What does it feel like to lose a lot of money quickly?

Answer by James Altucher:

When I built my first company in the 90s I did everything smart until I did everything stupid.

We built websites for entertainment companies. Bad Boy Records, Miramax, Time Warner, HBO, Sony, Disney, Loud Records, Interscope, on and on. Oh, and Con Edison.

Then I saw that kids in junior high school were learning HTML. So I sold the business. $15mm. About a year later. I hedged and cashed out. Sold all my shares. The $15 million was now cash.

I bought an apartment for millions. I rebuilt it. Feng Shui! I bought art. I played a lot of poker. I began investing in companies. A million here. A few hundred thousand there. One IPO I put $2 million in at $20 and watched it go to $0. They made wireless devices for deaf people. Huge market.

I started another company. CMGI, Allen & Co, Investcorp, Henry Kravis, and a billion others invested. I started a VC fund. I invested in more companies.

Then Internet stocks started to go down. This is ridiculous, I thought. The Internet is here to stay. I knew nothing about stocks or valuations or anything resembling rational thought. I doubled down. Then quadrupled down. Then 8-upled down.

From June 2000 until September, 2001 I probably lost $1 million a month. When anyone says, "this is ridiculous", that's code for, "I'm about to lose a lot of money".

I couldn't stop. I was an addict. I wanted to get back up to the peak.

I wanted to be loved. I wanted to have $100 million so people would love me.

I was the worst idiot. Writing this now I feel like slitting my wrists and stomach. I had 2 kids.

I felt like I was going to die. That zero equals death. I couldn't believe how stupid I had been. I had lost all my friends. Nobody returned calls. I would go to the ATM machine and feel my blood going through my whole body when I saw how much was left. I was going to zero and nothing could stop it. There were no jobs,  there was nothing.

I lost my house. One weekend when I had $0 left in my bank account I called my parents to borrow money but they said "no". "College was enough" they told me.

I tried meditation to calm down but it didn't work. I never slept. I lost 30 lbs. I'm 5'9". I went from 160 to 130. I couldn't talk to anyone. I couldn't move. I stopped having ideas. I cried every day. I felt like I had won the lottery (I did) and now there would be no chance for me. I would look at my daughters and think I had ruined their lives. I went from feeling immortal to feeling dead all over, every day. There was never a moment when I didn't feel sick. I had let everyone down forever.

We moved 80 miles north of NYC with the tiny bit of money we took out of our apartment after selling at a million dollar loss.  I didn't leave the house for three months. I gained  back all my weight and then another 30 lbs.

Finally I had to either die or feed my family.

  • I started to exercise every day. I started to eat better. One item for breakfast. A healthy lunch. Tiny dinner. No snacks.
  • I started to only be around people who loved and supported me. I broke off all ties with anyone who I felt bad to be around.
  • I wrote software again. Instead of blind investing in the stock market I downloaded 50 years of stock data and started statistically modeling what happens in hundreds of different situations. Doing this, I developed ideas for trading systems which I shared freely with several hedge fund managers, some of whom gave me money to manage.
  • I wrote down ideas every day of articles I could write about the Internet and stocks. Bit by bit, places like thestreet dot com, the financial times, forbes, yahoo finance, and other places started publishing them. Bit by bit they started paying me for them.
  • I prayed every day. I was grateful for my daughters. I was grateful for what I had. I didn't fight reality or regret. This was my reality and I had to make the best of it.
  • Every day I came up with ideas for new businesses. I had a waiter's pad. I would go to a cafe at 6 in the morning with about 4 books and read for an hour or two and then start writing  down ideas for new businesses, articles, trading systems, etc.
  • I started a hedge fund. I started a fund  of hedge funds. I started a newsletter. I did deals. I made introductions every day, expanding my brand new network from scratch. I got involved in a mental health company I sold for $41mm.
  • I started a website, Stockpickr! which got millions of unique users. I found advertising for it. I sold it to Stock Market – Business News, Market Data, Stock Analysis – TheStreet
  • I had made millions again from scratch.

Then I stopped using the fundamental techniques I described above. Every time I've lost money it's because I squandered my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.

I was really bad.

And then I lost it all again.

And then I built it up again. In a completely different way but using the same basic fundamental techniques of health that I described above. Of trying to create value for people. Of trying to go from success to success.

And I hope I can keep building. I hope I don't revert to my addictive tendencies. I think this time I learned. Every day without fail I focus on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.

But life brings with it many challenges and many things to learn. I surrender to whatever I need to still learn.

What does it feel like to lose a lot of money quickly?

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Do people with Down Syndrome have lives that are worth living?

Answer by Rich Young:

This is my daughter, now age 25. She's an international traveler. Here she is at an airport in Central America waiting for her flight.

Photo RBY

She speaks two languages (English and Spanish) and is working on a third (Italian).

