It [Bossa Nova] was possibly the first popular music where the themes were existential," says Veloso. "It’s part of what makes it high art. Third-world countries usually produce raw materials that are then transformed into capital by first world nations. This happens in industry, but it also happens in the arts. What was revolutionary about bossa nova is that a third-world country was creating high art on its own terms, and selling that art around the world. It remains a dream of what an ideal civilization can create.
—Caetano Veloso in “Why bossa nova is ‘the highest flowering of Brazilian culture’”
while Amazon may be earning little-to-no profit each quarter, they continue to bring in money that they can actually use. How? As former Amazon employeeEugene Wei explained last year:
Almost all customers paid by credit card, so Amazon would receive payment in a day. But they didn’t pay the average distributor or publisher for 90 days for books they purchased. This gave Amazon a magical financial quality called a negative operating cycle. With every book sale, Amazon got cash it could hang on to for up weeks on end (in practice it wasn’t actually 89 days of float since Amazon did purchase some high velocity selling books ahead of time). The more Amazon grew, the more cash it banked. Amazon was turning its inventory 30, 40 times a year, whereas companies like Barnes and Noble were sweating to turn their inventory twice a year. Most people just look at a company’s margins and judge the quality of the business model based on that, but the cash flow characteristics of the business can make one company a far more valuable company than another with the exact same operating margin. Amazon could have had a margin of zero and still made money.
Forget profit, the emphasis has been on free cash flow since 1997
The 40m Brazilians who clambered out of poverty in the past eight years are able for the first time to scrutinize the society that their taxes finance. They want decent public services, and get overpriced sports stadiums instead.
Spontaneity gives the protests an intoxicating sense of possibility. But, inevitably, the absence of organization also blurs the agenda.
Do they listen or talk?
Who are their people?
How do they treat the cab driver?
Is struggle a part of their story?
If you are working from your inbox, you are workin on other people’s priorities
—Donald Rumsfeld (via fred-wilson)