Nio’s Battery Swapping Versus Tesla’s Charging Station, Which Is Better?

If Nio can improve the range of Nio cars’ batteries by a lot, then Nio’s battery swapping stations will make Nio cars the king of electric vehicle market! Right now, Nio plans to install more battery swapping stations across China! This means more Chinese Nio car owners will not have to wait for their cars to be charged up because battery swapping takes only around three to four minutes of wait time. Check out the video right after the break to see Nio’s battery swapping in action.

So, if Nio cars can run on a longer range battery, Nio car owners don’t have to visit battery swapping station that often. With less Nio cars to have battery swapped out in Nio’s battery swapping station, the less crowded the battery swapping station can be — meaning the atmosphere can be more relaxing and friendly!

This is why I think as long Nio can improve the battery range of Nio cars, the better prospect of a battery swapping station as the default mode for getting an EV onto the road could become. I think at the moment, battery swapping station is already superior to any charging station out there. This is why I think Tesla has got to watch out for Nio because Nio could make Tesla’s charging station a big negative for upcoming EV owners in China.

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Can The Chinese Push For Robust AI Development Forces The World To See Rapid Job Losses?

In the video right after the break, David Harvey said that it seems the Chinese will become the top dog of capitalism which would dictate how the future of capitalism would become. This is the first time I’ve heard of the man and so I don’t know much about him. Nonetheless, much of what he says in the video seems to make a lot of sense. Near the end of the video, he argues China, as a top dog capitalist, decides that the future of capitalism is all about Artificial Intelligence. Then he goes on to say that AI is all about removing the labor from the production process.

Let’s say that David Harvey is correct about how the Chinese will push the world to speed up the development of AI, then we have to ask ourselves how many more jobs we will see the world will lose? Furthermore, it’s not only in the United States that we will see people who are not going to be able to work to support themselves, but people of the whole world will experience the same dire situation! This means even if whoever in the United States decides to move across the sea to find a job won’t be able to do so! Basically, even if you have the mean and the will, you still won’t make it in a future where hardware and software will overtake human labors through AI developments!

Can Lyft Be A Good Investment?

Lyft has filed S-1 for IPO on March 18th of this year (2019). Since Lyft isn’t yet a public company, we can’t really know the true numbers of Lyft’s finance. Nevertheless, leaked information tells us that although Lyft revenues are increasing tremendously it is also losing a lot of money on operational and R&D costs. Leaked information may not be accurate at all, but if the information is accurate Lyft may have to struggle a lot before it can become a profitable company.

According to the information we have Lyft is operating at a loss of $911 million net loss in 2018. Net loss is very important because a net loss tells us that Lyft isn’t a profitable company yet. It seems Lyft’s revenues are not able to cover the operating and R&D costs. The general definition of a net loss is that a total of expenses is bigger than a total of revenues.

Nevertheless, Lyft seems to boost its revenues very fast! In 2016, Lyft’s revenues were totaled at $343 million, but if the information is correct in 2018 Lyft’s revenues are totaled at $2.2 billion. If one looks at this closer, it seems Lyft has a chance of making it if the revenues are going to continue to go through this positive, exploding trajectory for some time to come.

Lyft is considering to invest more in R&D in regards to rolling out a self-driving fleet. If Lyft can get behind a self-driving fleet enormously and get the technology to work for real, then I think Lyft has a big chance to cut costs tremendously. If revenues continue to pick up, eating away Uber’s market share, and cut costing measures are going to be effective — Lyft could very well become a profitable company.

Lyft and Uber are competing for the same market, and both of these companies are driving Taxis out of business. Since Lyft and Uber are able to do this to Taxis, we can tell that companies like Amazon, Google, and even the car rentals and car dealerships themselves could get into the same act as Lyft and Uber when self-driving becomes a reality. This could be a very crowded market, and if my intuition is accurate it could mean Lyft and Uber may have a very tough market to operate in as time goes on. So the profits/revenues Lyft is having now could very well dwindle in the future!

Self-driving will change how people commute in the future. Car dealerships can jump into the act of allowing people to hail for self-driving cars. Perhaps, people of the future will not buy cars as much since they can just hail for a self-driving car? Google and other big tech companies can also create apps to allow the sharing of self-driving cars like how we have bike-sharing now. This could mean companies like Google don’t have to own a fleet of self-driving cars to be in the business of self-driving car-hailing. It’s like people to people self-dealing business but using a futuristic app of a huge tech giant where the tech giant gets to keep a small portion of the profit.

