Jeff

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Can Amazon really justify a $1 trillion valuation?

Last week, Amazon’s stock price crossed the $1,000 threshold. In the process, its market capitalization nearly reached $500 billion. And of course, the next question was, when will Amazon become the world’s first trillion dollar company? Let’s look at Amazon’s financial performance, and see what might have to happen to make the company worth a
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Why are employees not technically assets?

Executives often claim that employees are a company’s most important asset. But employees aren’t assets, technically. Employees don’t appear on the balance sheet, where you’ll find cash, inventory, property, equipment, etc. If employees are such an important asset, why don’t they appear on the balance sheet? Here are three reasons: The company doesn’t own its
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Why did NVIDIA's stock jump 30% in the past two weeks?

NVIDIA is a company well-known to 1990’s gamers. It quickly built a reputation for making top tier computer graphics cards. Much more recently, it has used the heart of its graphics technology to make some exciting headway in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). In the past two weeks alone, NVIDIA’s stock price is up
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How profitable was Amazon in 2017 Q1?

Last week, Amazon reported its 2017 Q1 financial results. With fresh numbers in hand, we can explore the age old question: how profitable is Amazon? Amazon runs on thin margins. But how thin? And why are the margins so thin in the first place? Revenue and profit First, let’s look at Amazon’s all-in quarterly revenue
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How much cash do Apple and Google have?

Previously we looked at how much Apple and Google spend on research and development. Now, let’s take a look at how much cash both companies have on hand. First, let’s look at the answer to our question. Then we’ll go over some definitions and some context. The bar chart below gives us the information we
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ESPN layoffs, and the creative destruction of sports capital

On Wednesday, ESPN, the sports broadcasting behemoth, laid off dozens of employees. Some were highly recognizable on-air personalities. Others were lower profile reporters and journalists. It’s a visible demonstration of the free market’s powers of creative destruction. ESPN has decided it no longer gets sufficient return from its own marginal talent It’s tough to think of layoffs
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Status quo bias, and the uncertainty of your success

Tyler Cowen, an economist and author, thinks our preference for the status quo is one of our costliest biases. I heard him make that claim in an interview he did with Ezra Klein. It’s easy to frame status quo bias as a form of risk aversion. And I think that’s right. Change is risky. We
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Profit vs. margin, being precise when it's easy to be sloppy

Let’s take a quick detour through some financial vocabulary. Specifically, let’s draw a distinction between profit vs. margin. What’s profit? It’s the dollar amount by which revenue exceeds costs. Profit and income are synonyms, when we talk about corporate financial performance. The only trick with profit is knowing which revenue stream, and which costs, we’re considering. What’s
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Disney is struggling with its CEO succession. What a joke

Last week Disney announced that its 66 year old CEO, Bob Iger, will stay in his position through at least July 2019.  Why is this such a big deal? Because Disney is struggling to find Mr. Iger’s successor. Mr. Iger’s heir apparent, Thomas Staggs, left Disney last May. Frankly, I think this is a joke. I
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When it comes to your career, are you a chef or a line cook?

Think about the value you bring at work. Do you play the role of a chef? Or are you more of a line cook? What do I mean by a chef? Someone who is creative. Someone who experiments, who relies on his or her own judgment. The chef knows the first principles of meal preparation.
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