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Nice mea culpa, and a day after the "101 random and mutually exclusive ways we wanted to fix Apple in 1997".

No doubt obervers, critics, and expert opinions have their place. But never underestimate the man in the arena - especially if you are the man or woman in the arena.


It probably warrants it by now. As I understand it, access to the automated script and account has been sent through though before dang took on his role: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2391828


Proof, if anyone still needs it, that Tesla is a battery company that builds cars, not a car company that builds batteries.


How big is their battery business compared to their car business?


Very shortly, its going to be as big as the entire world's lithium cell consumption currently.


Check back in 24 months.


effectively zero until their battery factory is built, but their money is being put where their mouth is.


1/2 or more (by price) of their car business is battery business.


tl;dr "101. Don't worry. You'll survive. It's Netscape we should really worry about."


Single page: http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/5.06/apple_pr.html


Thanks. Url changed from http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/5.06/apple.html.


"As someone involved in the project from its beginning, he felt entitled to know everything."

As a business owner, and a fairly transparent one, that sickens me. In what world should customers feel "entitled to know everything" about a business.

Absolutely entitled to ask, to take their business elsewhere if they don't like the (lack of) answers, but entitled to know? No way.

This sounds to me like another group who confused Kickstarter with Amazon pre-ordering, or an investment fund where they became shareholders. You assessed the risks, took the risk to put some money down, and it didn't work out.

It's often said that Silicon Valley works, in part, because of its acceptance of failures. This is a witch hunt that says more about the hunters than those they are chasing. Good luck building the American Dream in a society where failing to deliver on a Kickstarter project means it's "entirely appropriate that he never work in technology, finance, consulting or the coffee fields (sorry, that kills the barista career) again.”


I don't agree with your characterization of Kickstarter. They've always been quite clear that there is a legal contract between backers and businesses that obligates the business to provide the goods and services they promised. [1]

The company in question broke the terms of their contract. As such, backers are legally entitled to their money back. If the company cannot pay, the company is insolvent and may need to declare bankruptcy. That's life as a business; you need to pay your debts.

[1] As mentioned in the article, that contract changed recently. Businesses can now be absolved from their obligations by being transparent. Basically, backers for new projects are entitled to know what happened if the project fails. https://www.kickstarter.com/terms-of-use#section4


You make a good point in regards to Kickstarter, and while I still feel some of the responses in the piece are naive the link you provided certainly supports some of their arguments in a way I didn't fully appreciate.

I still don't think it extends as far as the two quotes I used (the first one was the NYT paraphrasing; the second was direct).

Even in a direct customer situation, where far less "there's a chance something could happen that prevents the creator from being able to finish the project as promised" grey area exists than with KS backers, there's no entitlement to know everything about the company. And to suggest people who try, and risk, and fail aren't even eligible for barista work sickens me personally and would create enormous problems for society.


"In what world should customers feel "entitled to know everything" about a business"

Even you are confusing customers with backers. That's the point and the problem with KS. Even the wording in the pledge suggests it's not a matter of if, but when:

"For a $200 pledge, you’re pre-ordering one of our very first machines, a $400 retail value! It can be hard to be one of the first to brave new frontiers, but don’t worry - there’s no river-crossings or dysentery in store for you, just awesome home-brewed espresso."

"Estimated delivery: Mar 2012"


"Backers" is absolutely the right word in this case - I knew "customers" wasn't fully accurate in a Kickstarter context (though it does have wider application to other businesses). Thanks for that.

You're also right that the communication from the ZPM crew seems to have been poor from the very start - a lack of capability and experience, I suspect, not a presence of malice and fraud.


I think you've missed the central theme of this article. Kickstarter backers are not customers. If they were customers, they would receive merchandise. They're something between a customer and an investor and it's interesting to explore the details around that. Maybe full disclosure in return for funding an idea that may never come to fruition is a good compromise. I think that it would certainly have satisfied most of the people who were angry in this article.

If you are "sickened" by the prospect of exploring new business models, I suggest you stay away from crowd funding and avoid reading about it, for your own health.


