The book I read to research this post was The Emerging Markets Handbook by Pran Tiku which is an excellent book that I read at kindle unlimited. This book is quite a substantial read with I think around 500 pages and they have selected 18 countries with promising economies and reviewed them. When people think of upwardly mobile economies they tend to think of the BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India and China and actually they don’t represent the fastest growing economies with the exception of China. Turkey has the second fastest growing economy. Brazil has had problems with being heavily in debt despite its enormous potential. In some countries like India and Italy you must pay bribes to get permission to develop your business in any way. The G20 which was the G7 but more nations were added to it more or less represents the fastest growing markets. One problem in China is labor costs are increasing which could slow growth as non-skilled jobs are outsourced to other countries. The only African country in the book is South Africa which undoubtedly has the best economy in that region. A lot of countries that were left out of this book were due to them having an unstable political climate. Countries like Argentina and Ethiopia for example. I did really enjoy this book and definitely would recommend it although I would suggest get it on kindle unlimited as I think to purchase it outright is quite expensive.

The book I read to research this post was Private Internet Access by Cornelius James which is a very good book that I read at kindle unlimited. This book is about internet privacy and browsing anonymously. The primary tool they use for this is Tor browser at http://thetorproject.org. This browser developed by the US navy reroutes your IP address through many alternate servers making it virtually impossible to trace you. Unfortunately Tor tends to only work with sites with the .onion extension and make sites block it completely due to it making you appear anonymous. There is a kind of virtual bootable operating system which includes Tor browser called Tails which is a VPN that goes on your computer and prevents a website getting into any information about because it is what they call a sandbox. There is also an extension for Tor called Icewizard which is a virtualized version of Firefox and runs in virtual form and will fool a lot of websites that won’t accept Tor. One of the key ways they can find your identity is by tracing the payment as obviously you normally do it via a bank account. There is an alternative Bitcoins and there are also similar products like Litecoins. Here again there is a problem in they can trace the payment back to your bank account. The way to get around this is with cleaned Bitcoins where there have to follow many transactions which do eventually lead back to your account but the trail is almost impossible to follow. I did say there are other alternatives to Bitcoins but the ones with a low volume of sales or are a new product are best avoided as they are probably a scam. There are lots of virtual currencies doing this. I did really did enjoy this book which is quite short probably around 30 pages and nonetheless I do recommend it.

I am reviewing the Greatest Hits album The Story by Spandau Ballet which is an excellent album. I think this album’s only been released in the last few weeks in Britain anyway. They did form in 1976 and initially were called The Cut. What there name now is named after is rather sick. Spandau is a suburb in Berlin and apparently Spandau Ballet is what they called the contortions the Jews went through in the gas chamber around World War 2 and the Nazi’s used to watch it through a 2 way mirror. I suppose now they have had success called what they are they are kind of stuck calling them selves it. They had a British Number 1 single with True and in the 80’s were one of the most successful British acts. They started out as a punk band but later became new romantics when they had there most success and later turned to rock. The Kemp brothers starred in The Krays movie playing the Kray Twins and later one of them used to star in soap opera Eastenders. They did split up rather acrimoniously in 1990 with 2 of them having to sell the rights to their royalties due to being short of cash. They did reform in 2009 which is probably why they have released this album. I must admit a lot of the especially earlier tracks on the album I was unfamilar with but was very impressed by them.

I am reviewing the biographical witty book Rupee Millionaires by Frank Kusy which is an excellent book that I bought on kindle. This book although about running a business importing stuff from India and then initially selling it at a market stall and later selling it to shops isn’t strictly speaking a business book and is probably just as much a travel book. It does have a lot of info on the scams done by businesses especially when first started to help them make more money so is interesting for that. Frank had a friend called Spud who helped him in the business and apparently later went to jail for 12 years for blowing up a house and initially when he heard was opposed to the book but later read some of it and liked it. They apparently got 17 suitcases of stuff through Indian customs by claiming it was for a poor widow and the clerk said well it’s Independence Day today and let it through which they could subsequently sell cheaper than anyone else and still turn a profit. Because they didn’t have tills all the cash was cash in hand and they declared a bare minimum under the £49,000 VAT threshold in Britain which means you don’t have to register for value added tax. They went on the Enterprise Allowance Scheme where they get a kind of small grant every week to live on and that allowed them to poor as much as possible back into the business particularly into buying more stock. They specialized in gold and embroidery that of course they could buy really cheap and then sell on. Sometimes they’d offer to buy a whole shops contents at a knocked down price. I did really enjoy this book and incidently 1 million rupees is roughly equivalent to £20,000. I would very much recommend it and there is another review of another book by this author at http://oldscratbag.com. That book is called Kevin And I In India.

