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Text / sea monster
Source: brain polar body (ID: unity007)
If you follow Elon Musk on twitter, you’ll know how much he loves to make trouble.
Recently, musk seized another opportunity to use the skill of ridicule at “old enemy” Bezos. In a news feed that Amazon bought zoox, the world’s richest man, he called the world’s richest man a “copycat.”.
The meaning of “cat” is similar to “dog” in the Chinese context. As a melon eater, how can we understand this “case”?
Musk mocked Bezos with “plagiarism cat”. On the one hand, musk used this stem when mocking blue origin’s space Internet Project last year; on the other hand, the zoox purchased by Amazon was sued by Tesla a a year ago. The content is that zoox and its four employees poached from Tesla stole a large number of trade secrets and technical documents, and finally With the loss of zoox compensation, the final settlement ended, and now Amazon acquired zoox, naturally became Musk’s “plagiarist”.
Now, once a small opponent into the arms of a stronger opponent, musk should be very unhappy.
At the beginning of June, musk directly bombarded Bezos on twitter because he supported a writer who shared the same views but was refused to publish a novel about “refuting rumors” of the new coronavirus. Musk called this behavior “Crazy”, “Amazon’s monopoly is wrong”, and suggested that “it’s time to split Amazon”.
It can be seen that musk is quite angry and dissatisfied with Bezos and Amazon. You know, it is a very serious matter in the United States to stir up the topic of “monopoly” and “separation”. On the same day, trump also publicly accused Amazon of causing many U.S. retailers to go bankrupt, and Musk’s provocation was even more likely to add fuel to the flames. On the same day, Amazon stock index closed up and fell by 0.72%, the total market value evaporated by $8.8 billion, and Bezos’s worth was nearly $1 billion less.
In fact, they have been feuding for a long time. One is the Silicon Valley iron man, which leads the new energy vehicles, and the other is the old wall street gun who controls the world’s largest e-commerce. However, the two men, who seem to be in different positions, have been fighting together because of their common interest in “aerospace industry”, which has opened up a “cross air curse” mode for many years.
The vast space,
Can’t accommodate two private space companies?
Bezos and musk, both space enthusiasts, seem to have had a relatively friendly honeymoon.
Bezos founded blue origin, a commercial space operations company, as early as 2000. In 2002, after failing to negotiate with Russia to buy rocket technology, musk founded his own SpaceX company.
In 2004, blue origin and SpaceX, which were in the early stage of development, did not realize that each other would become the biggest rivals after that. This year, musk and Bezos also had a meal alone. It is said that they had a good talk.
But afterwards, it was found that the gap had already appeared. Musk talked about the meeting, talked about Bezos’s mistake in rocket technology, and said his suggestions were ignored. When Bezos tweeted affectionately that “this is my best friend and I are having an appointment”, musk immediately slapped his face and said, “you’d better delete it.”
The competition between the two companies is gradually emerging. First, blue origin took ray miryekta, the top expert of SpaceX, with great efforts, which opened the prelude to the dispute between Bezos and musk. At that time, musk, who was hurt in his heart, once set up an e-mail worry device inside the company to guard against his opponent’s poaching behavior.
In 2013, the two sides competed for the lease of Launch Pad 39A of Kennedy Space Center opened by NASA, and finally won by signing a 20-year exclusive lease by SpaceX. Since then, both sides began to sneer at each other in every possible opportunity.
When blue origin completed the recycling of reusable rockets in 2015, Bezos praised it as “strange, rocket recycling”. Musk couldn’t help but respond. What’s strange about this? Our rocket was able to do it three years ago. In December of the same year, SpaceX successfully recovered the first orbital rocket booster, and Bezos “praised” to send his blessing, but hinted that SpaceX was a latecomer. Musk resented Bezos as “extremely mean”. Later, musk was asked about Bezos in an interview with the BBC, and he directly ignored “who is this man?”
In an interview in February last year, Bezos responded to Musk’s space goal of colonizing Mars, saying that his plan was “boring.” “if you want to go to Mars, you’d better go to the top of Mount Everest for a year. Compared with Mars, it’s paradise.”.
This kind of mutual connection between the open and the secret has continued until now. However, both in terms of public opinion and in terms of actual business progress, Musk’s SpaceX has to beat Bezos’ Blue origin.
Fundamentally, it has to do with the style of the two founders. Musk is bold and aggressive, and he can blow up a $60 million rocket to test the escape system. Bezos is an old-fashioned style, believing in the wisdom of “slow is smooth, smooth is fast”. He spends US $1 billion every year to support space exploration, but blue origin lags far behind SpaceX in the number of launches. So far, SpaceX has completed more than 70 commercial rocket launches.
Now, the two companies are competing for the space Internet program and the moon landing program.
Musk created Starlink for SpaceX, which plans to launch 12000 communication satellites into low earth orbit. Now, the total number of successfully linked satellites has reached 538, and the planned increase to 42000 satellites is ambitious. The blue origin satellite launch plan, project Kuiper, plans to launch 3236 broadband communication satellites into Leo to provide high-speed Internet for remote areas.
But obviously, both the number of launches and the launch progress are far lower than the star chain. No wonder musk ridiculed it as “plagiarism”.
For lunar exploration, SpaceX, blue origin and another dynetics company have received huge orders from NASA at the same time. SpaceX plans to use the self-developed big Falcon rocket, and the candidate lander is also a self-developed starship starship. At the end of May, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft successfully completed its first commercial manned space launch, giving musk more confidence and courage to conquer space.
