Recommended Readings #6

Its been weeks since the last RR post. To make it up for the long wait, today i will share  more links than the usual. From the hidden truth of being tech journal to ideas to improve revenue sharing model in music streaming, enjoy this latest episode of Recommended Readings.

Recommended Readings 6


Walter Issacson’s The Myth Of Lone Genius 

Famously known for his Steve Jobs biography book, prolific biographer Walter Issacson come back again this year with new book: The Innovators. In this article, Walters talk about how internet revolution was brought not by brilliance of lone genius but by series of collaboration between many innovators.  I havent read his book yet but this article successfully lengthen my Amazon wishlist.

Confession of an Ex Tech Journalist

Bekah Grant was a former tech writer in VentureBeat. In this post, she gave a glimpse of the stressful life of tech journalist. Apart from non stop race to crank out page views by churning articles as much as possible, Tech Journo need to deal with constant interuption from startup founders, PR and professional jerks.  This articles serves as a guide for how not to treat tech journalist  if you need their help to spread your story.

HBR’s Insights on Xiaomi’s Business Model

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi are taking the world by storm. The so called Apple from China had a series of homerun streak this year, from getting a stellar review in ArsTechnica and rising to be third largest global smartphone maker. So what are the secrets of their stellar success ? HBR explained how Xiami disrupted smartphone industry using low price and limited availability strategy.

Jessica Livingstone on Why Startup Need More Sales and Less Marketing 

I learned the fundamental difference of Sales and Marketing from this article. Jessica Livingstone, founding partner of Y Combinator, explains Marketing as Broad-and-Shallow while Sales is Narrow-and-deep. With limited capital and its small scale, startup should always do Narrow and Deep. Insightful yet easy to digest, a must read article.

7 Rules for Creating Gorgeous UI

Freelance UX designer Erik Kennedy Tips has personal mission to make UI design accessible for all people not just  art school graduates. Based on his experience, he broke down seven easy-to-understand methods to create good looking UI. Every tips has an image example so you can see clearly how the methods works.

For me the most useful one is method no 5,  text overlaying over images. Simple tweak but the result is amazing. So gonna use that from now on.

How to make royalties fairer for music streaming

Spotify were under scrutiny recently after Taylor Swift removed all of his albums due to unfair royalties to the musician. Previously, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke also vented the same complain. Sharyky Laguana from Cuepoint offer his idea to improve royalty sharing within current spotify model. Detailed explanation on Spotify music streaming business model are given in the article.

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

Image source 


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

Recommended Readings #4

Great morning folks.

First of all, Eid Mubarak to all of my fellow moslems. I hope you guys had a great meatful Idul Adha weekend. As usual, here are four articles i recommend to read to kickstart your monday.

GigaOm on Mobile App Economy

More and more apps are released daily but on the other hand people are using less. Even worse, willingness to pay for an app is on decrease as well. Is mobile apps economy reaching maturation ? an insightful analysis on GigaOm tackled this question.

Mike Monteiro’s 13 Ways Designer Screw Up Client Presentations

On point tips from designer Mike Monteiro on things to avoid if you deliver high impact presentation to your client. The last one really speaks to me because i have a severe problem remembering people names.

Fast Co Design on Writing Great Interface Copy

I learned that design is not just the visual. In this FastCo article, John Zeratsky of Google Ventures share five tips on achieving great design with copywriting.

The Next Web on Why Big Companies Struggle with Innovation

George Debb describe in details several factors that contribute the lack of Innovation in most of Big Companies.

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