Elon Musk

  • Bench

    Say goodbye to accelerators and hello to IdeaMarket, Bill Gross’ crowd-powered startup factory

    When you’ve founded and invested in as many successful startups as Idealab’s Bill Gross, you get more benefit of the doubt than most when it comes to thoughts on how to improve the company building process. Gross’ vaunted track record includes some 125 companies, among them Overture Services, eSolar, UberMedia, CitySearch, Picasa, and Internet Brands. And yet, it was his newest creation, IdeaMarket, that Gross first described to me as “pretty much the culmination of my whole life…
  • Ebay PayPal booth

    Of course eBay has to spin off PayPal. Here’s why it hasn’t done so…. yet

    Headlines today say that eBay is still considering a spin off of PayPal. The reports manage to be, at the same time, both thrilling and “duh.” If it happens, a PayPal spin-off would be one of the most exciting tech spin-offs ever, with big ramifications for most of the global Internet. While most people acknowledge that PayPal has greatly stagnated under eBay, its network effects have been so powerful that not even a total lack of innovation has…
  • global-warming-sad-polar-bear

    Microsoft cuts ties with right wing climate change deniers ALEC. But what about Facebook, Google, and Yelp?

    It might come as a surprise to liberal-leaning observers, but Microsoft, a corporation known for its efforts toward environmental stability, has been working with the American Legislative Executive Council (ALEC), acting as a member of its Communications and Technology Task Force. Since that relationship was struck, groups devoted to sustainability efforts, corporate responsibility, and equal rights have taken issue with this arrangement. After all, the right wing public policy group, which (surprise!) is backed by the oil and gas magnates Charles and David Brothers, have a…
  • DeathStar

    Of course the White House was more passionate about the Death Star than Tesla

    In a battle between the Death Star and Tesla, the Death Star won — or at least received more attention from the White House after a petition for its creation received a more enthusiastic response than Tesla’s petition for the White House’s support in its fight with state legislators. The company wants to be able to sell its electric vehicles directly to consumers; unfortunately for Tesla, several states have laws requiring vehicles to be sold through car dealerships, which…
  • google-car-bumper-sticker

    For self-driving cars, why do we trust tech companies more than auto makers?

    This week, writing about Google’s relationship with automakers, I came across a strange factoid: despite having no experience manufacturing cars, in a KPMG survey more people expressed trust that a tech company could make a good self-driving car than any mass-market or premium car manufacturer. In some ways, this stated preference is part of a wider national trend. Whether just or not, the tech sector has escaped much of the scorn directed toward major corporations in America and…
  • 3d-printers-and-tesla

    The 3D printing market could win big by following Tesla’s patent-sharing lead

    In one of the more heavily covered tech stories of the last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that his company would not initiate any patent lawsuits against people who wanted to use its technology “in good faith.” The rationale was simple: less IP-protectionism, more innovation; more innovation, bigger market; bigger market, everyone wins – including Tesla. One can only dream that somewhere out there America’s 3D printing executives were noting Musk’s words and the ensuing applause, thus wondering if loosening the reins…
  • teslared

    As the NJ sales ban goes into effect, what’s next for Tesla?

    On Tuesday, New Jersey’s ban on direct Tesla sales officially went into effect. Now Tesla’s two NJ stores in Paramus and Short Hills can function only as “galleries” where potential buyers can look at the cars and talk to representatives about how the machines work, but cannot discuss pricing nor even test drive the vehicles. If customers like what they see, they’ll have to go online to make the purchase. The New Jersey ban, like similar bans in Texas and Arizona, are the…
  • spaceIL

    SpaceIL wants to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the moon and it might just pull it off

    When Daniel Saat graduated from NYU last May he had no idea where he’d land. Armed with a dual Master’s in Business and Public Administration, all he knew was that he wanted to do something big and ambitious. How about landing a spacecraft on the moon on behalf of a tiny country with virtually no existing non-military space program? That’s a pretty good start. As the director of business development for Israeli’s SpaceIL, Saat, who was raised in New York but now lives…
  • 800px-Nytimes_hq