She taught herself how to use a desktop computer when she was very little and completely unassisted. She owns and operates her own web tablet and is an expert at it.

She is a voracious reader and devours both books and magazines.

She makes friends instantly wherever she goes and she is semi-famous. Virtually everybody gets a hug when she sees them, even if meeting for the first time. If you get on an elevator with her, you will know all about her and her family by the time you get off at your floor.

Rachel has recently been ziplining in the Dominican Republic and during the same trip, climbed a waterfall while wearing a helmet and other protective gear. She also participated in a dolphin encounter and was palling around with a seal. She'll be ziplining again this Christmas in Costa Rica.

She is a movie buff and can give you the plot line and character names of over 100 films and much of the dialogue for great parts of many of them.

She conducts interviews and has a press pass for a Panamanian newspaper. She also has her own website where she publishes her writings.

Rachel also is a horseback rider. She started out at a therapeutic riding school in Missouri to learn better coordination and balance. She has gone on from that to do trail rides – the last time at a resort in the Dominican Republic.

In years past Rachel has also ridden both an elephant and a camel.

Here she is running the 400 meter track in northern Italy.

Photo NLY

Oh, and she also happens to have an extra chromosome in her DNA. That's an interesting fact, but in the final analysis, so what?

What do you think? Does she have a life worth living? How are you doing with what you were given to work with?

Added Note:
Thank you all for the upvotes, shares and positive comments.  You are all very kind. My wife and I and Rachel's six siblings (she is the youngest of seven) have just gotten used to the list of her accomplishments. Thus, when I am exposed to yet another statement like the one above which implies that such persons are somehow not fully capable of having a meaningful life or that their lives are not worth living is both maddening and sad. However, I am still grateful to that person for giving me the excuse to introduce you to her. I really mean that – thank you, OP.

We believe that our Heavenly Father really knows best and knows the end before the beginning. He has a plan for each of us and our happiness. So when he allows a child to come into this world that does not fit one's perception of what is perfect, we need to be very careful of assuming something about which we have limited or no understanding at all.

Photo BRY

That "less than perfect" child which the world can see as deficient may just end up making your own life better and make you an even better person. That has without a doubt been our experience since Rachel arrived over 25 years ago.

Most of you reading this only have two copies of the genes on chromosome 21 and she would never even think of holding that against you. She regrets that you were short-changed but is sure that you can overcome that.

Rachel says to tell you "Arrivederci"

Added Note #2:

A number of Rachel's new fans and friends have written to me (her father) asking for the web site where some of her work has been posted. There is a newspaper web site here at the western edge of Panama that features some of her artwork and this is the link that will allow you see just a few of her many, many drawings.

rachels page

Also, if you have not recently read any of the over 150 comments that others have left here for Rachel (below), you might enjoy the comments and remarks that people have left for her. I read all of them to her as we look at the computer screen together and many of them contain her own replies.

Thanks again for reading. -RBY

Do people with Down Syndrome have lives that are worth living?

How to clip iTunes movies / videos and convert

There are all sorts of occasions you might wish to clip iTunes movies. Sometimes you may want to remove the boring opening scene about the film producers or advertising broadcast before the movie. And with the development of film and television, more and more types of titles, more and more involved in a wide range of areas. Sometimes the highlights may attract your attention to save it alone. Or you may want to keep the unique music and film credits eggs at the end.
In fact, it’s easy to clip the video. But the iTunes movies with DRM protection need to be authorized and can only be played on Apple devices. So it seems not easy to clip the DRM iTunes movies.
Maybe Kigo M4V Converter is just the helper you want to clip iTunes movies. It is a best DRM Removal and it is devoted to converting iTunes purchased videos including Movies, TV Shows and music videos. During the conversion, Kigo M4V Converter can help you clip the video with simple settings. You can also select chapter to clip the video. Here will show you how to get iTunes movies clips.
Step 1: Add iTunes movies
Click the Add Movies button and the iTunes movies you have purchased will show in the pop up window. You just need to select the movie you need to clip.

Step 2: Clip the video
Click the duration drop-down list and select Clip Video.
Then the Customize time window pops up. You can input the value to customize the Start or End time. After you click OK button to save the changes, the value will be displayed on the file.
Step 3: Start Conversion
Now you can press the Convert button to start converting iTunes movies with the default output format Same as source for mov. And Kigo M4V Converter can convert videos at 20X conversion speed.
With the Same as source for mov output format, the ac-3 surrounding audio tack and subtitles of original can be saved as source.
After converting is done, the converted file will be saved automatically in the history list. You can check the converted file in the history list. The file is without DRM protected and keeps the duration according to the clip settings. The extra segment has been removed from the movie.
Kigo M4V Converter supports a lot of output formats like MP4, MOV, AVI, WMV, 3GP, 3G2, FLV, MPG etc. So you can play the output files on other video players!
With the help of Kigo M4V Converter, you can choose the chapter and audio track as you like and happy to enjoy the movie.
Please visit the website to know more info about Kigo M4V Converter!