Blue origin proposed the blue moon project, which aims to establish permanent human settlements on the moon and launch a mission to land on the moon within the next five years. However, the blue origin relies on the composite team to win the bid. It is known as the “national team” because of the cooperation with three other companies. This makes the contest a bit of a mystery.
Now, who can be selected into NASA’s lunar landing program is an important opportunity to determine whether the two sides can lead in the space exploration program in the future.
No matter what the result is, in these years of worrying about the “cause of heaven”, musk and Bezos’ hatred has become deeper and deeper. As we can see at the beginning, musk relentlessly put the war into the field of autonomous driving.
In the autopilot track, kill a strong opponent
Before the outbreak, zoox, a star start-up in the field of automatic driving, had a valuation of $3.2 billion according to the financing situation. Now Bezos has acquired zoox with an ultra-low discount of $1.2 billion, which can be said to be earned as soon as you buy it.
Amazon’s frequent moves in the field of autonomous driving and electric vehicles once again touched Musk’s sensitive nerves. Musk directly stood up and once again accused Bezos of “plagiarism”. On the one hand, he had the confidence of a big man in the electric vehicle industry, on the other hand, he saw Amazon as a possible strong threat in the future.
And that’s exactly what happened. Bezos, who has always kept a low profile, has been deploying autopilot in Amazon for many years. In addition to its own muffled research on autonomous driving technology and a lot of patent applications, Amazon has invested $500 million in rivian, a new start-up of electric pickup trucks, and even placed an order for 100000 trucks.
Rivian itself is a strong competitor in Tesla’s pickup project, and Amazon’s strong support has made the competition between the two sides more intense. Musk will naturally see Amazon as his direct competitor. Now, Amazon’s successful acquisition of zoox makes this opposition even more obvious.
According to media reports, Amazon will have to invest at least $2 billion a year after the acquisition of zoox to make the automatic driving technology of zoox come true from the laboratory. And the ultimate payoff will be huge. Analysts predict that by using zoox’s existing technology, a more efficient distribution network can be developed, saving Amazon $20 billion in logistics costs annually.
The reality is that Tesla’s autopilot is still L2 level assisted autopilot. Although musk has repeatedly promised to achieve full automatic driving above L3 by the end of this year at least, this function still seems to have no hope. Accordingly, Musk’s one million self driving taxi plan is promoted. On the one hand, Tesla has not been approved by the regulatory authorities. On the other hand, Tesla does not seem to have proved that these vehicles can be fully competent for more complex urban roads. The safety of passenger service has always been a threshold for Tesla.
However, there is no such risk for the unmanned logistics vehicles and distribution vehicles for the last kilometer, which actually gives Amazon a better chance to “overtake on a curve”.
Once Amazon obtains the taxi commercial operation license and arranges the driverless taxi fleet through zoox, it will become a new force that Tesla can not easily ignore. Now on this track, there are players like waymo and Uber, autox from China, Zhixing of pony and cruise, etc.
Although Bezos is always unable to stand in the spotlight of public opinion, he can’t hold Amazon’s e-commerce business and bring in an endless stream of cash flow, which will contribute to the business territory he wants to expand.
Money and willfulness are the important reasons why Bezos can make musk always be afraid and hard to get rid of potential rivals. However, musk has also stepped out of the doldrums of frequent tears over Tesla’s mass production and privatization issues, and now ushers in a bright moment for the development of SpaceX and Tesla.
Their strength is equal. In the future, their commercial struggle and distant curse war will continue.
Heaven and earth, two people finally fight?
Now, Musk’s space career and ground travel career will inevitably have a direct conflict with Bezos’s business empire. As for who will win in the end, it’s hard to say.
The first is that both sides compete on very long tracks. Both space exploration and autopilot are business areas with long-term growth potential. As long as there are no fatal mistakes, both sides will get enough market space and performance returns. Just like the lunar exploration program launched by the United States again, NASA will balance the participation share of each company, so as to avoid the situation of one dominant company.
In addition, the fierce competition between the two sides will consolidate their leading positions in relevant fields, and some weak competitors will either be eliminated or forced to stand in the line. The cruelty of market competition lies in the fact that the competition between two head competitors often produces Matthew effect, which concentrates the resources and income of the industry into the head enterprises.
If we go back to the series of empty swearing battles between musk and Bezos, it is difficult to say whether their remarks are caused by the “frankness” of their personalities, the “cunning” calculation of businessmen, or both. In any case, musk has benefited a lot, and Bezos and his business empire have gained enough attention in these verbal battles.
Although we have a little bit of villain’s heart to say so, musk, a “joker” in the business world, reveals a truth that the masses of people are not too concerned about the breakthroughs in technology and business model, but more concerned about whether there are stories that can be “consumed” in the commercial world.
Most of the time, people pay for their own imagination, and most of the time, business creates these imaginable goods. Exploring the moon and colonizing Mars is a product of imagination, while creating topics and making fun of business tycoons is another. Musk is a master of imagination.
If there is a button in front of musk and Bezos, just press the button in front of them to make the other company disappear. Who do you think will press this button?
When the question was put in front of musk, musk was very modest to admit that he would not press. Because he thinks that they are promoting the space industry for the benefit of mankind. When asked what he thought of the relationship between blue origin and competitors like SpaceX, Bezos was more generous in expressing his hope that they would all succeed.
Although these are just the occasions to speak to the public, we don’t need to directly question the sincerity of what they say. Because two veteran comrades who have been tested in the business world know the importance of competition for the development of enterprises.
And in their own deep plowing track, can meet a competitor, is also a lucky thing. There is no need to find trouble “bickering”, both sides can trigger the public free onlookers and infinite imagination, why not.
(statement: This article only represents the author’s point of view, not Sina’s position.)