Category Archives: 1-By Laksh

All these articles are from Laksh’s desk

Gems from Jack Ma.

Key takeaways.

  1. Technology revolution causes social problems, may be even world wars.
  2. Third world war should be against disease, environmental pollution etc.
  3. When you are 20-30 years old, find a good boss and a good company and learn all you can. 30-40 years old, if you want to do something just do it. You can afford to lose, fail. When you are 40-50 years old, my suggestion is you should do things you are good at. It could be dangerous to go after new stuff just because you find it interesting. When you are 50-60 years train and mentor young people. 60+? spend time with your grandchildren.
  4. When you want to win after 10 years later it is always possible.
  5. 49% of our employees are women. Close to 37% in senior management are women.
  6. If you want to be successful you should have high EQ, and if you don’t want to lose easily, high IQ. If you want to be respected, you should have high LQ (Love Quotient). Women balance these three very well.
  7. Women care more. On our site, women buy for their family, while men mostly buy for themselves.
  8. Sustainable success only happens with women in workforce.
  9. Order of priority for Alibaba>>1.Customer 2. Employee 3. Shareholder. Screw the wall street!
  10. If trade stops, war starts.
  11. My grandfather worked for 16 hours and said he was very busy; I worked for 8 hours a day and say I am very busy; Our children might work for 3 hours a day + 4 days a week, and say they are very busy.
  12. Globalization should be inclusive.
  13. First kings controlled globalization, later big companies, next wave will be that of 6 million small business. In the next 30 years to come>>Global buy, global sell, global pay, global delivery, global travel…all through your mobile, if mobile exists.
  14. When I have 1 million or two it is my money. Anything more, it is not my money it  is a sense of responsibility towards society.
  15. Philanthropy is not about helping others, it’s helping yourselves.
  16. Philanthropy is not just giving money, it’s about action, it’s about involvement.
  17. By charity you cannot change the world, with a philanthropic heart you can.
  18. Philanthropy should be in the business model.
  19. Every problem as a kid benefited me.
  20. I was considered a very good teacher and I thought here I am teaching from other’s books. So let me go to real world and find new stuff to teach, and that’s how Alibaba began for me.
  21. If you want to be successful, learn from other people mistakes, not from success stories.
  22. You learn from mistakes not to avoid them, but how to face them.
  23. My book would be not on what we achieved, but the tough days we overcame. My 1001 mistakes at Alibaba.
  24. As a company I believe in making profit through our technology, not our size. Our investments are in these direction.
  25. AI should support human beings.
  26. Being Smart and Wise. Smart people know what they want, wise people know what they don’t want.
  27. Leaders>>Instinct. Training. Positive nature. Look things differently.
  28. As a CEO you have to see the happiness when everyone else is unhappy and vice versa.
  29. Leadership is by responsibility.
  30. I have 18 co founders and most of them are my students.
  31. Find people smarter than you are and make sure they work it together.
  32. The best product of the company is your employee.
  33. Good teacher wants their students to succeed, I brought that quality into my leadership of Alibaba.
  34. A teacher should learn and share all the time.
  35. Everything we teach should be different from machines>>values, caring for others, music, arts etc.
  36. Facebook, Google, Amazon. Competition?
  37. Single shopping day, November 11. 25BN in sales. 70-80 MN rush in the first minute. 270k transactions per day.
  38. Look inside. Chinese philosophy.
  39. Find people who are self motivators.
  40. Motivation is about trust, respect, and appreciation

