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Tesla Motors: stocks plummet, but the innovations continue

Tesla’s products have always created buzzing excitement; so why has Tesla been plagued with financial difficulties and what can you learn from them?

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Tesla Motors: a mixed bag of news

Tesla Motors has been making a lot of headlines lately with both its achievements as well as its losses. The electric car manufacturer, which produces an AC powered sports car and luxury sedan, will roll out the world’s first electric SUV later this year. The company is named for infamous visionary physicist, Nikola Tesla, whose 1882 AC motor design directly inspired Tesla Motor’s vehicles.

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Tesla just released a video, via Twitter, of a prototype of its “snakebot autocharger” in action. This futuristic feature resembles a metal-plated robot snake that automatically senses when it’s charging point is nearby and gracefully slithers into place to begin charging the vehicle, even after you’ve wandered away from the garage.

A Tesla car recently got hacked

Around the same time, two researchers discovered how to hack Tesla’s Model S. Electric cars can’t be hot wired and stolen like regular vehicles, but their software can be hacked so that thieves could remotely start and stop the vehicle’s engine. The researchers discovered six major vulnerabilities in Tesla’s security systems.

Tesla immediately hired the researchers to help them resolve the problems, hired respected security expect Chris Evans to head the Tesla security team, and issued a downloadable software update to Model S owners to protect against hackers.

The company issues a security patch, moves on

Despite these weaknesses in security, Kevin Mahaffey of the research team that hacked the Model S, considers Tesla’s vehicle to be “the most secure car that we’ve seen.” The research team was impressed that Tesla was able to quickly and remotely send out a software update.

They say that modern smart cars need to be updated as or more often than a home PC, so being able to send out these updates over the air is a huge advantage.

They were also pleased to see that Tesla, unlike other manufacturers like Jeep, has thought ahead about the safety consequences of a potential hacking. If your Jeep gets hacked and your engine is cut off remotely while you’re driving, it’s likely they’ll be scraping you off the pavement. Tesla’s vehicles, on the other hand, if hacked, will go into neutral and the driver will still have control over the steering and brakes, allowing you to cruise to safety.

It took some time, but the company turned a profit

The sheer ingenuity of Tesla’s products has tech and automotive geeks excited, and yet Tesla Motors has been plagued with financial insecurities throughout its lifetime. The company was founded in 2003, yet didn’t turn a profit until ten years later.

In a recent announcement of its second quarter earnings for 2015, Musk admitted that they would not be able to reach their goal of disturbing 55,000 electric SUV’s this September, and would shoot for a more modest 5,000. Within minutes, Tesla’s stock dropped by eight percent.

Apparently the Model X, with its Back to the Future style fold-up doors, is perhaps the most challenging vehicle to build on the market today. The Model X shares an assembly line with the Model S at Tesla’s Fremont, California factory, and Musk thinks this might slow down their entire operation as they troubleshoot some of the finer points of building the first electric SUV.

Will they reach their profit goals this year?

Although the announcement that they’d be rolling out fewer Model X’s than expected scared some stockholders into selling, Tesla did have some good news to share, as they revealed better than expected second quarter earnings, with slightly more revenue generated and less net loss than analysts had predicted. What’s more, its new program to sell used electric cars generated an additional $20 million in profits. Industry analyst Cathie Wood says that “the fact that used Teslas were selling faster than they were coming in indicated the company might have a potential winning hand moving into the used car market.”

However, Tesla’s chief financial officer, Deepak Ahuja, said it would be too “close to call” as to whether or not they would reach their profit goals for the end of this year, and may need until the first quarter of 2016 to catch up.

Regardless, the innovations continue

Despite the company’s financial ups and downs, its CEO, Elon Musk, still has more than enough cash on hand to contribute to charitable causes he cares about such as – get this – protecting the world against a potential robot takeover. Early this year, Musk donated $10 million to the Future of Life Institute, a non-profit organization that researches “artificial intelligence safety.” The donation will be used by FLI to fund an open grants competition, and the organization is calling for proposals for new research and ideas around protecting humanity from the potential negative impacts of artificial intelligence.

In an interview, Musk explained that, when it comes to artificial intelligence, it is possible to imagine disaster situations in which “recovery of human civilization does not occur.” He argues that is time to invest in preventing such negative outcomes, rather than reacting to them after it’s too late.

Wise advice from the man behind the automatic snakebot, who will also be releasing an autopilot test program to select electric car drivers later this month. Soon Musk will be delivering cars that charge and drive themselves – but that doesn’t mean he trusts the robots not to take things too far.

#Tesla

Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

Business News

New company beats Amazon with next morning delivery?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Amazon has a new competitor in South Korea: Coupang, with faster shipping than Prime.

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What if I told you Amazon Prime’s, 1-3 day guaranteed delivery time isn’t the fastest e-commerce service the world has to offer? You would think I’m lying right?

