Author Archives: Jeffrey Ito

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A graduate of University of Southern California from Los Angeles, California with a Bachelors of Science in Industrial & Systems Engineering and an SAP Specialization. Jeffrey Ito is an entrepreneur who loves new technologies such as 3D printing, Neural Interfaces, Bitcoin, and iPhone apps. He is the Founder of Lithium Gold, Inc and Digital Green Tea - more than an SEO company. We are an experience founded on teamwork, transparency and achieving massive results. Jeff enjoys helping people gain an edge with 21st Century break-through technologies. His ultimate vision is to create optimized technology systems that help improve the lives of other people. If there's any questions, comments or feedback you have for me - feel free to contact me at any time.
Books

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Rich Dad, Poor Dad Header

There aren’t many authors that are able to motivate you so much as to actually help you gain control over your life and develop a framework for accelerating it. Robert Kiyosaki is definitely one of them – and in ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’, he proves why his words are meant to inspire action.

While most people will categorize this book under ‘Investment and Money’, the first thing you need to understand is that it is really not all about the money. This book is written to trigger our mind out of the comfort zone we are in. The mental models make us aware of a system that teaches us how to think and what actions to take during our lifetime.

The main inspiration which can also be noticed in the name of the book comes to Kiyosaki from the two father figures that were present in his life: his biological and his friend’s father. Categorizing both of them as fathers, Kiyosaki reveals how different their perspectives are when it comes to money and financial decisions – and which perspective is made to prosper.

In a nutshell, both of his fathers looked at money from a different angle. One of them worked 9 to 5 and valued hard work. The other dad relied on passive income and built income streams from real estate, royalties and more. We must view situations in as many possible perspectives as possible. For example, going to real estate school, getting married and raising a family are directions society wants us to accept. Buying expensive stuff to boost our ego and make false impression of ourselves is another one. We must be able to perceive freely and understand things for what they truly are to truly understand how systems work.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad book coverAs Kiyosaki states, we don’t need anything that we haven’t earned to maintain an image. Moreover, he signifies the importance of our motives – and how being motivated by not just money but the world around us can help us succeed. Being educated does not always mean being smart. Lessons can be learned anywhere and at any time, and all we have to do is accept that we are all equal from the start.

When it comes to financial investments and money, Kiyosaki provides well-informed fundamental financial tips. He explains all the concepts in a visual fashion, using diagrams to back up his theories and detail important things accordingly. Unlike many other books on investment and money preaching the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of investing money, ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ is a smart guide to making money work for you.

Obviously, there is no one-size-fits-all formula to making money and being successful, as it all lies inside each one of us and how we allocate our time and assets. In his blog, Kiyosaki covers this from an entrepreneurial point of view and an outside-the-box thinking.

The true mastery of Kiyosaki is his balanced approach to both of the father figures and the decisions that made (one of) them successful. Through detailed six lessons, he explains how his rich dad taught him to change the normal perspective and always use a different way of thinking.

As per the famous quote from the book,

Know what an asset is, acquire them and become rich”,

The applicable solution to financial despair is through the accumulation of assets and reduction of liabilities. Assets let money flow in and liabilities make money flow out, so in order to achieve financial independence one must accumulate assets and diminish liabilities. For example, investing money in property is adding asset value, which can pay reasonably well in the future to pay off expenses. Remember that a home will come with liabilities such as insurance, taxes, etc which must be accounted for. The important thing is to know the long-term cost in terms of assets and liabilities that must be paid each month before taking on major financial decisions.

In short, the crux of the book is to never depend too much on your job and education as it all can fall apart with downsizing. Instead increase your asset portfolio and find ways to earn more money. Once your assets are successfully generating cash flow, rather than buying things and turning them to liabilities, re-invest the cash into other assets to accelerate your income earning potential. This allocation of assets is how the rich become richer because they know and follow the simple tactics of making money the right way.

What we can learn from this book is that life throws us a lot of opportunities and risks over its course and money, although essential, are a reality only for the people who know how to change their thinking and step out of their comfort zone.

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

Author:
Tag: Recommended Books
Publisher: Plata Publishing
Publication Year: 2011
ASIN: B0175P82RA
ISBN: 1612680011

Rich Dad Poor Dad, the #1 Personal Finance book of all time, tells the story of Robert Kiyosaki and his two dads—his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad—and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need ...

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Rich Dad Poor Dad, the #1 Personal Finance book of all time, tells the story of Robert Kiyosaki and his two dads—his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad—and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.
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Books Books By Billionaires

Shoe Dog: A Memoir By The Creator Of Nike

Shoe Dog: A Memoir By The Creator Of Nike Header

How does one go from a $50 investment of mom’s money to a $100 billion dollar shoe giant?

