Elon Musk on the ruling that you cannot buy a car directly from a manufacturer in the state of New Jersey:
It is worth examining the history of these laws to understand why they exist, as the auto dealer franchise laws were originally put in place for a just cause and are now being twisted to an unjust purpose. Many decades ago, the incumbent auto manufacturers sold franchises to generate capital and gain a salesforce. The franchisees then further invested a lot of their money and time in building up the dealerships. That’s a fair deal and it should not be broken. However, some of the big auto companies later engaged in pressure tactics to get the franchisees to sell their dealerships back at a low price. The franchisees rightly sought protection from their state legislatures, which resulted in the laws on the books today throughout the United States (these laws are not present anywhere else in the world).
The intent was simply to prevent a fair and longstanding deal between an existing auto company and its dealers from being broken, not to prevent a new company that has no franchisees from selling directly to consumers. In most states, the laws are reasonable and clear. In a handful of states, the laws were written in an overzealous or ambiguous manner. When all auto companies sold through franchises, this didn’t really matter. However, when Tesla came along as a new company with no existing franchisees, the auto dealers, who possess vastly more resources and influence than Tesla, nonetheless sought to force us to sell through them.
The reason that we did not choose to do this is that the auto dealers have a fundamental conflict of interest between promoting gasoline cars, which constitute virtually all of their revenue, and electric cars, which constitute virtually none. Moreover, it is much harder to sell a new technology car from a new company when people are so used to the old. Inevitably, they revert to selling what’s easy and it is game over for the new company.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: an outdated law being twisted to impede progress and maintain the status quo. Even better:
An even bigger conflict of interest with auto dealers is that they make most of their profit from service, but electric cars require much less service than gasoline cars. There are no oil, spark plug or fuel filter changes, no tune-ups and no smog checks needed for an electric car. Also, all Tesla Model S vehicles are capable of over-the-air updates to upgrade the software, just like your phone or computer, so no visit to the service center is required for that either.
This is so clearly the future of the automotive industry, so this is ultimately just delaying the inevitable. But consumers have every right to be outraged and New Jersey should be ashamed of itself.
As someone who worked with both Saab (‘04) and Nissan (‘00) as a consultant, let me say this: the manufacturers would be *delighted* to see the dealerships take it in the teeth in any reform of these laws. They absolutely abhor their inability to control the last mile of the relationship with the consumer, to control advertising and branding, or to truly own the relationship. This has been brewing for 20+ years if my experience is any indication, and it will not work out well for the dealerships if Tesla gains momentum.
“The accelerator takes small amounts of risk and offloads that aggregate risk onto a market of investors (the VC’s). Its Demo Day, which first showcases its companies, is a coming out event, like an IPO. And it attracts top young graduates, like my cousin, from across the world. I spent nearly a decade on Wall Street, and let’s be clear: that’s our model. Employing Type A personalities to shuffle around amorphous blobs of questionable value is not called a “startup accelerator”; it’s called Investment Banking.”—
“An incredible political and economic experiment is playing out within San Francisco and its metropolitan area. The tech boom and the hyper-gentrification associated with it are testing the resolve and character of the city in a way the city or any other major American city has never experienced…
We could end up witnessing a San Francisco that reflexively tightens up its tenant protections and votes overwhelmingly against condominium development projects… On the other end, the city could become a Manhattan-esque playground for the rich of haute cafes that serve $4 toast, a place where community development centers get evicted and replaced by fusion restaurants catering to the whims of the latest food trends.”—
I’m not advocating one solution or another, but NY’s building boom is probably THE ONE THING bloomberg allowed that made this stupidly expensive city affordable at all. Zillions of people are moving into SF. There aren’t that many places to move in to. What was going to happen other than send prices through the roof and make it unaffordable.
The same thing happened to Seattle. They build. Lots. And it stayed relatively affordable. And quite a nice place, to boot.
I know I don’t live there anymore, but i don’t think people are advocating tearing down the wonderful old painted ladies and whatnot. But as small as that city is, there are plenty of places to more apartments if they wanted to.
This is such utter horseshit. No, not the need to build more. We need to build more. LOTS MORE. But the idea that people with money, people who like cafes, people who like fucking Manhattan are somehow opposed to the Left…
Because the new DM app would integrate directly with Twitter, it could automatically display tweets from a conversation’s participants in the thread itself. This is a simple feature, but one that other messaging apps also could not offer, and it would give users additional context in a variety of conversations. For large groups that outgrew the constraints of @-replies, these embedded tweets would make it easy for users to see what had already been said. For small groups, these embedded tweets would enrich the conversation by giving a sense of what other participants were thinking about.
A stand-alone Twitter chat (DM) app by itself isn’t that interesting. But an app that allowed you to easily injected (public) tweets to chat about could be very interesting. I know I already do this in other chat apps — that is, paste in a link to a tweet and then talk about it with a smaller group of people.
Also interesting: a chat app that injected your own tweets into a conversation to kickstart dialogue with friends.
Early versions of Potluck did pretty much exactly this.
“Bill Walton was my hero years ago. Then one night we got to play against him in L.A. when he was playing with the mighty Clippers. The game was about two minutes old when Bill turned to the referee, and said [in a high pitched, whiny voice], ‘Tell Bird to stop pushing me, he won’t stop pushing me!’ Sometimes, it’s better not to meet your heroes.”—Larry Bird (via iamcausewaystreet)