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.
Each of these families is different in thousands of ways, from their ethnicities to their incomes to their sleepover policies. But we set out to find the ways they are the same.
In selecting candidates to study, we ignored siblings who do the same work in the same industry (like Venus and Serena Williams) and families that come from a great fortune or legacy (like the Trumps or the Kennedys). We looked for families in which all the siblings did well. And we defined success by leadership, service or achievement, not just fame or money alone. Of course, genetics plays a role for every family, but we focused on upbringing and sibling dynamics instead.
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.
"This wouldn't have happened if Steve Jobs were around" is one of the most overused insults that even fans will hurl at Apple CEO Tim Cook when he does something they don't like. Fact is, you can apply the line to many of the things that Cook has done to make Apple as powerful, profitable, and vibrant as it is.
“These markets are huge, hundreds of billions of dollars. The knowledge of the asset itself is quite material. The ability to go to an airline C.E.O. and say, “I’ll guarantee you 99 percent uptime and a 1 percent fuel advantage,” I can do that. It’s hard. That’s not something that’s quite natural for some of the consumer companies to do, even though they’re outstanding. It’s our expectation that there’s going to be other industrial companies that compete. I think we’ll have new competitors. You’ll be partners with somebody in the morning and compete with them in the afternoon.
I think Amazon is an amazing company. Jeff Bezos is one of the guys I really look up to. I’m amazed by what they’ve done. We use Amazon web services. As amazing as they are, they’ve never made a jet engine. So let’s go. Let’s see what happens.”
At the board level, there is a need for knowledgeable, incisive “geeks”: independent directors with experience and perspective in putting technology to use. In the past, many boards have compensated by relying on management or external consultants for strategic advice. But the stakes are now too high to take that approach.
Boards can no longer duck the responsibility for the company’s digital transformation. They must take real ownership by ensuring that they are equipped to fully understand this part of the board agenda. Otherwise, how can they adequately oversee their company’s strategy, investments, and expense base?
This blog was born on March 7, 2005. Facebook had a different name then. The social network had 3 million, mostly casual users. Today it counts over 1.6 billion. No one had heard of the iPhone. The Google Car. Uber. Or Amazon Web Services.
It has been an amazing run over the last 11 years. And innovation keeps accelerating. This is what Florence must have felt like during the European Renaissance.
And the innovation is spreading globally. Search the blog and you find entries on Rwanda, Kazakhstan, Antarctica and plenty more places off the innovation beaten path.
The blog has influenced 4 of my books. It has helped many of my consulting clients as I “raise the bar” for what they can expect from technology
I am grateful to my sponsors for their continued support. I am thankful to many friends who send me story ideas for posts. And especially thankful to readers who have made this blog part of their regular diet.
It’s only 20 minutes or so, and I think every young person should listen to Larry Ellison’s recent commencement speech at USC.
It is eloquent and inspirational about the ups and downs of life and discovering yourself:
“This was a pivotal moment in my life. My family was still mad at me for not going to medical school and now my wife was divorcing me because I lacked ambition. It looked like a reoccurrence of the same old problem. Once again I was unable to live up to the expectations of others. But this time I was not disappointed in myself for failing to be the person they thought I should be. Their dreams and my dreams were different. I would never confuse the two of them again.
I had discovered things that I loved; the Sierras, Yosemite, the Pacific Ocean. These natural wonders brought me great joy and happiness and would for the rest of my life. I had an interesting job programming computers and more money than I needed. For the first time I was certain that I was going to survive in this world. A huge burden of fear had been lifted. I'll never forget that moment. It was a time for rejoicing. I bought the sail boat and lived on board, just me and my cat, in Berkeley Marina. In the words of James Joyce, "I was alone and young and willful and unheeded, but I was happy and near to the wild heart of life.”
That is why, after spending nearly 60 years building the Standard Model, particle physicists are now terribly excited at the prospect of finally breaking it. The flaws of the model were well known, but no one knows what the right model might be. Theorists have been stuck for decades, exploring a vast array of ideas but lacking the data to tell them if they were on the right path. Only an experimental breakthrough can help them move forward, and the LHC (Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the powerful accelerator at CERN (the European Laboratory for Particle Physics) near Geneva) might have already made it.