Nike is one of the iconic international brands today. If you take a look at the top athletes across the world, most likely they wear Nike’s on their feet. To know that the brand started with humble roots would inspire just about anyone to do great things. Shoe Dog: A Memoir By The Creator Of Nike by Phil Knight is a riveting, courageous and inspiring story of how one man – entrepreneur, athlete and father – took on all odds to see his Crazy Idea come to life. 

For Phil Knight, countless failures, setbacks and obstacles are worn like badges of honour. Every obstacle overcome just leaves the competition further back in the dust. Shoe Dog is an endlessly entertaining read that had me flipping through the pages like a madman to see what would happen next. Phil’s relentless determination is contagious. Any entrepreneur with a Crazy Idea should read this memoir. 

Shoe Dog HardcoverAs a young adult, Phil spends months vagabonding across the world in different countries. These seemingly inconspicuous adventures had a profound impact on shaping Phil’s perspectives and destiny as a leader. By being around those in varying cultures, customs, status, cuisines, architecture, languages, dress, mannerisms, etc one is able to truly grasp what the human condition means. His experiences even inspires me to consider long-term travel.

On a whim, Knight schedules an interview with a Japanese running shoe manufacturer and presents himself as the representative of an American distributor interested in selling Tiger shoes to American runners. The executives like what they hear and Mr. Knight places his first shoe order soon thereafter. What really mattered in this situation, is the grandiose vision he shared.

Business is a lot like sports. Because managing cash flow and growth is extremely delicate, the company (originally called Blue Ribbon) would constantly run out of money yet manage to find a way through the situation. An important lesson is to always have a backup when funding your idea and also sourcing your product. Besides, there is too much capital available for savvy entrepreneurs with great ideas. When a bank rejected Nike on the basis of accounting, Japanese investment firm Nissho saw the vision and invested even more into his Crazy Idea.

“Like books, sports give people a sense of having lived other lives, of taking part in other people’s victories. And defeats.”

This is a Hero’s journey every step of the way. Phil leads a misfit gang of outcasts and together they build a brand that is unlike any other. People don’t just buy Nike shoes, they buy what it feels like to be an athlete. Nike is about artistry in motion. There is an element of freedom when competing – individual or team – that bonds the human spirit together. This, is the essence of Nike.

Overall, the book is a great source of what not to do in business, which is probably even more important than knowing what to do.

As the story unfolds, the importance of human relationships comes into play. This is not just the memoir of a singular person, but of the souls and persons, great adventures and struggles behind the brand. Form a team that has something to fight for and they will perform their best. Achieving success takes cooperation and a little bit of luck, but mostly never giving up and taking on failures head on. An entrepreneur’s vision supersedes all the naysayers who say they can’t do it, and their team is there to back them up.

The last important lesson Phil shares is that of time and making sure to live your life the way you want, how you want. At the end of a life lived, you will look back at your memories. Make sure they were well spent with the people you love and doing the things you really wanted to do. This is the secret to living an amazing life. Just do it.

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

Author:
Tag: Recommended Books
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Year: 2016
ASIN: B0176M1A44
ISBN: 1501135910

In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.Young, searching, fresh...

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In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.

Young, searching, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed fifty dollars from his father and launched a company with one simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost running shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his Plymouth Valiant, Knight grossed eight thousand dollars that first year, 1963. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In this age of start-ups, Knight’s Nike is the gold standard, and its swoosh is more than a logo. A symbol of grace and greatness, it’s one of the few icons instantly recognized in every corner of the world.

But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always been a mystery. Now, in a memoir that’s surprising, humble, unfiltered, funny, and beautifully crafted, he tells his story at last. It all begins with a classic crossroads moment. Twenty-four years old, backpacking through Asia and Europe and Africa, wrestling with life’s Great Questions, Knight decides the unconventional path is the only one for him. Rather than work for a big corporation, he will create something all his own, something new, dynamic, different. Knight details the many terrifying risks he encountered along the way, the crushing setbacks, the ruthless competitors, the countless doubters and haters and hostile bankers—as well as his many thrilling triumphs and narrow escapes. Above all, he recalls the foundational relationships that formed the heart and soul of Nike, with his former track coach, the irascible and charismatic Bill Bowerman, and with his first employees, a ragtag group of misfits and savants who quickly became a band of swoosh-crazed brothers.

Together, harnessing the electrifying power of a bold vision and a shared belief in the redemptive, transformative power of sports, they created a brand, and a culture, that changed everything.

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Books

The Macintosh Way

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The Macintosh Way is Guy Kawasaki’s vision of “doing the right thing and doing things right”. This book is a nostalgic reference to one of the greatest eras in modern computing – the 80s. Essentially, it is an insider’s look at the Art of Guerrilla Management and is a very effective game plan to building a lasting organization. Apple is one of the elite technology companies in the world and has been that way since its inception.

