GM Wants To Be A Power Company, CNN Pulls the Rug on NFT Holders, Black Friday Begins

October 11, 2022
It’s a great Tuesday to be in Retail Auto as we cover a move by GM to leverage their battery tech into home and fleet services. We also talk about the demise of CNN NFT project that promised ownership of history, as well as the fact that October is apparently the new November when it comes to Black Friday.
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GM is launching offshoot division, GM Electric, which will sell products and services that allow consumers to transfer and store energy to and from their personal EVs and EV fleets named Ultium Home and Ultium Commercial

  • Special charging and storage equipment will allow for the storage of power and management of that power to residential homes and will act like a back up generator
  • other commercial applications will make allowance for the transfer of power from one vehicle to another to help alleviate periods of stress on the power grid
  • Travis Hester, head of GMs EV growth initiatives said “We have become an expert battery manufacturer,” he said. “It’s a natural evolution for us to move in here.” as the company moves to leverage their massive investment in battery tech and production capabilities
  • Tesla and Toyota have been offering similar services. Tesla generated $866M in Q2
  • TILI: Owning the driveway has more bluesky than ever

In a surprise move to it’s NFT community, CNN has announced the sudden abandonment of it’s NFT project, “Vault by CNN” which was comprised of collectible and notable “Moments” from history as reported by CNN

  • In the Summer of 2021 CNN minted reports of key events or artistic interpretations inspired by them, creating digital collectibles that owners could show off somehow or trade with others, like baseball cards.
  • The program is shutting down its Discord and will not be issuing any type of utility leaving investors, some who have invested 6 figures holding the bag
  • There will be some sort of “rebate” effort which in many cases will only account for a small percentage of the tokens current value in crypto
  • The parting Discord message thanked the community for being a part of the ‘experiment’. Users noted that the word ‘experiment’ was never used.
  • They are not alone as a lesser known AP attempt at NFTs as well as many other major efforts have shuttered in recent months
  • TILI: More than the money, the brand is the big loser

Black Friday has officially begun at Target stores across the country as the company has released its first “weeklong Black Friday Deals” which feature Target’s best planned pricing for the season.

  • “Weeklong deals” will continue all the way through actual Black Friday and will also include the popular “Deal of the Day”
  • TILI: The consumer mindset around “sales” has totally changed

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people, community, cnn, build, battery, company, automotive, gm, project, long, manufacturing, technology, retail, vehicles, merch, point, brand, real, tesla, exclusivity


Kyle Mountsier, Paul Daly

Paul Daly  00:23

Yo, it's Tuesday. It is like gorgeous outside just about everywhere right now. Today we're talking about GM wanting to be on the power company, CNN pulling the rug out of NFT holders in Black Friday. You already started. Already started. You already started. Black Friday 2022 is now a history lesson. It's actually over. Because you just missed it. You just missed it. I don't even know I call, Paul. Let me tell you Look,

Kyle Mountsier  00:58

traveling, being at name add being away with my family, all good things, sitting down to this desk, starting the morning with the podcast is just like, feels right. And I'm happy to be here.

Paul Daly  01:14

It's a right. It's a right feeling. Now, did you have I told Damon yesterday I didn't know did you have your parents or in laws over?

Kyle Mountsier  01:22

No, no, I was in the mountains with just my Oh,

Paul Daly  01:26

you were doing way better than we thought you're doing. I was like, I don't know if he's with parents or in laws. But either way both different layer we

Kyle Mountsier  01:33

were at like our favorite Tennessee quick getaway resort, which is actually where we honeymooned but we've been back like five or six times I think since we got married. And so we now take our kids there. It's like two hours away. It's an easy trip. It's wonderful. And man, I got a couple of really good runs in and we all took naps and it was like

Paul Daly  01:54

it was a whiz gee whiz, gee whiz nap, nothing like naps running in the outdoors just right on the money. Oh, man. So we're trying to like really cut announcements and get to the news. So we're gonna but we do want to say one thing. If you're creative, or you have creatives in your company, and you're looking for ways to inspire them, invest in them, have them come back all fired up to make better content for your stores. Send them to be with us for just a few days and some of our best creative friends modern retail conference, we are doing a special creative track November 13 through 15th. in Palm Beach, please send your creators to us, we promise we will send them back with a bigger ROI than you ever thought could happen. When someone gets inspired to make stuff for your dealership. We're trying to solve your problems over here. You can go to a so forward slash m R c to get a discount and see the full agenda. Let's just talk about the news. Just dive right in. Let's

Kyle Mountsier  02:44

get into it. Let's talk about GM. Give it to him.

