Financial Freedom

Financial Freedom – Sounds awesome and feels even more so. Its a state where you have sufficient money and sufficient time to do whatever you want to do. Getting there is the tough part and it means a lot to be able to do so.

There are lots of stages of life:

  1. Having no money or not enough money and no time : This is a stage where most of us are in. We are often working on things which may not give us sufficient money and may not even give us the time we need to spend with our families. Its very familiar to most of us.
  2. Having money but no time: This is another stage where we are working and we don’t have enough time. This is also not too great and something which most of us are sucked into.
  3. Having no money but lots of time: This the 3rd stage where we have no money and lots of time. This is a very stressful stage to be in as we won’t be able to enjoy the free time properly. It still helps us catch up with a lot of the things that we wouldn’t have been able to do earlier.
  4. Lots of Money and lots of time: This is the stage of Financial Freedom and this is the stage where all of us should plan to achieve as we can focus on what we have been born on the earth for.

Achieving it is very challenging and there will be lots of naysayers around you who might discourage you. The important part is to have a definite goal and keep on going. Use all failures as stepping stones and learn and adjust your path accordingly.

 

Why HTML5, CSS3, PHP and Javascript?

While working online, one comes across many concepts like HTML5, CSS3, PHP and Javascript. These are important to understand atleast with a 30,000 feet view and we should be aware of what each one does and where do we use them.

HTML5 is a markup language for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web. It allows sites to be more dynamic and interactive so that they can be indexed better and can communicate with other websites via APIs. It is the latest version of Hyper Text Markup Language. To summarize, HTML5 is used to define the content of web pages.

CSS is a style sheet language used to describe the presentation semantics (the look and formatting) of a document written in a markup language. To summarize, CSS is used to specify the layout of web pages.

Javascript is a scripting language. It is mainly used to access and manipulate the elements created using a markup language. To summarize, Javascript is used to program the behavior of web pages.

PHP is a powerful yet simple open-source scripting language that is widely used. It is an acronym for “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor”. It is used in WordPress and in Facebook. PHP is a server scripting language, and a powerful tool for making dynamic and interactive Web pages.

PHP is quite incredible and can do quite a few things like:

  1. Generate dynamic page content
  2. Create, open, read, write, delete, and close files on the server
  3. Collect form data
  4. Send and receive cookies
  5. Add, delete, modify data in a database
  6. Control user-access
  7. Encrypt data

Overall, learning HTML5, PHP, CSS and Javascript should be good enough to make any changes to your code even if you haven’t written the code yourself. Changes that you may need to do may include code for any advertising networks that you subscribe to should you decide to monetize your blogs or slight modifications to enhance the security of your blog or maybe even inclusion of videos or audios.

Coming up next

Topics related to WordPress and Advertising networks. I am planning an update in the next 2 weeks.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO

SEO is a very important topic for ensuring that your blog gets the desired visibility. Even if you apply it a little bit, it ends up paying rich dividends. That’s why most companies use SEO to boost results. Technically, it helps to understand HTML, XHTML and CSS.

What is SEO ?

According to Wikipedia, Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results — often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users, and these visitors can be converted into customers. SEO conducts different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.

We need the visibility for our hard work on the sites to show up on the search engines and SEO fills that gap. SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, HTML and associated coding to increase specific keyword relevance and to remove blocks to the search engine’s indexing activities. You can also promote a site to increase the number of backlinks or inbound links.

Search engines perform crawling and building an index, and providing search users with a ranked list of the websites they have determined are the most relevant and popular. The search engine’s automated bots called spiders or crawlers use links to locate different resources across the web.

How to get better rankings in Google’s search engine

  • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, a practice commonly referred to as cloaking.
  • Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
  • Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content. Make sure that your <title> elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate.
  • Use keywords to create descriptive, human-friendly URLs. Provide one version of a URL to reach a document, using 301 redirects or the rel=”canonical” attribute to address duplicate content.

