思辨阅读:Could Elon Musk Be the Next Steve Jobs?

导读:特斯拉(Tesla)电动汽车受到了众多明星大腕和投资者的追捧,而其生产商、被媒体称作汽车业苹果的特斯拉公司,带着硅谷的基因,以入侵者的姿态颠覆了传统汽车制造业,时尚的外形,媲美豪华跑车的性能,带给人们全新的驾驶理念。而该电动车创始人艾龙·穆思科Elon Musk,也被外界誉为汽车界的乔布斯

You’ve probably heard ofTesla, the company behind the first commercially successful all electric car, the Roadster. They have two other models in the pipeline: Model S, and Model X. You’ve probably used Paypal at some point of time in the last few years. If you read news, you may have heard of SpaceX, which was awarded a $1.6 billionNASA contract for 12 flights to the International Space Station.

But you may not know the man behind all these companies: Elon Musk. Elon Musk has been an entrepreneur since an early age. At 12 he sold his first commercial software for about $500, a space game called Blastar. At 28, he sold Zip2 to AltaVsita for US$307 million in cash and US$34 million in stock options. The same year eBay bought PayPal. Musk was PayPal’s largest shareholder with an 11.7% stake.

By now you get the idea. Elon Musk is a serial entrepreneur接二连三创立新公司的企业家), who has proved time and again that he is good at both dreaming a vision, and executing against it. He is someone who is as involved in the finest details, as he is putting together the big strategy. But this is not why I think he is the next Steve Jobs. It is because he shares some other characteristics that make these two men unique. Both men were/arepassionateabout what they chose to do in life. Neither did it because of the money. They did it because they believe in bringing change to an industry that had stopped innovating.

Steve Jobs was behind the first commercially successful personal computer (Apple II). Later, hedisrupted portable music players with the iPod, smartphones with the iPhone, and tablets with the iPad. With each of these innovations he went against a strongincumbent and won. Apple II weakened IBM’s monopoly. iPod not onlyrelagated Sony (walkman) to the sidelines but developed an entirely new business model for the music industry. iPhoneannihilated Windows Mobile, Nokia, Motorola, andRIM. iPad is the first true tablet and it taught Microsoft and partners how a tablet is made. And let’s not forgetPixar, the company produced box-office(受欢迎的)hits like A Bug’s Life, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Cars.

Similarly, Elon Musk has disrupted online publishing with Zip 2, payments processing with PayPal, Space exploration with SpaceX, and the automotive industry with Tesla Motors. Tesla Motors has already done in a few years what incumbents (BMW, Daimler Benz, Toyota, Honda, GM, Ford) haven’t been able to do in decades. And like Steve Jobs he believes in end to end control. Tesla Motors is developing everything for the car on it’s own - technology, parts, and even the apps for the 17” dashboard(仪表盘). Like Steve Jobs he believes in delivering the best possible customer experience. Like Steve Jobs, he is not afraid of fighting strong butcomplacent incumbents. Like Steve Jobs he believes in making the world a better place by using technology as the key enabler(促成者、推动者).

Being successful is not about becoming rich. Being successful is about bringing change for the better. It is about strongly believing in the course you’ve charted for yourself, and then relentlessly executing to achieve your goal.It is about falling down, learning, adjusting the path, but staying focused on the end goal. Will Tesla Motor have a smooth ride? Probably not. But do Elon Musk and Tesla Motors have it in them to stay the course, resolve any problems that come along the way, and deliver on the vision they have established? Absolutely.


热词解析Hot Words

NASA ['næsə] abbr. 美国国家航空和宇宙航行局NASA is the American government organization concerned with spacecraft and space travel. NASA is an abbreviation for 'National Aeronautics and Space Administration'.  

passionate [ˈpæʃənət] adj. 热情的;狂热的 A passionate person has very strong feelings about something or a strong belief in something.  

disrupt [dɪs'rʌpt] vt. 使中断;扰乱If someone or something disrupts an event, system, or process, they cause difficulties that prevent it from continuing or operating in a normal way.

incumbent [ɪn'kʌmbənt] n. 在职者;现任者 An incumbent is someone who holds an official post at a particular time.

relegate ['relɪgeɪt] v. 使降级;使降职If you relegate someone or something to a less important position, you give them this position.

annihilate [ə'naɪəleɪt]vt.毁灭;彻底击败,大胜 If you annihilate someone in a contest or argument, you totally defeat them.

complacent [kəmˈpleɪsnt] adj. 自鸣得意的;满不在乎的 A complacent person is very pleased with themselves or feels that they do not need to do anything about a situation, even though the situation may be uncertain or dangerous.

文化透视Cultural Notes

Tesla美国的著名纯电动车制造商。这家厂商曾采用路特斯Elise的底盘制造出Tesla Roadster,并且一经问世就成为全球最快的量产电动跑车,其0-100km/h加速仅需3.7秒,并且具有超过300km的惊人续航里程,远超其它纯电动车。Tesla designs and manufactures electric vehicles including the Roadster, Model S, and Model X. Tesla's goal is to produce increasingly affordable electric cars to mainstream buyers.


