TIME Automakers

Tesla Motors’ New ‘D’ Cars Are All-Wheel Drive, Not Self-Drive

US-AUTO-IT-TECHNOLOGY-ENEGY-TESLA
Mark Ralston—AFP/Getty Images Tesla founder and chief executive Elon Musk unveils a new dual-engine chassis at the Hawthorne Airport in Los Angeles on Oct. 9, 2014

The “D” in Tesla’s big reveal stands not for “self-driving," but for “dual motor”

Tesla Motors on Thursday night disappointed some auto-market watchers’ expectations that it would put out a self-driving car — but the electric car juggernaut did announce the release of a higher tech version of its Model S car, with all-wheel drive and rapid acceleration rivaling that of luxury vehicles, USA Today reports.

The tripped-out new Model S will have all-wheel drive, plus acceleration of 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, says the newspaper. It can also reach a top speed of 155 mph, up from the Model S’s peak velocity of 130 mph.

“This car is nuts. It’s like taking off from a carrier deck,” Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, told press assembled at Los Angeles’ Hawthorne airport, where his commercial space travel company SpaceX is also based.

The “D” cars will also come with a package of new safety features, including the ability to read speed-limit signs and shift speeds, USA Today says.

Tesla will release three versions of the upgraded car under the “D” designation. The all-wheel drive version without the acceleration boost will be a $4,000 add-on to the basic and mid-level models of the Model S, which starts at $71,000, says the Associated Press. The base price for the all-wheel drive car with boosted acceleration, dubbed the P85D, is $120,000.

The P85D will go on sale in December, while the other versions will go on sale in February, the Associated Press reports.

Musk had fueled speculation about the announcement in Los Angeles with a tweet that the company would roll out something he referred to just as “the D,” plus “something else.” He also tweeted a photo that appeared to be of Tesla’s Model S car.

Some Tesla fans had speculated that the unveiling might be of a ramped-up version of the Model S — but observers had debated if the “D” referred to an automated driving feature, or all-wheel drive.

TIME Opinion

Microsoft’s CEO Tells Women It’s Bad Karma to Ask For a Raise

CEO Of Microsoft Satya Nadella Gives Lecture At Tsinghua University
ChinaFotoPress—ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella gives a lecture about dream, struggle and creation at Tsinghua University

According to Satya Nadella, good things come to women who don't ask

Updated Friday, Oct. 10

Gender pay gap got you down? Take a crash course from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s Etiquette Academy For Polite Young Ladies: Smile pretty and don’t be so unbecoming as to ask for a salary bump. After all, a raise is a lot like a male suitor, and if you pursue it, you might just drive it away.

“It’s not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise,” Read Write reports Nadella said Thursday at an event meant to celebrate women in the tech field. Late Thursday night, Nadella backtracked on his comments.

Unfortunately, that system that Nadella wants women to put all their blind trust in only provides them with 78 cents to the dollar of what men earn. And if we look closer at the women Nadella was specifically addressing, the reality is fairly grim: a gender pay gap exists on every level of STEM jobs. In Silicon Valley, men with bachelor’s degrees earn 40% more than their female educational counterparts, according to an analysis of Census Data from the 2014 Silicon Valley Index.

Of those with graduate or professional degrees, men earn 73% more than women. And that’s actually cause for celebration, since it’s a marked improvement from 2010, when that same demographic of men reportedly earned 97% more than women.

But take Nadella’s word for it: Good things come to women who don’t ask.

“That might be one of the initial ‘super powers’ that, quite frankly, women [who] don’t ask for a raise have,” he added. “It’s good karma. It will come back.”

Whatever the mystical inner workings of the human resources department at Microsoft may be, it’s a fact that other, less spiritually “enlightened” companies have been known to take advantage of the assumption that women are paid less. At an Australian tech conference in September, millionaire startup founder Evan Thornley unironically said that a perk of hiring women is that their salary is still “relatively cheap compared to what we would’ve had to pay someone less good of a different gender.” (Since there are only two genders, that means “someone less good who was a man.”)

