Click Monsters

"It was a click monster." I cringed, but she couldn't see me since we communicated primarily through Twitter DMs. "She" was (and still is) an editor at a mainstream financial media outlet. She was describing the web traffic generated by a story idea I gave her in 2019. It wasn't the first story idea she got from me, nor was it the first "click monster." I give my "click monsters" away because I don't want them. As regular readers are apprised, I'm not a fan of journalistic click-chasing. In fa

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8 thoughts on “Click Monsters

  1. I despise the man, but on the other side its hard to deny the novelty of Tesla products. I was the previous owner of a Powerwall. It automatically charged the battery to 100% when a storm was incoming ( to provide power in the event of an outage).

    Do other car companies have over the air updates for their vehicles?

    I’m not trying to be an apologist for the man, nor am I a fanboy, but I am buying this dip. I don’t think investors understand the power of software. (some) People are excited to work at Tesla, I doubt you would find the same for Chevy and Ford.

    1. Pretty sure all the major car makers provide over the air communication with out cars. I get monthly readouts on my car’s systems and real time notifications if there is a problem that can create peril. There are at least seven or eight computers in my car and the company can shut it off remotely if requested by suitable authorization.

      As to working for Tesla, I’ve read at least some tales of those who don’t really like working there. The reaction to Musk at Twitter was even worse, with thousands leaving and many having to be personally begged to return.

      I’m not buying this dip but will consider buying at $40. The rising discounts on the cars (-$7500 is the latest) will lead to discounts in the stock very soon.

  2. I often wondered how Tesla would do once BMW, Audi, Mercedes, General Motors and Ford got serious about producing electric cars. I think Musk will go broke at some point, as like, Trump, Putin etc he believes his own B.S!

  3. Tesla’s stock is starting to look attractive in the same way that Meta’s does. Like Meta’s metaverse, Elon’s Twitter/libertarian fiasco is an anchor weighing Tesla down that likely won’t impact their long-term viability. Both companies are reaching the limits of their existing products, but those products still provide a firm foundation of cash flows and any Fed pivot would provide a major tailwind.

    I’d still favor Meta because their founder isn’t actively antagonizing their customer base or regulators, but if Musk wises up, appoints a new Twitter CEO, and stops with the tweeting, Tesla could rally just as quickly as it dropped. As Musk noted, Tesla does have a lot of potential and people have short memories so Musk can still avoid permanent damage to the Tesla brand and maybe even get it back to a trillion dollar valuation in a few years.

    1. I thought about the Meta comparison a lot yesterday, which means I thought about buying Tesla outside of an index fund. Ultimately, I decided against it. One problem for me is that Tesla’s cars are starting to look dated. They haven’t really changed the design, and relatively speaking, there aren’t many of them on the road (compared to… well, compared to all the other kinds of cars there are out there). You could argue that speaks to the market opportunity, but it’s problematic to me. Tesla isn’t a new company. Further, if the personality behind the personality cult is determined to irritate ~55% of the entire adult population in the developed world by way of deliberately contentious social media editorializing, I have to worry, as an investor, about how that may affect sales going forward, particularly as other luxury brands go electric. Typically, my threshold for buying stocks outside of an index fund is a 70% or more drop in a blue chip company (or a company that has, at one time, been a blue chip). For Tesla, I’m afraid that threshold is probably more like 85%. I need a huge cushion, but it’s getting close. Regardless of how much I don’t care for his rhetoric, I’d buy Tesla shares down another 15%.

  4. TSLA still looks seriously overvalued to me, as in, another -50% to fair value based on consensus cash flows.

    A Model 3 is a fine car, but I wouldn’t buy one for 2X its fair value.

    Another risk to consider is that Musk may further divert his focus from Tesla, to SpaceX.

    His stake in SpaceX is, on paper, worth more than his stake in TSLA ($66BN vs $47BN, roughly, after the most recent SpaceX round and Musk’s most recent Tesla sales). SpaceX feels like a Musk-suited business: fundamentally an engineering problem, with little competition, and lots of government revenue. That was what Tesla was, during its best growth period (excluding the artificial pandemic growth surge), but Tesla is rapidly becoming a different sort of business. Twitter is, of course, totally not a Musk-suited business.

    Under this scenario, Musk could increasingly treat Tesla as his cash cow while turning his hype hose on Space X. Space X will block global warming! beam limitless power to Earth! mine untold riches from space! Have 5 billion internet customers! etc etc.

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