The importance of Tesla’s Battery Day

September 22, 2020

PLUS: A comical look at Microsoft’s $1B+ acquisitions.
September 22, 2020
The Hustle

On Monday, EV truck maker Nikola announced the resignation of Trevor Milton, its embattled CEO. This outcome was highly predictable after the release of Hindenburg Research’s scathing short-seller report. 

Milton is walking away with $3.1B (92m shares of $NKLA), per CNBC. But, with the stock down 19% on Monday, he might be losing a comma soon.

The Big Idea

What to expect from Tesla’s Battery Day

Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting is today. However, the real show will be the carmaker’s reveal of its new battery technology (AKA Battery Day).

To grasp the significance of Battery Day, The Hustle spoke with Omar Qazi, a software engineer and prominent Tesla writer.
(So prominent, in fact, that $TSLA short sellers are currently suing Qazi along with Elon Musk).

Tesla wants to make 20m cars/year…  

… from a 500k delivery goal for 2020. 

To do so, it’s vital that the electric vehicle (EV) maker can create an affordable battery.

Qazi tells us that a gas car costs about $125 per kWh. Once battery tech improves to that range of energy efficiency, the case for gas cars will not be great.

“Batteries are the largest cost of an EV,” Qazi says. “If EVs hit $100 per kWh, we’re talking about an option that is cheaper than a gas car, has less maintenance, and doesn’t pollute. That would be the tipping point for mass adoption of EVs.”

Such battery tech would usher in a new energy paradigm

Clean energy (wind, solar) has an infinite supply but — in industry parlance — it is intermittent. The sun doesn’t always shine, and wind doesn’t always blow. 

The right battery tech provides a cost-effective way to store renewable energy.

“Renewables are incredibly cheap,” Qazi says. “We’re talking as low as $0.02 per kWh. The key is matching demand with supply. A cheap enough battery can help facilitate this need and, ultimately, replace all fossil fuel plants.” (Here’s one recent example in the UK.)

Will Tesla make its own battery tech?

At present, Tesla has a number of partnerships with the likes of Panasonic and LG Chem to manufacture batteries (Gigafactories). 

“Tesla is probably making their own battery cell,” Qazi posits. “They want technology that can best integrate with their software and achieve the maximum battery life with the best performance.”

While Qazi expects Tesla to maintain its battery partnerships, the most viable way for the company to achieve its mass production targets is to control the battery tech from A through Z. 

That very well could be today’s announcement. 

(Editor’s note: Shout out to Johan Moreno @ Inside Transportation for the introduction — and to Elon Musk for replying to Trung’s tweet 👇.)

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send as email to a friend View on our website
  • Quibi is exploring a sale…to whom? Wild guess: Oracle and Walmart.
  • Meet Etsy’s mask barons: Thanks to the face-mask boom, a bunch of tiny sellers have done $1m+ in sales.
  • BTS, the biggest band in the world right now, will debut its next music video in Fortnite.
  • Fakes are flooding the whiskey market, but a group of researchers just invented a laser that can verify the authenticity of your bottle.
  • The new iOS lets people design their own app icons — and Twitter users are getting carried away.
  • Bonus: Industry secrets that you may or may not want to know.

HotSchedules, Slack’s clunky older cousin, is having a moment

If you’ve worked in retail this century, the word “HotSchedules” might give you, well, hot flashes. 

The shift-scheduling app has been helping hourly workers trade shifts since 1999.

While most ’90s tech has long since been phased out, HotSchedules is bigger than ever: It’s currently one of the top 10 paid apps on Apple’s App Store charts, and it’s used at ~35k places of business across the country.

Why is HotSchedules so hot right now?

There’s one big reason: Tons of retailers require their workers to fill out a health checklist each day before they show up to work.

Most of those checklists are on HotSchedules. But as the pandemic keeps messing with scheduling, workers are swapping shifts like crazy. 

HotSchedules’ messaging tool — which looks more like an email account, circa 2008 — is also suddenly all the rage.

