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tv   Press Here  NBC  February 27, 2011 9:00am-9:30am PST

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>> the electric car goes mainstream. is it right for you? ernst and young's green energy analyst on the economics of electricity. and faisal qureshi has a startup. sarah lacy, she has a new book and john schwartz of "usa today," this week on pretty here. good morning. i'm scott mcgrew and welcome to the future. when electric cars are sold at your neighborhood car dealership. they were a long time coming. by now you may have seen a chevy volt or nissan leaf driving down
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the street joining the tesla, till now the only highway capable mass produced car in america. soon they will be joined by other carmakers like fiskr and wego. the leaf for instance is all electric, the volt is electric with an on board gasoline generator as a backup. while they are marketed as less expensive overall and much cleaner, than their gasoline burning cousins, electric cars face criticism. a leaf, for instance, costs around $32,000. but, federal tax rebates and in california, another state rebate, bring the price down to a more competitive, though taxpayer supported cost. and battery driven cars aren't really emissions free. they simply transfer the emission from the tail pipe to the power station where the electricity is produced.
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matt sapp works with everything from small venture backed start-ups to huge multinationals, he is we hope an expert in electric cars. sarah and tracy. let me ask you the easy question, do you drive an electric car? >> i do not. i'm evaluating the options right now and trying to figure out which one i want to buy. >> here is a statistic. how few americans drive a nissan leaf. according to one report they delivered 106. total. in the united states. >> you know, it's interesting, scott. we've conducted a number of sessions, actually globally around the world, with some of the key stake holders involved in electric vehicles and there's two key messages we heard. that is there is significant momentum around the initiative and it's global. they are collaborating. we're still in the early stages of that mass rollout as you were
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eluding to. the other piece is we're seeing a developing ecosystem is needed to support these. >> that's chicken and egg. then there cannot be an electric gas pump but you skrant an elincoln trick gas pump until there is a car. >> the ecosystem is what is that. i think that's a lot of the debate and the discussion among the key stake holders, that the pump where is the pum snp >> you talk about an ecosystem talking about the charging stations or -- my dad owns several electric cars and has for years. one of his frustrations he could travel maybe 200 miles before he had to recharge which would take hours. almost an overnight stay. he said there were so few of those charging stations around the country, is that still an issue? >> i think that's one of the issues. when i talk about the stake holders i'm talking the utility companies, talking about the auto manufacturers, some of the emerging companies that are developing these technologies. and where those are going to be
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is going to depend. maybe in public places, in your home or office. >> what do you think about a better place which is really taking a holistic view. they designed sophisticated software key fob, they have partnerships with industry, and are building out these networks very sophisticated stations that can change the cars, change the batteries. >> as opposed to charging them. they swap them out. >> or as opposed to taking the view that chevy or nissan and tesla, we'll make the cars someone else's problem. >> i think that's a good example when referring to the key stake holders they are working together. what you mentioned, you have a start-up company, a developing company that is coming up with new ideas that is working with in partnership in creating this ecosystem, so that's a great idea. i think there's other evolving ideas looking at the battery technologies, the technology of
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advanced significantly. >> stimulus bill is going to advancements in battery development for electric cars? >> i think you see some of the battery companies have received some funding from the stimulus to do that. but you also see some of the venture capital funding that is going into some of these companies. >> the battery is where the logjam is, right? the electric car technology is everyone will tell you is hundreds of years old and i think i read the first car was electric. but it's always been the battery that's been the problem. it's not till the year 2010 essentially that we can do the battery right. >> yeah. i think there has been significant advancement in the batteries over the last 10 years as an example. where they have been able to get the density of the batteries which means how much energy can it store and how far can you travel. they really have been able to do that. i think that's where we've had companies here in silicon valley that have played a big role in that. >> and we fix eight on the ones, tesla is a sexy car.