The book I read to research this post was The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos And The Best Of Amazon by Brad Stone which is a very good book that I bought from kindle. This book is a biography about Jeff Bezos the founder of Amazon the website that started out selling books and has now branched out into many things. He started out as a child going to a school for gifted children where students were encouraged to explore things and didn’t have a set curriculum. They learned whatever interested them and later he became a teaching assistant at one of these schools. After being born his mother later on married a man who would go on to adopt him. His natural father was very poor and I think agreed to it because he thought it would give his son a better start in life. Amazon originally had offices in a run down part of Seattle and a homeless person showed the staff how to operate the key pass lock on the front door of the building on their first day. They were a start up business financed largely through venture capital. Any of the initial staff who wanted to work for them had to relocate to Seattle although they were helped with relocation expenses. When the company did go public many of the investors have been very loyal to the company hanging on to shares even when they haven’t made a huge profit. A lot of this is because of its rapid expansion that has meant profits have had to be ploughed back into the company. Things like Amazon Web Services which has become so popular as a cloud computing site people often celebrate the start of a new business by giving the new company owner a voucher for that website. Amazon has also expanded into things like kindle with its e-books which now outsell books and Amazon Prime where they pay a subscription and get free unlimited 1st class postage on products and streamed tv series and films. Amazon is quite like companies like Google and Apple in that especially among customers people are quite fond of them and are keen to buy there products. Some companies are different to this in that they have a bit of a fearful image. I did enjoy this book, which is around 500 pages so a decent length and would definitely recommend it.

 

The book I read to research this post was The Paperless Lifestyle by Jason Bracht which is a very good book that I downloaded for free from kindle. This book is around 100 pages so is a decent length. Obviously especially if you are a business you must keep hard copies of certain things which means having them in paper form but this book gets you close to getting a paperless office. If you have Microsoft Office, One Note lets you take down notes and store it on your computer. An app for things like tablets called lemon lets you scan receipts and blow them up to read them. Evernote lets you store things across all your digital devices and is proving very popular. There is cloud computing services like Carbonite that you store back ups of your computers so they can be restored in a crisis. You shouldn’t ignore external hard drives, flash drives and SD cards as they can store a lot of information. You shouldn’t have so much paperwork it takes up more than a few drawers. You should also get a scanner and shredder to help you deal with paperwork. Tablets and smartphones as well as laptops will store loads of stuff. One important element is all this stuff you store has to be categorized and preferably with key words which you can do both with Evernote enabling you to easily find stuff.This is quite an interesting book that I enjoyed reading and would definitely recommend. It is well written.

 

The book I read to research this post was Learning To Leap: A Guide To Being More Employable by David Schindler which is a very good book that I downloaded from kindle for free. This book isn’t about being self employed and looks at making your skills more marketable so you can improve your job prospects. One thing you should be looking for in a job is the chance to develop. Many companies on employees constantly taking training courses but you do need the training necessary to do the job properly. A fine balance should be reached with many employees being expected to do at least some of their learning in there own time. At http://careerbuilder.com/psychometrics.psx there is a questionaire with a difference. It asks you a series of questions and comes back to you with videos of people in various jobs who gave similar answers with the idea it can guide you to careers you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of. At the University Of Essex although the book doesn’t give there website address they have a questionaire that assess your strengths and weaknesses and guides you to what careers you should be considering. In the future the impact of social media is going to grow with much emphasis being placed on the really big sites like Facebook and Twitter. Having a diversified field of followers and friends will get more and more important in job seeking. One thing this book does say is employers often say potential employeees especially the young don’t have the skills to do jobs. Someone did research into this and decided the potential often have the skills but don’t present them in the right way. I really enjoyed this book and I think would recommend it.