The Tech Company Brief by HackerNoon: A Clash with the Mainstream Media

April 24, 2024


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What happens when the world’s richest man gets caught in the crosshairs of one of the oldest and most reputable news organizations in the world? Fireworks 🎆

It was only recently that Reuters caused panic amongst Tesla investors by reporting that Elon Musk’s crown jewel was scrapping plans to produce a cheaper version of the company’s electric car, causing all hell to break loose, albeit briefly.

The news report prompted a decline in Tesla’s stock price (~6% or so), before Elon Musk jumped in and addressed the article, reversing the downward slide.

Musk’s response? Fake news.


According to Reuters, the reason why Tesla (allegedly) is no longer producing a cheaper electric vehicle is because it can’t compete with Chinese companies that are flooding the market with their own battery-powered cars. And to drive that point home, you need look no further than Xiaomi.

You see, the world’s third-largest seller of smartphones is also now doubling down as an electric vehicle manufacturer, in what Chief Executive Lei Jun calls the “last major entrepreneurship project” of his life. And boy, Lei has reason to be proud and die peacefully, because the company’s very first electric car, the SU7, has already garnered more than 100,000 orders.

The SU7 would retail at under $30,000, below Tesla’s Model 3 in China. Tesla could have competed with the car with its now-scrapped cheaper version, the Model 2 electric vehicle, which was supposedly going to retail at about $25,000. But that would have just been the tip of the iceberg since some Chinese cars go for as low as $10,000 and Musk’s company certainly cannot compete at THAT price point.

But all that’s beside the point; the real reason why everyone wanted Tesla to produce an inexpensive model was because the company’s growth depends so heavily on it. In corporate America, if number not going up, it going down. And at Tesla, number definitely going down, leaving everyone very, very unhappy.

Teslas aren’t cheap, and everyone knows it. And given that some of the higher-end models of the car are woefully out of the average consumer’s reach, it makes sense for the company to focus on bringing its prices down.

Abandoning plans for a cheaper Tesla would also serve as a reversal of Musk’s vision for the company, since the eccentric billionaire had always planned on creating a low-cost family car after using profits from luxury vehicles.

Anyway, news at Tesla hasn’t been all that positive ever since Reuters reported the company was (allegedly) no longer going to produce a cheaper electric car. Ironically, Reuters has once again been at the forefront of all the crazy stuff going down at Tesla:


Worryingly still, for Tesla at least, the company’s stock has lost 35% of its value since the start of the yearandis still one of the most shorted stocks in American history.


Meanwhile, Musk’s just sharing memes:


Tesla ranked #5 on HackerNoon’s Tech Company Rankings this week.


It’s a Bad Time to be an Alexa Developer😒

Were you one of the developers on Amazon‘s payroll to create apps for Alexa? Well, we’ve got bad news for you.

Amazon recently announced that it will stop paying developers to build apps for its Alexa voice-activated digital assistant at the end of June. The company will also no longer offer free credits that Alexa developers could use to power their programs with Amazon Web Services.

“These older programs have simply run their course, so we decided to sunset them,” an Amazon spokesperson was quoted as saying by media outlets.

Apps created for Alexa were called “skills” and saw some developers make hundreds if not thousands of dollars every month. The $100 monthly credit to Amazon Web Services was the icing on top.

But as with all things corporate America, Amazon saw that there really wasn’t enough interest in its program and certainly not enough of a return to justify paying peanuts from the billions it makes every year.

Oh well.

Amazon ranked #14 on HackerNoon’s __Tech Company Rankings__this week.


Spotify, Create a Playlist for HackerNoon!🎵

Ooh boy. I guess it was a matter of time before Spotify jumped in on the generative AI craze.

Well, the company’s take on generative AI is certainly more unique than others. If you’re a premium user in the UK and Australia, you can now access a feature that can let youj create music playlists using prompts.

That’s right, anything from places, animals, genres or mood, can be used to create a playlist. So something like, a playlist for cats or tigers or for rainy days or the Eiffel Tower are all game!

The tool will not produce results for non-music-related prompts, like current events or specific brands, however. So if you wanted a playlist for Louis Vuitton or Prada, you’re out of luck.

In Other News.. 📰

  • Bitcoin Could Surge to $120K on ‘Doomsday Rally,’ Trader Says — via CoinDesk
  • Elon Musk plans to charge new X users to enable posting — via TechCrunch
  • Facebook and Instagram’s response to deepfake porn is under review by oversight board  — via CNN
  • Baidu says AI chatbot ‘Ernie Bot’ has attracted 200 million users — via Reuters
  • “Top secret” is no longer the key to good intel in an AI world: report — via Axios
  • AMD rolls out its latest chips for AI PCs as competition with Nvidia and Intel heats up — via CNBC

And that’s a wrap! Don’t forget to share this newsletter with your family and friends! See y’all next week. PEACE! ☮️

— Sheharyar Khan, Editor, Business Tech @ HackerNoon

*All rankings are current as of Monday. To see how the rankings have changed, please visit HackerNoon’s Tech Company Rankings page.

This article was originally published by Sheharyar Khan on HackerNoon.


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