Jessica Mah’s Inspirations

People who inspires Jassica Mah, 20 years old entrepreneur. And book recommendations from her.

Amplify’d from

During interviews, I’m often asked who I get my inspiration from.  There are five people I’ve read extensibly about — as in, I’ve read many books about their history, I’ve studied the products they’ve built through their careers, and I’ve watched many of the video interviews of them.

I think it’s invaluable to figure out who your five hero figures are, and to study them for the purpose of applying their ideas to your own business.

Management Philosophy
:  Warren Buffet.  I absolutely love his long-term thinking (what other company thinks as long-term as Berkshire Hathaway?)  His thoughts on CEO compensation, the flaws of stock options, and the role of a Board of Directors have struck a cord in me.  I highly recommend reading all of this annual shareholder letters, starting from the one he wrote in 1977.

Design Thinking
:  Walt Disney.  His creative powers during his tenure at the Walt Disney Company are unrivaled to this day.  Though he doesn’t have a great managerial legacy, it’s fascinating to see how his company grew and struggled through the 20th century.  I highly recommend reading Walt Disney:  The Triumph of the American Imagination.

Business Strategy:  
Bill Gates.  He played Microsoft as if he were playing an elaborate Chess game — the most immediately obvious moves others take often make little sense, and he’s one of few technical CEOs who’ve been able to think so strategically about building an empire.  Just a few months ago, Paul Graham recommended I read Hard Drive:  The Making of Bill Gates and the Microsoft Empire.  It’s a great book, and it shows how long it took for Microsoft to become the company it is today.

Culture and Service:  Tony Hsieh.  His new book, Delivering Happiness, changed the way I think about the culture of my company.  My biggest takeaway was what he said about selling his first company.  When it stops being fun, the money doesn’t matter anymore.  I’m looking forward to taking my company to visit Zappos in Vegas next month!

Marketing and Publicity
:  Steve Jobs.  I recently started watching his keynotes at MacWorld, starting from the one he gave in 1984.  One investor recently called inDinero an “incredible hype machine”, and now you know where the inspiration comes from.

Through my tenure at inDinero, it’ll become very obvious where my ideas and philsophy come from.

Where do you get your inspiration from?  Choose a few people to look up to, and study their histories extensively.