Twelve Ways to Increase your Knowledge

 Read nonfiction books. When you read for pleasure read non fiction. To make it easier to read begin with areas of knowledge you enjoy. Importantly, Gates posts lists of nonfiction books he reads at his Gates Notes blog.

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Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Jack Ma investing in Hot Fusion Company

To explain, Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) appears on a list of companies Gates’ hedge fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) is investing in, Quartz reveals. Importantly, Commonwealth claims it can commercialize hot nuclear fusion within 15 years.

The first goal at CFS is to build a tokamak fusion reactor capable of generating 100 Megawatts (MW) of electricity, a press release reveals. In detail, 100 MW is enough juice to power a city of 100,000 people or the size of Boulder, Colorado.

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Ten Threats to Amazon

Netflix loses money like crazy but it has built up a global platform for delivery of digital products. A danger is that Netflix might start selling products like video games, software, insurance, or financial services in addition to video entertainment. Another is that Netflix might team up with a retailer to start selling goods through its platform. A grave danger for Amazon would be Walmart or Alibaba buying Netflix and offering a Prime type delivery and entertainment option through it.

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Ten Lessons that You Can Learn from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

The real basis of Amazon’s success is the infrastructure Jeff Bezos has created. Its Amazon Web Services division, which operates data centers for other companies and the government, reported a net profit of $79 million in October 2015. Amazon ensures package delivery, with 104 fulfillment centers in North America alone. Chain Store Age reported that Amazon’s fulfillment center network is 10 times those of its competitors. The company also operates 69 centers outside North America. While other retailers created websites, Bezos built up the infrastructure that gets the packages to the customers. Build the infrastructure before you market the products.

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The Strange World of Barnes & Noble

Like other category killers such as Bed, Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBY) and Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble is struggling to simply survive in today’s retail environment. To do that, the company has to provide both deep discounts and a really fun shopping experience to customers.

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Alibaba Proves It Has Some Value

That gave Alibaba a quarterly year to year revenue growth rate of 38.39%, over twice that of Amazon.com, which reported a revenue growth rate of 15.08% on March 31, 2015. Alibaba’s growth rate also far exceeded that of eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY), which reported a rate of 4.36% on March 31, 2015, Best Buy NYSE: BBY), which reported a revenue growth rate of 2.82% on January 31, 2015, and Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS), which reported a negative revenue growth rate of -3.69% on Jan. 31, 2015.

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eBay Is Now an Acquisition Target

A very dark horse contender for an eBay acquisition would be Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BERK.B). Uncle Warren is famously technology adverse, but eBay does meet some of his criteria: it’s a good company with a strong brand that’s well respected on Main Street but undervalued by the market. It also has a business model that generates a lot of float and cash—two of Buffett’s favorite things.

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How Costco’s Memberships Generate Float

Costco, on the other hand, can use the float from its memberships for almost anything it wants to. That’s good news for investors because Costco generated $768 million in membership fee revenue in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to The Wall Street Journal. Costco’s float is growing too – its membership fee revenue grew by 7% during the fourth quarter.

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