Just in case the audience couldn’t hear him in the way back of the room, Thornley drove the point home by showing a slide titled “Lessons” that displayed a photo of two businesswomen high-fiving under the text, “Women: Like men, only cheaper.” Classy.

Since Nadella’s comments were shared and appropriately lambasted all over the Internet, the Microsoft head has tweeted that he did not properly articulate his own message.

But Nadella should know: He doesn’t need to ask us for our forgiveness and understanding about what he really meant to say. Karma will work that out.

See Also: Watch Sarah Silverman’s Risque Equal-Pay Ad

TIME Retail

Amazon Plans to Open Its First Brick-and-Mortar Store

Inside An Amazon.com Distribution Center On Cyber Monday
David Paul Morris—Bloomberg/Getty Images An employee loads a truck with boxes to be shipped at the Amazon.com Inc. distribution center in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012.

Store will open in time for the holiday shopping season

The world’s largest e-commerce company is finally going to embrace brick-and-mortar.

The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported that Amazon.com will open its first physical store in New York in time for the holiday shopping season, citing people familiar with its plans.

The store would be located on 34th Street in Manhattan, close to a shopping district that includes Macy’s flagship and serve as a mini-warehouse, with limited assortment used for same-day delivery within New York, returns and exchanges, and pickups of online orders, according to the Journal’s report.

Amazon was not immediately available for comment.

Sucharita Mulpuru, an e-commerce analyst at Forrester Research, tells the Fortune the space sounds “closer to a post-office” than a retail store and that it remains to be seen what economic boost the location will provide to the company.

“They need to figure out what resonates with shoppers with respect to Amazon in a physical store,” Mulpuru says. “Do they want to look at product? Do they just want to pick up product? Do they want to look at Amazon electronics equipment?”

Sources told the Journal that Amazon might use the space to showcase its own devices like the Kindle e-readers, Fire smartphone or Fire TV set-top box. If the New York store works out, it could serve as a model for a rollout to other U.S. cities, the Journal’s sources said.

The news comes at a time traditional brick and mortar chains like Macy’s and Neiman Marcus are testing same-day delivery, while others are trying out a service offered by Google. It also comes as those physical retailers get nimbler at using merchandise in their hundreds of stores to speed up delivery, turning them into de facto distribution centers to help them compete with the Amazon facilities that dot the country. For example, Macy’s is now using all 800 or so of its stores to help its online efforts, while others like Target are gearing up for that capability.

A number of online-only retailers have experimented with physical stores of late, showing the enduring value of brick-and-mortar locations. They include eyewear retailer Warby Parker, Bonobos, Birchbox, and Rent-the-Runway.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Autos

What to Expect When Elon Musk’s Tesla ‘Unveils the D’

Elon Musk hinted last week that Tesla would be announcing something big

Elon Musk, CEO of renowned electric car and battery maker Tesla and pronouncer of cryptic hints, tweeted last week that his company would be announcing something enigmatically called “the D” on Thursday. And also, “something else.”

Speculation about what “the D” and “something else” could possibly be has run the gamut, but there are a few salient theories that seem to make sense. Here’s a rundown of the two most likely things we’ll see Musk and Tesla reveal at 7 p.m. PST Thursday:

Tesla Model S with All-Wheel Drive

The vast majority of high-end luxury cars in the price range of the Tesla Model S (which is priced from $71,000 before tax credits or rebates) offer all-wheel drive, something the Model S lacks. Most luxury car shoppers expect all-wheel drive and are willing to pay a premium for it. The Model S is in the prime market for all-wheel drive, and the feature could add sales to its forecasted 35,000 deliveries this year.

Practically speaking, the added feature would be feasible as well: the company’s forthcoming Model X SUV will be all-wheel drive, which means that Tesla knows it’s a feature people want. Plus, there’s physical space in the Model S to fit a second drive unit in the front. Does “D” stand for “dual-motor”? We’ll find out soon.