Why was YouTube so much more successful than Vimeo?

Answer by Josh Abramson:

When Jake Lodwick first showed me Vimeo, a side project he'd been working on while at CollegeHumor/BustedTees, I thought it was really neat but didn't see it becoming a profitable business.  My experience with video through CollegeHumor had taught me that hosting user generated content without a filter would lead to inevitable legal trouble with the big media companies and I was also worried about the potential high costs of hosting a video free-for-all with no clear monetization strategy.  Therefore, when we launched Vimeo there were a number of strict rules we placed around the upload process (size and length of video) which were intended primarily to prevent people from uploading copyrighted material to the site.  This was before we sold our company to IAC, so I knew that one big lawsuit with Viacom, etc… had the potential to put a major dent in our business (not to mention that we were trying to sell CollegeHumor to these same media companies).  Given that CollegeHumor, BustedTees and Vimeo were tied together under the same parent company, a lawsuit against Vimeo threatened to take away from the value we'd already built with our other self-funded businesses.  Similarly, if Vimeo grew too quickly we would have had to sacrifice all of the positive cash flow we were generating elsewhere to fund the storage and bandwidth requirements of this very high risk new venture.  

When YouTube first launched I can remember us all following them closely in the early months and watching how our traffic and theirs was neck and neck via Alexa stats.  During this time we continued to focus most of our energy on CollegeHumor and still viewed Vimeo as a side project.  The moment that I finally realized something was fundamentally changing about how people would share and discover video online was when the Lazy Sunday SNL video exploded and took YouTube up with it.  Our restrictions on Vimeo did not allow for a video like this to make it online, so we watched from the sidelines as YouTube's traffic flew past Vimeo and then CollegeHumor literally overnight.  It was then that I realized for the first time we'd probably made a mistake by throttling Vimeo.

In hindsight, we would have been smart to separate our businesses and raise money for Vimeo on its own so that we could have taken the big risk required without jeopardizing the rest of our company.  YouTube, on the other hand, was well capitalized and focused 100% on their core business of allowing people to upload and share video so they were able to swing for the fences and not worry about growing too fast or getting sued.

UPDATE –

Since I wrote this a lot of people have made some angry comments that I am wrong and Vimeo is not a failure. Clearly Vimeo is a success in many ways. Last month Vimeo had over eighty million unique users, and I think it is a much better user experience than YouTube. I am very proud to have been involved with it for the first few years.  However, keep in mind that I wrote this from the perspective of a founder who made exactly zero dollars on Vimeo (originally I owned 35%) and watched the YouTube guys sell their company for $1.65bn to Google.  Had Vimeo chosen a slightly different path and blown up instead of YouTube in the early days, the story may have ended differently for us.  As it turned out though, we were eventually forced to give up our equity in Vimeo in order to keep it alive.  We could no longer afford to finance the substantial losses generated by streaming and storing HD video without a clear monetization strategy. So, while we can all agree that the site is great, my co-founders and I failed to capitalize on it for the reasons I mentioned above.

Why was YouTube so much more successful than Vimeo?

How to merge several songs clips into one as you like

When you have collected lots of songs like jazz, classical .etc, you can categorize them. Maybe you can try to merge the songs into one as your favorite list. And Kigo Video Converter Ultimate can help you to make it easy.

Steps

  1. Add songs. If Kigo VideoConverter Ultimate is ready, click the Add File(s) button on the Convert Video list. Select several songs and click the Open button to the list.

  1. Set audio format. Click to unfold the Profile drop-down list and select WAVE Audio as the output format in the Audio category.
  2. Set merging settings. Check on the option “Merge All Files”, and you can customize the merged file name.
  3. Start converting. Click the Convert Now button to start converting, then the converting progress will show on the Task/Pending/Converting list. After the conversion, you can get the merged audio file from Task/History/Converted list.

Tips:

  • Kigo VideoConverter Ultimate can also support video converting, web video downloading, screen recording, and DVD creating. Know more via http://www.kigo-video-converter.com/video-converter-ultimate-mac/
  • Kigo Video Converter Ultimate supports AC3 pass through while converting DVD with AC3 (5.1) audio track.
  • Kigo Video Converter Ultimate supports 2-pass-encoding to get better video quality while converting.
  • Kigo Video Converter Ultimate enables deinterlace while converting interleaved video.
  • Kigo Video Converter Ultimate supports MP4 flat and hint.
  • You can’t merge audio files and video files together.
  • The converted audio files can’t be added to convert and upload to Youtube quickly.

Warnings:

When you stop the conversion in the pending list, the converting progress will be deleted from the list.