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The Year 2017 Through The Eyes Of Elon Musk

Smruthi Kishore

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The year 2017 was an eventful one for technology, creation and entrepreneurship. While creators broke the world with their innovative ideas and innovations, one inventor had an immensely successful year. The last year can easily be termed as the year of Elon Musk. Love him or hate him, you cannot help but be amazed by the number of stupendous things achieved by this genius.

From SpaceX to the Boring Company to Tesla and Neuralink, Elon Musk has revolutionised the way we think about and approach the very concept of space travel, transportation and the way we work. With just a month into the New Year, it seems only fair to take a moment to look at the great things Elon Musk has done in the last year!

1. January 4 

Four days into 2017, Elon Musk announced that he had begun the mass production of batteries at its Gigacenter. The lithium ion cells are for use in its Powerpack and Powerwall home batteries.

2. January 23 

Musk meets President Trump at the White House along with Michael Dell and the Under Armour founder, Kevin Plank. This signalled the beginning of a very important discussion that started off a massive economic relationship between the American President and Elon Musk. Also, a lot of serious discussions began on testing Hyperloop, for the advanced transportation of technology.

3. February 1 

Months after Musk’s company voted to buy SolarCity, the company officially announced its decision to change the name from Tesla Motors to just Tesla, signalling the fact that the company is going to focus on cars.

4. February 27

Musk announces that SpaceX plans to fly two private citizens around the moon sometime in 2018. NASA also collaborated this information by saying that with this relationship, it would signal the beginning of a union between government based and private aerospace organisations.

5. April 4 

Tesla’s market capital rises to over 300, making it the most valuable company. With this, Tesla even surged past GM and Ford!

6. April 10 

Through Tesla, Musk created a brand new set of solar panels that weigh considerably lesser than the already existing ones. Also, the mounting for these panels wasn’t visible to the naked eye.

7. April 21 

Neuralink took the world by storm as it brought to the forefront the concept of brain computer interfaces. Musk’s work towards this “cyborg” goal became actualized this year

 

7. April 28

Musk officially launches the Boring Company and presents the possibilities of using the tunnels in conjunction with another one of his transportation ideas, the high-speed hyperloop rail.

8. May 3

Tesla delivered a record number of 25,o00 cars and displayed a total revenue of $ 2.7 billion, a first for the company since its partnership with SolarCity. Incidentally, this was also double the amount of revenue recorded by Tesla from the last year till now.

9. June 1 

Musk pulls out of Trump’s advisory council after Trump pulls out of the Paris Accord, a pact which includes every country in the world and works towards reducing the impact of climate change.

10. June 28 

Musk announces that he has started digging a tunnel under Los Angles using the boring machine created by the Boring Company. This was completed in October!

11. July 9 

The first 3 models of Tesla rolls off!

12. August 4

Contrary to the initial plan set by Musk himself in 2013, he starts construction work on the hyperloop himself!

13. September 29

Musk announces his intention to launch not one, but two spacecrafts on Mars using SpaceX rockets!

14. October 24

Tesla jumps in to save Peurto Rico and other Caribbean islands after Hurricane Maria by sending in Powerpanks and Solar Panels to the islands as well as by discussing plans to restore its grid.

15. November 16

Through Tesla, Musk announces Semi, a battery powered tractor trailer that can travel 500 miles on a single charge. The production for this tractor will begin in 2019!

Clearly the past year has been quite an exciting and interesting one for Elon Musk and we can only wait and watch to see what this brilliant revolutionalist will come up with for this year!

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Emerging Startup Stories

When Kickstarter Was Kickstarted!

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The summer of 2009 was quite remarkable for Perry Chen, Yancey Stricker and Charles Adler. It was that time of the year when their dream website Kickstarter was launched! Kickstarter is a New York based public benefit corporation known for building a global crowdfunding platform. The company brings creative projects to reality and is the go to platform for many entrepreneurs! There ain’t no middlemen, no loans and no grants. Sounds cool, right?

The inception of Kickstarter!

Back in 2005, the mastermind Perry met Yancey Strickler and they became good friends. In a friendly conversation, the duo started scribbling on a whiteboard their exceptional thoughts with regard to a crowdfunding platform! Later, Perry convinced his friends to give him a little bit of money. Months later, Perry was introduced to Charles Adler and so the rest you know! The three of the great minds started working on their ideas and turned it into a website.

After years of research, they finally launched the website in 2009 which was then flooded with tons of investors and projects.