PayPal就是我们通常说的“PayPal贝宝国际,是目前全球最大的网上支付公司。PayPaleBay旗下的一家公司,致力于让个人或企业通过电子邮件,安全、简单、便捷地实现在线付款和收款。PayPal is a global leader in online payment, available in 190 countries and regions, and over 20 currencies. PayPal is the most-loved online payment solution for cross-border business for Chinese users.


SpaceX太空探索技术公司是一家由PayPal早期投资人Elon Musk建立的美国太空运输公司。它开发了可部分重复使用猎鹰1号和猎鹰9号运载火箭。SpaceX同时开发Dragon系列的航天器以通过猎鹰9号发射到轨道。SpaceX主要设计、测试和制造内部的部件,如MerlinKestrelDraco火箭发动机。SpaceXdesigns, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology.

RIM加拿大RIM公司是黑莓手机的制造商。成立于1984年,为通用汽车做联网的红外LED显示板。20131月,RIMBlackBerry(黑莓)品牌合并。BlackBerry Limited, formerly known as Research In Motion Limited (RIM), is a Canadian telecommunication and wireless equipment company best known as the developer of the BlackBerry brand of smartphones and tablets.


Pixar Animation Sudios皮克斯动画工厂,1986年史蒂夫·乔布斯收购了乔治·卢卡斯的电脑动画部,成立了皮克斯动画工作室。皮克斯的技术一直领先于业界,其自行开发的 RenderMan在许多电影中出尽了风头。2006年,皮克斯被迪士尼收购,成为子公司的一员。皮克斯已经获得七次奥斯卡最佳动画长片的荣誉。Located in Emeryville, California, Pixar Animation Studios has created acclaimed animated feature and short films for over 25 years. Pixar is also home to the RenderMan line of software products.

The key challenge to Tesla’s growth

Michael McDonald, Oilprice10:02 a.m. EDT August 20, 2016

(Photo: Johannes Eisele, AFP/Getty)

Tesla’s increasingly ambitious plans to rule not only the electric vehicle space but also the solar energy space are likely to become more difficult to achieve over the next year. It has been widely reported in recent weeks that Tesla’s gigafactory is facing some challenges in becoming fully operational. What is perhaps less well understood is the magnitude of the supply chain challenges that will face Tesla and its gigafactory.

Tesla’s goal is to produce 500,000 vehicles a year by 2018. The company has accelerated its production time table in large part due to the enormous amount of demand the company saw for its Model 3 sedan. The firm announced almost 375,000 preorders for the vehicle. To fulfill this demand plus new demand that the company will likely see for its products over the next couple of years, Tesla needs to produce more lithium ion batteries in 2018 than the entire world produced in 2013. That’s not an impossible feat given the size of the gigafactory, but it is challenging.

In particular, while Tesla may have the facility to manufacture the batteries it needs, the company still requires enough metal to make all of those batteries. Nickel, cobalt, aluminum, and most of all lithium are all going to be needed in vast quantities for Tesla to meet its ambitious plans. And with the start of 2018 less than 18 months away, that does not leave the firm much time to get all of its plans set in motion.

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Tesla’s plans are also setting the company up as a competing customer against the likes of Apple and IBM which need lithium ion batteries for a host of other small electronic devices. To deal with the supply chain challenge, Tesla is taking a page from Henry Ford’s playbook and attempting to vertically integrate its supply chain (hence the gigafactory).

To deal with its metal sourcing needs, Tesla is hiring supply chain specialists to help it cut deals with small miners around the world. The company has signed deals with Pure Energy Metals and Bancanora Metals among others. Pure Energy is exploring lithium deposits in Nevada while Bacanora Minerals is looking at developing lithium deposits in Sonora, Mexico.

Lithium supplies are likely to stay tight throughout 2016 with a deficit this year of 4,500 metric tons according to Macquarie Research, before balancing out in 2017 and 2018. That respite in demand shortages will be short lived though, with stratospheric demand in the later years of the decade leading to a shortage of 46,000 tons of lithium by 2021.

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Nickel may be an even bigger problem though. Despite their name, lithium ion batteries are only about 2 percent lithium by mass, whereas nickel is a bigger cost contributor. Elon Musk called out the price of nickel as a primary driver of battery cell costs on an investor call in late May. Prices for nickel were as high as $21,000 per metric ton in 2014 before the Chinese economic slowdown became obvious. Nickel prices have fallen back since that time, but the current small surplus of nickel will likely turn to a deficit by the end of the decade causing yet more headaches for Musk and Tesla. While Tesla is wise to be planning for its future battery needs now, other firms are likely to be doing the same if only so they can keep up with the automaker’s exponentially increasing thirst.

To be clear, most firms would kill to face the problem Tesla has. While most companies have too little demand and suffer from sluggish sales, Tesla has exactly the opposite problem. The company can pretty much sell every car it can make at a premium price and a large profit. The problem is executing on making all of those cars. Tesla has been able to grow its production impressively in recent years, but going from production of around 50K cars to production of around 500K cars in the span of 3 years is going to be a tough feat indeed. Investors should stay tuned.

