Only a man who juggles as many “rich guy” projects as Elon Musk could have an entire roundup dedicated to his musky-self -- unfortunately, it can’t all be good news.
From couches, to an ill-timed hiatus, to big hole financing, it’s time to brush up on this week’s Musk-up.
Musk-up: The Boring Co. raises some cash
According to SEC filings, Musk’s tunnel-digging/flamethrower company (think about that for a second) has raised almost $113m in venture capital funding.
What’s more, Musk himself provided more than $100m of it (the other 10% covered by early employees). ’Cuz where billionaires are going, they don’t need outside investors.
Musk-down: Tesla puts a hold on Model 3 production
According to Buzzfeed, Tesla is temporarily shutting down production of its model 3 sedan… again. This time it’s expected to last up to 5 days.
A spokesperson maintains that the shutdown was planned to “improve automation” and address potential bottlenecking, but missing yet another production target could mean a loss of investor confidence.
Musk… meh: The internet just bought a billionaire a couch
Yup, after publicly complaining about the ratty couch he sleeps on during his all nighters at the Tesla factory, more than 72 people donated to a GoFundMe page dedicated to buying Elon Musk a new couch.
According to TechCrunch, more than $1k was raised as of publication to get the almost $20 Billionaire a new bedtime sofa -- a very socially responsible donation and in no way offensive to those working extra Postmates shifts so they can afford a used couch off Craigslist.
Babes in Muskland
T-Mobile fined $40m for faking ring sounds on calls that never went through
The FCC just slapped the US mobile “un-carrier” with a $40m fine after it found that the company was supplementing calls made in rural areas with fake ringing sounds to cover up spotty connections and “cause callers to believe that the phone [was] ringing at the called party’s premises.”
So, basically one step up from them having a T-Mobile employee just make “beep boop” sounds on the other end.
Apparently, it was a common practice until a few years ago
The FCC created new laws to ban the practice in 2014, and T-Mobile said they’d cleaned up their act. But guess what? They lied.
Users started complaining, and when the FCC looked into it, they found T-mobile has been violating the rule for years -- covering up poor service on hundreds of millions of calls.
Getting a good connection in rural America is still a huge issue
The bad service is a big problem, and -- as the FCC points out in its order -- one that not only cuts families off from their city-slicker relatives, but also negatively impacts rural businesses, and can delay public safety communications.
Yet, despite the FCC’s case resting on T-Mobile harming consumers, users aren’t the ones receiving the lawsuit money -- that’d be the US Treasury.
Starbucks will close for bias training due to viral video -- leaving $16.7m in the coffee pot
After a video of police unjustifiably removing 2 black men from a Starbucks went viral last week, CEO Kevin Johnson declared all of the company’s American stores will close on the afternoon of May 29 for “racial-bias education” training.
This social media firestorm brewed faster than a Venti:
Mon. 4/16: Starbucks CEO meets with victims and mayor
Tues. 4/17: Starbucks announces nationwide racial bias training
It’s a testament to the power of accountability on social media
To recap, a 45-second video caused the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to drop what he was doing, fly across the country to do damage control, and order a complete shutdown of operations, all in a matter of days.
Now, Starbucks will pay a steep price to restore its image -- based on 2017 revenue, closing their 8,222 company stores for an afternoon will cost them over $16.7m -- on top of the cost of training 175k employees in racial-bias prevention.
Big brands are paying big $$ for social media usernames, and hackers have taken notice
Social media. People use it, companies need it -- and they’re willing to do just about anything to make sure they get that @ they’re after.
Welcome to the “username economy” -- a new scheme where web lizards (or “subversive marketers” to quote the euphemistic Guardian) flip username handles by stalking social media profiles to acquire potentially lucrative @identities and resell them at exorbitant markups.
Shady, yes. Illegal? Not exactly -- unless, that it is, it’s stolen.
As the username economy proves its worth (some companies have offered upwards of $50k to acquire a desired username), hackers have begun stealing and selling handles -- and they’ll do it by any means necessary.
Josh Bryant, founder of the file sharing service Droplr, was extorted by a hack-rascal who breached his Amazon Web Services account (threatening his entire business) -- all for his Twitter handle, @jb.
Hacking so easy, even your grandma could do it
The craziest part of this fledgling epidemic is not that it happens (cuz surprise: people suck), but how easy it is for hackers to pull it off.
Naoki Hiroshima documented (in a Medium article) how a hacker obtained the passwords of his GoDaddy and PayPal accounts using “very simple” Jedi mind tricks to manipulate the two companies into releasing Hiroshima’s personal information -- all to extort his Twitter handle.
While platforms like Twitter explicitly decry the sale of screen names, they have reportedly done very little to prevent it from happening.
There’s a Hustle Con speaker we’re insanely excited about: Katia Beauchamp.
Not only did she:
Come up with the idea for Birchbox in 48 hours
Raise nearly $87m
Build a company with hundreds of employees and 1m+ subscribers
Revolutionize the $500B beauty industry
She did something arguably even more impressive -- she cold-emailed Steve Jobs. Yes… THAT Steve Jobs.
And she got a response. Yep, seriously
See, when Katia got to Harvard Business School, she and her classmates got discounts to get IBM-issued computers. But Katia was an Apple gal. So, she emailed Jobs, explaining the situation and suggesting that Jobs offer the same discount for Mac computers to the students.
Within minutes, Katia received an email from Jobs’ assistant… with a discount code for the exact same amount as the IBM student discount.
Clearly, the woman knows cold email.
And she’s used the same cold email strategy to take Birchbox from a school project to a $485m company with over 1m subscribers.
In 65 days, Katia will be speaking at Hustle Con, teaching her cold email formula.
I told you I’d give ya only the best deals. But, I gotta come clean with ya. These deals aren’t the best… they’re freakin’ UNBEATABLE. I swear you can’t find these fuh cheaper. This week, it’s stylish shades that do some good and the expense tracker I fired my accountant for.
- Dan “5 fingas” Durham from Scottsdale, Arizona
$25 OFF any style at DIFF Eyewear. Charitable designer sunglasses you can't resist. (Use code: HUSTLE25)
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