SEO is a huge ocean and if used correctly can boost traffic to your websites.

All the best, friends

 

Ways to increase your income without any additional investment

Ways to generate Income or replace your income without Investment

The options to increase your income without any additional investment are more limited and the common ones that you hear about. You can also potentially replace your income.

  1. Blogging: This is one of the more lucrative ways of earning money. It takes time to build the site and ensure that you have sufficient good quality content. You have to make sure that your content is directed to the web visitors that you want to visit your blog. The blog should be something that you like and then once you have sufficient traffic coming in, you can apply to various advertising networks (Google Adsense, Chitika, Speedyads etc) and have them place ads on your blog.
  2. Pay to Click (PTC) Sites: The Pay To Click sites pay money for every click of the advertisements that pop up when you login with your Username. This takes time and needs quite a lot of patience as it may take several months before you start seeing any significant earnings. These PTC sites also work in an affiliate model and you will get paid more if you have more affiliates signing up with you. The more famous ones are Clixsense, TrafficMonsoon etc
  3. Get Paid to (GPT) Sites: The Get paid To sites pay money to perform various activities e.g. watching videos, taking surveys, signing up for new websites, playing games. The more famous ones are InboxDollars and CashCrate. These will not earn you a lot of money but can get you some pocket money.
  4. Solve Captchas: Another way to earn money is by reading the captcha images and typing the same characters in a text box. This will also not earn you a lot of money but can help a bit.
  5. Affiliate Marketing: You can earn by being affiliates of ClickBank, CJ, EBay, Amazon etc and earn between 4 to 20 % commissions for guiding customers to certain products on your website.
  6. Freelancer: You can be a freelancer and provide various services like content writing, creating websites, SEO, data entry etc and you will get paid based on your skills.
  7. Micro-worker: Websites like mTurk, ClickWorker etc can pay you money for clicking on other websites, writing small articles and performing other small tasks.
  8. Dropshipping: You can earn money by dropshipping i.e. buying from one site at a lower price and selling on another site at a higher price. For this, you need to be an authorized seller at Amazon, Ebay etc and ensure that that the item that you are selling is available. You also need to take into account the seller fees that each site charges and incorporate into the price so that you do not run into a loss. DS Domination is a great place to learn about dropshipping.
  9. Fiverr: You can perform any services on Fiverr and get paid $5 for every service performed.
  10. Youtube: You can upload videos on Youtube and get paid for every visit. You can also get paid by people who have uploaded videos and they would pay you for viewing those videos and posting comments.

 

Ways to augment your current income and potentially replace your income with additional investment

There are quite a few ways to increase your current income with additional investment. There are paid packages to create websites and generate content for the websites. You can invest in various programs that give additional revenue and ensure that you get a profit for every investment that you make.

There is one good website where you can get your domains setup for a fee (www.upgradeyourcash.com) and then sit back and wait while the returns start pouring in. The good thing about this package is that you can have your time to work on whatever you want.

I have some domains purchased under this package:

  1. http://advertising.cleaninternetpages.info
  2. http://pets.cleaninternetpages.info
  3. http://books.cleaninternetpages.info
  4. http://clothing.cleaninternetpages.info
  5. http://coupons.cleaninternetpages.info
  6. http://banking.cleaninternetpages.info
  7. http://insurance.cleaninternetpages.info
  8. http://realestate.cleaninternetpages.info
  9. http://cellphones.cleaninternetpages.info
  10. http://cars.cleaninternetpages.info
  11. http://hotels.cleaninternetpages.info
  12. http://computers.cleaninternetpages.info
  13. http://travel.cleaninternetpages.info
  14. http://weightloss.cleaninternetpages.info
  15. http://www.cleaninternetpages.info

Other than this, we have another website called WealthyAffiliate for those who need guidance. There is plenty of help in this community and lots of training resources available. The good part is there is a Starter Package which is available at $0 in most countries. (In India, this starter package is unfortunately not available) The starter package is sufficient in most cases. For those who need more, there is a Premium package option.

