Category Archives: Business

Autonomous Cars, Tesla and The Next $500bn Opportunity?

red-tesla-model-s

I just got into a fun discussion about autonomous cars and the future of transportation (here), which lead me to thinking a lot, which lead to this blog post rambling.

I like to say that one day owning a car will be a lot like owning a horse. That’s not the point of this post but I will discuss my rationale.

Compared to a car, a horse is not a very practical form of transportation. This is because they’re slow, require a lot of TLC, and can be very difficult to ride.

A car offers much more transportation utility versus a horse. It’s infinitely more useful in transporting you from point A to point B.

And that’s what transportation is. Getting you from Point A to Point B whether it be by land, air, sea or one day space.

The form or method of transportation we choose to get from A to B is all based on utility.

For example if I want to get from Austin to New Orleans I have a few different options like driving, flying or taking a bus. I hate wasting time in a car all day so flying offers me the most utility and that’s what I would choose 99 times out of 100.

But if I want to get from Austin to San Antonio, I would probably drive because Uber would be too expensive and flying too much of a hassle. For transportation over a short distance, driving often offers the most utility.

That’s why we own cars.

We used to own landlines too, but eventually cell phones and then smart phones came and offered infinitely more utility versus the landline. Communication has never been the same!

And that same thing is going to change when the autonomous electric cars start rolling out…

So here’s my prediction:

“Autonomous vehicles will disrupt transportation like the cell phone disrupted communication.”

Wait… but that’s not alll…

This is taken from Elon Musk’s Master Plan, Part Deux (must read):

Sharing

When true self-driving is approved by regulators, it will mean that you will be able to summon your Tesla from pretty much anywhere. Once it picks you up, you will be able to sleep, read or do anything else enroute to your destination.

You will also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for you while you’re at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost.

This dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla. Since most cars are only in use by their owner for 5% to 10% of the day, the fundamental economic utility of a true self-driving car is likely to be several times that of a car which is not.

In cities where demand exceeds the supply of customer-owned cars, Tesla will operate its own fleet, ensuring you can always hail a ride from us no matter where you are.

So not only will you be able to relax on your commute to work, but autonomous electric cars will also be able to:

  1. Pick you up from any location
  2. Transport you from Point A to Point B without any input
  3. Drive other people around and make $$$ when you’re not using it

oh…

and TESLA WILL OPERATE ITS OWN FLEET.

This is great… but what does it really mean? 

In the near future (less than 15 years), car ownership will decrease due to the increased utility offered by the fleets of autonomous electric cars.

Why would anyone take out a loan, pay for maintenance, insurance, gas, parking, tickets and tolls for vehicle ownership when you can summon a vehicle from anywhere and get from Point A to Point B?

The technology that TESLA and probably everyone else is building will “Expand to Cover the Major Forms of Terrestrial Transport” so virtually any situation will be accounted for.

And all of the big players know what’s at stake.

Whoever wins the autonomous car race will be the next $500 billion business.

Uber’s chief product officer:

“That is not a situation where the tech is going to be evenly distributed,” he said Tuesday at a technology conference in San Francisco hosted by Bloomberg.

Whichever company can build driverless cars will have a unique edge over competitors, he added. It is a means of achieving the “lowest possible price, and highest possible reliability,” Holden explained.

And that is why…

So what does this mean for business?

Eventually we’ll all go onto monthly or pay-per-use contracts with Uber, Tesla or whoever wins the autonomous car war. These companies will compete for your business much like the way Sprint and Verizon do today.

So instead of:

College debt -> Car debt -> Mortgage debt

There will be this empty space in the middle that represents a huge opportunity to sell to millennial / gen-z consumers with more expendable income.

What fills the gap?

I’m not sure, so please tell me in the comments.

/ramble over

I realized that I did another one of these on bitcoin a while ago.

The Secret to Building Profitable Online Businesses + Free $100k Biz Idea (Seriously Steal It)

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Hard work will get you a professorship or a BMW. You need both work and luck for a Booker, a Nobel or a private jet.  – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Let’s first get this out of the way… anyone can be an entrepreneur.

Just look at most of the successful entrepreneurs that you know or follow. Are they the smartest / brightest / most-qualified people that you know? I doubt it. You probably think that they’re a litte weird.

Here’s the truth:

If you work hard, one day you will run a profitable online business.

Yes, it is that simple.

Does that mean it’s easy?

Absolutely not, but the most reliable factor for success in entrepreneurship is hard work.