Tesla and Apple: Who's imitating whom?

Tesla Motors and Apple: Who's imitating whom?

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) confirmed Thursday it has hired Ganesh Srivats, a formerBurberry's senior vice president, to become VP of North American Sales. The move is reminiscent of Apple's (AAPL) 2013 hire of Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to become head of retail operations. But that's just one way in which the electric automobile manufacturer has imitated the digital devices heavyweight.

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Compare the two companies' retail showrooms, for example. The similarities are obvious: Both companies offer a bright, uncluttered, open-plan space that is inviting. That isn't a coincidence. In 2010, Tesla hired Apple alum George Blankenship with the title of VP of Design and Store Development and a mandate to build Tesla's retail strategy and network.

In the press release announcing the hire, Tesla boasted that Mr. Blankenship is:

. . . best known as the architect of Apple's brand building retail strategy that raised the bar for customer experience in retail stores . . . . As Apple's Vice President of Real Estate, he created one of the most successful retail growth strategies in history.

George Blankenship retired from Tesla Motors in November 2013.

Blankenship is not the only Apple alum to have joined the upstart auto manufacturer.According to a Bloomberg article published in February, Tesla Motors has poached at least 150 employees -- or roughly 1.5% of its workforce at the end of 2014 -- from Apple. Other high-profile hires include Doug Field, who is responsible for developing new vehicle development. At Apple, Field led the development of theMacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac under design guru Jony Ive.

Here's why Tesla Motors wants to be Apple

It's entirely logical for Tesla Motors to model itself on Apple for two reasons. First, Apple is unparalleled in its ability to combine sleek hardware with functional software. Cars are, increasingly, a combination of hardware and software, and this phenomenon is likely to accelerate as we move toward self-driving vehicles. Furthermore, if cars do become autonomous, they will be another environment, like the home or the office, in which people will work or enjoy entertainment. In that context, a car's digital capabilities and/or interoperability with existing devices will become an essential selling point.

Second, even though Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk wrote in 2006 that our long term plan is to build a wide range of models, including affordably priced family cars, the company's vehicles command a premium positioning, and that will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. Keep in mind that Tesla expects to deliver just 55,000 vehicles this year (for reference, Toyota is forecasting it will sell 1.1 million cars this year -- in China alone).Similarly, Apple has staked out a premium positioning for the devices and services that it offers.

(Or, as Tim Cook told BusinessWeek in December 2012: The DNA of the company, the thing that makes our heart beat, is a maniacal focus on making the best products in the world. Not good products, or a lot of products, but the absolute best products in the world.)

Tesla: Apple's market value in 10 years?

There is a third way in which Tesla Motors would like to resemble Apple, and that is, quite naturally, its phenomenal growth. In fact, Elon Musk drew an explicit comparison earlier this year when he outlined assumptions under which he said, (Tesla's) market cap (in 10 years' time) would be basically the same as Apple's is today.

There is one enormous risk to that rosy scenario, of course: If Apple decides it wants to be like Tesla and enters the car business. There are indications Apple is moving in this direction, and the notion isn't absurd, for some of the reasons outlined above. If that were to occur, it would certainly cause Tesla -- and its valuation -- to recoil.

The Motley Fool is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news, analysis and commentary designed to help people take control of their financial lives. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

APPLE有意收购TESLA 受美国总统感召

2017-05-10 09:28:02 来源:AutoNet


       美国总统Donald Trump正计画一系列之税务改革方案,其中包含调降跨国企业海外利润汇回税(Repatriation Tax);而根据路透社报导指出,该税率有望自现行版本的35%大幅砍至10 %(以台湾为例,若将所得留在我国需缴最低为17%营所税),以较低的税率吸引跨国将国外资金汇回美国当地,也使得美国政府得以针对该所得收取税金。

  根据APPLE日前发布的最新财报显示,APPLE目前握有多达2500亿美元(约台币7.55兆)的现金资产,为了规避美国税务,其中超过90%留存于美国国外。花旗集团分析师Jim Suva表示:「若川普减税政策实施,APPLE不但最高有望留下2200亿美金,也使得APPLE出现转投资美国企业的迫切需求。

  花旗集团指出,目前APPLE可能中意的潜在企业包含TESLA、动视暴雪、美商艺电、TAKE 2、Netflix、华特迪士尼等7家。除了电玩产业,后两者是考量APPLE一直以来有意扩展其影视服务事业;至于TESLA,乃因APPLE稍早曾启动自驾车计画并曾成立名为「泰坦计画」的秘密工程小组,藉由收购以电动车起家并拥有相当自动驾驶技术的TESLA,APPLE得以省下不少研发成本。


  然而,对于这样的推测,车界多认为仅作为参考,双方合并的可能性并不大。其实过去也有类似的传闻出现,当时,TESLA老板Elon Musk就直言:「TESLA将在10年内超越APPLE!」虽然TESLA一直以来的经营状况起起伏伏,但仍很难想像有这么样野心的人,会在几年内就改口放弃自家品牌的经营权。