5 Powers from 5 Financial Books

1‘Rinen’ –Building business with Japan

Author: Dr. Kritinee Pongtanalert, WeLearn Publishing


Synopsis: Grow slowly, but sustain more than 100 years.

Building a long-lasting business through the philosophy of ‘pine tree’.

The global business is continuously changing at a fast pace. Technology streams at a mad rate and many glorious global business brands have now left with only the past success because of an inability to keep balance in the strategy. However, one of the points that Dr. Kritinee Pongtanalert or Katewadee Marumura, the market specialist and the author of ‘Rinen –Building business with Japanese philosophy’, has observed and analyzed about successful Japanese company is that

“Japanese businessmen would not just think about profits, but they are interested in the change of society and they value happiness and satisfaction of their customers as well.”

If you are one of those customers that enjoy Japanese food, you would notice that you will be greeted loudly and welcomed by sincere smiles and services from the staff every time you enter any Japanese restaurants. That is the reason that Japanese businesses gain tremendous favors from customers. They provide high-quality products and good impression to their customers. This is not new in the business field, but this book has gathered the key on how to build a successful business that is long-lasting in the market and can capture the heart of the customers like Japanese business can.

Would you be a Pine Tree or a Bamboo?

‘Ri’ means reason and when it combines with ‘Nen’, which originally means consciousness, ‘Rinen’ thus means a reason that comes out of consciousness or philosophy. “A bamboo company grows very fast, but it cannot survive very long. A pine tree company grows slowly, but sustain for a 100 year.

The benefit of pine tree philosophy is, despite growing slowly, the strong root of the pine tree will generate wonderful results. The business profit might not go skyrocketing, but it gradually increases in a straight line graph moving diagonally without dropping down. Consumers have trust and loyalty in the brand and employees love the organization and think not of resigning or changing jobs. This is different from a bamboo company that places too much emphasis on profits and too little care on the employees. When the focus is only on profits and gaining more customers, a business can be easily crumbled when tragedy struck.

To build a long-lasting business, the business does not necessarily have to be big. A small bakery shop owned by a middle-class family in Hokkaido adopts pine tree philosophy in running their business. They sell 3 cakes for father, mother and a child at an affordable price of 500 Yen because they consider the cake as the medium bonding members in the family together. They try to maintain their good service to impress their consumers that they want to return to the shop again and again. This makes this small bakery shop consecutively gains profits for 40 years.

These are proof that businesses that care about others will bring the organization to success.

If you are one of those people who are interested in Japanese philosophy, this book has assembled ways of thinking in many business areas ranging from food, electronic appliances, and automobiles that are successful in the long term to assist you to find your own ‘Rinen’.

Or if you are a businessman and are looking for help, this book will serve as a marvelous encouragement for you to discover the way to become a unique pine tree that is probably stronger than other pine trees.

2. Blue Chip Kids

Author: David W. Bianchi       Translator: Chutwanan Santhidech     
Post Books Publishing

Synopsis: It is not necessary to teach your children to become investors, but it is necessary to equip them with financial skills.

Initially, David W. Bianchi, the author of “Blue Chip Kids”, planned to write this book to share his knowledge of financial management.

And what is Blue chip?

Blue-chip is a kind of chips used in the casino. Different color chips have different values. In the early time, blue-chip in poker games contains the highest value and thus, Blue Chip means the well-known stable stock with well-known products or service and has enterprise value that goes according to prices in high market. It also has a stable financial status that can produce investment returns during the economic stagnation as well as a constant rate of returns.

Therefore, Blue Chip Kids are outstanding children. The meaning of Blue Chip Kids in this book would mean children with the knowledge of financial management. To be more specific, Blue Chip Kids are children with financial skills that can manage incomes, expenses and saving appropriately which is an important knowledge that can be hardly learned from school and is very crucial in the future.

More importantly, David wrote this book for his 13-year-old son. Originally, he planned to write about 10 pages and it just went on to 100 topics. The language used will be easy to understand throughout the book since it was meant to be a guidebook for a child.

David started the book with the reason for “why we should save up” which is a basic lesson child is taught but were never explained the reason behind doing so.

“From the moment we were born to the last moment we breathe, we need money for everything. Food, clothes, houses, computer, tuition fees, etc. Money is like oxygen, liking it or not, we need it.”