Yet another way is to go for the ad packs in the various Pay To Click sites and that would generate revenue. Multiple ad packs should be purchased in parallel to get the required cash flow but care should be taken to ensure that you don’t put in too much.

 

 

 

Traditional methods of wealth creation (Real Estate, Stock Market, Own a Business)

Before we get into the topic, it would help to understand a little bit more about wealth. Our usual way of thinking is that if the cash inflow or income is high, we are wealthy. However, if the cash outflow i.e. the expenses are high, the net savings ends up being low and hence we tend to live paycheck to paycheck. In case a personal emergency comes up or if you have some medical emergency that is not covered by the insurance that you have taken, you end up having to dig deep into your savings. In my corporate career, I have seen numerous cases like this and I was in the same boat myself. The important thing is to realize that and make the attempt to change things. We need to be able to have multiple sources of cash inflow so that in case some dry up, we can always lean back on the others.

First, we need to be clear about why we need to create wealth. I am a strong believer of “The Secret” and the Laws of Attraction. You have to focus on positive things and positive things will start happening. e.g. there is a difference between focusing on earning $5000-$10000 a month versus thinking that we will clear off this debt or this loan or pending payment. Good things start happening when you focus on the earning rather than the expenditure. We should understand the options we have at hand and also understand more about our risk taking quotient. It depends a lot on the cash reserve that we have. A higher cash reserve will automatically give us the backup to go for higher risks. But, we should take calculated risks. We should be prepared for the eventuality that things may go wrong or may take more time and plan for that. The rosy picture portrayed usually does not work out. So, we need to be careful there and plan ahead.

Some options are:

  1. Real Estate: This is an excellent way of creating wealth. Most people tend to go this way but end up taking bank loans to purchase houses or land rather than using cash reserves. The negative aspect of bank loans is that the bank owns the house or land till the loan is cleared. Most people take up the loan thinking that later their income or cash inflow will increase at a later point and they tend to discount any cases of reduction in cash inflow due to emergencies. In case of loan defaults, the bank ends up taking over possession and the entire loan amount paid till date gets lost. Banks then end up selling these houses in auctions at much lower prices. What we can understand from this is that we can use these foreclosed properties to get good deals. Secondly, builders often give very good deals when the money is ready at hand as home loans usually take some time for processing. Ready money gives you the option to bargain better. Of course, I should put in a disclaimer that we need to do our due diligence and ensure that the property documents are clear, builder is a good builder with good past history, location of property, potential for increase in value of property, neighbouring areas and that there is no dispute about ownership and the seller has clear rights to make the sale. Real estate can earn good money provided we are cautious about it. The game “Monopoly” is an excellent game to understand how we can go about it. “Buy Low” and “Sell High” works.
  2. Stock Markets: Warren Buffet is an inspiration in this field and numerous books have been written about making money through stocks. Here also the “Buy Low” and “Sell High” motto works very well with a very clear understanding of our risk profile. We need to understand more about how valuable the stock really is and how much it is likely to grow. Then only, we should take the decision to buy or hold. If the stock is already overpriced, we should not buy it. The volume game works especially if we diversify and buy stocks across different industries. There are a lot of predictions about how the stocks may do and lot of experts talk about that and sometimes, we tend to blindly follow the experts. However, we should first understand that experts may or may not invest in those stocks. Its very likely that they would have already made the purchase at a very low price and by the time you make the purchase, the stock would be already very overpriced. We should do the due diligence ourselves first and then use the experts advice as a guidance. Once we do a few test runs, we are able to figure out which techniques work and which ones don’t. Stock Markets can also earn good money and we have to keep an eye on the fact that timing of entry and exit matters as there are a lot unforeseen circumstances that could make the stock prices increase or suddenly fall down.
  3. Own a Business: Owning a business is an excellent way to earn money. There are numerous opportunities available (Opening a restaurant, Owning a Franchise, Import/Export Business etc) and we need to understand that no business is 100 % failure proof and it is quite challenging. Each opportunity is different and the necessary due diiligence needs to be done to ensure that the terms are as favorable to us as possible. We need to plan for cases where the business may not do well and we need to have a strong reason for doing the business so that when the downs come, we are still ready to work on the business. Also, we need to focus on building multiple businesses so that if one dries up, we can always lean back on the others. Building the business is the toughest and we need to focus a lot on that. There is plenty of scope for working on online or e-commerce opportunities and we see a lot of cases where the brick and mortar shops have had to change strategies in order to try to compete with online stores or in some cases had to shut shop completely. Online is the way forward. However, we need to have a proper business strategy in place as only the ones with a clear approach will succeed as the market matures. Building the customer base and clear understanding of products/services and the target market is important but reducing prices below the margin price will not sustain the business.