Paul Daly  02:46

This is cool. This is really cool. So GM is launching an offshoot division called G M electric at first I was like GE electric no G M electric, which will sell products and services that allow consumers to transfer and store energy to and from their personal EVs and Evie fleets. They're gonna call it ultium home and ultium commercial, basically, it's special charging storage equipment that allows you to build up the energy, move it back and forth, move it around from one, Evie to the next. It's really designed to transfer power and save, you know, lower the burden on electrical grids have convenience features like similar to like a backup generator or backup battery. So you know, we've heard instances of this happening, the Ford f150 lightning can move power around. But GM is saying like, Hey, we've spent a bunch of money building out battery technology, being innovators investing billions, like we're going to try to go and build some other verticals that really integrate with the same technology we're trying to build in the vehicles I liked.

Kyle Mountsier  03:43

We may or may not have seen this already in you know, recent history. I mean, you look at Tesla, that's like, Okay, we started as a car company. Now we have solar panels, and we got then we got charging stations, and we got batteries. And yeah, I mean, you know, here we we quoted Travis Hester, the head of GMC V growth initiatives. He said, we become an expert battery manufacturer, naturally, you said it's a natural evolution for us to move in here. So the company is leveraging all of this investment that they've had in battery technology to use it. And this is something that we've seen throughout the history of auto manufacturers, when they become really good at a subset of the way that they're manufacturing things. I mean, you just look at like war times Okay, moving into those you know, those types of productions you look at even even early in the pandemic being able to put out all this healthcare stuff like this is something that I think that OEM manufacturers are used to kind of pivoting based on their expertise good and it makes total sense with with the battery like I suspect more and more manufacturers are going to get into this battery space just because you have the The ability to kind of create this this ecosystem. And here's the thing, this is the other part, I think that leaning in here, as opposed to software is actually the better move because it's more rooted in manufacturing and hardware than it is in software. And I think that this is where OEMs probably have more financial opportunity than they do in the software space.

Paul Daly  05:23

Well, I mean, you can't spell the word OEM, without the concept of actually manufacturing not developing, not, you know, not conceptualizing manufacturing, their strength is in building things. You know, you and I had this conversation offline about Tesla. And it's, you know, you have a lot of conversations and you hear a lot of talk about the valuation of Tesla, and there's no way that car company should be worth more than that car company. And like, I'm, I'm always like, man, you don't get it. Tesla is not a car company. No, Tesla is an energy company. They developed battery technology, they're, you know, the solar, this the shingles, the rooms, the building, and manufacturing, the literal cells is really the backbone, by which Tesla can put the vehicles on top of and do all the fanfare things and the new semi that's coming out Tesla's an energy company, I think,

Kyle Mountsier  06:15

leverage on a skateboard. You know, what rivian originally was kind of, like built is so attractive to me, because it actually it actually opens up. You know, if a company gets really, really good at just battery technology, it opens up other modes of production on the rest of the vehicle, which is basically like skinning a battery, right? It's like, Absolutely, yes. And, yeah,

Paul Daly  06:43

there's so many, like, there's so many comparisons there, right? Like you learn how to run a really efficient kitchen. And running an efficient kitchen means you know, how to order your perishable goods and store them in an efficient way and have a line that works and have the right staff and like, you could cook anything. Yep, you know, you can cook anything. So I love the movie. Like, it seems like you love that you mean kind of like a ghost kitchen kind of way. Now, at a more of a ghost kitchen in automotive, like, what kind of car do you want? Do you imagine if somebody was kind of like, like, Hey, you can build your own model, build it on this platform,

Kyle Mountsier  07:16

you think about 3d printing, and all the opportunities to just kind of put the stamp on top of the core technology or the powertrain, and like people can go nuts with an and then you think about like what we've talked about with with companies like Nike and shoes offline shoes online, and creating these versions of like vehicles that are in the metaverse or in web three, and then bringing them back. Well, speaking of web three, Oh,

Paul Daly  07:43

I heard that you already knew said that. I was meant to go there. But you picked it up real quick. Oh, man In a surprise move.

