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Value Investing with Legends – Lei Zhang’s (Hillhouse Capital) Lecture at Columbia Business School

Originally posted on Strategic Intuition: Art, Travel, Entrepreneurship, and Investing:

In the high flying world of investing, Lei Zhang maintains a relatively low profile. Yet since he was seeded by David Swesen of Yale Endowment with $20 million in 2005, he has achieved a ~40% compounded annual return (28x not adjusting for inflation), making him one of the best performing investment managers. To put it into perspective, Warren Buffet has achieved a compounded annual return of ~22%, albeit for the past 50 years!! Today, Lei Zhang’s Hillhouse Capital, named after a street nearby Yale where Lei received his MBA and master’s in public policy, manages ~$18 billion. Thought not just focused on tech, Lei is best known for backing several most successful Chinese internet entrepreneurs and start-ups (e.g. Tencent, JD.com). On April 29th, Lei paid a visit to the “Temple of Value Investing” Columbia Business School to share his investing and life lessons. Below are my synthesis of his wisdom:

For those who…

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The Next Television Platform, Part 1

Originally posted on MHALLVILLE:

How you think the world of television will be transformed depends in large part on how you perceive this really great chart put together by David Pakman.

One could look at this, as Pakman and many others do, and rightly conclude that the growing green wedge illustrating the explosion of time spent on mobile devices represents the future.

I look at this chart and see another opportunity. The largely unchanged and very large block in dark blue at the bottom — the four plus hours per day we spend watching live television — is now up for grabs. We’re at the beginning of a massive shift away from live linear television (cable & satellite) to on-demand over-the-top TV (Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu, HBO Go).

This shift is already well underway for some. Which age cohort is leading the switch away from linear TV to paid over-the-top video services? Millennials…

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a16z Podcast: Messaging As the Interface to, Well, Everything


SAT type exam analogy, Message App:Browser that was Browser:Internet; platform vs. portal

Originally posted on Andreessen Horowitz:

Messaging app WeChat tells us a lot about mobile and business in China. In a recent deep-dive primer on the WeChat phenomenon, a16z partner Connie Chan analyzed WeChat and the notion of app-within-apps, payments as a gateway drug, platforms vs portals, and what happens when utility is more important than being “social”. Wired senior writer David Pierce also describes the power of conversational messaging as the main interface, further arguing that “A great messaging app could be to the web browser what the browser was to the internet before it.”

So what happens when a messaging app essentially becomes an operating system for our lives? What conditions made the mobile, business, and cultural environment in China so ripe for a phenomenon like WeChat? How does voice change everything? And, let’s face it, what are the tradeoffs users (both consumer and business) as well as developers may have to make when one app does in fact…

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This Peruvian girl’s Michael Jackson cover will make you want to learn the dying language of Quechua

Originally posted on Fusion:

In the middle of ancient Incan ruins in the foot hills of the Peruvian Andes, 14-year-old Renata Flores Rivera brings together two things dear to her heart: the ancient Indigenous language of South America, Quechua, and Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.” The result is gorgeous:

Flores spoke to Fusion from home on Monday afternoon after a full day at school.

“It’s a project called Las juventudes tambien hablamos Quechua‘ (the youth, we speak Quechua too),” she said. She said it’s important for her “to be able to appreciate this language again, because we are losing it here in Peru.”

Flores’s mother, Patricia Rivera Canchanya, kicked off the campaign this year through a cultural association, la Asosacion Cultural Surca, which she founded 11 years ago to promote arts and Peruvian culture in their home city of Huamanga (also known as Ayacucho). Rivera is also a musician, and set up a music school

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Chris Sacca

Originally posted on The Waiter's Pad:

Chris Sacca (@Sacca) joined Tim Ferriss (@TFerriss)  on The Tim Ferriss podcast to talk about investments, filters, influences and more.

Sacca is the Proprietor of Lowercase capital and has been involved in early stage investments with Twitter, Uber, Instagram and many more. His interview is good not only for the professional stories about a venture capitalist’s thought processes, but also because of Sacca’s openness about life and mistakes.

Many stories focus on the superhuman achievements and hero’s journey and we forget that life is about more than that. It’s about love, family, and whether we can make things better with what we’ve got. Let’s see how we can make things better.