To have money, we need to earn it. But, son, you are too young for the earning part, so you start by saving from the pocket money you get.

What are we saving for? It is not just so that you can deposit your cash into the bank, but it is also for the case of an emergency. For example, you happened to walk past this pastry stall after school and you want to have some. Unfortunately, you had used up all your pocket money. But, wait, you still had your savings that you could spend without asking for money from your parents. However, you should not do this very often or else you would just be saving for snacks…

Apart from that, David explained about currency with easy examples. He mentioned about how to spend money and why we should get our notes to change into other currencies when we travel to foreign countries.

Why should we open a bank account? Nowadays, there is already an internet banking and how we should use it. Or have you ever wondered what those cards adults use to pay instead of using cash are? Why does it look so convenient?

David went on to explain the stocks market. The history of it and what is the stock market for? Why would we trade stocks? Does it the same as money?

Also, what are the consolidated funds that parents like to buy? Is it any different from banknotes? Umm…and can children purchase too?

What are your interests? What do taxes do? David went on to touch upon national GDP and how it relates to us.

All of the above topics are written by David for children to be wise with their money. They should know how to spend, save up, manage and have enough money to live by towards the end of their lives without loaning from others.

Investment is not an important topic here.

3. Hen Hao Business –Think like Chinese to do Wise Business

Author: Woramon Damrongsilpsakul   Matichon Publishing

Synopsis: Make it bold, make it real, Chinese style.

This book reveals the Chinese business model in the digital world that will make readers surprise how far it could go.

In the past few years, China has become the center of the picture because, nowadays, Chinese living in big cities have a modern lifestyle. Moreover, when IT has become a driving force of the market and trading, China has developed so fast that it is hard for others to follow.

The author of this book is Woramon Damrongsilpsakul who has undergone the 15-year experience of working on technology, website and mobile phone. Nowadays, apart from working in the technology field, he also works as a digital transformation consultant, a writer, a tech-blogger and a lecturer.

Woramon dug deep into the heart of a successful Chinese business. He pointed out that in a successful company, technology is not being used just in communication, but in every management process. For example, a barbershop. In China, the application is created as a platform gathering barbershops all over the country. Hairdressers can put up their profiles online and customers can choose the shop they want to go, check hairdressers’ profiles, take a look at their past work, book and make a payment through the application.

Besides, this book will bring us to look at the big e-commerce business-like “Alibaba” which uses Artificial Intelligence or AI as the main factor in the process such as analyzing which graphic designs can attract most visitors and inventing more than 8 000 new designs, so visitors would not get bored.

Apart from that, there are important tips for those who wish to import products from China or export products to China. The author gave several examples of start-up companies and successful business to clearly portray his idea. For example, ‘Mei Tu Camera’, also known as ‘Beauty Camera’ in Thailand. The front lens comes with a high resolution of 21 million pixels. Up till now, Mei Tu Camera has produced up to 7 models and the company has gained a lot of profit from it.

After finished reading, you would realize that China does not take business as a joke. If anyone wants to start a business that will boom in this digital era, this book would serve as a marvelous assistant and it is really good, just like its title.

4. A Book about Innocent: Our story and some things we’ve learned

Author: Dan Germain  Translator: Pavalin Limthongchai Masagee   
Live Rich Forever Publishing


Synopsis: “Start small, but do start.”

‘A Book About Innocent: Our story and some things we’ve learned’. A cute title of the book combined with a friendly cover page attracts readers to explore the content inside. People would probably think this is the cookbook, sharing smoothie recipes and how to make them, the first time they see it.

If you thought so, you are proved wrong. ‘A Book About Innocent: Our story and some things we’ve learned’ is a book about business written by Dan Germain and translated into easy and fun reading language by Pavalin Limthongchai Masagee.

The content of this book told a story of the smoothie business brand, ‘Innocent’, which is extremely popular in England. Every chapter was told in a simple narrative from the origin of this mega idea to the day of hand-on creation.

This business began from 3 best friends who were off doing their own jobs after graduation. All of them had a dream that they wished to make it come true. So, they decided to develop and produce goods on sale with a simple objective of improving the health of people in their community who work way too hard and have no time to be detailed in making good food. Eventually, they came up with blended fruit juice as a product.

Making blended fruit juice alone would not be a big deal, but we should not forget that they started this business in 1998, an era that the world had not been introduced to start-up business yet and technology was far less developed than now.

