Commonly known as the Nikola Tesla of our generation, Elon Musk is a technology entrepreneur, engineer and investor. The self made billionaire managed to convert his scientific imaginations into reality and tried his hands in various fields, spread across technology, science and exploration. Most noted for creating two huge companies, Tesla and SpaceX, here are 5 different companies also founded by tech genius Elon Musk.
Companies founded by Elon Musk
Known as Global Link Information Network, this is the first company Elon Musk founded along with his brother Kimbel Musk and mentor Greg Kouri. Elon Musk dropped out of his doctoral program just after 2 two days of enrollment, to launch the website. Founded in 1995, Zip2 was a web software company which helped local newspapers design online city guides. Zip2 was later acquired by Compaq Computer for $ 340 million.
With the money he got from selling Zip2, Elon Musk founded the website X.com, along with his mentor Greg Kouri, in 1999. X.com was an online financial services and email payment company and is considered as one of the world’s first online banks. In 2000, X.com merged with its competitor Confinity, with Musk holding the majority of the Company’s shares. Musk served as the CEO of the Company until October 2000, after which he was ousted from the position due to disagreement with the other Company’s leadership.
Co founded by Elon Musk in 2015, OpenAI is a non profit profit organisation which specialises in research about artificial intelligence (AI.) The main aim of OpenAI is to promote and develop friendly AI which can benefit the human race as a whole. Musk, along with other investors, pledged $ 1 billion to the venture.
Neuralink is a startup which Musk co founded along with Ben Rapoport, Dongjin Seo, Max Hodak, Paul Merolla, Philip Sabes, Tim Gardner, Tim Hanson and Vanessa Tolosa in 2016. A neurotechnology company, Neuralink’s main focus is to create a device which can be implanted in the human brain to integrate the human mind and artificial intelligence.
5) The Boring Company
The Boring Company, an infrastructure and tunnel construction company, was founded after Elon Musk, stuck in traffic, tweeted, “[I] am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging.” The Boring Company was then founded in 2016. The Company started digging a 30 foot tunnel under Space X’s office in Los Angeles in 2017. Elon Musk once stated the Company became a personal hobby for him.
Considered one of the most powerful people in the world, Elon Musk worked hard to accumulate a net worth of $ 20.6 billion. A successful inventor and entrepreneur, he is a true inspiration for our generation.
Why Are Ads On Digital Media Failing To Reach The Right Audience?
If you are a regular user of social media platforms and also a fan of consuming content on the digital medium, then there is a very high likelihood that you have seen ads on pages you are reading or watching something. There would be times when you have been targeted by an ad which feels like it was wrongly targeted at you. Imagine if you are a vegetarian by choice and while browsing online, if you are targeted by a food delivery app which shows ads about chicken dishes. The ad would only serve to spoil the mood of the online user instead of serving its actual purpose which is to push the user to buy a chicken dish.
These wrongly targeted ads might be the side effects of performance marketing or a weak brand marketing. Performance marketing means advertising programs where advertisers pay only when a specific action occurs. These actions can include a generated lead, a sale, a click, and more. Inshort, performance marketing is used to create highly targeted ads for a very specific target audience at a low cost. Performance marketing usually means high volume for a very specific cost.
Brand marketers on the other hand believe in narrowly defining target audiences but end up spending a lot of money on ad placements. Gautam Mehra, CEO, Dentsu Programmatic India & CDO, Dentsu International Asia Pacific said, “You’ve defined a persona, you know the emotions you want to elicit, but then you buy a YouTube masthead and CricInfo sponsorships because IPL is up. If brand advertisers look at audience-based buys more deeply than just placements, you will see more relevant ads (sic.)”
Performance marketing is more of a sales function rather than a marketing function and is about meeting the cost of acquisition. This is a reason why budgets are usually high for performance marketing. Mehra goes on to add, “the fact is that an engineer can out-beat FMCGs on performance marketing. Advertisers who have cracked this are spending 10x and are on an ‘always on’ mode (unlike time-bound brand campaigns.)”
There is always the case of supply and demand, with the supply usually exceeding the demand on digital platforms. Ultimately, it boils down to the choice between no ad versus low relevance ad and it is quite easy to guess that having a low relevance ad is better.
Arvind R. P., Director – Marketing and Communications at McDonald’s India (West and South,) said “McDonalds’ for instance, has seen its share of spends on digital grow from 20% levels a couple of years back to over 40% at present. Outcomes of this journey have been encouraging, proven by our media-mix-modelling and other key metrics. We have seen best results from an optimal mix of Television plus digital (sic.)” Moreover, Arvind also believes performance marketing only approach could turn out to be more suited to short term, versus a more consistent full funnel effort. The latter ensures adequate emphasis on building consideration, as well as growing transactions. Arvind feels digital is a complex medium which needs investment in the right talent who could use the right tools. Brands which underestimate the need for the investment are often disappointed from the return on investment from the digital medium.
With the constantly changing consumer dynamics marketers are now shifting to unscripted marketing which frankly needs more insights into the consumer mindset. The lack of marketers to do the proper research is why digital medium is plagued with irrelevant ads.
How Domino’s Pizza Grew 13000% From 2008 To 2020
Pizza is an emotion and is a food which is known all over the world. A good pizza could often leave an eater speechless and is one food which could be purchased anywhere in the world. The fame of Pizza and it’s easy availability throughout the world could be attributed in part to the global pizza chains Domino’s Pizza and Pizza Hut. It is quite easy to find these pizza outlets in multiple localities in any metropolitan and cosmopolitan cities. While Domino’s Pizza is now a world famous outlet, raking in a lot of revenue owing to its multiple product offerings, it was not always the case. At one point in time, Domino’s Pizza was struggling to stay afloat due to failing investor confidence in 2008, which is four years after the pizza chain applied for an initial public offering.
