"It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things."

- Leonardo da Vinci


 " Any time you show up and immediately spot five people who you think are among the best investors in the world, you know you are in the right place. "

BARRY DILLER: “For the last basically a hundred years before the invaders from the north – meaning Netflix and Amazon came into the media business, the media business was controlled literally for that long period by essentially six companies. When Netflix and Amazon began with different business models, they totally took away the hedge of money from all of these companies and, I do not think they will ever get it back...They are competing against an already built machine, and I do not think that they are ever going to actually compete with Netflix...I think Disney has a good play, and the question is how many subscribers it is going to take times X dollars to equal the massive costs that are now taking place because those costs are literally insane.” YouTube – October 30, 2019
DAN LOEB: “Eyecare is an attractive industry, with over €100 billion in revenue and several structural growth drivers. Over the next 30 years, secular trends including an aging population, consumer lifestyle changes such as staring at screens and less time outdoors, and emerging markets penetration will lead to ~2 billion more consumers with vision correction needs. EssilorLuxottica has many of the key characteristics we look for in an investment: compelling end-market growth in a defensive category, strong market share, high returns on invested capital, potential for incremental capital deployment, and competitive moats created by brands and technology. Marketfolly – October 24, 2019
HOWARD MARKS: “I believe that the phenomenon of negative rates comes from the lack of economic activity. To the extent that low, declining, and negative rates can note fear of a growthless future, I think that is a big risk…We are not that crazy about ratings. Ratings do not tell you something is safe or not – we do analysis. We have over time gradually we have increased our demand for safety. We still have lots of single Bs but we think that we have vetted them very well. YouTube – October 18, 2019
PAUL TUDOR JONES: Jones believes that the S&P 500 Index will drop about 25% if the Democratic senator wins the 2020 election, mostly because of concern over Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax…An internal poll at his firm indicated that Economic growth in the U.S. would fall to 1% from estimates of more than 2% this year. His poll also found that the election of Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist,” would cause the markets to tumble about 20%. Bloomberg – October 28, 2019
RAY DALIO: Because investors have so much money to invest and because of past success stories of stocks of revolutionary technology companies doing so well, more companies than at any time since the dot-com bubble don’t have to make profits or even have clear paths to making profits to sell their stock because they can instead sell their dreams to those investors who are flush with money and borrowing power…They’re selling dreams. They’re not selling earnings, and they’re not even selling a path to earnings. Marketwatch – November 5, 2019
HOW ANTA SPORTS BECAME THE NIKE OF CHINA – MULTI-BRAND LEVERAGING STRATEGY: “Nevertheless, Ding says this setback proved to be a catalyst that led to a change in ANTA’s business operations. The company crafted a multi-brand strategy to engage the diverse Chinese consumer market and subsequently acquired Italian sportswear brand Fila’s loss-making China arm in 2009. The strategy positioned the ANTA label as a mass market brand while Fila targeted the high-end sports market that ANTA had been unable to capture. The company currently runs 600 Fila stores in China and Ding says his target is to hit 2,000 Fila stores in the future. Fila revenues have been growing at an average of 40 percent over the past five years. Also part of ANTA’s multi-brand strategy is its joint venture with the Japanese brand Descente, which specializes in winter sports equipment and apparel.” CNBC – August 5, 2016
GAMING COMPANIES FOCUS ON THE WORLD IT CREATES AND LEVERAGES IT TO EXPAND: “Riot announced an entirely new game: a yet unnamed tactical first-person shooter game with no connection to League. It doesn’t have a release date yet, and it’s far from certain to be a hit—or even released. Making a new game universe from scratch is a risky and costly proposition. But Riot seems to sense that it’s time to make some serious bets. It has committed to producing multiple seasons of an animated LoL television series that aims to offer backstories for two of its iconic champions. That’s even riskier. Movies and TV shows based on game characters commonly flop. Still, one can’t blame Riot for trying to replicate the magic and money Marvel wrought from the complex narratives around comic-book superheroes like Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. With League, they opted to give the game away free and focus on building a community of players. It was an expensive strategy.” Forbes – October 15, 2019
THE COMPUTER ORIGIN STORY – FROM CENSUS TO PUNCHED-CARDS: “As the country grew, each new census required greater effort than the last, not merely to collect the data but also to compile it into usable form. The first crucial innovation was to translate data on handwritten census tally sheets to patterns of holes punched in cards. As Hollerith phrased it, in the 1889 revision of his patent application, “A hole is thus punched corresponding to person, then a hole according as person is a male or female, another recording whether native or foreign born, another either white or colored, &c.” As computer pioneer Grace Murray Hopper recalled about her early career, “Back in those days, everybody was using punched cards, and they thought they’d use punched cards forever.” Fast Company – October 20, 2019
ILLY’S VIEW ON CREATING A LONG-TERM SUSTAINABLE COMPANY – LESSONS FROM AN INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA ILLY: “That’s why Illy decided to have only a single blend. Because by blending, we get to the fundamental attributes— richness, elegance, balance, and consistency. Our single blend, globally and universally, is designed for the ultimate coffee experience, which is Italian espresso. And that’s the focus of our strategy: expanding, distributing, developing new occasions for consumption. Growth is not a goal per se. It’s a way to stay competitive, a way to delight more and more consumers, a way to self-finance the business. It shouldn’t be seen as a kind of a greedy goal in itself. We believe a company must have a purpose, and the purpose has to be completely coherent with the business development. That means that we will never compromise our ethical values or our sustainable quality just for growth.” Bloomberg – October 11, 2019
AN INTERVIEW WITH CARVANA’S CEO – THE COMPANY THAT IS CHANGING CAR-SHOPPING EXPERIENCE IN THE U.S.: “The moment where it hit me the hardest was when I was at a wholesale auction, where dealers buy many of the cars they ultimately sell to consumers. All these people from different dealerships were buying cars, and it only took all of 30 seconds for them to decide to purchase a car and actually buy it. If that car had an issue that wasn’t reported, you could return it. I thought, could we get customers closer to that 30-second experience instead of the four-plus hours that was the status quo for car buying? If we could do it that fast and with lower costs, could we also make it simple…maybe even fun?” Entrepreneur – February 20, 2019
A MINOR CASE STUDY – HOW CARGURUS USES LONG-TAIL KEYWORDS TO IMPROVE LEAD CONVERSION: “At the head of the search results, a very small number of keywords— the top 100 or 500—have monthly search volumes in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Those are searches like “Honda Civic” or “Ford truck.” They’re very high volume, they’re easy to identify, and they’re fairly short: 1 or 2 words, generally. In contrast, long tail keywords are searched much less frequently: single digits per month, in many cases. The long tail isn’t just about volume: it’s about value. What you find in the long tail are buyers who know what they want and are closer to taking action. This concept dominates search, both organic and paid, with long tail keywords making up over 70% of search traffic.”