Tech Bytes to Know This Week: 4.6.2016April 6th, 2016
Tesla is Changing the Auto Game – Tesla announced its new Model 3 this week – an electric car that starts at $35,000. The car is an engineering triumph, and Tesla already reported more than a quarter million deposits to purchase the new car. That’s a number large enough to be a top selling car for all of last year (assuming tesla can deliver that many cars in 2016).
The number of cars Tesla is selling is a huge deal. Tesla is breaking the existing business model used to sell cars in the US. Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales strategy is so disruptive the practice is illegal in several states (NJ famously banned the company from doing business in the Garden State). Selling enough cars to make the business model viable is the biggest part of the Tesla story.
Silicon Valley is Responding to the Apple-FBI Saga in a Predictable Way – WhatsApp realized its goal of end-to-end encryption on its platform after coming up with a way to encrypt video calls between devices with different operating systems. The move leaves WhatsApp without a way to comply with requests from government agencies, such as the FBI request of Apple that brought this issue to the forefront. WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum is a firm believer that encryption makes the world a safer place and has put the company out front of the debate with a pretty remarkable engineering feat.
Tech Industry Flexing Its Muscles in North Carolina – Apple, Google, Facebook and several other high profile tech companies have spoken out against a controversial law passed in NC this week that discriminates against the transgender community. Now PayPal has decided to cancel plans to build an office in the state, costing the state at least 400 jobs. The move follows Google Venture’s decision to stop supporting investments in the state until the law is overturned. The move is significant, and shows the tech industry is increasingly comfortable taking stands on controversial issues. Whether the state overturns the law is a test of the industry’s strength and will be a predictor of future engagement on social issues.
Virtual Reality Business Models Still TBD – TechCrunch is taking a deep-dive into the world of virtual reality and augmented reality and has an excellent piece on the potential business models for the technology. With the release of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets, we’re about to find out who are the winners and losers in VR.
Read More: The Reality of AR/VR Business Models
Read More: Virtual Reality Check: Rating the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift
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