In summary and in truth, I’m not very sure if Lyft could be a good investment or not. Leaked info tells us that the company got a good chance of becoming profitable since the revenues keep on exploding to the positive territory — but the company has to be able to keep the operating and R&D costs down eventually! Nevertheless, the market which Lyft is operating in is possibly getting very crowded because of the self-driving car technology. If by the time the market gets so crowded and yet Lyft isn’t becoming profitable, then Lyft could find itself in a world of hurt! Personally, if I ever want to invest in Lyft, I won’t make it as one of my long term investments! If I ever invest in Lyft, I may have to watch out for the actions of other companies in the car-hailing market very closely. I may also have to watch out for new players that could enter the car-hailing market because new players could dilute the profitability of car-hailing market.

Tesla’s Online Selling Only Is A Desperate Move?

Tesla announces that it will close most dealerships to cut costs and to mainly sell cars online. To know more about this new development on Tesla’s online car sale only you can read this article “Tesla Online Sales — Bigger News Than $35,000 Model 3.” What I think about this?

So, I don’t own any Tesla car, but I’m driving a Toyota! My Toyota is a hybrid car, and so I don’t trust auto mechanic from auto mechanic shops. I’ve always brought my car into the Toyota dealership. Of course, sometimes I think I do have to pay a little bit more in the dealership than at the auto mechanic shop. Nevertheless, I’m pretty lucky because the Toyota dealership I go to never upsells me. Sometimes, I even persuade them to help me maintain my car, and this is really an ironic thing to do.

For an example, two weeks ago, I carelessly drove over a curb in Dunkin Donut! Yep, that was a stupid thing to do, but it could happen to the best of us. I brought my car into Toyota dealership to have a quick check. They ask me how the car was driving. I said it felt alright, but I need a quick check anyway. They gave me a free check and told me everything was alright. I had to persuade them to do a car alignment anyway.

Now, it seems I have digressed but I assure you I’ve not! How? Let’s say I currently own a Tesla and want to do something similar to the situation above, but how am I going to do so if all Tesla’s dealerships are closing?

I think it’s a bad move for Tesla to sell cars online only! Furthermore, if Tesla is in a good financial position, it does not have to do this! Perhaps, it should close only the dealerships that do not perform in selling cars, but it should not close all stores. I’ve heard that model 3 is not that great since many sought after options do not make into Tesla model 3. One example is that Tesla model 3 does not carry leather seats! Am I wrong on this? If I’m not then Tesla model 3 isn’t that appealing!

Tesla is trying to cut costs, closing stores/dealerships and reducing prices for Tesla models. All these measures could be a good thing for prolonging Tesla’s lifespan. Nonetheless, this does not mean Tesla is in a healthy condition! Some cost-cutting measures such as closing all brick and mortar stores are quite dubious in my opinion!

Can Historical Memories Shape A Future?

Can historical memories shape a future? In my opinion, historical memories could play a great role in shaping the direction of a future even though on the surface we may not see such things happen. For an example, the horrific revenge of the Soviet Union against Germany as Soviet Union troops entered Germany when the Nazi continuedly retreated as the WWII winded down. This pushed Germany to fight the Soviet Union harder and preferred to surrender to the allies.

The Soviet Union’s behavior right after WWII is a great example of why the Soviet Union lost the cold war according to Dr. Citino. If I remembered correctly he said something as such in the YouTube video above. I guess if he is right on this perspective of history, we have a lesson to learn here!

I guess the lesson of history in the context of this blog post is that a careless single victory in the present doesn’t mean much if it could cause long term pain in the future! For an example, we have multiple nuclear powers in the world as we speak, but if any one of them uses nuclear weapons carelessly, this could lead to a future that would not be very favorable for such a power.

I wonder, could Japan be closer to the United States and prevent China historic rise if the United States had won WWII against Japan without nuking Japan? In the video right after the break, Parag Khanna suggests that Japan’s heavied investments into China had contributed today stronger China!

Perhaps, I’m reading into things that simply aren’t there, but I have a feeling that Japan does want China to be quite strong to hedge against the United States. Perhaps, they fear the will of using nuclear weapons by the United States. I don’t see any reason for the United States to ever nuke Japan again. but I feel that Japan may have a long memory of it being nuked by the United States. Sure, it’s outrageous to think that Japan is unfaithful to the United States since it’s still a very close ally to the United States. Nonetheless, I’m sure there must be a thinking out there like this, and so we can’t just totally ignore the possibility!

In summary, I think a victor should not be as ruthless as Genghis Khan or the Soviet Union, because such a ruthless victor would not be able to win the respect of the surrendered power! On the surface, the surrendered power may acquiesce to the demands of the victor, but inside the surrendered power could have a feeling of long term ill will. I think today nuclear powers should not use their nuclear weapons carelessly no matter how precise and strategic their nuclear weapons could become because I think such powerful weapons could create unending hatred of one people or power to another!