Coupang, one of the world’s fastest delivery services located in South Korea, allows you to order any item, anytime before midnight, promising that it will be at your doorstep by 7am! (I wasn’t lying!) With 70% of its employees living within a 10 minute radius of a Coupang center, 80% of residents residing in populated cities and 95% of it’s population owning a smartphone, South Korea has become the perfect e-commerce epicenter. Coupang employees over 10,000 people who together deliver 99.3% of all orders within 24 hours. Imagine it’s Tuesday night, you’re falling asleep and suddenly remember you forgot to get your wife a present for her 50th birthday tomorrow. You have two options: accept your fate of being put in the dog house for three long weeks, or quickly order a few great items off Coupang’s website that’ll be delivered BEFORE she even wakes up!

Like Amazon, Coupang allows its customers to create a profile, store desired products in a list, and check out using your saved payment method. Half of South Korea’s total population of 51.6 million has installed Coupang’s app with a surge of people trying Coupang for the first time during stay at home orders due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The company struggled to meet fulfillment demands, especially those including PPE, household cleaning products, and children’s necessities. While many companies are struggling to stay afloat, Coupang is quickly adapting to meet consumer demands. In March, the company opened a new logistics center to expand its overnight/same day delivery services and is currently working to reach an even broader population.

Believe it or not, right before Coupang received a $2 Billion investment from SoftBanks, its founder, Kim Bom debated walking away from it all. Bom founded the company in 2010, receiving the investment in 2018 and is expected to pursue an IPO by the end of 2020. So for all of you entrepreneurs wondering if you should give up on that decade long dream…DON’T. Coupang went from selling a few hundred items each day to 3.3 million. Now that’s what you call entrepreneurism!

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Google plans to pay publishers for content (a little too late)?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Google will finally pay publishers for news, but only a few, and they have to meet Google standards.

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I mean…could you get any greedier Google? (Chandler Bings voice).

After years and years of pressure and complaints from publishers that Google’s search feed doesn’t properly recognize them or the news they work so hard to report, Google has finally announced that they will begin to pay publishers for content. But only some.

WHAT A LOAD OF BS.

According to the News Media Alliance, Google profited 4.7 BILLION in 2019 as a search engine for the news industry. So now, not only is Google fleecing its content providers and the writers who are working to create material for them, but it’s quite likely that Google’s algorithm is pushing paid news to the top of its search feed. What does this mean for users? It means that for one, you will see what they want you to see, but most importantly, it means that Google HAS the money to pay its publishers but chooses not too!

Google’s announcement to start paying publishers excludes all publishers outside Brazil, Germany, and Australia. Even within the countries that Google closed a deal with, there are many that do not meet its “high quality content” requirement for a paid position. The problem with all this nonsense is that we stopped letting the news come from others like us, and instead, according to the U.S News Media Alliance, the news is entirely owned by a handful of companies. You may have 635 channels on your TV, but if you google…or maybe you should duck duck go it, you’ll find that all those channels lead back to one huge organization.

SO WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?

Google has definitely been pressured to make some big changes, and while paying publishers is a good first step in the right direction, is it enough to make up for years of damage?

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Business News

International start up turns LinkedIn profiles into resumes

(BUSINESS NEWS) Rezi is an AI driven app that can turn LinkedIn profiles into resumes within minutes. Save time and optimize your chances of getting noticed.

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If you have already put work into creating your LinkedIn profile, you can parlay that into a resume with a plug-in download and a few clicks thanks to the AI-powered resume builder, Rezi. The company started as a weekend project in 2015 by CEO and Founder, Jacob Jacquet, to address the challenges his recently-graduated friends were having with writing hirable resumes.

According to the Rezi website, the company began by studying resumes and how they interacted with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which companies use to manage online applications. Rezi wanted to educate job seekers on ATS while developing resources to create optimized resumes. This effort began as a resume template offered on a WordPress site. Once it hit Reddit with an explanation of the success of the resume, it quickly gained traction. Rezi then decided to focus on the South Korean job seeker market and became the most recognizable global startup in Seoul, according to the Rezi website.

The company’s next step was to go the direction of software as a service (SaaS) and support job seekers who wanted to make a resume in minutes. Rezi now offers a free plug-in version where users can transform their LinkedIn profile into a resume.

They also offer AI keyword targeting which helps users write resumes tailored to the job description for which they are applying by giving you keywords to include from a pasted job description that would best accommodate ATS filters. In addition to resume keywords, Rezi can also identify formatting errors such as missing bullet points, buzzwords, and useful content. Flexible formatting tools allow users to customize resume aesthetics such as font size, line height, and zoom level right within the app. The Rezi Score tool will then give instant feedback to guide resume formatting.

They also offer professional resume writers to edit resumes and provide suggestions and tips to improve content. One of the most unique features of this offering is that Rezi offers a private, updated, and sharable link to your resume. Users can get started for free but monthly plans range from $3-$9 and quarterly plans from $8-$89.

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