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It looks like there Free Cash Flow in 2014 was about $4MM positive so they aren't really burning cash

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How's that possible?

I would expect them to be investing heavily which means low FCF even with positive profits. I also doubt they are decreasing inventory (do they even hold it?)

Maybe the positive cf is just a fluke due to Xmas season? If you sell a lot before the end of the year, and only pay your sellers in Jan, and you have an exponential growth, then the positive cf may mean nothing..

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If you look at their expenses, a huge chunk of their 'loss' is them issuing shares to employees. They're required to count this as a cash expense. You can make the argument that they could be profitable if they stopped granting shares, but in reality, this is part of their employee compensation plan and if they stopped issuing shares, they'd likely have to incur actual cashflow costs in order to keep their employees (eg. higher salaries or cash bonuses). Amazon is in a similar situation.

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Some growing companies have positive cash flow but negative earnings as long as they are growing.

For example, they may take credit card payments from customers, but pay suppliers on terms. In which case growth causes consistent annual free cash flow higher than earnings.

Amazon is a decent example of this where their earnings suck, but their FCF has been reasonable every year.

I'm not sure about the particulars of how Etsy issues payment to suppliers though.

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Music companies don't see Spotify as competing with purchases, they see it as competing with "free" (aka, piracy)

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The liquidation is pro-rata for the common shareholders. So once Preferred gets paid, the common splits the remaining pro-rata. With the actual docs (Shareholders rights agreement that goes with the purchase, it would be clear).

8% of the amount invested. This is a standard term to allow investors to get paid if the company is in business a long time is cash flow positive, but not likely to have a liquidation event. VC funds typically have a 10 year life and need are way to return money to their LPs.

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Much has been written about the dysfunction of California's government. I would summarize it as we have a direct participation system, in the form of propositions, that has limited what the government can do. Specifically, the voters have limited the amount of property taxes that can be raised, required a super majority of the legislature to raise any other taxes, and then gone ahead and proscribed what the legislature has to spend money on, either directly on things like education or indirectly on things like prisons when we pass laws like 3 strikes. Even when we raise additional taxes, as we just did with Prop 30, we specifically earmarked that money for education. All this leads to terrible roads.

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Oregon has done exactly the same thing, though, and it hasn't caused the same problems. We have a balanced budget requirement, an annual cap on property tax increases, a requirement that the legislature can't pass taxes itself but has to put them as ballot measures, and a requirement that no new tax can pass at a special election (non-May non-November) without a 50% turnout (in response to too many ballot-stuffing special elections where all the special-interest groups remind their members to vote).

So, I remain curious about the root cause difference here.

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I can't speak to Oregon, but in California the voters also specify the things the government has to spend on. We have legislature must spend on. For instance we require that some 60% of the budget go to education. The legislature only have control over something like 20%. Additionally, while this is probably only a small problem now, we will have pension / retiree health care issues.

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Oregon is similar in that voters can specify things for the state to spend money on. However, I think the root of it is that California is a lot (more than 10x) bigger than Oregon. Any independent group that wants some money earmarked gets a much larger payoff in California than in Oregon. On the opposite side of the same coin, an overzealous reform group gets more bang for their buck getting a bill passed in California, too. Oregon has had its share of bad bills too, but as far as I understand it we just have far fewer than California.

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I'm in New Zealand and interested in potentially moving to Portland one day. I'm aware that the city has a great reputation for arts and food (which is the appeal for me and my family) and personally prefer living in smaller cities. The regular folk music events, street markets and greenery all seem very appealing! Are there many job opportunities for software developers there however?

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> Are there many job opportunities for software developers there however?

As a software developer there, I can unequivocally say "yes". That applies whether you prefer big companies, startups, or something inbetween.

And the rest of the reputation you mentioned is entirely deserved and accurate. (Also, if you prefer smaller cities, the surrounding area can easily accomodate, and the Portland area has a great light rail and public transit system to get you to and from downtown Portland.)

Feel free to contact me privately if you'd like to chat more about the area.

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Move to Sydney instead.

Seriously.