Domino’s Pizza shares were $2.83/share in 2008 and grew to $367/share in 2020. This is a whopping margin of 13,000 % growth and the way Domino’s Pizza achieved it is a story for the ages and business school case studies. Keep reading to find out how Domino’s Pizza managed this fairytale turnaround.
Domino’s Pizza was founded in 1960 by 23 year old Tom Monaghan who dedicated his entire focus on reducing delivery time, reducing cooking time and increasing distribution. Monaghan’s emphasis on speed and service led to groundbreaking growth with which competitors found it hard to compete. The ‘30 Minutes or It’s Free’ slogan guarantee, only cemented their place in the hearts of the hungry people everywhere.
In 2004, Domino’s Pizza applied for an IPO and by 2008 , they scaled to a multi billion dollar business. But, prospects were looking dim in 2008 even after applying for an IPO because growth had stalled, competitive threats from Pizza Hut and a $ 1 billion dollar debt on Domino’s’ balance sheets.
Domino’s Pizza did a focus group analysis and found out they were good at everything else except pizza. The focus groups found Domino’s pizza tasted like cardboard, totally devoid of flavour and the sauce tasted just like ketchup. This was due to a number of trade offs which were made in the name of speed like canned and frozen ingredients.
Patrick Doyle, the then CEO of Domino’s Pizza leaned into the feedback and launched an ad campaign which said “Our Pizza Sucks” and promised to go back to the drawing board to work on the criticism from the focus groups. The culinary team had to reinvent their pizza and had to build it from scratch. The culinary team ended up testing more than 7500 combinations. Many on the executive team at that time were in fear of failure. There was a fear of the testing leading to even larger problems and a chance of losing the advantage of speedy delivery.
Doyle had to break through the loss aversion barrier which means the mindset of playing not to lose rather than playing to win. Doyle would say “The pain of loss is double the pleasure of winning (sic,)” meaning even he advised caution during situations which demand creativity. The reinvention paid off as customers loved every new recipe launched by Domino’s Pizza and an example would be the pan pizza which was released in 2012 and is still in circulation. Doyle’s reinvention showed customers that Domino’s Pizza cared about their feedback. Following the success of their newly reinvented pizza, Domino’s Pizza focused on improving distribution channels and delivery technology. Since then, there has been no stopping Domino’s Pizza, and their share price in 2020 only serves to show the trust their customers have on them.
feaWe hope this article has awakened a craving for a Domino’s PIzza in you. Do let us know in the comments if there are any similar growth stories you know off and we would be glad to cover them on Startup Stories.
How Parle G Became An Iconic and Well Loved Indian Brand
Millennials would recall fond memories of eating Parle-G biscuits in the evenings along with a hot cup of chai or coffee. The simple and humble milk biscuit Parle G is a household name and is perhaps the major reason for Parle being the brand it is today. Parle G is also one of the oldest Indian brands in existence and can trace its roots back to the British Raj when India was still under British rule. The journey of Parle G is as iconic as the brand itself. Keep reading to find out how Parle G grew from a humble beginning to become one of the major brands in the FMCG industry today.
Parle was established in 1929 by the Chauhan family in Vile-Parle, Bombay during the British Raj rule. Mohanlal Dayal Chauhan belonged to a family of silk traders and he purchased a refurbished confectionery manufacturing plant. Mohanlal sailed to Germany to learn the trade of making confectionery and returned to India with the necessary skills in 1929, following which he set up his first factory. The factory was named as House of Parle after the suburb Vile Parle, in which it was located.
Parle initially manufactured and sold peppermints, sugar and toffees. The plant was managed by 12 family members who looked after engineering, manufacturing and logistics. The first Parle product to become a major hit was the Orange Bite, an orange flavoured candy. The Swadeshi Movement started in India to urge Indian citizens to purchase only Indian products in order to reduce dependency on imported British products. Spurred by the increasing prominence of the Swadeshi Movement, Parle decided to manufacture biscuits which were a premium imported product back then. United Biscuits, Huntley & Palmers, Britannia and Glaxo were the prominent British brands that ruled the market.
In 1938, Parle came up with Parle G which is short for Parle Gluco, a glucose based biscuit which was made in India and made for Indians. These biscuits became an affordable source of nourishment for the Indian masses and made biscuits commonplace in India.
ALSO READ: Top Ten Long Standing Indian Brands
Parle hit a roadblock when competitors like Britannia which launched its own line of glucose biscuits named Glucon D. Brittannia even went as far as to get Gabbar Singh from the movie Sholay, to promote their biscuits. The Indian masses quickly became confused with the number of biscuits available in the market and simply began asking for glucose biscuits.
It was at this moment that Parle decided to counter the knock offs and came up with packaging that would be unique to Parle Gluco while patenting its own packing machinery. The new packaging was a yellowish wax paper wrapper with a plump little girl imprinted on it , along with the brand name and company’s red coloured logo. This was quickly followed by a television commercial with the Indian superhero Shakthiman who was immensely popular with kids. Since then there was no looking back for Parle G and even to this day it enjoys an unparalleled popularity.
Parle G is still committed to its promise of being an affordable brand for all economic sections of the Indian society. A small pack of Parle G biscuits is sold for a simple price of ₹ 5. Parle G biscuits are easily available in all corners of the country and can be found in the remotest parts like the Line of Control or the North Eastern borders.
Today Parle G is one of the most recognisable Indian brands and a hundred million packets of Parle G are sold every month.
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