Related links:
1) Deewar Scene 1
2) Deewar Scene 2

Super interview with Amazon Jeff Bezos


Interesting points

  1. Classic Amazon  Refund principle demonstrated at the beginning of the video by Jeff Bezos (Mentioned by a user below)
  2. Amazon model of Customer obsession, as opposed to Competition focus (imitiate the best in competition s etc), explained in detail. “Don’t just listen to customer, invent for them, as it is not the job of customers to invent for themselves or in most cases do not even know what they want ” (Steve Jobs used to say something very similar)
  3. “Invention is a result of experimentation and experiments are dotted with failures. But you should take the chance.”
  4. “Invention is not Disruptive, only customer adoption is.” Similar to Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point?
  5. “At Amazon we invented a lot of things, that customers did not care about.”
  6. “Good to have stellar quarterly results, but these are pre-decided about 2 years ago. Planning for future and putting in efforts for a few years ahead is the way to go. I am more interested in what could happen in 2020 than in my upcoming quarter.”
  7. “Rich get slowly isn’t a good theme for infomercials.”
  8. “Half of our sales is third-party sales, coming from a lot of small businesses we work with. There are many who make 100KUSD a year. With Kindle Direct, we created the environment and many authors have found a readership that otherwise didn’t exist for them. Same with AWS too.” Platform, services, eco-system.
  9. “I have noticed all overnight successes take about 10 years.”
  10. “Hope our approach doesn’t change–customer obsession, the willingness to invent, the patience in letting things develop, accepting failure as a path to getting success.”
  11. “Acceptable Failure should be out of an experiment, where you accept beforehand that you do not know the outcome. Not that results out of a poor execution, a result of bad operational excellence. For instance, it isn’t a failure if we botch up a new fulfillment center, as we have 134 worldwide and our tech is in Generation 8 maturity level.”
  12. “The main job of a senior leader is to identify 2 or 3 important, BIG ideas and then enforce great execution against those ideas. Good news is it is incredibly easy to identify these BIG ideas. For Amazon, the consumer business, the BIG ideas are low prices, fast delivery, and vast selection. The BIG ideas should be obvious. You need to steer away from distractions and get back to these. And they will be stable over a period of time. “
  13. “Basically there is no institution in the world that cannot be improved with machine learning.” Alexa, echo, drones, natural language understanding.
  14. “(On usage of machine learning beneath the surface) Improved search results, improved product recommendations for customers, improved forecasting for inventory management. Most exciting thing is making machine learning more accessible to a lot of companies that cannot afford, through developers etc of AWS.” AI to be easily deployable;
  15. “Last year we saved 55000 tonnes of waste as a result of this (internet packaging) program.”
  16. “3.6MN megawatt-hours per year (renewable energy).”
  17. “I love space a lot. I am investing my lottery (Amazon) winnings in Blue Origin which is the space company.”
  18. Internet Vs Space. Entry for admission in space very high. “When I started Amazon, the heavy lifting was in place.”
  19. “Some of you should go to a museum and see a dial-up modem.”
  20. At 80 I would like to be able to say that I created the heavy lifting for space entrepreneurs.
  21. I have won many lotteries, but the best one was with my parents. I got lucky.

Related links:

  1. Package Rage on Wikipedia
  2. Space camp
  3. The Everything Store
  4. LN’s first book on Amazon was a similar one to the interviewer.

Whiplash: Perfect Trio…


‘Whiplash’ deals with controversial themes…and explores extreme angles of a relationship between a music student and his teacher. How hard an aspiring musician should try for perfection and how hard a teacher can and should push to spot and hone greatness in his disciples….these are a couple of questions that linger in the mind, while watching the film. But, from a cinematic experience, the film is pure joy, with a superb cast making it all believable.

JK Simmons (Fletcher-Teacher) and Miles Tiller (Neiman-Student) compliment each other very well and hold the film together to make sure it doesn’t slip out of the audience belief zone. Mike Tiller displays the range of emotions perfectly, as his character goes through a seesaw of feelings …in quick succession. Worth mention is the initial change in his feelings when Fletcher plays with his psyche, with a bit of unexpected praise and following it up with a chair thrown at full speed.

But ‘Whiplash’ can never be the movie it turned out to be without JK Simmons and he deserves the Oscar every bit of it. Right from the word go, he is unpredictability at its best, which is the core of this character. He has to be both unpredictable and believable at that very moment and he pulls it off with elan.  He keeps the audience guessing as to what his real motives are….and that becomes the driving force of the screenplay.  Worth mention is the scene in the restaurant with Neiman just before the climax, getting him to accept as a drummer in his upcoming programme. It’s tough to be nice without showing any motive and that too after a sonofabitch portrayal he had shown until that point of time and he does it effortlessly.

Of course, Whiplash couldn’t have been possible without the director Damien Chazelle. To conceive and execute such an offbeat story is an extraordinary feat and in the process creates a music-based film that compares with the classic ‘Amadeus’. Interestingly the love-hate relationship of the student-teacher in Whiplash is a tad similar to that of  Salieri-Mozart. In ‘Amadeus’ Salieri’s struggle is more internalized and only comes out as narration…whereas in ‘Whiplash’ it is brought out in several scenes, with ambiguity thrown in, for the sake of driving the plot.

Like any good movie, the heart of the film lies in its climax. All three–Damien Chazelle, JK Simmons and Miles Tiller leave their best to the last. It’s a unique set-up and a mini-movie by itself. If you decide to watch just a portion of the film then this has to be it. And after watching it, there are quite a few takeaways…and it is up to you to pick the version you like. I for one would like to think that Fletcher found both his genius and nemesis.

Related links:

Laksh online on Amadeus