YELP - Yelp Inc.

NYSE - NYSE Delayed price. Currency in USD
35.23
-1.27 (-3.48%)
At close: 4:02PM EST
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Previous close36.50
Open33.40
Bid35.01 x 800
Ask35.35 x 1000
Day's range32.79 - 35.24
52-week range30.12 - 40.99
Volume5,258,611
Avg. volume776,098
Market cap2.435B
Beta (5Y monthly)1.09
PE ratio (TTM)51.51
EPS (TTM)0.68
Earnings date06 May 2020 - 10 May 2020
Forward dividend & yieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-dividend dateN/A
1y target est38.57
  • Yelp (YELP) Q4 Earnings Miss Estimates, Revenues Rise Y/Y
    Zacks

    Yelp (YELP) Q4 Earnings Miss Estimates, Revenues Rise Y/Y

    Yelp (YELP) fourth-quarter earnings decline while revenues increase driven by advertising revenues.

  • Yelp (YELP) Misses Q4 Earnings and Revenue Estimates
    Zacks

    Yelp (YELP) Misses Q4 Earnings and Revenue Estimates

    Yelp (YELP) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of -7.69% and -1.46%, respectively, for the quarter ended December 2019. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?

  • Business Wire

    Yelp Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Financial Results

    Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP), the company that connects people with great local businesses, today posted its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2019 in the Q4 2019 Shareholder Letter available on its Investor Relations website at www.yelp-ir.com.

  • Business Wire

    Yelp Announces New CFO and Adds New Board Member

    Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP), the company that connects people with great local businesses, today announced the appointments of David Schwarzbach as Chief Financial Officer, effective February 14, and Christine Barone, CEO of True Food Kitchen, to Yelp’s Board of Directors, effective March 1.

