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Movers and Shakers #1 | 25/10/2019

Pete N.
Pete N.
Oct 25, 2019 · 5 min read

What are the most exciting companies in the world up to?

Crazy scientists, revolutionary startups, life-changing technology and other hidden gems around the internet. Curated just for you.

What’s in this issue:
3 - Exciting stories about revolutionary companies
1- Must-read article about consciousness and reason
1 - Must-follow Twitter personality

Gigafactory 3 - the first fully foreign-owned car plant in China, is ready for production and starting later this month (pending government approval). The company hopes to get the facility to 1000 cars per week by the end of the year.

This is an extremely impressive result, considering that the factory covers an area of 86 hectares and that construction began in December 2019. Many doubted Elons’ claim that they will produce cars in China by the end of 2019, but it seems like the team at Tesla will make the deadline this time.

An impressive feat by itself, it will be very interesting to see how the added production affects their numbers and whether they’ll be able to deliver more than 100 000 cars in Q4. That number is important not only because it would beat their previous record, but also because it will be necessary if they are to hit their annual delivery estimates.

UPDATE:

Tesla just released their earnings for Q3 and oh BOY did they exceed expectations!

  • Earnings per share are $1.91, while analysts expected a loss per share of $0.24.
  • Model Y is ahead of schedule, same as Gigafactory 3
  • Solar installs are up +48% from Q2

Now the question remains, can Tesla keep this profitability through growth and showcase that it’s a sustainable business? Their track record so far isn’t great, so we have to wait and see.

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Tesla Gigafactory 3 in China

Satya has brought a huge shift within Microsoft, something very few people expected to happen. Since taking over as CEO five years ago, Microsoft’s share price has tripled, internal culture changed for the better and the company is now making bold bets in innovative markets like AR, AI and the Cloud. Today, Microsoft is much more open and willing to work with different players across every industry, even competitors like Apple. His vision is that the next big technology breakthroughs will come not only from technology companies like Microsoft, but from retailers, healthcare providers, and manufacturers, working in partnership with them. He wants Microsoft to become the enabler of innovation for everyone, and his plan is working fantastically.

The impressive CEO just released his latest letter to shareholders and it seems like fiscal 2019 was a record-breaking year for Microsoft. Here are the key takeaways:

  1. They delivered more than $125 billion in revenue
  2. $43 billion in operating income
  3. More than $50 billion in operating cash flow
  4. Returned more than $30 billion to shareholders
  5. Their commercial cloud business is now the largest in the world, surpassing $38 billion in revenue for the year, with gross margin expanding to 63 percent.

Considered by many a slumbering giant, Microsoft is changing into an open and innovative company under its new leadership. I’m excited to see what they do next.

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Alphabet really needs its side businesses to develop quickly to help it reduce its dependence on Google, but one of their biggest bets is taking longer than expected. Waymo stumbles on its path to full autonomy, leading Morgan Stanley analysts to cut valuation by 40%.

According to the analysts at Morgan Stanley, the reduced valuation is because of mounting losses, slow autonomy progression and the continuing need for human safety drivers.

Presently, Google contributes over 99% of Alphabet’s revenue. The parent company has been trying for years now to establish other revenue sources other than ads, and although they’ve made many bets over the years, most of them end up in the spectacular Google Graveyard.

In most cases, these separate businesses are losing significant sums of money. Alphabet’s side bets produced an operating loss of $989 million in the second quarter. In other words, it relies only on its Google business to pay the bill for its other bets. This is a dangerous situation as their grip on the advertising market has started to weaken amid surging competition, particularly from Amazon.

And according to Eric Ries, Google “never developed the discipline of learning how to build new category businesses in non-adjacent spaces. They keep doing these moonshot projects where they hire the smartest people on the planet [and] give them unlimited resources, then hit a stumbling block turning it into a commercial product.”

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Jaguar I-Pace equipped with Waymo’s self-driving tech

Is something wrong with the way we think about ourselves and consciousness? This article written by Robert Burton goes into great detail to explain why, to the best of our knowledge, purely conscious thought isn’t physiologically likely. Developments in neuroscience are raising many questions about personal responsibility and have the potential to shake some of the core foundations of society - law and morality.

The implications of this are extremely interesting. When it comes to everyday activities and reactions, this isn’t a big issue. Realizing that we choose strawberry instead of chocolate ice cream subconsciously won’t affect our lives in any significant way. But what happens when we talk about extreme acts of kindness or violence?

As it stands, the reality is that we know barely nothing about the brain and how thoughts arise and shape our perception of reality. When it comes to the mind, there’s so much we have yet to explore. Understanding ourselves might turn out to be a task bigger than colonizing space, but it’s an amazing challenge and I can’t wait to see our generation tackle it.

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I hope you found these stories and people as interesting as I did! You can expect this once a month or who knows, maybe twice a month if I manage to steal some free time from my ventures. Cheers!

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