Driverless Capability

Another rumor is that Tesla will announce some form of automated driving technology for the Model S. In a note to investors, Barclays analyst Brian Johnson said he expects a lane-keeping system for highway driving, and an unnamed source told Automotive News that Tesla will also add cruise control that matches the speed of other vehicles. Tesla doesn’t yet have collision avoidance technologies or pre-collision braking, features that could be added to the already high-tech Model S to make it even safer. And Bloomberg reported last year that Musk was discussing driverless technology with Google.

Like an all-wheel drive function, Tesla is in a pretty good position to add automated driving: “Also, it’s interesting that Tesla has a technical relationship with [Mercedes-Benz parent company] Daimler, which is pretty much on the forefront of autonomous systems,” said Matt DeLorenzo, managing editor of Kelley Blue Book, the LA Times reports.

Both of the Above

After all, it is “The D” and “something else.”

Neither of the Above

The rumors get a little out there, too, which is probably exactly what Musk wants from a marketing perspective. The “D” could stand for “drop top,” as in a convertible, said one analyst to the San Jose Mercury News. Another analyst said it could stand for “delivery,” like a truck for pizza or flower deliveries. Or ice cream!

Stay tuned for the announcement on Thursday at 7 p.m. PST.

TIME apps

Oh Snap! Ads Are Coming to Snapchat

Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit - Day 1
Michael Kovac—Getty Images Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel speaks onstage during "Disrupting Information and Communication" at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit on Oct. 8, 2014 in San Francisco.

The ads will be an "opt-in" feature in Snapchat Stories

Advertisements will be integrated into the mobile app Snapchat for the first time, co-founder and chief executive Evan Spiegel said Wednesday, marking a potentially big revenue source for the startup valued at $10 billion.

No date for the ads to begin appearing has been set, Spiegel said at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, the Wall Street Journal reports. But, he added, “we think they’re pretty cool” and users should expect them “soon” in Snapchat’s Stories feature. Snapchat is famous for its photos and messages that self-destruct in 10 seconds or less, but Stories allows users to feature a longer series of videos and pictures in slideshow form that stays up for 24 hours.

Spiegel, 24, said the ads will not be targeted and users will have the option to either opt-in and watch the ad or skip over it. Prior to paid ads, companies like Taco Bell have used Snapchat for marketing purposes.

[WSJ]

TIME advice

7 Tips for Handling Your First Lawsuit

Lawsuit
Courtney Keating—Getty Images

Step 1: stay calm

startupcollective

This story was originally published on StartupCollective.

It was January 26, 2012 and I was having a great morning — until I was abruptly confronted by a joint lawsuit filed by Facebook and the Washington Attorney General for several serious claims against our company. Before I even learned the details of the suit, they hosted an elaborate press conference that was all over the news. My first reaction was an adrenaline rush akin to being cornered by the king of the jungle at the end of a cliff. I did not sleep that night. Or the next.

This was my first lawsuit, and the gravity of the suit and its consequences left me nearly paralyzed. I knew none of the allegations were true, but I didn’t know what was going to happen next. The coming months were an insane roller coaster teetering between stress, anxiety and fear over the rising costs and uncertainty of it all. I just did not understand how it worked. Fortunately, by May 2012, we had wrapped up both lawsuits with very favorable outcomes. The Attorney General withdrew two-thirds of their claims after we threatened to dismiss the complaint, and the settlement shortly thereafter only served to cover their attorney fees and reinforce compliance steps we had taken long before the lawsuit.

Although it felt crazy at the time, I made it out of my first lawsuit alive and we came back stronger than ever. If you’re up against your first lawsuit, here are a few tips that will hopefully make life easier:

