‘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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Hollywood’s Annual Revenue = Americas’ Pet Boarding Expenses

If you look at Hollywood revenue, you will find that the revenue number is very close to Pet boarding expenses – well, Pet boarding and ‘other services’ to be precise. With all the DogBnB craze of late, the market size of Pet boarding is getting a lot of attention – mostly people agree on the 10 billion USD a year number (Source). Turns out, that number is more or less the same as Hollywood’s 2012 revenue.

And of course, we had spotted some hollywood piracy stats today – hence we spotted the similarity in scale between these two.

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Samsung’s Super Bowl Ad Spend = Profit From 43227 Tablets

That 15 million plus dollars that Samsung is spending on the Super Bowl ad (Source) sounds ridiculous, until you do some simple numbers. If you assume that the ad is ONLY for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (It is not, but let us keep it simple) – iSuppli estimates that Samsung makes a profit of 347 USDs per unit sold, even after basic manufacturing costs are counted in.

“A preliminary analysis of the component cost of the Galaxy Note 10.1 reveals the HSPA+ version of the media tablet carries a bill of materials (BOM) of $283. When basic manufacturing costs are added in, the cost to produce the tablet increases to $293. This version sells for approximately $640 in the world market.” (Source)

So for Samsung to recoup the money spent on that Super Bowl commercial, it only needs to sell 43227 tablets – definitely sounds like a rounding error in these days of millions. And if you bring in the Galaxy Note II as well, it would need to sell lesser of both. Now, the 15 million suddenly starts to make sense.

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‘Offshore Assets’ Tax Can End World Poverty Three Times Over

We started reading the report since we read something like ‘annual income of world’s 100 richest people enough to end world poverty four times over’ – but when we read the report, we spotted something else that we found very interesting: a lot of assets globally are ‘parked’ in offshore locations – some 32 trillion dollars or so. From the report:

“If these taxes assets were taxed according to capital gains taxes in different countries, they could yield at least $189 billion in additional tax revenues”

That would be enough to end world poverty three times over. That is right, just closing this one tax evasion loophole (offshore assets) can be so powerful.

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Facebook Photos For 15 Days = Internet Archive’s Two Years Storage

That was a contrast we spotted today – the photo content uploaded on Facebook runs up a storage of 7 Petabytes every month (Source); whereas the Internet Archive project is raising funds to buy 3 Petabytes of storage. (Source)

How do we digest this stat? With one petabyte of storage, the Internet Archive can store pages for 5.4 months. Facebook photos use up an equivalent storage in just 4 days.

There is another way to digest this fact: Facebook, in 2011, had 10,000 times more photos than the entire US Library of Congress.

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