These wealth creation methods will generate sufficient wealth, the type that cannot be generated from just putting savings in a bank in various deposits or mutual funds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KaratBars

KaratBars is another wonderful opportunity which can bring you great riches. It is doing quite well on the rankings and offers one of the best solutions to counter inflation : Gold. Add to that, I have the opportunity to work with an amazing leader, Ben Alexander.

Karatbars International GmbH offers a wide range of products and options in the 999.9 fine gold market space. The core products are 1g, 2.5g, and 5g minted 24 karat gold ingots from LBMA accredited refineries. In addition to Karatbars classic core products, they offer collector cards for sports teams, professional athletes, and multinational charities.Karatbars has a custom branding card program whereby anyone that qualifies may have the company produce one, or thousands of branding cards that meet the customer’s requirements. Karatbars welcomes you as a customer.

Company profile of Karatbars International
Karatbars International was founded in 2011. The company specializes in the sale of small gold bars and gift items in gold bullion. The headquarters and the logistics center of the company is located in Stuttgart. It is responsible for the support, marketing, customer and partner communication, execution and delivery of orders. Headquarter also co-ordinates the launch of new countries throughout Europe. Deliveries in smaller quantities are packaged under video surveillance at the home of Karatbars International and shipped via FedEx daily.

Partner companies of Shipment:
FedEx

Gold-Production:
Nadir Gold (Turkey)

One point to note is that Karatbars does not currently deliver packages to all countries though it does cover most of the countries. e.g. It does not deliver packages to India yet.

 

To know more about this brilliant opportunity, please reach out to me at Karatbars and I would be happy to help you.

 

PTC that pay and Revenue Sharing Sites (AdspayPro, Clixsense and TrafficMonsoon)

Best PTC Sites that Pay

There are quite a few PTC sites that pay. Most notably, AdsPaypro and Clixsense. Not only can you earn by clicking ads directly but you can also earn much more through the Affiliate Program. Are they a scam: The answer is “NO”And do they work: The answer is a resounding “YES”. Initially, you might find the inflow less especially if you have no referrals but once you have referrals, the inflow suddenly starts increasing.

When I started, I tried a few paid options for working from home e.g. pinku.in (They go by different names like whygoout.in and jobperfetto.com). They ask you to pay some money for a CD package which explains about how to go about the work i.e. filling forms. As a trial, they will ask you to do 10 forms and if they look fine, they will assign you more work. Unfortunately, they will not get back to you after that. I tried multiple calls to the Customer Care and multiple SMS messages but no reply. Then I realized that this was a way for them to make money. The trial of 10 forms by multiple people should be enough for them to get the work done for free. It was a lesson well learnt: Don’t go by gimmicks.