  1. Get a competent lawyer NOW. If you don’t already have a lawyer on retainer, this is what you need to work on immediately. Do not do anything before you hire a lawyer. And do not compromise on the lawyer you pick. It goes without saying that a great, experienced lawyer will greatly affect the outcome of a suit. In my opinion, you can find the best lawyers from referrals.
  2. Go crazy (but not too crazy). Give yourself a few days to feel everything you have to feel. It’s going to feel like a punch in the stomach at best and like the world is ending at worst. But the only way out is through. By dealing with your fear and emotions upfront, you will be able to remain productive and continue to manage your company while dealing with your lawsuit.
  3. Turn to your support system. Stay balanced by turning to your support system of friends and family who will be able to help you get through this mentally. To know that you have the support of your loved ones and can, to some extent, share this burden makes life so much easier.
  4. Learn how lawsuits work. Chances are, no one has told you that lawsuits don’t work exactly as you might think. It’s not necessarily about right and wrong, and the system doesn’t really care. It is unaffordable to fight right and wrong unless you have an unlimited cash reserve. Instead, it’s about finding an outcome that makes the most business sense for you. It is generally agreed that 95 percent of lawsuits settle prior to trial. In a lawsuit, there are usually multiple options for you to explore that will resolve or settle the case.
  5. Remain calm. During the lawsuit, the plaintiff may try to strong-arm you into a tight spot with fancy legalese. It has happened to me, and it throws me off every time. That is, until my lawyer told me they were blowing smoke. Expect to be thrown off and do your best to remain calm and stand your ground so you don’t make any hasty decisions.
  6. Be extra frugal. Unfortunately, a very painful part of a lawsuit is the cost. It is important to hope for the best but plan for the worst. That means if you don’t already have a significant cash reserve, start building one immediately and find ways you might be able to cut unnecessary expenses in the business.
  7. Don’t forget to rebuild. Once your first lawsuit is over, another difficult part of the journey begins. For me, it was rebuilding my brand and myself. I took a step back and reevaluated what I was building towards until I was happy with the answer. Fortunately, nothing changed aside from an increased level of determination and a passion to take my company to new heights. We also thanked those clients who stood by us during the lawsuit, who had helped further strengthen our position in the industry even while facing these serious charges.

At the end of the day, unyielding perseverance and determination will allow you to overcome whatever you’re up against. The first lawsuit will make you feel like the world is set against you; however, once you’re done with this battle you’ll realize it’s just a normal part of business. Welcome to the big leagues — you’ve been noticed.

Fehzan Ali is the co-founder & CEO of Adscend Media and is responsible for driving and implementing the strategic vision of the Company. He is an industry thought leader, providing editorial content about innovative ad-based solutions.

TIME Startups

5 Reasons You Want to Become a ‘Growth Hacker’

Startup
Hero Images—Getty Images/Hero Images

Short answer: dramatic impact on business growth

startupcollective

This story was originally published on StartupCollective.

I’m elbow to elbow with everyone in a room packed with around 180 people, and all I can hear is the dizzying murmur of words like “SEM” and “User Acquisition Costs.” One person I meet is an engineer at a company that is changing the mattress industry by selling directly online to the consumer. Another person is a communications professional from England who recently moved to New York City to find opportunities as a marketer for startups.

We’re all here, at a GrowHack meetup in New York City hosted by Conrad Wadowski, to hear Sean Ellis speak about growth hacking. Despite our diverse backgrounds, we all want to learn about the little things we can do that can have a dramatic impact on business growth. Sean was the first marketer at Dropbox, Lookout, Xobni, and led marketing teams at companies like LogMeIn and Uproar through IPO filings. He now runs a successful data insights startup called Qualaroo, and is credited with coining the term “growth hacker” in his post, Find a Growth Hacker for your Startup.

Sean revealed unique insights about growth strategies and reassurance to all those working hard every day to grow their business.

First, Hustle to Get Traction

There was natural curiosity about how Dropbox became what it is today. Sean revealed that in the beginning, it was all about hustling. Drew Houston first created a video with some clever tongue-in-cheek humor that caught on with the tech crowd. They also gamed Digg and Reddit to get more exposure. In fact, their efforts landed them on the front page of Digg, which in its heyday, could drive meaningful traffic to a site.

Such hustle is not uncommon among startup stories. Whitney Wolfe, co-founder of Tinder, visited sororities to get girls on Tinder. Shortly after, she went to their neighboring fraternities, which then gladly joined. The founders of Flickr commented on photos regularly in order to create an engaged community.

