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Tesla Announces Layoffs
Elon Musk sent a 1:00 AM email to Tesla employees that has commentators questioning the future of the company. The email announced a seven percent reduction in full-time employees, citing a need to reduce the costs of Tesla’s vehicles and batteries, which are more expensive than the brand’s gas-powered competition. Many consider Musk’s email to be demonstrative of a lack of employee empathy. From the email:
“Attempting to build affordable clean energy products at scale necessarily requires extreme effort and relentless creativity, but succeeding in our mission is essential to ensure that the future is good, so we must do everything we can to advance the cause.”
Zappos Targets a Niche Market in eRetail
In order to win the loyalty of runners, a segment of the shoe-buying public known for purchasing frequently and offering brand loyalty, Amazon-owned brand Zappos launched the Run-on-One program, which seeks to create personalized experience for online shoppers that replicates the authentic customer experiences that occur in communities of runners. The program reaches out in several ways, including personal phone calls. This effort is in keeping with a broader trend to capture some of the in-store experiences across industries.
Virgin Partners with Under Armour to . . . Send You to Space?
That’s correct. For $250,000 Virgin is offering to send someone to space. Whoever buys the ticket to the final frontier will be decked out in an Under Armour spacesuit. We’ve seen partnerships do some zany stuff, but this definitely takes the cake. It is (and we can say this with perfect objectivity) a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and is bound to keep both brands in the public’s mind.
98point6 Raises $86 Million to Compete with Amazon in Healthcare
98point6, a startup based in Seattle, has launched its on-demand primary care program nationwide. The service, which does not require health insurance, covers consultation, diagnosis, and treatment. Amazon has been developing a similar service, but has yet to launch. The former head of Amazon Prime, Rob Schweitzer, plays a leading role at 98Point6.
“Healthcare is really hard,” Schwietzer said. “But I do believe that people shouldn’t have to make decisions about whether they should go see a doctor when they need one or go buy groceries for their family.”
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