Kyle Mountsier  07:55

Okay, this, I'm gonna say this real quick. This is not too much of a surprise to me. But CNN has announced the sudden abandonment of its NFT project vault by CNN, which was comprised of collectible and notable moments from history, as reported by CNN. So essentially, in 2021, CNN minted these reports or key events of artistic and interpretations inspired by them creating digital collectibles, that owners could show off somehow or trade with others kind of like baseball cards. So it's like, okay, we ran this really, really epic story. And now we kind of minted and a version of that and artistic interpretation. And now you own the rights to that artistic interpretation of a story,

Paul Daly  08:36

or sometimes is actually a real clip, sometimes actual clip of a thing, right. And now it has been going great. And as a matter of fact, they just announced on their discord because that's how if you're in an NFT community, that is how you communicate, they announced that they will be shutting it down, shutting down the program, shutting down the discord, and offering some level of small rebate to people who have purchased the NF t's a lot of people are saying This is CNN pulling the rug and pulling the rug, everybody knows what it means. But in NFT world, pulling the rug is really indicative of when a creator makes a project, they get everybody to buy in, and then they just disappear. Right? And most NF t's the only value in them is the community that is built around them.

Kyle Mountsier  09:24

I was just about to use that C word. I was just about to wonder how much they had built around that. And I think that that's probably where most lives who miss is they don't actually build a community because it's it's a project based on singular value and not on the weight of the community.

Paul Daly  09:40

Yeah, and so like community and utility, are really the ways that an NFT project can can bring value community being the other people who also agree that this is valuable. The same is true for baseball cards, right? If all of a sudden no one cares about baseball, no one cares about that piece of cardboard in your hand at all. It's the community that value as it drives the value of the product also with NF T's, certain NF T's can have utility, meaning if you have an NF t, you get other access to things, oftentimes real life experiences. And it builds the exclusivity. But again, you circle back. And exclusivity only matters if other people want it. Right, which comes back to the community. So their parting discord message, thank the community for being part of the experiment, and everyone lost their minds, because like, people would approach it a little bit differently. If in the beginning, we're like, Hey, we're trying an experiment, right? People don't usually throw like 10s of 1000s of dollars to buy in to an experiment. You know, one of the one of the benefits that they were saying, you're gonna have utilities is access to the CNN to vote by CNN merch, like, I'm just picturing, like, Who's excited about vote by CNN merch, and it's just, it's just a whole different game they're playing or not playing now. You know, one person said, well, at least it's lasted 16 times longer than CNN plus was one of the comments that I saw which

Kyle Mountsier  11:02

that's strong. Okay, no, this, I just have to say, if you're like any sort of company, and you're looking at web three, or Metaverse, or, or NFT projects, like you really have to do, you have to do the work to figure out if your brand already has the staying power in in some sort of ecosystem like that. And I don't even if you do have some utility, there has to be community around the utility as well, because the utility has to have value. And value is built by by emphasizing community. And then you know, if there is some level of access to something, it has to be desirable, not just by you, but by the general public. So like, especially I think about people giving access to merch or access to like, trade some sort of value. A lot of people perceive that their, that their, the value of their things is high on other people's lists. I think about this when it comes to the automotive community a lot. It's like, Oh, everybody wants a yeti with my logo on it. Right? That isn't necessarily true.