Our first product, EasyBib, now has 40 million yearly users. We started without any in 2001. We invaded AOL chatrooms to talk about our product, spammed thousands of teachers individually, and sent emails to dozens of publications. We ended up being published on the front page of the business section of the Chicago Tribune.

Optimize Your Product for Marketing

Sean talked about how Dropbox had a strong focus on making their product do the marketing for them. In particular, they introduced the concept of a dual reward: When you invite someone to access your Dropbox, they receive 250MB of free space, and so do you. Therefore, the more people used Dropbox, the more beneficial it was.

But the Dropbox team made their product even stickier. When someone you shared a Dropbox folder with created an account, you would be pleasantly notified that you have more memory. If you’re familiar with Nir Eyal’s hook methodology, such variable rewards keep you highly engaged in a product. Seeing the success of the referral program, the Dropbox team doubled down on the idea by strategically placing prompts to share throughout the product, testing what would make it more shareable.

Do Whatever It Takes to Learn About Your Users

Sean advocated that every marketer should be surveying their audience. At his past companies, he didn’t think on his own how to position the product. Instead, he would ask users how they would describe it to a friend, and what one word they would use to describe the product. Having gained this insight, he would then test and iterate on messaging.

Surveying goes beyond the purpose of understanding messaging. Sean would look at a user funnel and identify where drop-offs existed. He would then reach out to those who dropped off at a particular point to understand why. He cited an example where LogMeIn users from a new channel were dropping off on a free offer. It turns out they they thought the offer was too good to be true. As result, Sean’s team created an option to download a trial of the premium version or download the free version, which increased conversion by the tune of 300 percent.

More importantly, Sean would survey to benchmark whether users found value in the product, and why or why not. He would utilize that information to better demonstrate the product’s value, and survey again to gauge if his changes were improving upon the initial benchmark.

In my experience, talking to the customer is invaluable. When we show someone our new GetCourse product, we ask how they would describe the product, and why they would recommend it to a friend. These questions have helped us understand how we should position the product. To learn more about surveying, ConversionXL has a great post on the best questions to ask.

Think Beyond Content

Sean created a community website to drive conversation around the plethora of great marketing content circulating the Internet. His ultimate goal was to educate readers of GrowthHackers about his Qualaroo product. What’s fascinating is that Sean realized that in order to make Qualaroo stand out, he would have to go beyond pumping out content like all his peers in the space. He could distinguish his efforts through curation and technology.

GrowthHackers exceeded expectations. Not only did it provide exposure to Qualaroo as intended, but the community that rallied around it became so strong that GrowthHackers has the potential of becoming it’s own business. Sean now hosts conferences with the Growth Hackers brand.

Indeed, the future of content marketing is thinking beyond content. Above all else, Sean constantly reminded the audience of the importance of testing your ideas, which is a core tenant of growth hacking. His lessons aren’t textbook, they’re tested.

Neal Taparia is Co-CEO of Imagine Easy Solutions. This post originally appeared on the author’s Forbes column.

TIME Careers & Workplace

You Should Avoid These Work Mistakes at All Costs

desk office
Getty Images

If you want to build better communication skills, a good first step is identifying and avoiding these common problems

This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published at Inc.com.

By Lolly Daskal

Everyone communicates and occasionally misspeaks. But the best leaders, the greatest bosses, and the entrepreneurs we admire the most are the ones who take great care with their communication.

Here are some common communication mistakes we are all guilty of and it would be best to avoid:

One-size-fits-all communication. When you try to communicate to a group of people, you may notice that some get it right away while others need more explaining. Different people have different needs and expectations. Consider the range of learning styles of those you’re communicating with and plan a communication strategy that addresses them all.

Lack of attention to tone. Often in times of crises, you may have an edgy tone. Tone is important at any time, but especially when in the middle of a challenge. No matter what the circumstances, learn to pay attention to tone. One trick: Before you speak, pause and take a breath. Then communicate what needs to be said.

Avoiding the difficult conversation. Everybody faces conflict, and avoiding conflict does not make it go away. Learn how to plan for and carry out a difficult conversation by providing clear and actionable feedback, even when it is difficult for you.