Perry Chan, along with the American media editor, Yancey Stricker and American Web designer, Charles Adler came up with the idea of launching a website for the purpose of crowdfunding. Post the launch of their website, the founders spread word about Kickstarter in their friends circle. However, projects started coming in and people stepped up to support projects consequently. In January 2010,  the team moved into a tenement building in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. From 3,910 successful projects and $ 27,638,318 pledges in 2010, the firm was reaching new heights already! This was followed by 18,109 successfully funded projects and $ 319,786,629 pledges in the year 2012. In the year 2013 Perry stepped down from the position of the CEO and went on to become the Chairman. He was replaced by Yancey Strickler. The year of 2014 brought the company a huge raising $ 13.28 million, which became the most funded Kickstarter project in history!

Here’s what makes Kickstarter so interesting!

Kickstarter does not rely on affluent investors. The company opts for crowdfunding, in which loads of smaller investors make contributions. The investment could be as little as a $ 1 and there are basically no restrictions. The company generated its revenue by assessing a fee of 5 percent from projects that reached or surpassed their funding targets. Projects that did not meet their funding goals within a specified time period did not receive any money pledged to them, and they were not subjected to the fee. The company so far has funded thousands of projects from investor donations resulting in several hundred million dollars. Isn’t that huge?

Kickstarter has become extremely important in the startup ecosystem! From entrepreneurs to investors, Kickstarter is one damn platform that could get you what you desire!

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Get Ready To Say Goodbye To Yahoo Messenger On 17 July

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Let us take a dig at those nostalgic days when Yahoo instant messenger was a big thing! Remember those funky emojis? Oh, yes! How could you forget those stylish yet cute avatars that you could change instantly! Well, get ready to say a final goodbye to Yahoo messenger on 17 July.

According to the latest reports, Oath, the subsidiary of telecommunications giant Verizon, who operates Yahoo, announced the final wrap up of Yahoo Messenger. Yahoo’s spokesperson said,

Yahoo Messenger will no longer be supported after July 17, 2018. Until then, you can continue to use the service normally. After July 17, you’ll no longer be able to access your chats and the service will no longer work.

The current users who are still clinging to the old messaging service will be redirected to the new group messaging app Squirrel. Users will have six months to download their chat history! For more than a month now, Yahoo has been testing beta testing the Squirrel app. It will be open to the public once the Yahoo Messenger shuts down. However, those who are looking to try out the Squirrel app right now can request for beta access.

Yahoo on its official website said,

We know we have many loyal fans who have used Yahoo Messenger since its beginning as one of the first chat apps of its kind. As the communications landscape continues to change over, we’re focusing on building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs.

The Yahoo Messenger was launched in 1998 and was a big hit with the users! However, with time, the app appeared to lose its captivation as the competition got intense. Over the years, the app came up with a lot of updates to keep its users hooked to it. From redesigning the app, to bringing up new features, Yahoo did try surviving in the messaging platform but, couldn’t make it. The users did not find the messenger fascinating enough and eventually switched to other apps. Anyway, It is time to say goodbye to our once favourite messaging app, Yahoo messenger!

You will always be our first and favourite messaging app. 

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Entrepreneur Stories

Another bet slips off Amazon, PremjiInvest takes 6% Stake In Future Retail

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The year 2018 has been quite famous with a number of deals and acquisitions taking place in the Indian business market!

Speaking about the much hyped Flipkart-Walmart deal, that took place recently had everyone glued to the news. With regard to the Flipkart-Walmart deal, the e commerce giant Amazon Inc., lost its bet on Flipkart to the US retail behemoth Walmart. The Indian business market recently noticed an interesting investment between two firms!

The famously known Czar of the Indian IT, Azim Premji’s firm PremjiInvest, bought 6 % stake in Kishore Biyani’s Future Retail Ltd., for a whopping $ 251 million! The acquisition happened in a bulk deal! PremjiInvest, bought the stake in a bulk deal from Cedar Support Services Ltd., a subsidiary of Bharti Ventures Ltd., It purchased the stake from Bharti Group, which owns a 9 % stake in Future Retail.

Kishore Biyani, the Founder and CEO of Future Group, said in an interview,

PremjiInvest is one of the larger investors in the consumer space in India. They are also investors with us in Future Lifestyle Fashion (4% stake.)

The value of the transaction is around $ 251 million, of which Future Retail, will get up to $ 85.2 million through a clawback provision. A clawback is a provision which is a special contractual clause, typically included in employment contracts by financial firms, by which money already paid must be paid back under certain conditions.

In an interview, with regard to the e commerce giant Amazon Inc.,

Mr. Biyani said,

We are not in discussions of any stake sale at the moment

Earlier this year, there were talks about the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos aligning with Mr. Biyani to discuss the strategic alliance. Alongside, back in March, there were reports that Amazon was about to acquire a 10 % stake in Future Retail! Well, looks like the ball is not in Amazon’s court!

As of now, Future Retail owns, the Indian hypermarket, supermarket and home segments with other significant brands such as  Big Bazaar, Easy Day and Foodhall.

With the two major acquisitions already slipping off, let us see what else is in store for Amazon in the future!

 

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