  • Bloomberg

    The Faux Populism of Trumpified Architecture

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Even on a gloomy Sunday, with skies threatening rain, the U.S. Courthouse on First Street in downtown Los Angeles is strikingly beautiful. The clouds and surrounding buildings reflect in its pleated glass sides, which look far airier in person than in photographs. By breaking up its plane, the pleats call attention to the Great Seal etched in the glass. The American flag reflects in their panes.Opened in 2016, it’s a civic building that makes you happy to see it. Reviewers on Google and Yelp, including a grumpy juror, give it good marks.Catesby Leigh, by contrast, calls it a “Borg Cube.” I can only assume he has never actually watched “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Or maybe he’s too blinded by architectural theory to enjoy beauty that doesn’t conform.You probably haven't heard of Leigh. He’s a critic associated with the National Civic Art Society, a think tank that “endeavors to help architecture return to its pre-Modernist roots.” The society wants government buildings to re-adopt classical architectural styles: more domes and columns, less glass and steel. Its formerly obscure views are now enjoying the world’s largest megaphone.Last week, a draft executive order titled “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again” leaked to Architectural Record. (The Chicago Sun-Times obtained a copy and put it online.) The draft denounces modern architecture. It requires classical styles as the default architecture for all new federal buildings in the Washington D.C. area, including surrounding counties; for all federal buildings costing more than $50 million; and for all federal courthouses. It specifically forbids Brutalist and Deconstructionist styles. It establishes a President’s Committee for the Re-Beautification of Federal Architecture to revise the principles that guide federal architecture commissions.It calls for the General Services Administration to solicit public comment on new building designs while specifically excluding “artists, architects, engineers, art or architecture critics, members of the building industry or any other members of the public that are affiliated with any interest group or organization involved with the design, construction or otherwise directly affected by the construction or remodeling of the building.”You could see that requirement as avoiding conflicts of interest — or as excluding anyone who knows what they’re talking about.Architects and critics were apoplectic.Classical styles are fascistic, suggested Artnet News. The Guardian warned of “dictator chic.” The order would constitute “a complete constraint on freedom of expression,” an architect told the New York Times. Even a nuanced historical article in Archinect News concluded with a reference to Nazi architect Albert Speer. New York Times critic Michael Kimmelman rightly identified the draft as Twitter bait.The response demonstrates how, even when he’s barely involved, President Donald Trump manages to effectively troll snooty elites by giving voice to widely held popular grievances. A lot of government buildings are indeed ugly. No matter how hated, they rarely get torn down. But the draft order also demonstrates Trump’s propensity for ham-handed remedies that would do more harm than good.As creators, architects face an inherent problem. They can’t do their work without clients. Writers, painters, sculptors — these days even filmmakers — can find ways to follow their muse even if their creations have little or no market. Beyond building homes for themselves (or their mothers), architects have few options.Construction is expensive, it requires land, and it needs people who’ll use it. That’s the real-world conflict at the heart of Ayn Rand’s novel “The Fountainhead,” which lampooned the throwback styles and populist attitudes the draft order promotes.Federal commissions offer relative freedom for architectural ambitions. “Design must flow from the architectural profession to the Government and not vice versa,” declare the guidelines in place since 1962. Written by a young Daniel Patrick Moynihan, these design principles reflect the technocratic modernism of the Kennedy era — the deference to experts and belief in the new that landed a man on the moon but also razed urban neighborhoods to make way for Brutalist government centers.Under those guidelines, the architecture profession itself acts as the client. The result can be a masterpiece like L.A.’s new courthouse — or a monstrosity like the headquarters of the F.B.I., the J. Edgar Hoover Building, one of Trump’s pet peeves.By contrast, the advocates of classical architecture position themselves as the voice of the people. “For too long architectural elites and bureaucrats have derided the idea of beauty, blatantly ignored public opinions on style, and have quietly spent taxpayer money constructing ugly, expensive and inefficient buildings,” the National Civic Art Society’s chairman told the Times.But if architects can’t represent the public, who can? That’s the problem at the heart of any government building project. Whose taste should rule? What should the balance be between saving money and creating meaningful, attractive buildings? What role should the people who’ll work in the building have? What is the right form for the building’s specific use? For federal buildings outside the capital, what voice should locals have? Who speaks for the client when the client is everyone?These are political, not technical, questions. You can’t reason your way to the single right answer. You can only try to strike a sensible balance — which isn’t exactly the Trump way.In an editorial attacking the executive order, the Chicago Sun-Times evoked the city’s federal plaza designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Ordinary locals find it striking, part of Chicago’s heritage of beautiful architecture, including many modern buildings.Leigh, by contrast, says the plaza “raises serious issues of appropriateness” and is “far better suited to the high-end corporate world and its promotion of itself as culturally au courant.” (The building was au courant a half century ago.) Dictating that your idea of civic appropriateness is right for all buildings in all times and places shouldn’t be confused with speaking for the public.What looks “civic” depends on experience, not architectural theory. In Los Angeles, where I live, traditional civic buildings are not classical. They’re not even the Mission style popular elsewhere in the state. They’re Moderne ziggurats with Art Deco features, like the L.A. city hall, or midcentury modern structures like the Wilshire Federal Building in West L.A. They reflect the eras in which the city was rapidly expanding.Some, like these examples, are attractive and popular, others less so. But all of them represent the actual city and its history, not an outsider’s idea of civic ideals. The eco-conscious 21st-century beauty of the new federal courthouse fits appropriately in its dense urban setting. Columns and domes would not. Neither would the red tile roofs of Santa Barbara.However great it may be for the Lincoln Memorial, classicism itself is no guarantee of good civic architecture. Packing columns onto a hulking monstrosity like the Eisenhower (formerly Old) Executive Office Building does not make it beautiful. Historical, yes. Meaningful because of that history, sure. But not attractive or inspiring or representative of American ideals.The sweeping language of the draft order simply replaces one group of architectural theories with another, one set of insiders with an even smaller one. Preserving the high-handed attitudes it claims to oppose, it avoids the hard questions. Even on its own grounds, its judgments and prescriptions are suspect.This architectural tiff is an argument among intellectuals with ideas about the ought of the built environment, not citizens with experience of the is. It might make government buildings more uniform, but it wouldn’t make them better.To contact the author of this story: Virginia Postrel at vpostrel@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Katy Roberts at kroberts29@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Virginia Postrel is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. She was the editor of Reason magazine and a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the New York Times and Forbes. Her next book, "The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World," will be published in 2020.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire

    Yelp’s New Products Help Measure Advertising Success and Consumer Behaviors and Underscore Its Commitment to National and Multi-Location Businesses

    Yelp Inc. (NYSE:YELP), the company that connects people with great local businesses, today announced the official release of two new products that help businesses with multiple locations better reach and understand consumers at every phase of the purchase cycle. Yelp introduced Yelp Store Visits (YSV) to measure how online activity on Yelp drives physical store foot traffic, and launched Showcase Ads, a new video-centric format that allows national marketers to feature in-season promotions and to tell their brand story more effectively. Yelp’s new enterprise advertising products provide brands with greater control over how they promote their business on Yelp, and a more effective way to measure what resonates with their audiences. The new products have been piloted by Denny’s and other Fortune 500 brands.

