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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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Entrepreneurship

5 Things Photographers Need to Know By Jaime Flores

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Jaime Flores is a photographer based in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). He is best known for his portraits but also does a variety of different types of photography. In just a span of a year, he grew his two instagram accounts to have 10x more followers than he had we started. Before photography, Jaime was going to college with no real idea of what he wanted to do for a career. After receiving his Associate’s degree with an emphasis in business, Jaime decided not to continue school and look for something new to pursue in life. He bought his first camera in April of 2018 and quickly gained the knowledge needed in order to be commercially successful in his hometown.

At first his focus was only portraits but later on he began doing product photography, events, landscapes and more. In May of 2019 he started his own Media company called Digital Trends Media. The company provides photography, videography, graphic design, and social media management services. Jaime hopes to inspire and help others find skills that are needed in today’s world driven by social media.

 

1. Carry your camera at all times

It’s actually really important to always have your camera with you. Pretty often, people get curious and will ask you: “Are you a photographer?” or “What kind of camera do you have?”. Use that as a chance to show them your work and/or hand them a business card (you should always have some). Take your camera everywhere you go and learn to take candid photos of people out in the city, take pictures of your food/drinks, take pictures of nature, etc. This seems pointless but people are willing to buy print versions of those types of photography. Expand your skillset beyond portraits.

 

2. Leverage your personality

Don’t rely solely on your work to catch the attention of potential clients. Your work will only get you so far but you have to be willing to put your personality out there as well. If you take a look at some of the most successful and well known photographers, you’ll notice that they not only take amazing pictures but they also have huge personalities. People love to see what the person behind the camera is like.

 

3. Make your photography stand out

Editing is crucial, spend lots of time learning new editing techniques. Also, when shooting portraits, take your time and really analyze backgrounds. Take pictures from numerous angles to give your pictures unique perspectives. Combine a unique editing style with new angles/ideas, and you will gain popularity.

 

4. Youtube is your best friend

A question I get asked all the time is: “How can I get better at taking pictures?” My answer is always Youtube and practice. Of course you can pay to attend seminars and pay for online photography courses, but to me that’s all unnecessary. All the information you need can be found on YouTube for FREE. At least that’s how I learned everything I know.

 

5. Cameras don’t do the work for you

A common misconception that people tend to have is that having a good camera is all it takes to be a good photographer. Nowadays an iPhone camera is the best camera to use as a beginner. Anyone can buy the most expensive camera but it takes knowledge about camera settings in order to take the best pictures, as well as good editing skills.

 

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Entrepreneurship

Tech Entrepreneur Dev Garg Plans To Disrupt The Education Industry

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Forced to take more than one job to make ends meet, teachers find themselves trading their lifelong passion for learning for jobs that can pay their bills and put food on their tables.

Here are some hard-hitting facts:

  • Teachers are underpaid by an average of $7,500 a year in America.
  • Last year teachers made 18.7% less in income compared to other educated professionals.
  • According to a survey conducted in 35 countries, teachers were underpaid in at least 28.

The problem is clear. So, how do we fix it?

Dev Garg, a University of Minnesota alumnus and serial entrepreneur, asked himself the same question back in 2015.

Inspired by the plight of his own mother, a high-school geography teacher by profession, and other teachers in his community, Garg spent months trying to understand why educators were working in such dismal conditions while being paid only one-third of what their engineer and corporate friends made in a year.

The question led to the inception of EdHero.

The first of its kind, Edhero is an online platform dedicated to creating and empowering a global community of teachers, and helping them do what they do best: spread knowledge.

The startup’s advantage lies in its educator-centred approach. Providing more resources than any other site, and a budding marketplace where like-minded teachers can interact and collaborate, the platform is pioneering a future where teachers no longer have to choose between money and doing what they love.

It functions in three simple ways:

  • You create and publish your portfolio on the site. This lets organizations and potential students review your credentials and know if you’re the one they’re looking for.
  • It provides you a platform to showcase your passion and skills through online blogs and videos. You don’t need to create and maintain a separate website now; you can easily upload your content to EdHero and share it with the world.
  • It has an inbuilt marketplace where educators can share, sell, and buy quality resources.

Right now, most organizations or individuals looking for educators post ads on different sites(upwork, freelancer, craigslist). EdHero aims to create an all-educator exclusive job board, so teachers don’t miss out on opportunities just because they weren’t at the right site at the right time.