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same with physicfisker. now we see detroit coming along now a lot of these companies and the prius to a degree have proven how much want these. do you see this being any real revitalization of detroit or is it just kind of hanging on? >> a couple points you raise. i do think from the silicon valley perspective, tesla when they released the roadster was a game changer. it proved that you could make an electric car that was quick, that had a reasonable range, and was an attractive car you would want to own. >> and you wanted to own it because it was awesome. not just because it was electric. >> it was intentional. nobody think as car company that makes a subcompact is sexy. they make a sexy car and some day make a subcompact presumably. >> right. >> rephrasing sarah's question. if i were putting my money behind the winner of the electric car race i would put it
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behind toyota or behind nissan or ford, maybe. i wouldn't put it behind tesla or fisker. >> i'm the opposite. >> i'm old media up until about three weeks ago owned by general electric and you're new media. i'm the put it behind the big companies. yes. where would you put your money? who is going to win, toyota or tesla? and i realize they work together. >> i think it's still too early. you mentioned there's only a couple delivered so we're very early in the mass rollout. i'm not sure we really know who the winner is going to be. what's more important it's now global. all of the car manufacturers are coming without electric cars. i think that's more important in this is that we're now going away from the vision of electric cars to reality. >> can i ask you in terms of practicality. if you buy an electric car does it make most sense to buy one where you have a set number of
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miles you drive a day, rather than a long distance? >> essentially. >> i'm thinking about the idea you come home and recharge it at home possibly. though that must be expensive. >> a couple of interesting points you mentioned. we've done a couple of studies that have shown and there are others that have done studies, the average consumer drives less than 40 or 50 miles a day. so there's a lot of concern about the range anxiety. but the average person drives 40 or 50 miles a day. and you come home and you have the gas station at your house now. you can plug in. >> have you found the expense, john mentioned the expense. >> the second on the expense, it's actually when you look at the numbers it's actually cheaper to operate the electric car than a gas car. like 25% of the cost. >> i want to get back to the global issue. i think a lot of people don't realize how much innovation is happening around electric cars. we hear about china.
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i spent time with them on a couple of trips to china ago and you see byd cabs throughout china. china is a company that has the national wear with all to make the ned networks effects happen. to require a city have all electric cabs. and you're seeing chinese electric cars in cuba which was always known for having old beater olds mobiles because nothing was there. chinese electric cars are spreading all over the emerging world. where does america fit in this? >> i do think it's global. i don't think it's focused in china. the survey we've done there is a slightly higher acceptance rate of electric vehicles and the notion. but we see similar view and perspective in the u.s., in europe, in japan. and you know, the -- so it is global. the manufacturers are not just in china. the big three auto manufacturers you mentioned, they are focused on this now. and then there are some interesting start-up countries
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in the u.s. and emerging that are new players. >> matt, let me ask you, time for one more question, where does silicon valley fit in? you were saying america and global and are we in some way uniquely positioned to contribute and to what degree? is this a niche market or something we can be a detroit? >> i think tesla really played a key role in getting this kick started but i do think that silicon valley does play a key role because there is a lot of technology in these electric cars. it's basically a large ga joyt a lot of the technology companies here, semiconductors are going to benefit. there is a lot of electronic components. >> matt sapp with ernst and young. we appreciate you being with us. up next get all kinds of great discounts on all kinds of products. all do you is give a stranger your credit card and banking information. faisal qureshi when press here continues.