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Sydney is 10 times larger than Portland. Having lived in lots of different cities, large and small, I think 300-500k is the sweet spot for me. Any larger and I feel like you start suffering from quality of life issues - pollution, traffic, overcrowding, traveling distances, crime etc.

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Sydney is choking from decades of mismanagement. Almost none of it is like the post cards.

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The root cause is that Oregon is tiny.

You're not giving CA enough credit.

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Those in CA thinking about implementing such a policy will need to be careful. IANAL, but having been CFO of two CA start ups now, you will need to give CA employees at least 1 day per month worked that will need to be paid upon termination. You can cap the amount of accrued vacation a 10 or more days, but once they've earned a day they can never loose it.

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Since they are debt, they accrue interest and the note is due and payable in full at some point down the road (say 18 months). If the company successfully bootstraps, they need to be in a position to pay back the note + the accrued interest by the end of the 18 month period.

If the company can't pay back the note, they need to negotiate with the investors to either extend it or to convert it at some mutually agreed upon valuation

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I am not a lawyer - so don't take this as legal advice. But if I read your post correctly, you said you were never properly served. Since it sounds like you have access to all the court documents, if you search through them some where in the documents you will probably find a place where the plaintiffs swear under penalty of perjury, that you were served with notice. If you were truly never served (make sure to check with a lawyer to see what constitutes service) and they claimed you were - you may have grounds for a counter suit. Check into Small Claims Court as well - you can sue for up to $10,000 and abuse of process is a valid claim there. Forms are available online, your opponent can't bring a lawyer and there is only one appeal allowed.

But if you do nothing and if they choose to press this, they will go to court to ask the judge to put liens on any assets they can and to garnish your wages.

In any event contact a lawyer to see if I am correct about this.

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This move fits with HBO's (and really every content provider's) anti-piracy strategy. Namely, content needs to be encrypted from the time it leaves their server's to the time it is decoded by the screen. The reason for this is simple, if they achieve this goal, they can argue that anyone who provides an unencrypted copy of content must have violated the DMCA (which has provision against tampering with encryption). Whether the technologies have cracked (the article points out the HDCP has been) or whether the provider ever prosecutes isn't the point, the content providers feel they need to reserve their rights at any cost.

Many folks (techdirt included) argue that piracy is just marketing. For instance, it allows HBO to reach an audience they wouldn't reach otherwise. They even speculate that the Game of Thrones ratings bump was due to piracy. While that may (or may not) be true, in most industries, companies control when, where and much to spend on marketing.

For HBO (or any content provider) all these decisions come down to economics and how they can maximize their profits. In this new case (adding HDCP to their streams) they probably judged that the number of customer's they'd loose was pretty small and making the change would allow them to further their strategic goals.

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"if they achieve this goal, they can argue that anyone who provides an unencrypted copy of content must have violated the DMCA (which has provision against tampering with encryption)"

How does that help them, though? Anyone who provides an unencrypted copy has infringed on their copyright, so HBO can go after them on those ground whether or not they also violated the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA. It seems to me this would only be useful if they think they can actually prevent people from circumventing their DRM.

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Here's an anecdote.

My first job out of collage was with a Big 6 accounting firm as a IT consultant. As part of training, we took the Myers-Briggs test (which places you on the Introvert/Extravert spectrum) and spent an entire day discussing the results. The message of the day was any of the different personality types can thrive and people should be aware of other's personality styles and taylor their interactions given what they know about themselves and what they know about the people they are interacting with. This was/is an important lesson and has been helpful in my career.

They ended the day with a set of two slides that broke down the population of the firm as a whole and the population of the partners in the firm. 80% of the firm were extraverts and >95% of the partners where extraverts. So the other lesson I learned that day, was that if you want to be in a sales-y leadership position, you better learn to behave like an extravert.

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It's unclear whether there will be any breakage. Most states have escheat laws that apply to gift certificates. Basically merchants are required to remit to the state any unused gift certificates after a certain period of time.

While the coupon part of the Groupon might be allowed to expire, the merchants will have to eventually pay the states for all unused groupons.

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