Dev Garg is also the founder and president of EasyAnalytic, a leading software development firm, dedicated toward helping entrepreneurs succeed. The concept was born out of his own entrepreneurial struggles and the company’s mission is to take other software startups from idea to fruition by equipping them with a team of highly-skilled professionals that will take care of everything, from marketing to accounts to strategy, and by providing extensive mentoring and exposure through media outlets.

Garg is extremely passionate about startups and aims to help fresh entrepreneurs create and launch the very best product they can.

His own plans for EdHero involve creating an array of opportunities for freelancing educators in the gig economy. By helping them connect with global organizations and students, and giving them an opportunity to make extra money, Garg’s mission is to drastically improve the lives of teachers, and in doing so, improve the quality of educational content that flows through digital channels.

Technology is changing the way we interact and learn now. Online degrees are soaring in popularity, and new educational sites are popping up everyday bringing the world’s best learning experience to students free of cost. The current market size for freelancing teachers is around 23 million. Garg’s goal is to capture one-tenth of that, bringing more than 2.3 million educators under EdHero’s umbrella in the next three years.

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Impact

Pollination Founders Comment on Overcoming Challenges: How to be Successful on the Internet

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Jagrit Pratap Singh, Pranav Rastogi and Muhammad Ali are the founders of Pollination, a firm which owns and operates some of the hottest digital properties on the internet. Pollination’s portfolio boasts of websites which continue to rank on front-page in Google Searches, Social Media pages with over 15 Million followers, and e-commerce platforms across two countries.

Jagrit Pratap Singh

In an interview with Disrupt Digital, the founders of Pollination talked about how they started off, where they are – and what’s next for them!

The First Taste of Success

We started out with viral marketing during the digg.com days. This was in the early days of this decade. Our stories were getting popular on that platform and hence, we were making it to the front page of search results on Google almost on a weekly basis. Eventually, it progressed into being multiple times in a week. However, this all stopped when Digg  “incinerated their own site to dust”, Jagrit said. He added:

That wasn’t such a big shock on our numbers, yet it was a valuable learning experience. We had viral organic traffic from Facebook and other platforms, and so we scaled that up. And hence began our social media journey.

Scaling it Up with Social Media!

Muhammad Ali

Pranav adds that Pollination owes a huge deal of its success to social media. The trio own and manage Facebook pages which have over 15 Million combined followers! Among Pollination’s portfolio today are pages such as Art Studios, Take Moments and Life of a Rider among others. However, their fondest memories are of a project that gave them some of their biggest highs and lows – Hiptoro.

Hiptoro.com, which quickly reached to 191 USA ranking on Alexa, was a huge success for the trio. The website got most of its traffic from social media – resulting in at least 20m users every day. Everything seemed to be going well for them until Facebook decided to shake things up! After almost a year of consistent results, Facebook decided to make viral sites on their platform humble and made a monumental shift in their content distribution strategies resulting in the traffic dropping by almost 70%.

Muhammad Ali commented on what happened next, saying:

This humbling experience gave us the time to introspect our business strategies and come up with mature business strategies, focusing on the consumer or the end-user. We had always viewed retail e-commerce as an industry we wanted to be in one day, and so began our journey into 1336 USD billion dollars industry.

What’s Next for Pollination: E-Commerce!

Pranav Rastogi

Jagrit recalls that the e-Commerce industry was a whole different beast. So far, the trio had operated in social media – but this change in business forced them to learn the ropes of online ad distribution. They tackled this new industry head-on and managed to obtain big results here as well, reaching sales worth $2 Million in just 40 days.

Pranav adds: Multiple failures, delivering sales under time constraints, understanding our customers and regular improvisation, allowed us to reach $2 million dollars in sales within just 40 days on NoahsCave.com through various ad networks. Now, we run 2 e-commerce companies in Dubai and USA, with over 20 employees, and have business expansion plans of developing valuable product brands not only for our own e-commerce companies but also to give the same expertise to our clients who approach us for brand transformation.

Muhammad concluded by stating that innovation is the name of the game. The three will continue innovating and exploring more avenues – ensuring that they remain on top of their game for the years to come!

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The Disrupt Podcast tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real life experience. This Podcast is designed to give them a taste of that.

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