November 11, 2021
Good morning, and thank you to all veterans for your service. This Thursday, everyone is gunning for Tesla, Discord's not getting into crypto (yet), and the DOJ is suing Uber.
It took far too long for Tesla to get some real competition. While Elon Musk and his team were building electric vehicles, trumpeting the self-driving and supercharging future of everything, and occasionally running afoul of every government agency you can name, they also turned Tesla into a trillion-dollar company that began to seem uncatchable.
The startups couldn't ship, and the carmakers couldn't switch. While the Rivians and the Lucids and the Nios toiled away at concepts and prototypes, the GMs and Toyotas and Volkswagens made big plans that never resulted in much. Unless you like the Volt.
But the tide is shifting, and suddenly Tesla's perch atop the electric vehicle market looks a little unstable.
This is the "everybody into the market" moment for EVs. Tesla's soaring valuation has opened the market wide: Part of Rivian's huge IPO surely came from the fact that the ceiling for an electric vehicle company is no longer "large manufacturing company" but "fifth-richest company in the world, beloved by retail investors, and your CEO gets to host 'Saturday Night Live.'"
Actually, this is all kind of Tesla's doing. Musk deserves more credit than anyone for convincing the world that electric vehicles can be cool and exciting and are definitely the future. And Tesla's influence can be found in every corner of the industry.
Of course, Tesla's still way ahead. "I hope they have a high pain tolerance," Musk tweeted last month. "Scaling production, supply chain, logistics & service is a world of hurt." That's hurt Tesla knows better than most, enduring huge production challenges before recently seeming to find its footing. But the new players have an advantage Tesla didn't: virtually unlimited funds, which they're able to secure because Tesla proved the market.
Making a few great electric cars is very different from making a few million. And making one that people want is very different from making … a Nissan Leaf. Everyone seems to have caught on to the cool factor, but what comes next will be a race to see who can get their cars off the show floor and onto the 101 as fast as possible. Because Tesla's already there, keeping all the glory for itself. And it's about time it got some real company.
"Young people are our future, which is why we're supporting digital education opportunities through programs like 4-H Tech Changemakers, where club members learn about digital skills and teach adults in their communities." - Mary Snapp, Microsoft
Discord got everybody riled up about possible crypto integrations, but Jason Citron said it's not coming anytime soon:
Gretchen Whitmer and other governors want lawmakers to approve more funds for chip makers:
Company name changes should accompany other announcements, Appify's Jen Grant said:
Prince Harry said he emailed Jack Dorsey with a warning about the Jan. 6 riot:
General Motors said it's seeing some relief from the chip shortage:
Elon Musk sold some of his Tesla stock. Normally this wouldn't qualify as big news, but when you make it a Twitter poll ... He's sold about 4.5 million shares, worth about $5 billion, over the last few days.
Expensify went public yesterday. The expense management company priced its IPO at $27 a share at a $2.2 billion valuation, but closed the day up by more than 50% at $41 per share.
Twitter is creating a crypto team. Tess Rinearson will oversee the group, which is meant to become a hub for "all things blockchain and web3."
Joseph Smarr is joining TrillerNet as CTO. Smarr has spent over a decade at Google.
Kristin Sverchek is moving up at Lyft to become its first president of business affairs. Sverchek has been the company's general counsel for close to a decade.
Eyal Manor and Dana Wagner arejoining Twilioas chief product officer and chief legal officer, respectively. Manor was most recently a VP at Google, and Wagner last worked at Impossible Foods.
Camilla Churcher is heading to Anchorage Digital to lead sales. Churcher is a former global head of business development at Celsius.
The DOJ is suing Uber for charging disabled passengers a "wait time" fee. The Justice Department filed the lawsuit against the ride-hailing company for billing passengers more money for the extra time they need to get into a car.
Facebook's reputation has been turning off top hires for a while, according to documents studied by Protocol | Workplace. Compared to its peers, Facebook apparently struggled to attract tech workers.
China's Singles Day looks like a blockbuster hit again. Alibaba and other companies played this year's shopping holiday a little cooler than usual, but they're still doing massive business.
YouTube's dislike count is disappearing from public view. It's a similar move to Instagram, which lets you hide your like count.
Instagram wants us to take a break. The platform is trying out a tool that encourages people to take some deep breaths, write down feelings, listen to their favorite songs or do something on their to-do list after spending a certain amount of time scrolling.
SpaceX sent another crew to the ISS. This is the fifth time the company has sent people to space, and it's starting to look almost easy. (Almost.)
Amazon's newest recruitment strategy: Get Terry Crews to appear in an advertisement. The actor is shown pretending to work in an Amazon warehouse to encourage people to apply to the company, which the Twitter world poked fun at.
A lot of stuff in our lives feels commonplace: clocks, refrigerators, that sort of thing. But when those inventions were made, they didn't just change our everyday lives. They prompted major societal changes, which Steven Johnson explains in the book "How We Got To Now."
Johnson talks about all sorts of innovations, from Bluetooth to air conditioning, and describes how they changed the world. For instance, without air conditioning, mass migrations to otherwise inhabitable places would've been impossible. There's also an audiobook if listening is more your style. And if you'd rather watch, PBS has a series on it.
"This year alone, 4-H teens will educate more than 50,000 adults across 18 states. By introducing these skills early, we are helping to build the pipeline of young people who will be ready for today's jobs." - Jennifer Sirangelo, National 4-H Council
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