  • Bloomberg

    Why So Many Tech Startups Misbehave

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- It's hard to miss how many technology companies engage in increasingly questionable -- and occasionally reprehensible -- conduct. This is something beyond the unsavory frat bro behavior of people like Uber Technologies Inc. founder and former Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick. No, I mean companies whose very business models seem to be built around elements of fraud, deception and abuse of employees, partners and clients.Maybe it is a sign of what happens when too much capital sloshes through too few startups.(1) Whatever the underlying cause, one cannot help but notice some of the awful behavior in the venture-funded tech world. Consider these recent headlines:\-- "Court Rules It's Totally Cool for Yelp to Extort Businesses"\-- "Grubhub’s new growth hack is listing restaurants that didn’t agree to be listed"\-- "Delivery apps like DoorDash are using your tips to pay workers’ wages" There may be any number of reasons these companies might engage in such shoddy behavior, but the most obvious one seems to be that their business models are so lame that they must do shady stuff simply to keep the lights on.Disruption is a consequence of true innovation; that isn't the issue here. No, this points to something deeper and more troubling about the startup landscape.Let’s consider a few of these companies:Grubhub: The food-delivery company is in hot competition with other startup delivery companies. One of the things it's done: buy up domain names of its restaurant partners without their permission or even knowledge, thus making it hard or impossible for a restaurant to establish its own website without Grubhub's blessings. (Grubhub’s defense: It’s in our contract’s fine print.) The company also published shadow websites and misleading phone numbers of its restaurant partners to pull web traffic and phone orders away from them.I imagine Grubhub being pitched as the Uber of food delivery (though Uber also is in the food-delivery business). One key difference: There was no entrenched local monopoly similar to taxis. Instead, there are tens of thousands of local restaurants, many of which already deliver or offer takeout. Uber and Lyft used technology to break the monopoly: Grubhub and its related divisions -- Seamless, Eat24, MenuPages and AllMenus -- instead insert themselves as middlemen between restaurants and consumers. This seems to be true regardless of whether the restaurant is a willing participant or not.Maybe it's the big decline in Grubhub's share price that has led the company to stoop so low: the stock has fallen about 65% from its high in 2018.Yelp: The review site seems to have morphed into what its critics sometimes characterize as an extortion racket. The company has been accused by restaurant owners of hiding positive reviews unless those establishments advertise on Yelp.Business owners have challenged this model, with some even winning in small claims court.A broader class-action case was dismissed, with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that it was fine for Yelp to manipulate positive and negative reviews of its restaurant clients. As for the claims of the plaintiffs that Yelp functionally extorted them, the court said too bad; Yelp was under no obligation to be even-handed or fair.Lots of outrage over this eventually led to a Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary, "Billion Dollar Bully." The problem has caused Yelp so much reputational harm that the company felt compelled to set up a page on its website with the headline, "Yelp Does Not Extort Local Businesses or Manipulate Ratings."Nevertheless, the market has mounting doubts about Yelp and its business: the shares have declined 65% from their peak in 2014.DoorDash: How well does the gig economy pay? That was what a New York Times reporter wanted to find out. So he started working as a food-delivery man for some of the more popular apps, including DoorDash. He discovered that the pay wasn't great -- as little as $5 an hour to as much as $20 for "Jedi Masters" \-- and it's falling as the apps attract more delivery people.It also turned out that DoorDash and others were keeping the tips -- all of which employees were supposed to get -- and using them to subsidize workers' base pay. The subsequent uproar over the Times article led DoorDash and others to change tipping policies.DoorDash also was sued for using a fake In-N-Out Burger logo on its website and offering unauthorized deliveries for the fast-food chain.One thing becomes obvious when looking at these companies: they are all in hyper-competitive, low-margin businesses where economies of scale are either minimal or don't exist.But more to the point, it makes you wonder if these companies actually solve a consumer problem. There are reasonably credible review sites online such as Zagat, so why does anyone need to turn to suspect reviews on Yelp. As for restaurants that already offer meal delivery -- and there are many -- third-party delivery apps are superfluous.In other words, these are businesses that are responding to market signals the wrong way. Instead of bending the law and trampling all over ethical standards, they probably should rethink their business models -- or just close their doors.(1) Theself-dealing sweetheart arrangementsof Adam Neumann, WeWork’s founder and former CEO, was a special case, the result mainly of a weak and conflicted board of directors.To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Earnings Preview: Yelp (YELP) Q4 Earnings Expected to Decline
    Zacks

    Earnings Preview: Yelp (YELP) Q4 Earnings Expected to Decline

    Yelp (YELP) doesn't possess the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations.