That’s when I realized that we should avoid paying money to do anything online as there are a lot of scamsters around. Of course there are good people around who will try to help you but you have to be very wary and watch out for the Shiny Object Syndrome. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

This is when I came across Pritam Nagrale’s blogging site (MoneyConnexion) which provided me a very good idea about how to go about things online. I am grateful to Pritam for the excellent advice. It gave me the direction I badly needed for starting online.

Special Note about TrafficMonsoon:

For the time being, Traffic Monsoon is not a good option to go ahead with as there are some legal complications. On July 26, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a Complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Utah against Traffic Monsoon, LLC, a Utah limited liability company, and Charles David Scoville. The Court entered a Temporary Restraining Order, an Order Freezing Assets, and an Order Appointing Receiver. Peggy Hunt of Dorsey & Whitney LLC has been appointed the Receiver in this matter. Pursuant to a Court order Traffic Monsoon is not legally allowed to operate, accounts have been locked and assets have been frozen. Hence, please do not invest in Traffic Monsoon at this stage.

Then, I checked out AdsPayPro and found that to be an amazing option. The returns were much quicker than I anticipated and that was what I was seeking at that point in time. However, please note that different offers keep on coming from Ryan and you need to evaluate each offer independently and see if they fit into your future plans or not.

ClixSense is a free way to join a home business program that brings you money each time your browser visits a certain web page for more than 30 seconds. In the mean time, you can do whatever you want. You will earn $0.005 to 0.01 for a single view, and if you make more than 10$ a month, then you will receive a check or get paid through PayPal or Alertpay. You can also lift up the 10 $ limit if you want to do so. Although you can sometimes earn as much as 5$ for a singe ad, almost all ads are worth a cent while the other ones are worth two or three cents.The amount that you earn per visit depends on the advertisers choice to spend money. Although they do exist, $5 ads are rare. Signing up is free and you can immediately start making money right from the comfort of your home. Free members will receive 10 cents for each referral and about $2 if their direct referral has a Premium Account. A free member will also get 10% of all its referrals ad purchases. The best thing you can do if you are working in this way is to upgrade to a Premium membership. It only costs $ 10, but these ten bucks will be money very well spent. 90% of all ads will only be available if you are a premium member with a very good portfolio. You will need a credit card or online bank account to upgrade to a premium membership or you can use your current balance.

TrafficMonsoon.com is a specialized advertising and revenue sharing company that allows international participation of individuals and groups. Our services provide high quality advertising targeted for people seeking for a way to earn money online along with complete account privacy, top level online security, efficient account management, and a dedicated support team. The company’s traffic generation resources are capable of sending your website several thousands of visitors quickly. All our members have equal opportunity to benefit from an attractive revenue sharing plan on a long-term basis. There is truly no risk to our revenue sharing plan, because the quality of advertising services you’re paying for out-weigh the price. You’ll really notice the difference with TrafficMonsoon in results, and profit sharing.

AdspayPro is a Premier display, captive and messaging based website traffic system. It provides the following services:  Traffic Exchange Start Pages, CPM/CPC Banner and Text Ads, Login, Interstitial Page Views, Pop-up/ Pop-Under displays, Captive Website Traffic, Solo Ads, Email Line and Rider Ads. It has a nice Affiliate Income Program:10% Direct first level Commissions on ALL purchases made by your personal referrals, Realtime Accumulation Units, Units start accumulating revenue in SECONDS!, Each unit can accumulate up to 1.2 time their qualifying purchase, Accumulated revenue is automatically locked in and disbursed hourly!, Level-Up Bonus Rates Paid, Unit Targets increase by Member Rank or Service Level, Up to 25% Referrers Match on your direct referrals.

I am evaluating other PTC sites and will keep you posted about them.

 

 

 

Inspirational Success Stories

Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks)

 

Howard’s father would do multiple jobs in order to support the family. He worked as a truck driver, factory worker as well as taxi driver. At the age of seven, his father lost his job and broke his ankle while working as a diaper service delivery driver. Howard lived in an overcrowded two-bedroom unit in an apartment building where 150 families would reside. When he got the chance to Northern Michigan University on an athletic scholarship, he became the first person ever from his family to have an opportunity to go to college.

