurship is not just about having a lot of money, it is about knowing how to manage that money well.
Money management is one skill without which it is almost impossible to succeed as an entrepreneur. This, however, is very hard to master, especially if you are a beginner. Luckily, in today’s world, there are some really good books targeted at helping beginners understand how money works.
Therefore, if you are a new entrepreneur or aspiring to be one, here is a list of finance books you should read.
1) MONEY Master The Game: 7 Simple Steps To Financial Freedom
“What matters is that you master money and it doesn’t master you. Then you are free to live life on your own terms.”
― Tony Robbins.
Written by entrepreneur, philanthropist Tony Robbins, MONEY Master The Game: 7 Simple Steps To Financial Freedom walks you through simple steps you can take to master your money game. This book deals with the most important topic of money management—investment. For beginners who just started investing, the book provides a lot of information about the highs and lows of investing.
Based on one on one interviews with various financial experts, this book gives you a complete blueprint to become financially independent. If you have just started as an entrepreneur or investor, this book is totally for you.
2) The Millionaire FastLane: Crack The Code To Wealth And Live Rich For A Lifetime
“Go to school, get a good job, save 10% of your paycheck, buy a used car, cancel the movie channels, quit drinking expensive Starbucks mocha lattes, save and penny pinch your life away, trust your life savings to the stock market, and one day, when you are oh, say, 65 years old, you can retire rich,”—is this how you plan to lead your life? Well then you are definitely on the ‘slowlane.’
The slowlane might seem to be a risk free method to get rich, but by the time you reach, there you might be in a wheelchair.
Through The Millionaire FastLane: Crack The Code To Wealth And Live Rich For A Lifetime, author M.J. DeMarco introduces you to a new way of getting rich—The Fastlane. Using various examples, this book teaches you how you can use various market strategies to your favour, find your wealth accelerator and make millions while you are still young, so that you can enjoy it now.
3) The Intelligent Investor
“People who invest make money for themselves; people who speculate make money for their brokers.”
― Benjamin Graham.
Written by one of the greatest investment advisors of the 20th century, Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor has been inspiring investors since 1949.
This book is basically the stock market Bible and teaches you every possible thing about investment. The author succeeded in putting the hardest concepts of investment into simple terms, making it easier for beginners to understand.
Over the years, The Intelligent Investor has been revised into various editions to incorporate today’s market scenario. Warren Buffet himself described it as the best book about investment ever written.
Have you read this book yet?
4) The Money Book For The Young, Fabulous And Broke
“Build a great career for yourself rather than settling for a job that does nothing for you but pay the bills”
― Suze Orman.
Written by TV star and financial expert Suze Orman, The Money Book For The Young, Fabulous And Broke is targeted at teaching millenials the basics of the financial world. This book is a fantastic piece of work which can help the younger generation to cope with various financial problems like student loans and the job market. Over the course of ten chapters, this book could take you from being broke to a secure financial position. If you are a millenial looking to learn some basics of Finance, then you should definitely get your hands on The Money Book For The Young, Fabulous and Broke.
Books are invaluable sources of knowledge. For every problem you face in life, there is a book out there to help you get over it. If managing finances has been your problem, then the above list of books can help you manage them better.
Which of these books are you planning to read first? Comment below and let us know.
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