    The New York Times loses its mind over Tesla

    Oh dearie me, this is a bit of a fail from the Grey Lady. After New Jersey banned Tesla from selling cars direct in that State, after Elon Musk took to his blog in rage, the NYT ran a piece insisting that, really, there was merit on all sides here. The piece, by Jad Mouawadma, contained this quite alarming assertion: But most states have some limits on direct sales by auto manufacturers, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association.…
  • musk-kalanick

    When Silicon Valley fights the government: Why Tesla is not like Uber

    Elon Musk’s luxury electric car company Tesla has been dealt a serious blow after New Jersey became the third state to ban the company from selling its cars directly to customers. According to Musk, Governor Chris Christie’s administration went back on its word to let Tesla run its own retail stores, forcing the company to sell its cars through third-party auto-dealer franchises just like Honda, Ford, and the rest. A couple weeks back, Pando contributor Tim Worstall wrote…
  • I love DFJ

    Firm in flux: DFJ raises $325M early stage fund, sets out to prove it’s more than just its name

    Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), the three-decade-old VC firm that carries the name of one of Silicon Valley’s great investing dynasties – the Drapers – is announcing that it’s closed its eleventh early stage fund, bringing in $325 million in new capital. It’s a respectable sum that comes on the heels of a $350 million tenth fund raised in 2010, and can be seen as proof that LPs still have faith that the DFJ brand can attract talented young entrepreneurs. But…
  • Congress

    It only took three acts of Congress to save Pandora

    The next time you’re feeling down about the prospects of your startup succeeding, remind yourself that it took three acts of Congress to save Pandora. CTO Tom Conrad told the audience at last night’s Las Vegas PandoMonthly fireside chat about the against-all-odds survival saga, calling the “royalty story” the lowest moment of his 10-year journey with the company. For Pandora and other digital music companies, the royalty rates paid to music rights holders are the make or break factor…
  • john_doerr

    John Doerr’s last stand: Can a dramatic shakeup save Kleiner Perkins?

    Jesus Christ, Kleiner Perkins just can’t catch a break. The latest news – in a year-long deluge of mea culpas, nasty lawsuits, and admissions of strategic missteps – is that the firm is retrenching, refocusing on the consumer Web, and cutting its early stage investment staff. We know, thanks to a leaked memo to LPs, who is staying: John Doerr, Ted Schlein, Randy Komisar, Beth Seidenberg, and Mike Abbott. In the weeks since the memo, rumors have swirled about…
  • SpaceX Snapchat

    Snapchat vs. SpaceX: Which gets more attention?

    On the one hand, we have Snapchat, an immensely viral app that lets people send disappearing messages to each other. It has been in the news recently for turning down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook, for having no clear revenue model, and for an increasingly ugly dispute between its frat-brother founders. On the other hand, we have SpaceX, an 11-year-old company that makes and launches rockets.

  • What Jason Calacanis learned from Elon Musk and Mark Cuban

    One of my favorite things about PandoMonthly is surfacing the relationships between our guests, and discovering what well known entrepreneurs and investors have learned from one another. Part of the magic of Silicon Valley — and increasingly New York, LA, and other places — is the cross-training and mentorship that goes on. The moment when you realize that everyone — even world famous billionaires — have those moments when everything is cratering and they are staring in the abyss and…
  • hyperloop3

    Hundreds of applicants are lining up to work on Hyperloop project, says interim CEO

    The crowdsourcing organization behind plans to build the world’s first Hyperloop has received hundreds of applications from people hoping to work on the project and has been approached by several places wanting to be the first venue for the super-high-speed transportation system, the group’s head said over the weekend. Speaking at the MIT-China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum on Saturday, JumpStartFund CEO and founder Dirk Ahlborn explained how his organization is hoping to harness the expertise of people who are…

The Week in Review