Write emails with military precision

You hear often, that email is broken - and a magical software tool is going to solve it. I don’t think so. But you can solve it. Here is a great guide from Harvard Business Review.

Key take aways:

  1. Write the necessary action in the subject. Example: ACTION, DECISION, SIGN, INFO. I love it, especially as you can categorise and prioritise automatically based on those classifications.

  2. Write an executive summary in one sentence in the beginning of an email.

  3. Include relevant background information as bullet points, which helps to fly through those fast.

Dr. Elon vs Mr. Musk

Great read about the “production hell” at Tesla (written by a Pulitzer Prize author, published in 2019)

In the mid-2000s, the company was designing the luxury Model S when Musk insisted the car needed handles that would lie flush against its body. They would glide out, as if by magic, just as the owner reached the vehicle, by responding to a signal from an electronic key. “It was unanimous among the executive staff that the complex door handle idea was crazy,” said a former executive. It required incredibly complicated engineering, and it solved a problem that no one else thought was actually a problem. But no matter how forcefully executives objected, Musk wouldn’t yield. Even once the car was released, the handles sometimes proved troublesome. When Consumer Reports wanted to review a Model S in 2015, it had to postpone the analysis because “the fancy retractable door handles refused to let us in.”

But Musk was right. Those door handles quickly became a signature feature. A flush handle is now standard on every new Tesla. “It creates this almost emotional connection with the car, this sense that you’re part of the future,” the former executive said. “And that’s Elon’s genius. He knows what people want before they know.” This is the familiar pattern: Musk demands something impossible. Colleagues push back. Musk insists. And then innovation occurs at a speed hardly anyone thought possible.
— https://www.wired.com/story/elon-musk-tesla-life-inside-gigafactory/

China's Silicon Valley

Sneak peak into the future (8 hours flight from Frankfurt)

In part three of Hello World Shenzhen, Bloomberg Businessweek's Ashlee Vance heads out into a city where you can't use cash or credit cards, only your smartphone, where AI facial-recognition software instantly spots and tickets jaywalkers, and where at least one factory barely needs people.

Netflix instant movies

It’s not like Hollywood is slowly, they are rather asleep. While their distribution model has stuck in the past, the bullet train (customer expectations) has long departed.

I see a movie advertising and I want to see it tonight - not in a cinema for which I need to buy tickets, have to go there (come back). Hollywood tries so hard to protect its value chain (and margins), that consequently is forcing people to search for alternatives.

Now - they arrives. Netflix and Amazon Prime have better content than BBC and Warner. Or would anybody argue, that Grand Tour is a wold better than the new awkward Top Gear.

And there it was. A trailer for a new Cloverfield movie. As it played, cool, I thought — I’ll probably go see that. Then, another thought: actually, if I’m being honest, that probably isn’t one I would go see in theaters. But I’d totally watch it when it’s out on “video”, my mind continued. And then the boom:

Only on Netflix. Tonight.

Wait. What?!

Netflix had just taken my internal debate and turned it on its head. We’re used to seeing ads that preview movies coming out in the next few months. They’re meant to plant the seeds of desire and to kick off a barrage of messaging to build anticipation for an opening. Not anymore.

Tesla goes online-first

That’s bold! Elon Musk just announced, that Tesla will transform most of its store to service centers and sell it’s cars only through their website.

Keep in mind, Tesla stores are supposed to have the highest sales per square meter (even more than Apple) - and still online retail is seen as more effective (by Elon).

Anecdote: it took VW almost 15 years to start its own direct online sales (after Tesla did it). Let’s see how long it will take to transform the dealership strategy.