Originally posted on Fortune:
“It’s pretty amazing to hold leather that no pig or cow died for,” says Lindy Fishburne, an officer of the Thiel Foundation. She is describing a slightly creepy “biofabricated” product made by a startup the foundation funded with a $350,000 donation. The company, named Modern Meadow, makes leather and, indeed, meat by taking skin or muscle samples from animals via biopsy and then growing them in vitro. Modern Meadow is just one of 19 futuristic startups that have received donations from the Thiel Foundation over the past two years as part of an unusual program called Breakout Labs. Though it is rare, if not unheard-of, for a charitable foundation to donate tax-advantaged dollars to for-profit companies, the Thiel Foundation is no ordinary charity. It was set up in 2006 by billionaire investor Peter Thiel, who crafts his gifts to make a point, as he explains to Fortune in an interview…
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Originally posted on Follow The Money:
Tesla Motors hit yet another gear Tuesday on Wall Street, jumping to record highs as an analyst predicted the company’s true value is far higher.
Tesla gained 5.3 percent from record prices set after a deal to expand infrastructure in China was announced Friday, with shares closing at $284.05. Tuesday’s improvement added to an increase of more than 20 percent in August, when optimism for the Palo Alto car company’s next all-electric offering, the Model X, helped provoke a record ride.
Tuesday’s catalyst was the most optimistic prediction yet for Tesla: Stifel Nicolaus analyst James Albertine predicted that Tesla shares will ascend to $400 thanks to its growth potential and the bullish nature of its backers.
“Tesla sentiment is like a freight train, in our view, benefiting from a well manicured growth story that has caught the eye of a much broader investor base relative to…
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Originally posted on PandoDaily:
Ask the average consumer to name the biggest home goods and furniture etailers, and Wayfair is unlikely to come up. But today the Boston-based giant filed to raise $350 million in a forthcoming IPO, revealing that it generated $915.8 million in 2013 revenue, up 52 percent from the $601 million it brought in in 2012. The company delivered 3.3 million orders to 2.1 million customers during the year.
So how has Wayfair remained so under the radar? Particularly considering how long Boston has been jonesing for a big consumer Internet hit?
First, the company generates only a fraction of its revenue under its namesake domain, Wayfair.com. It also operates Cookware.com, Luggage.com, EveryGrandfatherClock.com, AllModern.com, JossandMain.com, and other branded destinations, and owns furniture studio DwellStudio. Across these various sites, the company manages more than 7,000 individual vendors and uses drop-shipping to fulfil orders directly to the consumer. The company doesn’t just sell…
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from; james clear
It was the first game of the season and Peyton Manning, one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the National Football League, already had a chance to set another NFL record.
Late in the fourth quarter, with the ball on his own 22-yard-line, Manning stepped up to the line of scrimmage and surveyed the defense. Just before snapping the ball, he noticed something.
The Baltimore Ravens defenders were moving around in front of Manning, preparing for the play, but something didn’t feel right. After the game, Manning would simply say that he “saw something.” [1, 2]
Baltimore was going to blitz and Manning knew it. He took a step forward, spread his arms to signal a new play call, and yelled out the play, “Alley! Alley! … Alley! Alley! Alley!”
The Broncos snapped the ball. The Ravens, as expected, blitzed. Manning threw a perfectly planned pass to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who ran 78 yards for a touchdown. The Baltimore defenders never laid a hand on him.
It was Manning’s seventh touchdown pass of the game, tying the NFL record. And perhaps more impressive, it took Manning just four seconds to step up to the line of scrimmage, analyze the location of all eleven defenders, compare their coverage to the play he had called, recognize that they were preparing to blitz, and then call a new play. All that, in just four seconds.
Let’s talk about how Peyton Manning can do that, and how you can develop expertise in the areas that matter to you.
Here’s the deal…
The “Cocktail Party Effect”
In a variety of studies, researchers have shown that website visitors have learned to ignore the common areas of webpages loaded with advertisements. In many cases, the readers breeze right past the advertisements like they aren’t even there (yet another reason why I don’t run any advertisements on JamesClear.com). Known as “banner blindness” this phenomenon is essentially saying that as you read more articles online, you learn to ignore the irrelevant or unimportant pieces of the experience. 
This basic idea – that you can focus on one part of an experience and ignore others – is a cognitive psychology concept known as selective attention. It’s also called the “cocktail party effect,” which is named after the idea that your brain can pay attention to a single conversation while standing a crowded room full of people talking. Selective attention helps you filter out the noise and focus on the signal.
Selective attention is what allowed Peyton Manning to instantly assess the defense of the Baltimore Ravens and change his play call accordingly. Manning has put in thousands of hours playing the game, studying film of opposing defenses, and learning from his mistakes. As a result, his brain instinctively knew what was signal and what was noise. He knew what to focus on and what to ignore.
The result is that Peyton Manning can make snap decisions that are based on thousands of hours of experience. While a young quarterback might see a dozen possible options for what will happen, Manning can narrow it down to a few options, perhaps even one option, by paying attention to the right factors. The result is increased success, and it’s a major difference between amateurs and experts.
The Truth About Hacks
It seems that the world is obsessed with quick fixes and performance hacks. I get it. I’ve felt that way too. We all want to “hack” our bodies and brains, to find a hidden solution to mastering our mental and physical performance.
The thing is, when you look at how the top performers in the world operate and examine what is really going on in their minds and bodies, you often see the complete opposite of a hack. You see repetitions and consistency.
- When LeBron James wants to increase his recovery and physical performance, he sleeps for 12 hours.
- When Kobe Bryant wants to improve his skill set, he shoots 800 times.
- When Peyton Manning wants to see holes in the defense, he puts in thousands of hours in the film room.
Sure, these athletes are blessed with one-in-a-million genetics, but chalking their success up to innate talent ignores a very big piece of the puzzle. I’m willing to bet that their tireless approach to mastering the fundamentals and unwaivering commitment to consistency would pay dividends for nearly anyone in any field, regardless of genetic talent.
The Secret to Selective Attention
That said, Peyton Manning does have one distinct advantage over most people looking to develop expertise: statistics.
Everything that Manning does is measured. How many interceptions he throws. How many touchdowns he throws. How many passes he completes. How much weight he lifts in the gym. How fast he runs his sprints. It’s all measured.
Why is this important? Because he has proof of whether or not he is making progress in his life and work. Because he is measuring these numbers, he is also looking to improve these numbers. And when he does something new and the numbers go up, that is a clear signal to him that this new behavior is working.
The only way to figure out what works and what doesn’t is to measure your results. If you repeat this cycle for 20 years, then you end up becoming very good at focusing on the things that matter and ignoring the things that don’t.
If you want to get better, then practice consistently and measure constantly. Use that feedback to figure out what is working and what isn’t. Then, spend your time putting in more reps rather than searching for another hack. Experts spend more time focusing on what works. And the only way to know what works, is to put the time in.