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welcome back to press here. as consumer you can make a tradeoff. give up a little privacy for a little savings. so, if you use a club card at the grocery store and let them track your peanut butter purchases, you'll get a discount on jelly. of course that only works at the grocery store. if there were some way your purchases could be tracked everywhere, say, at restaurants and toy stores, then maybe you could get discounts from all kinds of places. in return, of course, for your purchase history. >> what we do is we actually save consumers money. >> offermatic faisal qureshi says people are willing to do that. they sign up at, enter their credit card numbers, even their bank account numbers, and allow offermatic to watch
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them as they make purchase after purchase. privacy given up in exchange for automatic discounts right at the register. so, for instance, spend $42 at one restaurant, and earn $5 off at another. faisal qureshi is ceo of offermatic, the tech crunch calls the love child of mint, groupon and glimpy. you'll agree it's fairly accurate. so, the idea and i think some people think that's brilliant, it's just a club card in the world, others are horrified. the idea is that you would know every purchase i make and then what, sell that data? >> actually we don't sell your personal data. we monitor your purchase history, based on your transactions we send you very targeted deals that save you money on things you already buy. >> so but who wins in the sense that why is somebody offering me
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a deal? >> how do the economics work? >> the way it works the retail merchants are looking for new custer mers, they do lots of different channels to market to new customers. what we provide to retail merchants a way to target people based on actual purchase history that they opted in to receive offers for. >> can i give you a for instance. i understand you may not work with these companies but people would understand. mcdonald's reports that i made a purchase, burger king says he likes hamburgers, therefore offer him a coupon to burger king. >> so you're going to get related offers based on your purchase history. if you do your weekly shopping at trader joe's, maybe whole foods wants you as a customer if you live near whole foods. >> makes sense. >> we'll give you $5 back. they know you already are spending in that category. >> can that have an impact on the inventory of the store? if i go every day and buy chocolate chip bagels and i buy two every day --
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>> is this a confession? >> essentially. >> specific product. >> off the top of my head. but would they -- in the sense know that store, individual store know that i'm consuming that and they will restock so i might buy more? >> we get the transaction on your credit card statement or your debit card statement so we won't know specifically that you bought a chocolate chip bagel but that you spent $6 at that merchant. that's enough to understand that if you go to that merchant probably a lot of others that would like to get you in their store. and the way we make it easy for you we make sure that for them to get you in their store, they have got to give you a deal. >> i feel like there's such an overwhelming glut of start-ups that are doing some sort of deals, and most of them don't require that i give away as much information. i mean, you know, you guys are coming into an incredibly crowded market where a lot of sites are earring on don't give us that much we'll get you hooked on our site and give you
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a lot. why would i go with a service that makes me give up so much data for $5? >> it could be $5 or 50. >> if you are trying to acquire me as a customer. >> so again, it comes down to the problem that we're solving is quite different. so if you look at groupon. i started this because i was trying to solve my own problem. i want deals that are very tailored to me. and i don't want to work for those deals, i want the deals to come to me. >> tell the start-up or the origin story. it's a good example of what you are trying to get at. >> i was an early user of mint. i loved that tool. i was actually curious to know how much i spent at my neighborhood chip poetly. >> it's a mexican restaurant. and the fascinating i typed in and it told me i had been there
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39 times and spent $400. that was to me an aha moment. i'm a very loyal customer f. they knew how much i spent they probably want to send me special deals and offers. the other thing is i don't want to deal with coupons and codes and vouchers. so the way our system works is you actually get a virtual coupon that's added directly to your card. all you do is you activate that coupon with one click and then you use your credit card with that merchant. >> you go to your website, you log in, you click i would like to enable this coupon. >> correct. or, we send you an e-mail when we have a targeted offer for you. >> and you're getting to this but i'm going to move your story along in the sense i get to the place i'm going to get the discount and the lady says that will be $15. but i've got $5 credit, how does that $5 get discounted? her register change to 10? >> you actually paid her 15, and then what we do is we'll rebate
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$5 back to your card within 14 days or 30 days depending on the campaign of that merchant. the discount is applied back as automatic rebate after purchase, not at the point of sale. >> so we had shop kick on the show, they are doing a sort of loyalty program as well under a very different assumption. their sense is that retailers want more people to come into stores who might not necessarily come in, they give you a reason or they want more to interact with the products, they give you a reason. that seems, if i'm a retailer i want the person who is not coming every day. i want to speblds my dollar getting that guy in not the guy who is already spending $400 a month. >> correct. so the way our system works is we can allow them to target people that are not their customers, that are spending money in that category, and they can make specific offers to the people based on their spending. that's exactly our proposition. >> it's not chipotle.
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>> it could be a combination so. a customer acquisition is one piece. ultimately you can imagine that going from acquisition to customer loyalty is just a very natural progression of what we do. so it depends on what that merchant wants to achieve. >> john schwartz. >> one thing i'm interested in the bigger picture, like we see people willingly giving up information or volunteering what they think on facebook and get targeted with certain types of ads on their profile. that's almost an accepted point of view. i see this as an extension of that, this idea of the balance between privacy and your information. it's what you invest into something and what you hope to achieve and get back. is that kind of what you're -- >> or the analogy is, look at google ad words. we're actually bringing you offers that are very targeted
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based on your purchase history. that's what we're trying to do. if you look at the online world only 6% of all commerce happens on line. 94% happens off line. our goal is to bring the hyper targeting of google ad words to real world commerce where most commerce happens. >> why doesn't visa do this? >> they could have done it 10 years ago. >> they could do it tomorrow too. >> conceivably -- >> they have my information. >> lots of companies could do this. this is what's fascinating being a start-up. you focus on one very specific problem, we're not constrained with an existing business model and the revenue stream and market focus. visa's focus very different than saving consumers money. >> faisal qureshi is the ceo of offermatic. thank you for being here. up next, the author of brilliant crazy cocky joins us.
