Wow. Can you believe it? It’s almost three months since the last weekly reading. I’ve been busy but to be honest, I was so consumed by books that I couldn’t read anything else! Here’s the top three read for this week:

1. Ho Chi Minh: A Life

If you were wondering why I went quiet, it was because I need to finish this book and I did! It’s a great revelation into Ho Chi Minh’s life. Duiker is also very matter of fact. Highly recommended for any campaigner though be warned, it is a long read.

2. My Startup Failed, and This is What it Feels Like…

A heartfelt post from Nikki Durkin, a startup poster child for the Australian startup scene. 99dresses hits it off in Australia and Nikki moved to the US after got funding from Ycombinator. Unfortunately, a last minute deal fell through with investors post-YC and things went downhill from there.

3. Pricing the Surge: The Microeconomics of Uber’s Attempt to Revolutionise Taxi Markets

An article from The Economist about Uber’s pricing strategy.

Here are some nice HK film quotes that I found off a website.

I never realised it until now but I’m a big fan of Hong Kong cinema. From Kungfu, vampires, cheesy Stephen Chow comedies to Wong Kar Wei impressionist pieces, HK films have always been engaging, entertaining and pushing boundaries.

Whilst cinematography continues to improve, it seems that Hong Kong filmmakers are also short of ideas these days. I’d definitely like to see some more experimental filmmakers coming from Hong Kong.

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It’s been months…somewhere amongst the chaos, I forgot how beautiful words are. How they are formed to bring something magical, enlightening.

Words are powerful. Use it with care and it’ll evoke the most powerful emotion. Use it recklessly and it’ll get gulped into the ocean of oblivion.

It’s not hard to write, it’s just hard to write thoughtfully. Yet, somehow the more you write, the clearer are your thoughts.



Here’s a great, short, sharp & succinct commencement speech from Dale Heydlauff that gets to the point. Tips:

  • A strong work ethic;
  • Polished communication skills matter;
  • Always keep an open mind and embrace life long learning;
  • Always respect what others can deliver;
  • Learn to focus – be here now;
  • Know thyself – your strength and weakness;
  • Find and follow your passion;
  • Cultivate a network of mentors and never hesitate to ask for advice; and
  • Remember the serenity prayer.

Truth is, I’m old at heart and I never get enough of this song. First sang by Sylvia Vartan (who is also in the video), La Plus Belle Pour Aller Danser was a hit in 1963. It’s amazing that thanks to the internet, you can still dig up original videos of these songs 40+ years later. It’s great to see new covers from young artists — that’s what beautiful about music, it has no boundary when it comes geography or time. There are few things in life that gets our hearts excited, that makes us our feet moves to a certain rhythm, and yet keep us in a trance.



Like Father, Like Son

Initial release: September 17, 2013 (Tokyo) Director: Hirokazu Koreeda Running time: 130 minutes Screenplay: Hirokazu Koreeda Awards: Japan Academy Prize for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role   I went to watch an independent Japanese film called Like Father, Like Son (そして父になる Soshite Chichi …

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I’ve started reading a few books in the past week. The first book I’ve finished reading while the latter two I’ve only just started. If you can get a copy of the second one, I’d love to hear what you think. Comment below.

1. The Fine Art of Success: How Learning Great Art Can Create Great Business

A great book that compares the art/show biz world to real business and how you can still be a creative artist in a corporation . I love some of the analogies in there especially the ones focusing on comparative advantage. The first chapter about Madonna also shows great insight why girl bands-boy bands  like Spice Girls decline but solo singers like Christina Aguilera and Beyonce are still around.

2. The Hard Thing About Hard Things

I’ve only started reading this one but I do enjoy the story of how Ben Horowitz met the 22 year old Marc Andreesen. That’s as far as I got to but it seems to have some very useful insights for startup entrepreneurs. I will do a more comprehensive review later on.

3. Why Most Things Fail: Evolution,  Extinction & Economics

Again, I’ve started this one because it’s one of the physical books I have at home. It’s good so far because I agree with his non-mainstream economics view point but we will see whether the evidence is convincing enough.

Christopher Doyle is the genius cinematographer behind Chungking Express. He has an interesting philosophy on art & life, check out the video below.

One of my favourite works from Chris Doyle is Happy Together, the colours are stunning. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. He’s an underrated cinematographer and I certainly would love to meet him one day to pick his brain!

If you’re just another cog in the wheel then you’re replaceable

- Christopher Doyle


Rach’s weekly readings is starting to become fortnightly as I didn’t do much reading at all last week. For this week, I have:

1. The new age of crony capitalism

A great short article from The Economist about rent-seeking and a few examples of how it’s bad for the economy.

2. Morning Manifesto

Some simple tips to get you focused and start a great day.

3. Meanwhile: An Illustrated Love Letter to the Living Fabric of a City and Our Shared Human Longing to Be Understood

Great illustrations and observations of the different people living in San Fran. I love it!

10 things I like
1. Reading under the sun with old french songs played in the background;
2. Riding my Brompton with light breeze blowing through my hair;
3.  A hot shower when it’s raining outside;
4. Watching theatre and not paying much for it (RUSH ticks!);
5. Capturing moments of people when they’re unaware;
6.  Write film scripts in my head;
7.  Create something visually beautiful from a bunch of boring big data;
8.  People with ideas and stories to tell – nothing is as boring as someone who has nothing to share;
9.  Artists of all kinds – not just’s for art’s sake; and
10.  A good cup of coffee early in the morning;