Wang Poh Peng

Oct 10, 2018

4 min read

My September Reads

  1. The Everything Store
  2. Valley of Genius
  3. Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism
  4. The Global Expatriate’s Guide
The Everything Store

Amazon. It is a name that almost everyone knows. I always wondered, what is so visionary about this Jeff Bezos that its company could last so long. In this book, it explains how Amazon was born and survived through the tough times, dot com boom and all the crazy crisis over the years. Through this book, one is also able to understand what kind of culture does Amazon has and how a founder’s influence can affect the overall general direction of the company. Still, this book is more of a look into Jeff Bezos life, than an analysis of the Amazon company itself. I recommend people to give this a read, to give themselves a better understanding of company transformation and entrepreneurship is always more about the timing than to be in it early.

Valley of Genius

Building onto the previous book I read, the tech industry has been relatively new compared to the rest of industries out there. How was this industry created? This book starts with the initial creation of the company Atari and how it eventually influenced Steves Jobs to create this magical company we have today. It was more of how the company + rigid working env to a chill and get shit done env.

I enjoyed the book’s format as it was presented in a series of interviews with all the stakeholders involved in that story arc. Sometimes you get quotes from those who are not so famous but made a lot of sense anyway. It makes me more appreciative of the workplace that I am currently in now as a fresh graduate. A good read for people who would like take a deeper look into what startup life in USA is like, from booze to drugs to serious stuff. Probably also one of the reasons why SG is not yet that crazily successful with startups is heavily got to do with the dynamics of its people and their relative laws and responsibilities in this social construct. It would be hard to explain over a single post, but as one reads more into such tech-biz books, a trend can be observed.

Overbooked

This book has helped me uncover the secrets of the tourism industry and a better understanding of the whole human resources supporting the fancy and glory of tourism.

This book was introduced to me from a mentor in life and it was definitely a good read. I think anyone who has read the intelligent investor will suddenly find investment books much easier to read and understand as the previous book has explained each of the financial product very carefully and detailedly.

This book highlights the importance of understanding how management fees can eat into one’s investments in the long run. It also gave many tips and facts about the different markets all the around the world. It also introduces the different financial products introduced by the financial institutions around the world. E.g is Singapore’s DBS Vickers brokerage and Hong Kong’s multitude of ETFs choices.

Caught this book in the library by luck as I passed by Tampines Library for some health check. It was a really quick read, could be done in a 3 hours read during flight time and content was easy to digest. The book is about the immigrant story of a Hong Konger who eventually Americanized to the American culture. It consists of the stories of how he adapted to the American culture through the mainstream media; listening to RAPs and watch stand-up comedies. It also explains certain aspects of Chinese culture and how he applied to it during his formative years in living in LA.

Overall, it is a short story about an immigrant story that he wants to tell about that it is not as rosy as it seems to be a successful person in a foreign land. And also the pains of being an immigrant where one can get easily deported. A good entertaining read for one who wants to understand better about an Asian life in America.