After graduating, Howard worked as a salesperson for Xerox Corporation and was quickly promoted to a full sales representative. In 1979 he became a general manager for Swedish drip coffee maker manufacturer, Hammarplast, where he became responsible for their U.S. operations with a staff of twenty. In 1981, Howard visited a client of Hammarplast, a fledgling coffee-bean shop called Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle, curious as to why it ordered so many plastic cone filters. He was impressed with the company’s knowledge of coffee and kept in contact over the next year, expressing interest in working with them. A year later, he joined Starbucks as the Director of Marketing. On a buying trip to Milan, Italy for Starbucks, Howard noted that coffee bars existed on practically every street. He learned that they not only served excellent expresso but they also served as meeting places.

On his return, he tried to persuade the owners (including Jerry Baldwin) to offer traditional espresso beverages in addition to the whole bean coffee, leaf teas and spices they had long offered. After a successful pilot of the cafe concept, the owners refused to roll it out company-wide, saying they didn’t want to get into the restaurant business. Frustrated, Howard decided to leave Starbucks in 1985. He needed $400,000 to open the first store and start the business. He simply did not have the money and his wife was pregnant with their first baby. Jerry Baldwin and Gordon Bowker offered to help. Howard also received $100,000 from a doctor who was impressed by Schultz’s energy to take a gamble. By 1986, he raised all the money he needed to open the first store ‘Il Giornale’. Two years later, the original Starbucks management decided to focus on Peet’s Coffee and Tea and sold its Starbucks retail unit to Schultz and Il Giornale for $3.8 million.

Schultz renamed Il Giornale with the Starbucks name, and aggressively expanded its reach across the United States. Schultz’s keen insight in real estate and his hard-line focus on growth drove him to expand the company rapidly. Schultz did not believe in franchising and made it a point of having Starbucks retain ownership of every domestic outlet.

 

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Steve Jobs (APPLE)

In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had created the first Apple Inc.  computer, the Apple I and their company found seed capital from early investors. The next year, they were ready to unveil their newest creation, the Apple II, their first mass-produced computer.

They debuted the home computer at that year’s West Coast Computer Faire, and went on to become one of the first successful mass-produced desktop computers. Jobs’ close attention to the machine’s appearance was already evident based on the time he spent designing the computer’s beige plastic case. Steve Wozniak was primarily responsible for the technology of the Apple II.

The computer’s success made Jobs a millionaire by the time he was 23, in 1978. That same year, with the company growing, Jobs and Wozniak hired Mike Scott from National Semiconductor to serve as CEO.

By 1981, Apple was one of the three top producers of personal computers in the United States, and possibly the biggest. But other, bigger competitors were getting into the market, most notably International Business Machines Corp (IBM), whose most popular model surpassed the Apple II as the best-selling personal computer by 1983. The next year, the computing colossus also boasted $4 billion in annual PC revenue, more than doubling Apple’s revenues.

But Apple was on the verge of a breakthrough that would redefine personal computing. The breakthrough had its roots in 1979, when Jobs first saw the Xerox Alto. The Alto was, essentially, the first mouse-driven computer. Until then, operating a computer was a matter of learning the computer’s language and typing in commands. The visual interface of the Alto changed all that, and Jobs immediately saw the potential.

Apple unleashed the mouse-driven user interface to the public in a computer it called the Macintosh. When Jobs introduced it at a shareholder meeting in early 1984, the crowd went wild.

But the Macintosh was expensive, roughly $2,500 apiece, and sales disappointed. But the tech industry perked up and took more than just notes. Microsoft quickly began to develop its own mouse-driven user interface. And much cheaper PC’s running the Microsoft software popped up overnight.