Can Andrew Yang Save The Malls of America?

I don’t know much about JCPenney at all since I don’t shop there. Nonetheless, I couldn’t help but want to talk about it a bit. Recently, we have seen how Sears is struggling with its own survival, and so it is not a surprise for us to see JCPenney may fall into this same situation as Sears. Basically, if JCPenney isn’t able to modernize its own business model to fight against online giants like Amazon, JCPenney may as well eventually be just a memory.

I look at JCPenney’s stock today and I’m seeing it’s being listed around $1.28 a share. This used to be $80 stock back in 1999 and in 2006. So, the question is, what has changed?

Has JCPenney fallen victim to online giants like Amazon? I partly think so but not really 100% convinced that it is 100% the fault of online giants. If you take a look at Walmart, it doesn’t have to beat Amazon on the online platform to stay profitable! So, why Sears and JCPenney look so outdated?

I notice Kohls has done a very good job through its online platform, and so I think JCPenney could learn a thing or two from Kohls. Then again, Walmart still does rather well with its traditional bricks and mortar stores. So, perhaps it’s the combination of well managed both offline and online that could save brands like JCPenney?

Then we also have to look at a bigger picture such as why people don’t go to the mall as often as before! Sure, we can say it’s the online giants that kill off the malls! Nonetheless, the malls do have benefits such as entertainment and so forth. I notice in other countries such as in China, the malls are still very vibrant! Furthermore, Chinese do buy stuff through online platforms a lot. So, why malls in China are vibrant still?

I guess, if the malls are vibrant, stores like JCPenney and Sears could survive since they locate inside most malls! Nonetheless, as malls are closing down or getting empty, I don’t see how JCPenney and Sears and so forth could stay profitable when customers don’t even show up!

Here is the shot in the dark part! Could it be that our economy is doing poorly, people are no longer having a job for life but a job for a gig, and they shop online more — all of these factors come together to form a perfect storm which is killing off malls across America? The bigger issue is of course why are people no longer be able to have a job that they could work without worrying about being replaced by automation? Yes, automation is going to replace more people from their jobs!

Andrew Yang, 2020 presidential candidate for the Democrats, suggests that soon truck drivers, cashiers, burger flippers, lawyers, call center operators and a lot more will be replaced by AI and automation. Sure, things don’t look dramatic now since your neighbor may still have a normal job. Nonetheless, if the trucking business could save $160 some billion of dollars per year to just automate the trucks and get rid all of the truck drivers, why do you think this is not a good idea for them to do so? Perhaps, even Lyft and Uber drivers in the future will be replaced by self-driving, smart AI car too!

So, if it’s true that machines and software will eventually kill more jobs, then people will, of course, have less money to spend at shopping centers and malls. Do you think this will affect online platforms eventually? To me, it’s a common sense that the online platforms will also be affected by a poorer economy! Nonetheless, online platforms like Amazon could survive better since they got convenience on its side. For an example, frequent sales are just a few clicks away!

Sure, we can say that we like to blame the economy for our problems, but the truth is that the advance of technology and the convenience of shopping through online platforms have created a formula in which we are now seeing the decay of our economy. So, if we have a poorer economy, how can we not blame it on the problems that we see, right?

Andrew Yang suggests that through “Freedom Dividend” the government can help prepare the economy for a soft landing when the advance of AI and automation gets worse in the coming years. Of course, you can go on YouTube to watch his videos and see a more fuller explanation of his Universal Basic Income “Freedom Dividend” idea. Here, my shot in the dark is that I think even outdated stores like JCPenney could survive in a good economy! Perhaps, “Freedom Dividend” may offer people more options so they could wander their way into one of the JCPenney stores!

Andrew Yang said that “Freedom Dividend” will not be able to solve the bigger issues that the AI and automation spring forth. So, he also suggests in addition to “Freedom Dividend,” he also wants to see Medicare for all. Furthermore, he wants to abolish the usage of GDP as a measuring stick for how healthy an economy is. Instead, he wants to create a better measuring stick for the economy which measures environment sustainability, nutrition health of children, and so forth to capitalize on human well being instead of capitalizing the market caps, stock prices, and so forth. He thinks as AI and automation spring forth, the GDP number could go to the moon but more people will get fired from their jobs. Think about this, machines produce more things that will be counted toward the GDP number but the humans are not going to be able to participate in producing this number!

In summary, can Andrew Yang save the malls of America? If he can save the malls of America, this means he can save JCPenney and Sears and eventually the economy itself! Can his idea of “Freedom Dividend” provide a soft landing for the future economy where humans won’t be able to participate in producing things that can be counted as a contribution toward the GDP number? I’m very curious about all of this!