It’s starting to look like a social platform 

This past spring, workers took to HotSchedules to swap tips about navigating the unemployment system, while employers sent out updates on how to pick up checks. 

In some darker cases, workers only found out they’d been laid off after discovering they were locked out of HotSchedules.

More recently, the sheer uncertainty of work during the pandemic has started to shape HotSchedules into something of a Slack rival — an old-school, distraction-free alternative to all of those corporate #pets channels. 

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send as email to a friend View on our website

Side hustles are on the rise 

In recent years, an increasing number of U.S. tax filers said they earned self-employment income — a trend that’s continuing to skyrocket in 2020. 

Thinking about starting your own business? Here are a few tips:

Start small

Look, we respect the hustle — but you don’t need to quit your job and cash out your 401(k) to get going. Do your research, ask for tons of feedback, and take a few online courses to brush up your skills.

Find your niche

No, not just the niche for your brilliant idea. Your niche. What are you passionate about? As simple as it sounds: The best side hustles are usually great business ideas merged with your interests.

If you’re ready to make money on your own terms, check out Square’s full guide to starting a side hustle:

Keep reading →

A fraud-detection company just got busted for committing fraud

Just to be safe, we’re going to need a team of fraud investigators to keep tabs on our fraud investigators.  

A few months ago, the startup NS8 was riding high. The online shopping boom made its major product — analytics software that sleuths out identity theft in online purchases — more important than ever. 

In June, NS8 claimed to see a 200% revenue jump, with $62m in profits in its bank account. But according to the SEC, the company only had $28k on hand.

Talk about a payday  

NS8’s CEO Adam Rogas allegedly funneled $17.5m+ out of the corporate account and into his own pockets.

Last week, authorities arrested Rogas, and NS8 laid off most of its 200+ staffers. Few in the company seem to have known about the scam. 

NS8’s high-profile backers — like Lightspeed Venture Partners, who’d showered the company with a whopping $123m in funding — were also purportedly in the dark. 

A season of scams 

The NS8 saga is the latest in a series of recent corporate flubs:

  • Nikola…
  • China-based Luckin Coffee was caught inflating its sales by $300m.
  • Electronic payment firm Wirecard collapsed after being wrapped up in a ~$4B global fraud.
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send as email to a friend View on our website
Big Game Hunting

A comical look at Microsoft’s $1B+ acquisitions

Like a spurned lover, Microsoft quickly pivoted from its failed TikTok bid and dropped a cool $7.5B to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of game publisher Bethesda Softworks (Doom, Fallout, Elder Scrolls). 

It’s Microsoft’s largest game acquisition ever and the tech giant’s 11th acquisition of $1B+ since 1987. 

Here are the others, with our takes on the deals

  • The priciest (and spammiest) acquisition: LinkedIn for $26.2B in 2016.
  • The “I’ve never heard of this company, but its early employees are def way richer than me” acquisition: Fast Search & Transfer for $1.2B in 2008.
  • The “Are these tech companies or the place we get our eyewear prescriptions done?” acquisitions: Tied — Visio Corp ($1.4B in 1999) and Navision ($1.2B in 2002).
  • The Ron Burgundy “I immediately regret this decision” acquisition: Tied — Skype for $8.5B in 2011 and Nokia for $7.2B in 2014.
  • The “Let’s piss off software engineers” acquisition: GitHub for $7.5B in 2018.
  • The “Parents love this because it’s a nanny substitute” acquisition: Mojang (Minecraft) for $2.5B in 2014.
  • The “Who needs Zuckerberg when you can have David Sacks?” acquisition: Yammer for $1.2B in 2012.
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send as email to a friend View on our website
See what Square can do →

Enterprise Account Executive, ON24:

Are you the kind of marketer who can help marketers market themselves? This B2B engagement platform wants you.

Head of Strategic Alliances, Gladly:

If you know a thing about channel surfing — by which we mean building channel partnerships — you prolly wanna talk to this customer service platform.