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>> welcome back to press here. we've come to a time in the show sarah lacy talks about herself and i know what you are thinking but in this case sarah has written a book it's just hit the store shelves called brilliant, crazy, cocky, how the top 1% of entrepreneurs profit from global chaos. we were talking a moment ago and among the three of us we have written four books. you have written two, you, two. we're still in the research area. >> tell-all memoir. >> so second book, easier than the first to make? >> well, you would think. this one because of the topic i picked far harder. my first book was really 10 years in the making. you know, a lot of the relationships, the learnings, the background had come as a result of covering entrepreneurs for so long. >> it was silicon valley start-ups. >> all i had to do wake up and
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follow around mark zuckerberg and do some writing. which could be intense but not undoable. this book i was work other jobs while doing to help support it. i spent 40 weeks in emerging markets which i did not have drivers, i did not -- i fly business class, digging around trying to find amazing entrepreneurs. and while my first book everyone wanted me to write and fighting over it. this book no publisher wanted me to write so i had a totally flipped experience. >> is that how the book model works, you are paying for the book, having never written one, you are essentially paying your own fwrat the hope that the book will bay off? >> i think it's how passionate you are. with my first book it came out after business week cover, i was called, i got a great deal. and you know, i made a pretty good salary while i was writing it. with this book, you know, i was very lucky to get an advance from wily, the one publisher who
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didn't think it was insane. but yeah, between the jobs that i quit to do this book and the cost, my husband and i invested more than $100,000 of our savings in this book. >> and john, you have -- >> that sounds. >> you read the book. >> i blogged about it actually. i like it. i like the idea of reading about people that are new in other countries, rather than the same old. fatigue seeing the same names. i like the idea about somebody building something overseas in their country rather than hearing about the u.s. outsourcing jobs to another country. i like the idea it flipped the whole notion. >> what countries, brazil. >> it goes in order from like most developed in terms of entrepreneurship to most -- we're not talking micro loans. israel, china, india, brazil, indonesia and ends in rwanda. >> why? >> so i wanted -- africa is a tough continent to write about
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because it's fragmented but it's powerful and there are amazing statistics how it's growing as an economic force. i wanted to take a country that was a great proxy for frankly, aide having work and turned around ap country. i also think that we get obsessed with this idea about the big brick markets because they have massive demographics. >> explain brick. >> it's brazil, russia, india, china. this huge market and you know, wall street salivates over this. wall street doing public debt or privatizing industry, things that rely on huge populations. high growth entrepreneurship is not necessarily huge populations. some of the big success stories, israel and singapore which are tiny countries that don't have a lot of natural resources. rwanda is really going after that model and it's really in stunning ways. >> i want to ask you, comparing the second one with the first, there's a bit of a parallel in that are some of the people who are starting the companies
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overseas like building buzz or building celebrity status among themselves the next great thinkers or new wave? >> the mark zuckerberg of rwanda. >> some are. some of the chinese ones i write about are more well known. definitely in china. beyond that these guys are pretty -- it's funny since the book has come out it's funny how their lives up ended in their countries. i heard from my favorite entrepreneur yesterday. he call immediate and i had a hard time get back in touch. he had sent his sister away to school and she called him like you're famous. you are all over the internet. i didn't know you were in the book. so it's taken a lot of these guys by surprise. they are personal stories. >> the name of the book? >> brilliant, crazy, cocky how the top 1% of entrepreneurs profit from global chaos. >> sarah lacy. author of two books. press here will be back in a moment.
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that's our show for this week. thanks to matt sapp and faisal qureshi. we mentioned the companies blippy and mint. the founders have been on the show before and you can see their interviews at press here finally, sarah lacy's book available at book stores and on kindle. thank you for making us part of your sunday morning.
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