Recommended Readings #5

Mid of the week  on the mid of the October already.  Jakarta weather are starting to get wet and the accompanying trend of sore throat will soon follow. I got mine already. So i hope you guys stay healthy and heres this week recommended readings to make your day more positive

. RR5

Drake Ballew on Lesson from the rise of Tao Bao

Unless youre living under totally disconnected rock, youve probably heard about the Chinese e-commerce titan Jack Ma. Especially after record breaking Alibaba’s IPO. In this post, Drake Ballew tells the story about how Jack Ma’s Tao Bao beat eBay and whats the lesson that can be learn. As a compliment to this article, i suggest to watch this talk by Jack several years ago. He gave enlighting yet incredibly honest speech.

Sacha Greif on Lesson learned from making projects open source

I associated open source development with all things positive and full of selfless contributor.  But is it always like that ?. Sacha Greif is a developer of Telescope, an open source Hacker News-type app built with the Meteor JavaScript framework. After 2 years of founding, developing and becoming BDFL for Telescope, she learnt that creating an open source apps actually a lot harder than making it close. The article is very personal and highlights challenges in open source development which are not widely known.

Slate on What happen when companies opens up their salaries information

Buffer, an application to simply manage multiple social media account, made a daring move to open up their whole salary structure to the public. Employees is able to know how much their colleague or boss makes. With current norm of treating salary as a very private matter, does this move brings good impact to buffer ? Apparently it is.

Canva’s tutorial on Font pairing

As i wrote previously, great thing about Canva is they put easy to follow tutorial like this for creating professional design in an easy way. Check out this one on font pairing.

Paul Graham on Before the startup

YC founder Paul Graham breaks down in detail several things you need to know before starting a startup.  Apparently, startup is one thing in life that you will do better if you don’t follow your instinct.  This topic is also delivered in the YC How to start a startup class in Stanford hence you can watch the video here.

Recommended Readings (RR) is a weekly compilation of  internet articles which is interesting and insightful. No limitation on the topic, as long as it ticks me ill share it with you guys here. Check out the previous RR articles here


Canva is web apps to create graphic design.

It has it’s mission featured on the front page :  to make everyone a designer. That ticked me personally, because im totally sucks at design. I cannot  operate Photoshop all my life so im definitely the lost cause which Canva would hope to convert. So does Canva successful making me better ?


Spoiler alert, yes it does. Canva is utterly simple yet amazing. I now use it regularly for create awesome graphics in presentation, social media and of course, this blog.

To start using Canva, you pick from the several predetermined templates ranging from podcast cover to Facebook covers. Once you picked , Canva will give you several example work which i think is the best feature. The example designs are already good looking you can just start editing which will fasten your work.


If you want to use custom image, you can instantly search inside the Canva’s stock photo colection on the top left of the screen. Unfortunately, youll need to pay for using these images. But surprisingly, Canva let you upload your own image. Giving this option is enabled, i wonder do any of the Canva users paid for their internal stock photo.

You dont know where to look for free stock photos ? go check this incredibly useful Buffer blog post.

Another interesting stuff about Canva is the blog. They have lots of design tutorial which you can instantly applied inside Canva. The tutorials are written in an easy language and it break down slowly step by step like a patient older brother. Very pleasing to read for non-design-aware population like me. Check out this tutorial on how to choose perfect font. 

Canva are built with good design at its core. Their mission to make everyone a designer has been working for me so far. Canva became part of my regular tools and will recommend it to everyone who wants to create great design materials in an easy way.

Canva – Amazingly Simple Graphic Design