In 1983, Apple had hired PepsiCo Inc (PEP) executive John Sculley as its CEO. By 1985, he and Jobs were battling over the future of Apple. Sculley wanted to focus on less-contested niches like education, small business, and home markets. But Jobs wanted to take on the IBM PC in all markets with what he believed was superior hardware and software. Those tensions came to a head in 1985, when Jobs resigned, taking a handful of Apple employees with him to create a new company, called NeXT Inc.

Jobs seeded the new company with $7 million of his own money, which the company burned through in its first year. Billionaire Ross Perot stepped in as an investor, and the company released its first product, the NeXT workstation, in 1990. It was state-of-the-art, but, at $9,999, too expensive for most, especially its target customer—the education sector. By 1993, the company had only sold 50,000 machines, and decided to switch to software development. The move led to its first profit, when it netted $1 million in 1994.

At the same time, however, Jobs became involved with a venture that would go a long way toward cementing his reputation and his fortune, when he bought Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division for $10 million. The standalone company would be renamed Pixar and create a generation of iconic children’s movies, including Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and WALL-E. In 2006, the Walt Disney Company (DIS) acquired Pixar for $7.4 billion in stock, making Jobs the biggest single shareholder of The Walt Disney Company.

While Pixar was working on its first feature film, Jobs’ NeXT continued to struggle. After shifting its focus to become a software-only company in 1993, it laid off 300 of its 540 employees. But it had managed to create an impressive and original operating system, called NeXTSTEP. In 1996, Jobs began to speak to Apple again. And by the end of the year, Apple agreed to pay $429 million in cash for NeXT, along with 1.5 million shares of Apple, the latter of which went directly to Jobs, who came along with NeXT, initially as a consultant.

Just seven months after the deal was finalized, Jobs was named Apple’s interim CEO. To turn the company toward profitability, he quickly slashed a number of beloved projects, and acquired a reputation for firing people on the spot. He also modified the company’s software licensing business, making it too costly for other companies to continue to make machines that ran Macintosh software.

More importantly, the cutting-edge technology developed by NeXT over the previous 12 years began to filter into Apple products. NeXTSTEP, its coveted operating system, became Mac OS X, while visually attractive and consumer-friendly products like the iMac goosed sales. By 2000, the Apple board was ready to make Jobs the company’s official CEO.

As CEO, Jobs began to look beyond the personal computer again, first with the groundbreaking iPod digital music player, which changed the way people listen to music. Prior to the iPod’s launch in 2001, very few people listened to music on portable digital players. By 2012, more than 350 million devices had been sold worldwide.

The iPod’s sleek design and easy user interface paved the way for the company’s 2007 release of the iPhone, which revolutionized cellular phone design. In 2014 alone, Apple sold roughly 170 million iPhones worldwide.

Not content to forever alter the way people used mobile phones and listened to music, Jobs launched the iPad in 2010. The very first version of the compact tablet computer with few buttons and a touch screen sold more than 250 million units. It has been credited with single-handedly revitalizing the previously moribund market for tablet computers.

Jobs famously micro-managed every detail of the devices’ design, functionality and user-interface. The success of all three devices was profound. By 2011, Apple surpassed Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM) as the largest corporation in the United States, with a market capitalization of roughly $355 billion. At the beginning of Jobs’ second reign, in 1997, Apple’s market cap was approximately $3 billion.

In 2011, with Apple at the summit of not just the tech industry, but of all of American business, Jobs resigned as Apple’s CEO. He was suffering from pancreatic cancer, and knew he would soon die. Even after his resignation, he stayed on as chairman of the board, continuing to work for Apple until the day before his death.

 

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Jack Ma (Founder of Alibaba)

He is the Executive Chairman and founder of Alibaba Group and is among the top Chinese entrepreneurs. The Chinese internet shopping market was valued at over 150 billion USD in the third quarter of 2015. Only ten years ago, in early 1995 Jack MA was in the US, and did an internet search for the word “beer”, he realized that there were no results from his home country of China. In just over ten years he has helped the China become one of the top countries when it comes to online shopping.