1984 was the introduction of the Macintosh which ushered in a whole new era of computing. As the chief evangelist for Apple, Guy leads you into the trenches of doing battle at Apple and creating game changing products. If you have read some of Guy’s other books, such as The Art of The Start, then you may recognize his fun, breezy writing style. The book is engaging and sprinkled with wit and humor throughout the pages which makes the story of Apple seem even more epic. 

Doing The Right Thing

When it comes to establishing a Macintosh Way environment, the top guy is the most important factor. They reflect the personality of the organization. If the top guy changes perspective so goes the organization. If the top guy is “the man” and has unstifled creative control over the company then the organization will be unstoppable.

5 Special Characteristics Of The Top Guy (for all the entrepreneurs reading)

  1. Passion for products
  2. Strong sense of security
  3. Willingness to give employees rope
  4. Ability to live vicariously
  5. Chutzpah 

Secondly, hiring the right people and instilling the correct values is critical to running an effective Macintosh Way organization. 

A players hire A players, while B players hire C players

The Macintosh Way book coverBeing a Macintosh Way company means making your best effort, putting everything on the line and swinging for the fences. Even when Macintosh Way companies fail, they do it with style and the knowledge that they gave it their best shot. Every experience is something to gain.

Product development is an art, not an assembly line process. It is very much both an intellectual and artistic endeavor that is almost impossible to master. A Macintosh Way company knows this and puts it into action. There are four characteristics of a great product: Deep, Indulgent, Complete and Elegant (DICE).

Great service is the third essential ingredient of the Macintosh Way. Support should be ingrained into every company regardless of cost. Instead of viewing support as an extra cost, make it the utmost priority. Service is the first line of defense for your customers problems, and understanding your customer is essential to making great products. The Macintosh Way companies do things right for the sake of doing things right. 

How great support works

  1. Put the customer in control 
  2. Take responsibility for your shortcomings
  3. Don’t point the finger
  4. Under promise and overdeliver

How to integrate great support

  1. Hire the right people
  2. Empower employees to empower customers
  3. Integrate support into the mainstream
  4. Provide the support staff with diversions
  5. Thank your customers 

Marketing is the fourth essential ingredient of The Macintosh Way. Rather than focusing on the technology used for marketing, The Macintosh Way advises to focus rather on the marketing of the technology. Substance over form. Grab the hearts and minds of your customer and you will have their attention.

Doing Things Right

In terms of doing the right thing user groups, communities, key influencers and cults are vital to getting to the heart of your customers. Members of the user group support one another on the overall vision and, in essence, will vouch for the company as evangelists. 

Cult Of MacEvangelism is selling a dream. It is getting other people to believe in your product because they love it. There is no “convincing” people that your product is better. The outstanding product, customer service and brand should speak for itself. 

At its core your company should have the right environment, products, customer support and informative marketing. And the positioning must be clear. 

This book is a gem. Good luck finding a copy.

Knowing how Apple exists at its core can reap great dividends in the future when it comes to launching your own particular software on an Apple platform. In an era where Apple dominates mobile computing and the app marketplace, it would behoove fans to learn more about its history, philosophy and culture.

The Macintosh Way

The Macintosh Way

Author:
Tag: Recommended Books
Publisher: Scott Foresman Trade
Publication Year: 1989
ASIN: 0673461750
ISBN: 0673461750

The Macintosh Way is a "take-no-prisoners guide to marketing warfare" says Jean Louis Gasse, founder and president of Be, Inc. Must reading for anyone in the high-tech industry, it is valuable, insightful guide to innovation management and marketing for any industry.

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The Macintosh Way is a “take-no-prisoners guide to marketing warfare” says Jean Louis Gasse, founder and president of Be, Inc. Must reading for anyone in the high-tech industry, it is valuable, insightful guide to innovation management and marketing for any industry.

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Books

Playing To Win: How Strategy Really Works

Playing To Win: How Strategy Really Works Header

“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do” – Michael Porter

Proctor & Gamble is one of the few unique companies in the world that has a shining portfolio of billion dollar businesses. Playing To Win: How Strategy Really Works divulges the strategy and methods of top consumer brands such as Olay, Bounty, Swiffer, Febreze, Pampers, Gain, Gillette and more! This book is a consortium of simulations on how competing products battled it out for supremacy in the marketplace in various industries. Every entrepreneur and aspiring CEO should read this book to develop a rockstar strategy to stand out from mediocrity. 

A strategy is a coordinated and integrated set of five choices that uniquely meet a consumer’s needs, thereby creating competitive advantage and superior value for a business.

The Five Strategy Choices:

  1. A Winning Aspiration
  2. Where To Play
  3. How To Win
  4. Core Capabilities
  5. Management Systems

The core of these choices are Where To Play and How To Win. These two decisions are the basis of the trunk that make up the tree of your strategy. Playing To Win: How Strategy Works CoverThe company needs where and how choices in order to act. Without them, it can’t win. Without them, you are simply following the status quo. Remember: No How To Win choice is perfect or even appropriate for all Where To Play choices. 