Paul Daly  12:10

You know, let me let me just clear that up. Most people don't want merch with your logo on it. It's just the truth. It's just real, even if it's a nice Nike shirt, even if it's a nice Nike hat. You know, most people don't want to support your product unless you build some level of community and exclusivity

Kyle Mountsier  12:31

around or you say something like that to me and then having somebody something like Oh, they have an opinion. I don't know if you've ever watched the channel. Okay, sounds good. Let's move on. Now

Paul Daly  12:41

what do you want to put on your T shirt right even even people that agree with the opinion aren't like trying to put it on their T shirt mostly. But But the bottom line like and we're not just taking shots at CNN here it's a lot of companies have you know ventured into this NFT web three world trying to get a fast turn on some brand work that actually takes a long time to cultivate and develop that is the big difference between this project and like some of the V friends stuff that you see behind me and a few projects what the difference in the variable is community through and through the brand is I mean, some people lost a good bit of money. The brand is the big loser in this in my opinion, because whenever you try to put it out there you have to really understand if this doesn't work, how committed Am I to doing it? And if not what is going to be the impact on the brand I try to think of a segment I just can't think of people buying a lot of brands buying a lot as you think that's not as bad as you think because if that didn't come after the delay, I think it would have been really good so we said this at the beginning of the show Black Friday has officially begun at Target stores across the country as the company has released its first week long Black Friday deals which feature targets I like this phrase targets best planned pricing for the season. So target came out in the press release and we're like look this is the best pricing you're going to be because I think just generally people can get conditioned I'm just going to wait it out wait it out wait it out right before Christmas or right after like people are going to clear it out no target saying we're giving you the best pricing that we even have planned right now. The week long deals are gonna happen from now all the way through real bright Black Friday which is a long way away I mean it's not even within a month from now we're not even in November we're not even in mid October

Kyle Mountsier  14:26

is due to retail fatigue at this point like I'm just people are good I personally on a personal aptitude to like pay attention to emails or or targeted marketing around this type of stuff. Like I'm just going to be tired by that point. And I this is bad, but like I continue to get more tired of Christmas the closer it comes like I have to put off listening to Christmas music intentionally

Paul Daly  14:51

to try and like reinvigoration start dating Monday feeling right so like jet December like second week in December. I don't know but That's a great point like, what are they playing? While you're Black Friday shopping in target in October,

Kyle Mountsier  15:04

right? The Monster Mash is what they're playing a monster match.

Paul Daly  15:08

You're exactly right, you got a Halloween candy on one side. And like the Black Friday deal the week, it's messed everybody up. I think, in general, to understand this from the automotive standpoint, as the consumer psyche has totally come to expect nothing. When it comes to a sale, or a routine, or a 30 day cycle of promotion, that, you know, we were very kind of tightly wound to when we had like incentives and things and those will come back at some point. But the consumer psyche is done, when it comes to any kind of routine sales. So what we would suggest is free think your marketing and your brand efforts to be longer term, hands in the dirt, brick by brick mentality, instead of trying to have a big splash every 30 days because no one no one is listening.

Kyle Mountsier  15:57

It's it's like, it's really frustrating, because I'm like, there's so much honestly, if you actually transition to like, being the antithesis of the retail mindset right now. And and said, like, hey, if everyone else has kind of this is one of the times that I think, you know, we talked about, like throwing a boat in the river and moving down the stream with it. Like this is one of those times where you can kind of, like, throw a mini disruption by kind of like, kind of jerking people out of this rhythm of, of, of whatever's happening. And it's Christmas already in October, it's Christmas already, like you could actually press in by being the antithesis in retail to that, like, not talking about the sale, not you know, leaning into the current day, kind of kind of themes and not and pushing off this holiday, like don't get tricked into that. And you might actually surprise customers and get them more sticky to what your to what Yeah, and

Paul Daly  16:55

long term to not just for a season. That's a really good point. And I think the C word, we'll say it again, community, focusing on what you can do in your community and building community and talking about the community and being the mayor of the community. If you have to spend your time and energy creating content and talking about something talk about that. Because the ROI is going to be so much longer the

Kyle Mountsier  17:13

most rich three months to being in community that you could ever possibly imagine. You have a launch point right now to actually take yourself if you've been going like hey, maybe I should get in the community. Maybe we should make content with the community. Maybe we should give back. This is a launch point for that. So lean into that right now and not into the sale mentality and it'll take you further into 2020.

Paul Daly  17:35

There you have it. That's Tuesday. We hope you go out. It's just Tuesday. It's only October. I feel like it's almost Christmas all right. But get out there today. Build some community and you know, serve someone close

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