But consistently planning a date night with my beautiful wife is.

If I'm planning to drop $250-300/mth on a couple of great dinners, then another $10 to add an element of surprise and save me from all the research and bookings is well worth it.

I wonder where Brisbane Australia is on their roll-out schedule... We have multiple nice restaurants now, and thankfully both are now open later than 8.30pm.


Thanks Jacob. It's our dream to be able to roll it out in Brisbane, but given the size of our team and how young the project is, it won't happen quite so soon :)

Much like the concierge services (ie Magic) out there, we want The Loft Club to provide simplify people's habits of dining out. The added element of a pleasant surprise - as you mentioned - is something we want to focus on too as we build out the service.

Happy to chat more in person, DM me @derrickko.


From a timing perspective, O'Sullivan lost overnight - knocked out in the Quarter Finals of the World Championship.

"I'll go for a run in the morning and sparring in the afternoon. Life has to go on and will go on."



Relevant quote from the article about a game 5 months ago:

> In the semifinal, O’Sullivan found himself 4–1 down and on the brink of losing to Stuart Bingham, the ninth-ranked player in the world. “That was a match where I just thought, I’m not going to be pushed around by someone like Stuart,” O’Sullivan told me afterward. “I’m not ready to accept that role yet. I fucking hated that match.” He won, 6–5.

(Bingham being the same player who just beat him)

After this defeat it sounds like he's thinking of quitting again, but I certainly wouldn't put money on him staying away.


He always sounds like he's quitting the game.


That was my point. They said, one of these days he actually will quit for good, but I hope not soon.


I talk about "After the Startup Curve" [1], because the emotional roller-coaster has really only just begun. Take all of the ups and downs from the early months, and then multiply them by years in business and dozens (hundreds?) of team members.

Most of the founders I work with haven't taken funding and don't have the high profile that brings on the haters, which can be advantageous in that it forces you to become a mid-Stage company doing what it needs to do: Ship Great Things.

What do I see as the biggest Mid-Stage Pitfalls?

1) Not Knowing your Business Model

Your Revenue is a formula - Value Proposition x Activity x Conversion. As businesses pivot, and as founders get distracted by all the other 'stuff' in business, their model can wander without them realising.

Always be clear about your Value Proposition - why people are buying from you, and whether there's enough margin and volume for you. Traction [2] is one of the best books I've read regarding activity - keep asking yourself, 'What will move the needle for me?'

2) Celebrating too Fast

Sustainable business growth, for most of us, isn't an 18 month billion-dollar acquisition. It's a constant investment, and it requires your ongoing attention even after it becomes self-sustaining.

At some point you will want to reward yourself for your achievements - energetically, take from the business rather than continuing to give to it. But make that 'Payback' too big and too fast, and things can collapse on you literally overnight. (And often over a 2-4 week period, it's that fast.) This 2 minute video touches on that [3]

3. Needing to be 1 Step ahead of the business

This manifests in a few ways over time. Early on, you're pitching to partners / channels / investors about what the business will be - so you're already one step ahead. But then you ship, you sell, you produce or deliver or whatever, and you become a cog in the business.

You need to pull yourself out and be the CEO, be 1 step ahead. For smaller, lower-growth businesses this can be part of your role, some time each week or month. Over about 24 staff (and less than that if you have big growth plans) it's a full-time role.

And that transition is hard, because it detaches you from the operations and the clients. As Jessica writes, you become a manager (and a leader and an entrepreneur). The business is going on a journey; so are you. And if you're not steering the ship, you'll sail right into a brick wall and find yourself seeking acquisition / funding with a giant "desperate" tattoo on your forehead.

I talked about this journey 'After the Startup Curve', a little more on this recorded webinar, if you're super interested [4].

[1] http://www.shirlawscoaching.co.uk/shirlawsresources/2012/3/3...

[2] http://tractionbook.com/

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UN6XUD7Tfg

[4] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLsmN83Z0aU


Many HNers are just part of today's lucky 10,000.




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