How to Invest

Sacca is a venture capitalist and a pretty good one. He’s worth over a billion dollars. He’s had this sort of success because he has models for what to invest in and what…

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PayPal no longer works in Greece—and why that matters

Originally posted on Quartz:

Adding to their list of woes, Greeks can no longer use their PayPal accounts.

Limits on how much money Greeks can take out of banks put in place by their debt-stricken government as it negotiates with lenders have effectively crippled the online payment service, which relies on traditional banks and credit cards to transfer money.

According to a PayPal spokesman:

Due to the recent decisions of the Greek authorities on capital controls, funding of PayPal wallet from Greek bank accounts, as well as cross-border transactions, funded by any cards or bank accounts are currently not available. We aim to continue serving our valued customers in Greece in full, as we have for over a decade.

The economic crisis in Greece is obviously not emblematic of the greater global financial system. But the fact that PayPal’s business has ground to a halt there underscores how much it and other financial technology companies are…

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Introducing SliceMatrix: a tool for the exploration of large matrices

Originally posted on MKTSTK:

Screenshot from SliceMatrix Screenshot from SliceMatrix

For a lucky few MKTSTK readers, today you found a surprise in your email inbox. You see, way back in April we hinted at the forthcoming release of a software tool for visualizing large correlation matrices. We initially named it Corexplore and to gauge interest we put out some feelers in the form of a signup via our storefront. The response was pretty immediate: the idea sounded great so we thought about a time-line and got to work… As we worked we realized that this could be more general than just looking at correlation: these data visualizations would be useful in representing ANY large matrix in an intuitive way. Thus we changed the name to SliceMatrix.

Zoom forward three months later and its kind of obvious that we were WILDLY optimistic about the amount of effort it would take to even get to the Beta…

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This is what Uber looked like before it took over the world

Originally posted on Fusion:

Today Uber operates in 57 countries with more that 160,000 drivers, but back in 2010 Uber was just a couple of bros with the dream of turning a mere cab ride into the kind of experience worthy of, in the words of founder Travis Kalanick, “a frickin’ pimp.” An “UberCab,” if you will.

“For almost a century the process of requesting a car service has been extremely similar to what it is today,” the founders wrote in their very first UberCab blog post, still up on a Tumblr site unearthed by the site UberExpansion.com. “You could place a request by telephone for a car arriving the next day or you could walk to the street and hope that an available taxi would happen to pass by at the same time.”

Uber is in the midst of planning a massive, two-building, 423,000 square-foot headquarters in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood…

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Could This 1970s Patek Philippe Be The Inspiration For The Apple Watch?


I don’t often covet objects, in this case, it’s literally “the case” + that band, so I guess I covet the design & construction.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

In what could be the most interesting conspiracy theory of the morning, the folks at ABlogToWatch have found a watch that could have been the inspiration for Apple Watch. It’s a Patek Philippe Ellipse Ref. 3582 (3582G) made in the 1970s and usually sold through high end watch stores. The piece, which is amazingly rare in white gold, almost perfectly matches the case shape of the Apple Watch and the thoughtfully attached grains-of-rice band (the real name for the “Milano” strap) makes this square watch a dead ringer for a AW Steel.

Jony Ive has said that he has a predilection towards fancy watches and Patek makes the fanciest. This watch in particular is pretty hard to find and I’ve never seen it mentioned in the literature I’ve read. While it’s not unique – there are plenty like it out there these days – the detail, case shape, and even…

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When people ask to borrow money, the words they use can foretell whether they’ll pay it back

Originally posted on Quartz:

The words people use say a lot about their personalities, emotions, and thinking. And the ones they use when asking to borrow money, it turns out, also says a lot about whether they are likely to pay others back.

According to a new study, borrowers who try to appeal to their prospective lenders’ emotional side—by mentioning God, divorce, or the needs of family members, for example—are less likely to fulfill their loan obligations (something to keep in mind when our buddies or family members try to mooch off of us).

On the other hand, people who mention aspirations like graduate school or weddings are more likely to pay back their loans.

The findings were presented at the Boulder Summer Conference on Consumer Financial Decision Making this week and come from research by Columbia University professors Oded Netzer and Alain Lemaire, and University of Delaware professor Michal Herzenstein. The research is…

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