Holding back what’s on your mind. Speaking up is about stating what you need while still considering the wants and needs of others. Speak clearly and make your requests known, gently but with self-confidence, while maintaining good relationships.

Reacting instead of responding. When it’s your impulse to react with anger and frustration, wait. Take a deep breath and consider all the facts (including those you may not know). When you pause to reflect, you can respond instead of react.

Indulging in gossip. Unfounded talk not only ruins reputations but also erodes trust. Even if it’s not intended to be cruel, it can have devastating consequences. Leave no place for gossip, innuendo, or speculation if you want to be trusted and esteemed as a communicator (and, for that matter, as a human being).

Closing your mind. In today’s workplace, there are all kinds of religions, cultures, and ethnicity orientations. Excluding any of them would reflect a closed-minded point of view. Instead, open your heart and begin to embrace diversity. When you embrace, you improve your communication via a diverse range of experiences and creativity benefiting all.

Speaking more and listening less. To stay on top of any situation, stop speaking and listen. When you listen more than you speak, you open yourself up to learning and empathy–which in turn help you accomplish more.

Thinking you are being understood. Take the time to check that people have understood your message. It seems like a simple thing, but misinterpretations abound and can have terrible consequences.

Communication is a precious commodity. When you can avoid these fundamental blunders, it will benefit you, your communication, your leadership, your effectiveness, your success, and your business.

TIME Companies

Icahn to Apple: You’re Too Cheap

Carl Icahn, Chairman, Icahn Enterprises at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference in New York in June 2014.
Heidi Gutman—CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images Carl Icahn, Chairman, Icahn Enterprises at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference in New York in June 2014.

Carl Icahn once again is beating the Apple buyback drum.

Apples for sale. Half priced!

That’s the message today from Carl Icahn, in a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook that he first teased yesterday. The activist investor believes that Apple AAPL 2.08% stock is trading at a P/E multiple of less than half of where it should be for fiscal 2015, and therefore wants the company to significantly increase its stock buyback program.

To be sure, this is not a surprise. Icahn first began agitating for Apple to buy back more stock nearly one year ago, when he first disclosed a position in the company. He even went so far as to launch a proxy campaign, but backed off after the company repurchased around $14 billion of shares. Sure it was a mere $136 billion less than what Icahn had wanted, but he got good value from the ensuing stock spike.

Since then, Icahn has kept accumulating Apple shares. He now holds around 53 million of them, giving him just shy of a 1% stake in the company. This time around, he is not providing a specific amount of shares he wants Apple to repurchase, but is promising that he would not sell any of his in a tender offer.

A few other highlights from Icahn’s letter, which you can read in full by going here.

  • “Given historically high retention rates, we assume existing iPhone users will continue to act like an annuity, choosing to stay with the iPhone each time they upgrade.”
  • “We expect the impact of the acquisition of Beats and accessory growth moving forward to more than offset the continued decline of iPod, which is already relatively immaterial to net sales.”
  • “Over the next three years, we expect the Apple Watch to have a significant impact on Apple’s growth…As an accessory to the iPhone (model 5 or thereafter), we believe we have included in our forecast sales for the Apple Watch that imply a reasonable attach rate to the iPhone, with unit sales volume resembling that of the iPad in scale, and ramping at a similar incline, selling 20 million units in FY 2015, 45 million units in FY 2016, 72.5 million units in 2017.”
  • “While Apple has not announced plans for a TV set and may never do so, we believe we have good enough reason to expect the introduction of an UltraHD TV set in FY 2016.”

Apple shares are up nearly 1% in premarket trading.

This post originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME People

Meet the Top 40 Business Leaders Under 40

From the Fortune 40 Under 40

Fortune’s 40 Under 40 is an annual list celebrating the young superstars rocking the business world across sectors from travel to energy to social media. This year’s 40 Under 40 was announced Thursday morning, and it’s jam-packed with young notables from Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer.

Scroll through some of Fortune’s 40 Under 40 above. For the full list, visit Fortune.com.

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