Sign up FAST! Login

Is a Bad New York Times Review Worth $100 Million?

Stashed in: Cars!, Awesome, @elonmusk, Automotive, Valuation

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

"It probably affected us to the tune of tens of millions, to the order of $100 million, so it's not trivial," Musk told Bloomberg's In the Loop. "I would say that refers more to the valuation of the company. It wasn't as though there were 1,000 cancellations just due to The New York Times article. There were probably a few hundred."

Can that be true? Can a single bad review take away that much value from your corporation? Well, let's look at the numbers.

Geege, do you agree? Or is he exaggerating?

He's ignoring nuance and complexity. 

The article concludes: So is Musk right about the damage done to his company? Well, like many things in the world of business generally and this story particularly, the answer lies somewhere in the murky middle. Musk is correct that a negative review of your product can directly impact the actual value of your company. (As can a positive review.) So it is important to defend yourself when you can. However, lots of things impact the value of a company on a day-to-day basis, it is nearly impossible to pin market moves on any one cause. Also, when your stock is worth $4 billion, it doesn't take a lot to move it $100 million or more, as Telsa's frequently does. Even if we know the exact number of sales that the review cost them (a number that even Tesla may not be able to calculate), translating that to a stock price is not so simple.

The New York Times seems reasonable in that conclusion.

A business cannot blame negative press. Ultimately, the product is what matters.

A product, business or industry.  Vaguely reminded me of the Oprah / Cattle war.

Give him  a car, see if it changes his mind (and he uses it right and responsibly this time, aka "sense of ownership" vs "competing").  It reminds me of the early oil boom in Texas where oil executives were buying oil rights to Indian land.  The Indians had so much money that they would buy a car and when the gas ran out of the tank, rather than filling it up, they'd just abandon it and buy a new one. 

I agree that they should make cars the way people want to drive the, but I'm going to have to disagree that you (the author of the bad review) should be able to throw common sense out the window and then speculate on the product because of your own idiocy.