Sales Manager — North America, Actionstep:

Flex your sales muscles and help this legal practice management software company grow. 

Software Sales Representative, Caspio:

No code? No problem. Help this award-winning platform target, engage, close, and expand its biz relationships.

Partner Marketing Manager, Talkdesk:

CCaaS co needs a baller shot-caller to forge high-tech partnerships and drive co-marketing initiatives.

See more →

GIVEAWAY: Share The Hustle for a chance to win a pair of AirPods Pro

Ambassador Rewards

Every referral you get gives you an additional entry in the giveaway. Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read. They’re running a giveaway today so if you sign up using my link, we’re both entered to win a pair of AirPods Pro. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

Share to Win →
How did you like today’s email?

hate it


love it
Today’s email was brought to you by Michael Waters, Caroline Dohack, and Trung Phan.
Editing by: Zachary “Charge me up!” Crockett, Les Thomas and Nomar Raymond (Directors of Quality Control).

Facebook Youtube Instagram Trends
251 KEARNY ST. STE 300, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94108, UNITED STATES • 415.506.7210 Never want to hear from us again? Break our hearts and unsubscribe.
The Hustle

Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

100% free. We don’t spam. Unsubscribe whenever.


How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

We’re shooting our shot…

Start your mornings with The Daily.

Get the freshly baked 5-minute newsletter every day except Saturdays.

It’s filled with the most interesting stories on business, tech, and the internet.

And written for innovators of every industry. Sign up for the news that slaps.

If you don’t like it, unsubscribe any time. Privacy policy.

