It Is More Difficult To Get Into Wal-Mart Than Harvard

Agreed, that kind of comparison makes no sense whatsoever. But if The Washington Post can connect the two, spotting the comparison is only natural. We spotted this stat today –

“Last year when Wal-Mart came to D.C. there were over 23,000 applications for 600 jobs. That’s an acceptance rate of 2.6%, twice as selective as Harvard’s and over five times as choosy as Cornell.”

(Source)

Ivy league schools are selective. Far more selective, in today’s economy, are firms that can actually pay you a salary.

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‘More Than’ That: U.S. Now Produces More Oil Than It Imports

When we spotted this, we were truly surprised. Not the fact as such – but what it means for the global energy equation overall.

“U.S. oil output is soaring due to the “fracking” boom in North Dakota, Texas and other areas. U.S. producers pumped 7.7 million barrels of crude per day in October.. The U.S. imported 7.6 million barrels a day of crude oil in October, the first time production has topped imports since February 1995. Net crude imports are down nearly 25% over the past five years.”

Source

A true crossing over, this one.

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Americans’ Credit Card Debt Equals About 50 Percent of India’s GDP

Well, at times we tend to compare stats that really are not comparable – for instance, we spotted this some time back -Student Loans In The U.S More Than China’s Total External Debt – we have one more today. Credit-card balances in the US (having dropped in three of the past five months) is now at about $850 billion (Source) – here is one way to digest that fact – India’s GDP is about 1.9 trillion dollars (Source) so the revolving credit of Americans is about half of India’s GDP – well, more or less. An obvious point – but helps us understand the magnitude of things.

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Facebook’s Revenue Is Four Times That Of The New York Times

Well that is not news – but it definitely is, considering that Facebook spends some zero dollars overall on content generation, that translates to reach and hence ad inventory and hence dollars. In Q2 2013, Facebook’s total revenue stood at $ 1.813 Billion (Source) whereas The New York Times Company’s total revenue stood at $485.4 Million (Source)

Did we tell you this: Facebook’s net profit equals The New York Times’ Revenue! (488 Million USD)

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‘You Can Only Lose One Time Your Money, But You Can Make Many Times’

We first spotted this gem in a Vinod Khosla interview: “Remember: (When you invest your money in an idea) You Can Only Lose One Time Your Money, But You Can Make Many Times (If you win)”. Then we realized that it is a common thing to say in the VC industry. Then we realized that it is actually a very simple, common sense concept, so simple that most of us fail to even notice it, let alone apply it anywhere.

The ‘You can only lose one time your money’ is an approach that prepares you for the worst case scenario, making any other outcome actually look much better. Knowing that ‘You Can Make Many Times’ provides you the incentive to give your best, since ‘Many’ does not come with a cap.

You Can Only Lose One Time Your Money, But You Can Make Many Times. Indeed.

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Student Loans In The U.S More Than China’s Total External Debt

Now a comparison like that does not make any sense. But when you hear about the rising debts of US students, we need some number to understand the magnitude. We spotted this stat today, that the total outstanding student-loan debt stood at $986 billion at the end of the first quarter of this year (Source). Okay, a trillion dollars. When we went looking for other debts in the trillion dollar range that can be used to digest this number, we stumbled on this: China’s total external debt stands at 710,700,000,000 US dollars. (Source) That is 710 billion dollars – much less than the total outstanding student loans in the US – which stands at 986,000,000,000 dollars.

Wow.

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Under-Reported Income To IRS: World Poverty Will End Ten Times

$66 Billion is the number that is widely quoted as the amount required to end world poverty – this number comes from this report from Brookings Institution called ‘Poverty in Numbers: The Changing State of Global Poverty from 2005 to 2015′ – and technically, the number 66 billion USD is the amount required to provide every person in the world with a minimum income of $1.25/day — in other words guaranteeing the right not to live in absolute poverty (See Page 13 of the report).

We spotted this stat today, that the IRS has a ‘tax gap’ running into the hundreds of billions of dollars – some studies put the number at 600 billion dollars (even the official estimate is $385 billion as of 2006) (Source)

Where does this tax gap come from? The single biggest contributor to the tax gap — accounting for 84% of it — are people who simply under-report their income (Source)

You read that headline right – if the IRS could just somehow manage to collect these ‘Uncollectibles’, it could help end world poverty 10 times over. (Of course, this comparison is meant to digest the magnitude of the 600 billion tax gap stat that we spotted today)

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Smartphones In China Exceed Mobile Phones In The US

When it comes to absolute numbers, it is expected that China will score in quite a few areas, over any county in the world. And we understand that some eyeballs are definitely more equal than others. But if you believe that smartphone users are empowered in similar ways around the world, this stat might be useful to keep in mind: China now has more smartphone users than the total number of mobile phones in the US (Source)

Here are the absolute numbers: China now has some 330 million smartphones, compared to 321 million mobile phones (not smartphones – all mobile phones) in the US. And by the end of 2013, China alone will have half-a-billion smartphones.

You will definitely want to read The ‘Chinese Bachelor’ Problem: No Downpayment = No House = No Wife – it has a winning app idea inside !

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Mobile Revenue: Facebook’s Three Weeks = Yahoo’s One Year

Facebook seems to have made the smart jump to mobile from a revenue standpoint (even though we think Facebook has a huge problem other than mobile) but Yahoo has fallen behind – way behind. Here is a number that you would want to check if we stated millions in place of billions – Yahoo’s annual revenue is just $125 Million annually (Source)

We can digest that number in many ways – but simply put, Yahoo needs to cover a lot of ground in the mobile space. Just one comaprison: In Q4 2012, Facebook said it made 23 percent of its $1.33 billion revenue from mobile: that is 306 plus million dollars in Q4 alone: Facebook makes Yahoo’s Annual mobile revenue in a little more than 3 weeks.

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Bitcoin Economy = What Amazon Spent On Denny Triangle Site

When we spot comparable numbers at different places we know we have a ‘This Equals That’ post in that. We spotted two comparable numbers today – In December 2012, Amazon paid $207.5 Million for the Denny Triangle Site – where it plans to build a 3.3 million-square-foot office complex, including a 37- or 38-story tower and a smaller building on each of the blocks (Source).

The total market cap of the bitcoin economy is roughly that number – “As of January 2013, bitcoin is the most widely used alternative currency:[10][2] All bitcoins converted at the current market price would be worth over 200 million US dollars” (Wikipedia)

With the dollar amount paid for that office space, Amazon could have owned the entire BitCoin economy. Well, not really – the mechanism of buying out all the bicoins does not work that way – many scenarios of expectations, supply and demand come into picture.

But this would definitely help us get the scale of Bitcoins as they exist today. And we are also not suggesting that this could have been a great move for Amazon – that it could have gained a huge advantage in the mcommerce space given the increasing popularity of Bitcoins – we are also not suggesting that a digital currency is the logical next step from a fiat currency world – we are not suggesting any of those things !

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