From normal fruit juice business that only sold 24 bottles on the first day to healthy beverage business with branches worldwide and sells up to 2 million bottles a week.

“Start small, but do start”. The 3 best friends Richard, Adam, and Jon said that no matter what types of business, success does not depend on luck. You can begin with simple ideas, work on it through trial-and-error, readily open for new ideas and always anticipate changes. With all these attitudes, your business will beautifully reach the finishing line.

Apart from the growth of a business, simple fruit juice has made a group of young-blooded teenagers grow more mature as well. We get to see their way of thinking, logic, reasons, and decisions. They understand business management and the market more than they did. They value customers and think about Corporate Social Responsibilities in order for a long-lasting business.

Every chapter of this book is rich in inspiration, thinking methods, and means to a successful business. This book is suitable for people who are building up their own business or interested in business to use as a guideline to create inspiration and feel that you are parts of the brand from the day it was created to the moment it becomes successful. You can even steal some tips from the book and adopt it into your business.

After reading, readers will surely have fun with this simple smoothie that is not so simple after all.

5. The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator

Author: Randall Stross   Translator: Kanokkarn Wechawisit   Bingo Publisher

Synopsis: Exclusive information behind the nursery of unicorn-level start-up companies.

“If I were to choose the perfect age for start-up establishers, it would be around 24-26 years old.”

Paul Graham, a start-up accelerator of YC, wrote in an article. It comes from the speech he made during his senior year at MIT. He was in the middle of deciding if he was going for a Master’s Degree or building a start-up company.

Paul Graham gave important reasons why people of 24-26 years old are the most suitable for start-up businesses. It is because people of age over this range are bound with more responsibilities. If not taking care of family and children, they would be responsible for more debts which deem them unfit for a start-up business. Despite having more experience, there are more risks in every decision they made.

People with the age that Paul thinks suitable, thus, have the upper-hand which are toughness, poverty, not settling down, surrounded with friends from university who are ready to be co-workers and foolishness. Paul stressed that “foolishness” will make young people forget about hardship in setting up the business and thus, make it easier for progress as they fear not of the road that filled with both rose petals and thorns. Experienced personals, however, tend to be more cautious which is resulted in discouragement in taking risks. Nonetheless, it is not a fixed rule because there are people over 30 years old with the above characteristics, they especially brim with foolishness, doing start-up business as well.

YC or Y Combinator is an institution for start-ups that is said to be the best in the world. This is a nursery of unicorn-level start-up companies which means the companies that value more than 1 000 million US dollars, including Dropbox, Airbnb, Coinbase, Stripe, Reddit, Instacart as well as Twitch.

Every year YC will be opened for young people to introduce their ideas and select dreams to nurse in the institution.

From more than 2 000 teams, only 64 teams will be chosen and qualified teams will receive supporting funds from YC, ranging from 11 000-20 000 US dollars, with a condition that YC will hold 7% of company shares and those qualified teams will have to stay in Silicon Valley for 3 months to start their businesses. Moreover, during their time spending in Silicon Valley, they will be closely monitored and supported by the YC coaches to develop on their projects.

If normal companies take many years to establish and require a huge amount of money to invest, YC start-up companies do the opposite. This is because, apart from the ideas, YC start-up companies begin from scratches, but they are able to produce completed products or projects in a few weeks. After 3 months of staying in Silicon Valley, YC start-up companies will have to present their projects on ‘Demo Day’ to show their potential in front of investors that will buy their ideas and join in their company shares.

In fact, every process from registration, interview, training, working on projects to Demo Day, will be kept a secret. Investors that come to witness the projects will be asked not to reveal any information. They are even asked not to record anything down. However, this book happened because Randall Stross asked for permission from YC to follow the start-up teams and 6 YC coaches from the beginning to the end of the course as well as the day that start-up teams come back to greet the next generation. Also, Randall can get exclusive information and has the right to write about it.

This book, thus, is filled with colors of young dreamers that are ready to insanely destroy their innocent barriers and create something good. More importantly, they have YC gurus that are as insane to assist them.

Of course, not every project will be successful and start-up business does not always end up with wealth or success. Despite failing some times, this world is driven by mad people that are ready to make changes.

Therefore, “The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator” is a perfect encouragement, but whether it will make us want to start doing business, it depends on how much foolishness we have in us.