[email-submission-form redirect-to-home="true" button-text="Join Free" include-trends-opt-in="true" id="main-signup-form" fail-url="" success-url="" default-source="thehustleco" default-campaign="home"]
<script type="text/javascript"> var onloadCallback = function() { grecaptcha.render('verify-your-humanity', { 'sitekey' : '6LdddrcZAAAAALyttpvOqiwQGwq5BNhgDz4tMQGE' }); }; function getCookieValue(a) { var b = document.cookie.match('(^|[^;]+)\\s*' + a + '\\s*=\\s*([^;]+)'); return b ? atob(decodeURIComponent(b.pop())) : ''; } function setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, searchParams, className, utmName, cookieName, defaultValue) { var el = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName(className)[0]; var existingVal = el.getAttribute('value'); var newVal = searchParams.get(utmName) || getCookieValue(cookieName); if ((existingVal == null || existingVal == '' || existingVal == defaultValue) && (newVal != null && newVal != '')) { el.setAttribute('value', newVal); } } function setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm( wrappingDiv, searchParams, className, utmName, defaultValue ) { var el = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName(className)[0]; if (el != null) { var existingVal = el.getAttribute("value"); var newVal = searchParams.get(utmName); if (newVal != null && newVal != "") { el.setAttribute("value", newVal); } } } function initForm() { var wrappingDivs = document.getElementsByClassName('email-submission'); wrappingDivs.forEach(wrappingDiv => { var sp = new URLSearchParams(; setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-source', 'utm_source', 'funnel_source', 'thehustleco'); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-campaign', 'utm_campaign', 'funnel_campaign', 'home'); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-medium', 'utm_medium', 'funnel_medium', ''); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-referral', 'ref', 'funnel_referral', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-a', 'a', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-c', 'c', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-o', 'o', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-oc', 'oc', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-e', 'e', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-f', 'f', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-r', 'r', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-t', 't', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s1', 's1', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s2', 's2', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s3', 's3', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s4', 's4', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s5', 's5', ''); var error_message = getCookieValue('funnel_error_message'); if (error_message && error_message.trim() != '') { var error = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName('funnel-error')[0]; var prev_email = getCookieValue('funnel_email'); error_message = prev_email + " is not valid. Please try again"; error.innerHTML = error_message; = ''; } }); if (false) { initCaptchaFormV2(); } } function initCaptchaFormV2() { var v3RecaptchaResponseEl = document.getElementById('recaptcha-response-v3'); v3RecaptchaResponseEl.parentNode.removeChild(v3RecaptchaResponseEl); var wrappingDiv = document.getElementById('main-signup-form'); var subForm = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName('email-submission')[0]; var captchaVersion = document.createElement('input'); captchaVersion.class = 'g-recaptcha hidden-input'; captchaVersion.type = 'hidden'; = 'g-recaptcha-response-v2'; captchaVersion.value = 'true'; subForm.appendChild(captchaVersion); var captchaEl = document.createElement('div'); = 'verify-your-humanity'; subForm.appendChild(captchaEl); var captchaApiScriptEl = document.createElement('script'); captchaApiScriptEl.src = ''; captchaApiScriptEl.async = true; captchaApiScriptEl.defer = true; document.head.appendChild(captchaApiScriptEl); } function appendCheckboxes() { var optInDivs = document.querySelectorAll('.trends-opt-in'); optInDivs.forEach(el => { if (el.getElementsByClassName('trends-opt-in-checkbox').length < 1) { var checkbox = document.createElement('input'); checkbox.setAttribute('class', 'trends-opt-in-checkbox'); checkbox.setAttribute('type', 'checkbox'); checkbox.setAttribute('name', 'trends_opt_in'); var label = document.createElement('label'); label.setAttribute('class', 'trends-opt-in-text'); label.textContent = "Yes, I'd like to receive updates on market opportunities before they explode from Trends by The Hustle"; el.appendChild(checkbox); el.appendChild(label);; } }) } window.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', (event) => { var funnel_email_cookie = getCookieValue('funnel_email'); if ( (true) && (funnel_email_cookie != null && funnel_email_cookie != '') ) { window.location.replace('/home'); } initForm(); if (true) { appendCheckboxes(); } }); </script> <div class="email-signup" id=main-signup-form> <div class="funnel-error" style="display:none;"></div> <form class="email-submission" action="" method="post" autocomplete="email"> <div class="email-form-wrap"> <input class="funnel-source hidden-input" type="hidden" name="source" value="thehustleco"> <input class="funnel-campaign hidden-input" type="hidden" name="campaign" value="home"> <input class="funnel-medium hidden-input" type="hidden" name="medium"> <input class="funnel-referral hidden-input" type="hidden" name="referral_code"> <input class="funnel-fail-url hidden-input" type="hidden" name="fail_url" value=""> <input class="funnel-a hidden-input" type="hidden" name="a" value=""> <input class="funnel-c hidden-input" type="hidden" name="c" value=""> <input class="funnel-o hidden-input" type="hidden" name="o" value=""> <input class="funnel-oc hidden-input" type="hidden" name="oc" value=""> <input class="funnel-e hidden-input" type="hidden" name="e" value=""> <input class="funnel-f hidden-input" type="hidden" name="f" value=""> <input class="funnel-r hidden-input" type="hidden" name="r" value=""> <input class="funnel-t hidden-input" type="hidden" name="t" value=""> <input class="funnel-s1 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s1" value=""> <input class="funnel-s2 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s2" value=""> <input class="funnel-s3 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s3" value=""> <input class="funnel-s4 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s4" value=""> <input class="funnel-s5 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s5" value=""> <input class="funnel-success-url hidden-input" type="hidden" name="success_url" value=""> <input id="recaptcha-response-v3" class="g-recaptcha hidden-input" type="hidden" name="g-recaptcha-response" value=""> <input class="signup-email" type="email" name="email" placeholder="Your email address" required autocomplete="email"> <input class="email-submit" type="submit" value="Join Free"> </div> <div class="trends-opt-in"></div> <div submit-success> <template type="amp-mustache"> <p class="c-message c-message--success">Thank you for subscribing.</p> </template> </div> <div submit-error> <template type="amp-mustache"> <p class="c-message c-message--failed">Your submission failed. Please try again!</p> </template> </div> </form> </div>