The best Kickstarter ever

A friend reserved the new Tesla Model 3 this morning. The reservation costs $1,000. The car will cost $35,000, and will be ready by the end of 2017. The most striking thing is that he is number 115,000 in line. Which means that Tesla did a $4 billion Kickstarter. Wow.

There is no Uber model

There is no Uber model. There is the taxi industry, which is of course a multi-billion dollar business worldwide. Getting you from A to B without using public transportation, if available at all, and without owning or renting a car (or having a friend drive you) is a real service in the real world. If you can do it better thanks to technology, you can beat an industry, the taxi industry, which often seems like it’s stuck in the Seventies.

On the other hand, pizza delivery is not a multi-billion dollar business. At most, it’s an added service available for free (and a tip to the young and poor) from your local pizza joint. In a similar vein, bringing home your fruit and veggies for you is not a business — has everybody really forgotten about Kozmo.com? And if there’s no business to start with, there is very little to “disrupt”, no matter how well-designed your app may be.

And the real news is that the NY Times seems to agree, for once.

A 4 dollar phone

Indian company Ringing Bells is about to start selling a phone that costs 251 Rupees.

Or less than 4 bucks. If you check out their (empty) YouTube channel or the crappy images they share on Facebook and Twitter, one could say that you probably don’t need a great social media presence to sell a smartphone that is that cheap.

Nor to sell one that costs 700 dollars, as Apple does.

So, all the hoopla about the importance of social media is (rightly) addressed only to companies that have way too large a line-up of undistinctive phones that only confuse their customers? It’s as good a theory as any I’ve heard so far.

Managers

From Hegarty on Advertising:

Sadly, most businesses are just trying to manage what they’ve got. The entrepreneurial spirit, the zeal to do better, to experiment and to try new things has been long lost. In many ways we shouldn’t be surprised – after all we title many senior people in companies as ‘managers’.

If you were to see a long-lost friend and ask them how they were getting on and they replied, ‘Oh, I’m managing’, you’d be really sorry for them, be concerned for their well-being and try to seek ways to help them.

But in business, we’ve elevated the ‘managers’ to run things. Bizarre, isn’t it? We use words without realizing sometimes how profound they are. Go to the dictionary, look up ‘manage’ and it describes quite succintly why most companies are at best ordinary.

A Triple Attack on Google

There’s a triple attack on Google unfolding before our eyes (and their eyes).

First, Facebook. Not ‘social media’. Especially because: how many of these sites are economically viable? The private enclosure of the Open Web called Facebook.

Second, Mobile. Both apps as the possibility for brands to try to go direct to consumers and cut out Search. And, again: Facebook. Because a centralised platform like Facebook is much better suited to adapting to Mobile than the hundreds of thousands of not yet, if they will ever be, very mobile-friendly websites that advertise on Google’s search engine.

Third, Video. As the medium becomes more and more popular, video is winning over text. Traffic from video was 64% of all Internet traffic in 2014, and is expected to top 80% before the decade is over. Netflix, of course. And YouTube. But if Facebook entered the market, that could be another big headache for Google. Do you see a pattern here?