Musk said that the factory’s blueprint will more closely resemble an advanced computer chip’s instead of a traditional battery plant’s.
It’s all part of Musk’s new obsession to build, as he called it, “the machine that builds the machine.” In front of an audience of cheering Tesla customers at the launch, Musk effused, “I’m really excited about revitalizing manufacturing. I think it needs love, and we’re going to give it.” With only 14% of construction complete, it’s hard to know if Musk’s ideas will influence manufacturing the way industrialist Henry Ford’s did.
The infrastructure California needs to generate energy for electricity and clean water, which will be significant, need not blight the landscape. Designs like The Pipe demonstrate how the provision of public services like these can be knitted into every day life in a healthy, aesthetically-pleasing way. A finalist of the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica Pier, the solar-powered plant deploys electromagnetic desalination to provide clean drinking water for the city and filters the resulting brine through on-board thermal baths before it is reintroduced to the Pacific Ocean.
When nearly 400,000 people raised their hands for the Model 3 and cemented the conviction with a $1,000 deposit, a new business model in a staid industry was born. While conventional automakers seek board approval to tap cash reserves or issue bonds to pay for new vehicles, the ever-unconventional Tesla showed crowdfunding gets the job done in two weeks.
Even Musk was floored by the response. He anticipated fewer than half the deposits he received and must now scramble to find a way to build all those cars.
Digital is not only a means to optimize a company’s existing operations. It also gives both attackers and incumbents the power to disrupt value chains, enter new sectors, and create innovative business models. Established companies face threats from new competitors like Amazon Business, which offers millions of products, from automotive components, industrial lifts, and ramps to lab products, protective gear, and electrical equipment.
To get ahead of threats like this, industrial companies can use digital to transform and extend their own business models before change is imposed on them by attackers reshaping their industry. Some incumbents are joining digital platforms and B2B marketplaces to aggregate demand and sell direct to end users. BASF, for example, was the first chemicals company to sell products online through Alibaba. Other businesses, such as the 3-D printing start-up Sculpteo, are selling services rather than products. Still others are offering their manufacturing capacity as a service to third parties.
Hyundai has partnered with Amazon to bring an on-demand test drive program to one of California’s most densely populated urban areas as the automaker looks for new ways to reach customers. The on-demand test drive campaign is also a first for Amazon, a company that is constantly seeking out new ways to become entrenched in consumers’ lives.
This limited campaign—it’ll only be held the last two weekends in August—will give Amazon Prime subscribers living in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas a chance to order a 45- to 60-minute test drive of a 2017 Hyundai Elantra.
In its quest to shave off fractions of a second at the Rio Games, the U.S. women’s team pursuit squad is riding equipment with a radical innovation: an inverted bike. All the parts that transfer power from your legs to your wheels—the ring, chain and rear cog—are on the left side. Nearly every other bike on the planet carries them on the right.
The idea for the flipped bike came after the 2012 Olympics, where the U.S. women advanced to the medal round after beating Australia by just 0.083 seconds. For the Americans, that was too close for comfort. Working with Felt, an American manufacturer, they dusted off an idea that a few people had toyed with in the 1960s and 70s and quickly discarded.
Despite Apple's claims to the contrary, not everyone believes the iPad Pro can replace a computer. When paired with an Apple Pencil, however, the tablet lets people do things they might never accomplish on a traditional PC or Mac. For example, the iPad Pro lets you create handwritten thank you cards that can then be sent through the mail, write notes on PDFs and sign on the dotted lines, and drain all the color out of photos, then add it back to particular objects.
The following 12 iOS apps look great on iPad Pro, and they all put your Apple Pencil to work.
Today the skunkworks operation that Bird created, known as Citi FinTech, is made up of about 40 employees handpicked from various parts of Citi and poached from tech companies such as Amazon andPayPal. In keeping with the outsider mentality Bird wants, the operation is based not in Citigroup’s Manhattan headquarters but across the East River in Queens, on the 10th floor of a Citi building that also houses the credit card business. On one wall there’s a five-by-10-foot chart listing all of Citi’s new fintech competitors and which of the megabank’s business lines each startup puts in jeopardy—from payments to commercial lending to wealth management. Not far away is the requisite appurtenance of every startup: a foosball table.
I wish I was in Farnborough this week for the air show. When I was there in the 80s, I was thrilled to see the then new 747-300 with the extended hump
Delta Sky magazine has an interview with Boeing’s new CEO Dennis Muilenburg as it celebrates its Centennial.
“The design process is something that is measured in years, sometimes a decade. In some cases, we are modifying existing designs and bringing to market a highly modified airplane—the 737 MAX, for example. The 787, on the other hand, was an all-new clean-sheet airplane. So our decisions around a clean-sheet design or a derivative design are based on the market size and our conversation with airline customers on what they need and what makes economic sense. It is all based on what I will call customer-inspired innovation.”
See case study from one of my books on the 787 and vid below on the MAX and other Boeing news from the air show.
The Spaceship, as many have nicknamed it, is over one mile in circumference—that's wider than the Pentagon. When it’s completed later this year it will house 13,000 employees—including design grandmaster Jony Ive, who helped sculpt the iPhone, and CEO Tim Cook, who helps keep profits in the “billions-with-a-B” territory.
Campus 2 will run entirely on clean energy, powered by renewable sources. But what’s really grabbed our attention are the thousands of panels of curved window panes—the largest pieces of structural glass ever made—that will encase Apple’s mothership. Equally cool are the 60,000 pounds of hollow concrete slabs that allow the building to “breathe,” bolstering its eco-friendly qualities.