A Winning Aspiration

An aspiration shared with employees is not enough. You must have an aspiration to win and a definition of what winning looks like. In order to reach the end goal, one must know what the end goal is. Strategy is deciding on a way to win and in order to win you must have a clear picture of what the final result should be. 

Where To Play

It makes sense to choose Where To Play channels that match your business systems to maximize your value output and reach your target demographic. Where To Play is generally presented within these choices:

  • Geography
  • Product Type
  • Consumer Segment
  • Distribution Channel
  • Vertical stage of production

How To Win

How To Win is tailored to the needs, wants and personality of the customer. All successful How To Win strategies take one of two approaches, cost leadership or differentiation. Both cost leadership and differentiation require the pursuit of distinctiveness. Formulating a better value equation for consumers in either of these areas is a great way to create a competitive advantage. 

Where To Play and How To Win choices should flow from and reinforce one another.

Core Capabilities

Playing to your strengths is using the competitive advantage implicitly built into the brand and its systems. For example, the acquisition of Gillette (probably the best case study in the book) meant that Proctor & Gamble could compete effectively not only in the men’s grooming category, but also create a distinct reinforced stronghold in the health & beauty market. The acquisition allowed P&G to foster an inflow of talent, ideas and brands. In return they reengineered those capabilities and activity systems to create a more efficient and effective multilevel strategy. Proctor & Gamble leveraged their own advantages – namely scale, pricing power, branding and existing relationships with suppliers – to bring even more value to the Gillette brand. 

Management Systems

Once the strategy is defined the challenge is to find a simple, clear and compelling way to communicate the strategy to the team. Management should understand the core principles of Where To Play and How To Win decisions. A team that works together to accomplish one goal can achieve massive results. It is essential to work collaboratively on strategy because all companies are social entities and are serving the needs of a diverse population. Incorporating a culture of strategy helps to ensure that ideas aren’t ignored or ridiculed.

Explicitly, it is better to think broadly and clearly so that the entire organization will know and understand.

Thinking Through Strategy

There are four critical dimensions of strategy choice: Industry, Customers, Relative Position and Competition. The strategy logic flow below simplifies strategy decision making and requires patience, imagination and teamwork.

Playing To Win Strategy Flow

Devising a strategy for your business is a complicated task and success is based on forces that may or may not act in the same direction. These five forces include: Bargaining power of suppliers, Bargaining power of buyers, Threat of substitute products or services, Threat of new entrants and Rivalry among existing competitors. 

Inversion, like in algebra, is oftentimes the key to solving a problem. Instead of asking people what they think is true about various options, ask them, “what would have to be true?” This encourages collaboration rather conflict and allows a team to work backwards from a solution. 

The 7 Steps For Successful Reverse Engineering

  1. Frame The Choice
  2. Generate Strategic Possibilities
  3. Specify Conditions
  4. Identify Barriers To Choice
  5. Design Valid Tests
  6. Conduct Tests
  7. Choose
Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works

Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works

Authors: ,
Tag: Recommended Books
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication Year: 2013
ASIN: B00AJVJ1HI
ISBN: 142218739X

Are you just playing—or playing to win?Strategy is not complex. But it is hard. It’s hard because it forces people and organizations to make specific choices about their future—something that doesn’t happen in most companies.Now two of today’s best-known business thinkers get to the heart of...

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Are you just playing—or playing to win?

Strategy is not complex. But it is hard. It’s hard because it forces people and organizations to make specific choices about their future—something that doesn’t happen in most companies.

Now two of today’s best-known business thinkers get to the heart of strategy—explaining what it’s for, how to think about it, why you need it, and how to get it done. And they use one of the most successful corporate turnarounds of the past century, which they achieved together, to prove their point.

A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Procter & Gamble, in close partnership with strategic adviser Roger Martin, doubled P&G’s sales, quadrupled its profits, and increased its market value by more than $100 billion in just ten years. Now, drawn from their years of experience at P&G and the Rotman School of Management, where Martin is dean, this book shows how leaders in organizations of all sizes can guide everyday actions with larger strategic goals built around the clear, essential elements that determine business success—where to play and how to win.

The result is a playbook for winning. Lafley and Martin have created a set of five essential strategic choices that, when addressed in an integrated way, will move you ahead of your competitors. They are:

• What is our winning aspiration?
• Where will we play?
• How will we win?
• What capabilities must we have in place to win?
• What management systems are required to support our choices?

The stories of how P&G repeatedly won by applying this method to iconic brands such as Olay, Bounty, Gillette, Swiffer, and Febreze clearly illustrate how deciding on a strategic approach—and then making the right choices to support it—makes the difference between just playing the game and actually winning.

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