And this is exactly where most millennials interested in starting an online business fail. They’ve already been brainwashed by posts about billion dollar startup exits, over-night app store millionaires or couples who ditch their jobs to travel, blog and instagram food.

Now that’s not to say there are not numerous opportunities to get rich quick or that instances of this happening are even rare, however it usually only occurs to individuals who have been spending days, months and years of learning, working, failing and scaling.

Basically…

If your mindset is already focused on the end, you’ll never complete the journey.

I’ve been a member of the DynamiteCircle, an international entrepreneurship group, since the end of 2011. The group really started with a focus on coconut cash / lifestyle optimization, but since then has scaled up massively!

Some of the members got their start interning and working for other online companies before ending up launching projects like Minaal, The End of Jobs, WPCurve, Tradlands, and NaturalStacks!

It’s not surprising to me or anyone else in the group because everyone knows that if you work hard, one day you will run a profitable online business.

My good friend Nate may be the best example of this. For the past few years Nate has been grinding in Asia and working on like 100x business concepts all while still managing to live a kickass life doing kickass shit (see his Instagram).

Last year Nate jumped on the Amazon FBA bandwagon and started importing products from China to sell on Amazon. It wasn’t the first, second, third or eighteenth thing that he tried doing, but finally he found serious momentum with Amazon FBA. Now he is making a KILLING each month from selling (haha I’m not going to tell you).Continue Reading

Ten million dollar biz just by making something cool???

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Yesterday I had a bottle of Soylent and a Quest Bar for lunch.

It was filling, functional, and depending on who you ask / what else I have been known to eat for lunch it was quite healthy.

I really like both companies a lot.

For those unfamiliar, Soylent is a meal replacement drink and powder that’s aptly named after the 1973 film Soylent Green. Quest Bars are protein bars that taste like junk food, but are actually nutritious and aren’t loaded with additives.

They’re also both behemoths!

Two quick stats:

Quest Nutrition: 3-Year Growth Rate of 57,347%!!!! via INC

Soylent: “The company has grown exponentially since its 2013 seed round and currently generates millions of dollars per month in subscription revenues.” – Business Insider

It’s crazy to think that Soylent was already doing millions per month in subscriptions before the BI article came out. Now they have $20mm more in funding from a16z and they released their pre-made easier to consume version. I wonder if sales went up by 3x or more?

Anyway in a very short amount of time, both companies have transformed their industries and transplanted the major players like Cliff Bars, Power Bars, Muscle Milk or those Ensure Shakes that your grandma drinks.

In my attempt to copy their success / reverse funnel hack them, I’ve been asking myself lately what allowed them to be so successful?Continue Reading

Getting Away From Vanity BS Social Metrics

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Got you to click right?

One of the hard things about startups is choosing the right metrics or KPIs to focus on.

As a small company there are probably only 3-4 things that you can do really well, while the rest of it is kind of just getting done.

It’s easy to get caught up in the vanity metrics that:

1.) aren’t important

2.) don’t move the business forward

3.) “feel like the right thing”

Social media for us is one of those things that just “feels like the right thing to do”.

We have an incredible line of products, incredible customers and incredible stories to share. It should be easy for us.Continue Reading

Met Up With Angus

here-eastern-sea

Last Wednesday, my friend Angus texts me and asks something like, “Are you in Austin? Come out to this event…”

Most evenings I’m working on something (or pretending to work but actually playing Rocket League), so I debated for a minute on whether to go or not.

Then he mentioned that it was an open bar at the W Hotel with live music and that ended the debate.

On the ride over I realized that we had never actually met before, which is funny because I consider him a friend.

It’s probably because we go way back to the “wild west” era of music blogging.  Angus used to run this awesome website GetLiftedTonight. It was one of my favorite blogs and I downloaded a ton of my favorite songs from their SoundOwl account.

Over a few drinks, the conversation drifted to how many people really came out of that “blog scene” and are doing big things in the music industry.Continue Reading

We’re hiring a startup soldier who wants to build multi-million dollar companies.

hiring-soldier

This is the opportunity of a lifetime.

This is the job that every entrepreneur wishes that they had when they first started. It’s a chance to learn marketing, product creation, e-commerce, sales, customer development, etc… real  business skills that will help you throughout your entire life.

I credit all of my success to my time and role that I played at GiftCardRescue.com. Roy and I are re-creating that experience for one person (for now).

You’ll be working with us directly on Natural Stacks and the additional ventures that we’re currently developing.

What is the job?

Continue Reading