Jack Ma’s Company Alibaba had the biggest Initial public offer (IPO) in history when it went public. With over $150 billion raised in the filing it officially made Jack MA the richest man in China with a value of $25 billion.

He was born Ma Yun in 1964 in the Chinese region of Hangzhou. 1964 was a tumultuous time in Chinese history, the china’s Cultural Revolution was well underway. The young Ma found himself on the wrong side of Mao’s communist party that was leading the revolution as his grandparents were members of the Chinese Nationalist Party; which opposed Mao’s party.

His education was not all smooth sailing either. Jack failed in his primary school examinations two times before he got it right. Continuing on to middle school he failed the graduating exams three times before going through. This was not the end of his failures in the education system; after high school when applying for universities he flopped the entrance exams three times. He really wanted to join university as he even applied to Harvard University and got rejected-all of ten times! Eventually he joined Hangzhou Normal University where he graduated with a bachelor in English.

After University it was time to look for a job. When the American fast food company came to China Jack Ma and 23 other people applied for a post there. All of them were accepted apart from Jack. In another instance Jack and four other men applied for a job in the police force; only Jack was not hired.

At an early age, Jack decided he wanted to learn English. The only English speaking people he could get were the tourists staying at a nearby hotel. Every morning he would ride his bicycle to the hotel and talk to the foreigners giving free tours as he practiced his oral English. Through these tours, Jack developed pen pal relationships with some of the tourists. This gave him knowledge about the outside world. He learned to ask questions and not believe or disbelieve everything he was told; something he applies to this day.

After graduating, Jack could not find stable employment. He taught at a local university and opened a translation service business. He visited the US in 1995 as a translator and was introduced to the internet.

This was when he did a “beer” internet search and could not find any beer from China on the World Wide Web. How could a country of over a billion people have no presence in the internet? He immediately saw the potential the internet had, and how it could help develop business interactions in china and the world.

Jack and his friends decided to build a site about china and the products that it offers. They called the site “Chinapage”. Ma’s eyes were opened when after launching the site he began to get emails from people around the world. “Chinapage” fate was sealed when Jack looking for better funding joined with a government entity giving it majority control. This was a mistake as the unmoving bureaucracy hijacked many of his visions and frustrated him greatly. This eventually led to Jack’s departure. He developed his philosophy of never working with the government again from then on.

In the second half of the 90’s Jack got a job in the ministry of foreign trade and economic cooperation. While he was there for only a short time, he built connections with a man who would later come to impact his life; Yahoo founding member Jerry Yang. Jerry got Yahoo to invest 1 Billion dollars in Alibaba in 2005.

In 1999 Jack decided to pursue his dream of selling Chinese products in the internet to a much bigger market. This idea had been criticized and rejected repeatedly when he was in the government. Now with renewed vigor after leaving his government job, Jack gave it one more shot. He got together 18 people (including his wife) and pitched them his idea of an internet based company to be known as Alibaba.

Like all start-ups Alibaba faced the dilemma of getting funding. Jack tried his luck at Silicon Valley in the United States, his proposal was deemed to be unprofitable by many of the companies he approached. After many trials and rejections he succeeded in getting funding from Softbank and Goldman Sachs who invested $25 million in Alibaba.

Alibaba still had not turned up a profit by 2003 and Jack had to get creative. He launched “Taobao.com” an online shopping and auction site. EBay already had a big piece of the auction market in China and Taobao committed itself to charge zero commission on any purchase made in the site. With no profits this zero commission policy put Alibaba under a lot of financial pressure. Jack and his colleagues began offering other value added services like pages to online merchants for small prices. In less than four years Alibaba had pushed eBay out of the Chinese market. Yahoo invested $1 billion dollars for a 40% stake in the company in 2014. This helped catapult the company into the international market.

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