Retail's sink-or-swim moment. Luxury moves online. Robots make shoes.

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Hi there,

On April 1, Elon Musk, who is reinventing multiple industries, tweeted out that Tesla had declared bankruptcy as part of an April Fools' joke.

It's a tweetstorm, so there is more.

Whether the joke was funny or not (btw, the data says it wasn't), it's worth replaying some of the recent facts about Tesla vs the joke.

More on that below.

But first...

Survival of the fittest

Corporations are scrambling to restrategize as AI's presence grows in every industry. Traditional retail giants are up against Amazon and Alibaba, which are using big data and AI algorithms to transform the space.

With US retailers shutting down at record rates, retail companies have reached an adapt-or-die moment. We look into how AI and machine learning are reshaping commerce

Bankruptcy = hilarious

So here is Tesla's 3 month stock chart from CB Insights.  

The company has shed almost $8B of market cap in the last week.

The company also lost almost $2B last year, as Tesla's income statement below highlights.

In addition,

  • Its credit was recently downgraded by Moody's.
  • It issued junk bonds earlier this year.
  • It recently approved a $2.6B pay package for Musk.
  • A Model X driver recently died using Tesla's Autopilot.
  • 123,000 Model S sedans were just recalled. 
  • Shareholders fighting the SolarCity merger won an early court battle.

A joke about bankruptcy (especially an unfunny one) seems odd, to say the least.

The lap of luxury

Incumbents in the luxury industry have avoided tech innovation. But with startups like Farfetch changing the relationship between luxury brands and their customers, incumbents are starting to move online to compete.

Join us for a 15-minute flash webinar on April 5 to learn more.

But who says it wasn't funny?

Actually, the people have spoken and deemed Musk's joke not funny.

59% said it wasn't funny, as you can see below. 

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Piece by piece

To keep up with consumers' constantly shifting demands, retailers have to reduce manufacturing lead time. Some, like Adidas and Nike, are getting help from robots.

Adidas unveiled its robot-run factory in 2015, and Nike has applied for patents to automate assembly and identification of shoe parts.

Check out our new deep-dive to see how companies are automating other parts of the retail chain, from order fulfillment to delivery.

It pays to have friends

You were warned Future of Fintech (June 19 - 21) ticket prices would be going up April 1, and the warning was real.

Several of you wrote in asking for an extension due to the various holidays and spring break shenanigans.

Our group discount pricing is now extended through the end of the week, PLUS we’ve launched a limited new offer for pairs that will run through April (or until sold out). Check it out here.

The Industry Standard

CB Insights data is the most trusted by those in the industry and the media. A few recent hits.

MIT Technology Review. Erin Winick (@erinwinick) discusses why there have been so few missions to the moon and references CB Insights space tech research.
CNBC. Eric C. Jansen (@aspencross) writes about venture investment in blockchain technology and cites CB Insights research.
CBS. This article discusses Spotify’s unusual direct listing on the NYSE and refers to CB Insights data.

I love you.


P.S. If you missed last week's agtech webinar, you can get the slides and recording here.

The Blurb

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New rules. California DMV is adopting new regulations for testing and deploying autonomous vehicles.
A whole new me. Reddit’s new design — which has been in the works for a year and a half — is being rolled out over the next few months.
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