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New site uses Netflix themed streaming platform to teach Chinese through movies

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A new website which is being praised as the Netflix for language learners has become a hit with expats in Taiwan. Pinyin Cinema is a movie streaming site, not unlike Netflix or Hulu, but is themed towards learning Chinese. All of the movies on the site are Chinese-speaking, and the user is able to use select multiple different subtitle options to aid their learning experience, such as Hanyu Pinyin, which is the romanized form of Chinese, which many non-native speakers of Chinese use whilst learning the so called “hardest language in the world”.

Pinyin Cinema was created by Elliott Marc Jones, and his Taiwanese partner Stephenie. The pair, who have travelled the world together came up with the idea of the site in March whilst vacationing in Malaysia, and started work a few weeks later whilst in Jakarta, Indonesia on business. The language learning streaming site later launched in April. Since arriving back home in Taiwan, they have continued to support and update the platform with new features.

Elliott, who was already well known in the Taiwan expat community for the 2015 PC release of Redactem, which now has over 100,000 owners on the Steam store and was the highest rated game on IndieGameStand for over a year, said that although progress with Pinyin Cinema has been slow, he is extremely happy with the steady increase in users over the last few months.

Elliott agreed to answer a few questions about his experience as an entrepreneur in Taiwan.

How did you become an entrepreneur in Taiwan in the first place?

“When I first came to Taiwan in 2015, I was living off the little savings I had and couldn’t legally work due to restrictions on my visa at the time. I knew I had to make money on the internet if I wanted to stay in Taiwan, and so I used my knowledge of game development to create an indie game. Looking back at the title, I get a little embarrassed at how low the production quality was, but it made me a lot of money and helped me enter the world of business. Redactem now has over 100,000 owners on Steam, which is impressive for a game which originally retailed for £3 sterling. Today I have a spousal residence certificate in Taiwan, and am on my way to becoming a naturalised citizen. Two passports are better than one!”

Are there any restrictions in Taiwan for expats looking to start a business?

“Despite government efforts to ease the process and encourage foreigners to start businesses in Taiwan, it is still extremely difficult if you don’t have a Taiwanese friend or spouse who you can register the business under. Although I love Taiwan, I currently couldn’t recommend it as a place for startups to come to, which is a shame because Taiwan really needs foreign money.”

Do you have any regrets on starting a new life in Taiwan?

“No, Taiwan is a wonderful place, and if I hadn’t of came here, I would never of met my partner, and never had the financial motivation to start any of my successful businesses.”

Visit Pinyin Cinema’s site at: ​https://pinyincinema.com/

Anthony Delgado (born February 6, 1986) is an American software developer and internet entrepreneur widely known as a professional hacker in the developer community. Anthony Delgado has won numerous hackathons sponsored by Fortune 500 tech companies like Google, IBM, Intel, Facebook and Microsoft and hosted by organizations including Rutgers University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the AT&T Developer Summit in New York City.

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Startups

E-commerce during the holidays

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We are approaching the busiest online shopping season of the year and whether you run an ecommerce store or sell digital goods / services you are going to want to be on your A game. Maarten Wensveen, CTO at the$2.5 billion company Cimpress (NASDAQ: CMPR, the parent to Vistaprint) shares some advice he learned from running VistaPrint and a dozen more e-commerce mass customization businesses around the world. The company, whose businesses often ship 60% more customer orders per day during the holiday season compared to an ‘average’ day, has lots of experience preparing for the rush. Our learnings over the years include these four steps:

  • Put Customer Experience First
    • Though the holidays are a busy time, shoppers still expect the same customer experience that they receive during any other part of the year. In fact, often, their purchases are even more important to them than at other times of the year. Focusing on efficiency improvements during the offseason is a great way to ensure your e-commerce site delivers during the peak season. For example, Cimpress is continually updating its design process to ensure it’s easy for customers to design products they love (apparel, accessories, etc.). This includes validating that customers’ uploaded images will print well and rendering instant and realistic previews that allow a shopper to review and make changes to their product before purchasing. This also increases customers’ confidence in the product they are ordering, increasing their likelihood to order.
  • Provide Affordable, On-time Delivery
    • Online shoppers have come to expect fast, affordable (if not, free) delivery 365 days a year. Delivering orders on time is therefore essential for earning a lifetime customer. That’s why Cimpress has focused on its logistics network and makes it available to all of its brands through its shipping API. Not only does it ensure faster delivery for orders, but cost savings that can be passed on to the customer. It is also very important to provide very clear information to customers about different shipping options and when customers can expect their products.
  • Don’t Just Buy More Hardware, Consider the Cloud
    • Cimpress’ ecommerce businesses can ship over one hundred thousand orders daily during the holiday season. A majority of these products have personalized images or designs that are uploaded by customers directly to our sites. Given the scale during this busy time, it’s critical that our businesses’ websites are running at top speed. Having storage and services that are cloud-based ensures that we don’t experience any slowness, and don’t need to carry excess storage or physical hardware that is underutilized during the offseason.
  • Be Prepared, Because Bad Things Will Happen
    • All kinds of problems can and will happen that will impact operations like a flood affecting a facility, a supplier experiencing a strike, or a volcanic eruption disrupting transportation and customer deliveries. The effect of these problems can be more acute during the holiday period because there is less slack in the system and customer expectations may be even more exacting. It is important to have very good monitoring to detect when problems are arising and to have built some flexibility into your operations and infrastructure that lets you react to these challenges. For example, leveraging the cloud the right way gives an organization the ability to scale systems fairly easily; building redundancy in your supplier, production, and delivery networks allows for automatic or manual failover as needed.

Be sure to connect with Maarten Wensveen on LinkedIn and Twitter

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Education

How LeBron James new school is disruptive

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Last Monday, LeBron James unveiled his new I Promise School in Akron, Ohio – powerfully demonstrating to the world the power and influence of the modern day athlete.

His school aims to disrupt the unfortunate trend of at-risk students falling behind the K-12 population in the classroom, by providing a STEM based curriculum to low-income and at-risk students.

Originally, I promise was a non-profit focused on helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds focus on achievement. Now it transformed into a school program that can educate them all year round.

There are several disruptive differences that makes I Promise school unique:

There will be longer school days vs the normal 7am – 3pm schedule. The normal school year schedule will be unique as well, students will get the same amount of time off from school on holidays and summer but the schedule will be broken up differently to make sure students will be continuously learning year-round.

In an effort to simulate some of the home support that might be missing for school work. students will also have extra access to teachers and the school’s facilities. I promise will also have support for student’s parents that may not have completed high school or need employment by providing a GED program and job placement services. Another plus is that the students will receive a bike on their first day of class, to escape dangerous parts of Akron and to explore, motivated by LeBron James’s youth, when he did the same thing.

I Promise is a regular public school and not a charter, private or reform school. Usually schools that offer such perks are usually private and aren’t free for students, but this LeBron James wanted this school to be accessible to all youth in the Akron area.

Here’s to LeBron James, who’s disruption even caught the ire of the President of the United States.

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Startups

Bitcoin Energy Drink

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At the Blockchain World Confrence in Atlantic City, we got the change to interview Sheel Patel, the CEO and Founder of Bitcoin Energy Drink – Liquid Assets. Sheel told us his story about how he came up with the concept and how he worked with his team to perfect the marketing for this Energy Drink For All the Side‑Hustlers, Startups and Disruptors in the world.

Buy Bitcoin Energy Drink : https://bitcoinenergy.com/

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