  • Business Wire

    Yelp Announces Date of Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Financial Results

    Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP), the company that connects people with great local businesses, announced that it will release its financial results for the quarter and full year ended December 31, 2019 after the market closes on Thursday, February 13, 2020.

  • Koch Network Tells Tech Giants to Shape Up on Data, Speech
    Bloomberg

    Koch Network Tells Tech Giants to Shape Up on Data, Speech

    (Bloomberg) -- The Koch political network is advising tech companies that have come under fire in Washington that they should act as good stewards of data but resist pressure to police political ads or give the government access to encrypted devices.After the group spent years defending business and telling the government to stand back, it released principles on Monday that press companies to change their behavior. They call on firms to be “responsible stewards of the data they collect, use, store, and share,” post clear data-use policies, and be transparent about problems.“At a time when the tech industry is under increasing scrutiny from D.C., we think it’s critical that companies remain committed to a principled approach,” said Jesse Blumenthal, vice president of technology and innovation at Stand Together.The manifesto is a further sign that the network of political groups and non-profits founded by billionaire industrialist Charles Koch and his late brother, David Koch, is shifting its focus away from the Tea Party-style politics it helped create a decade ago, which experts say gave rise to a more nationalist, populist Republican Party -- and President Donald Trump.Now, the Koch-affiliated groups are increasingly emphasizing tech policy. Charles Koch, 84, is courting the mostly liberal denizens of Silicon Valley. His son, Chase, 42, is pouring money into tech startups as part of an initiative to diversify the family business, many of whose products are derived from fossil fuels. The younger Koch is “interested in helping to shape our vision across issue areas, including tech,” said Jim Fellinger, spokesman for Stand Together, the umbrella name for the Koch network.Blumenthal praised Facebook Inc. for its controversial decision to leave its political-ads policy intact and not fact-check the ads in the name of free speech. He also said Apple Inc. was right to oppose the U.S.’s renewed push for so-called back doors into encrypted iPhones.Bipartisan ApproachThe Koch organizations have broken from Trump over several high-profile issues, including trade and immigration. They have backed away from supporting some Republicans and focused on issues, such as criminal-justice reform, with more bipartisan appeal. The splits have diminished the network’s clout in conservative circles.The group said it will promote its principles in Washington through Facebook and Twitter ads. Blumenthal said it will also refer to them in future statements, conversations with lawmakers and interactions with the companies themselves.Aside from data stewardship, free speech and surveillance, the Koch document also wants corporations to push back on government regulation and embrace emerging technologies.Companies should also stop seeking special deals from government, Blumenthal said, adding that the U.S. risks losing its global leadership to countries like Russia and China if the tech sector backs away from free-market ideals.The principles come as many lawmakers, regulators and consumer groups have expressed frustration with internet companies’ privacy lapses, alleged anti-competitive practices and controversial content that users post or advertise.Encryption FightSome companies and trade groups argue that the industry should accept light regulation on privacy and artificial intelligence as a way to fend off more onerous rules. In a sign that the Kochs remain true to their libertarian roots, Blumenthal said that such proposals concede too much on important issues.The group’s document urges companies to defend free speech in particular. Last year, Twitter announced it was ending political ads, and Google’s YouTube has moved to limit political ad targeting, both in response to concerns about election misinformation.Lawmakers and civil rights groups have argued that the platforms have allowed politicians and foreign actors to spread misinformation -- a concern Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey acknowledged in his company’s announcement.The tech sector should also hold the line against warrantless government surveillance and access to encrypted data, the principles say. The Trump administration’s recent push on the issue has focused on an iPhone used by the gunman in a December terrorist attack. Blumenthal praised the Cupertino, California-based phone maker for being among “businesses standing up to government and productively saying no.”Stand Together also pressed companies to avoid using regulation or antitrust enforcement to hinder competitors. Blumenthal pointed to Yelp Inc.’s longtime allegations of anticompetitive behavior against Google as well as Google’s own role in pushing 2015 net neutrality rules, since repealed, that regulated broadband providers.“That’s just corporate welfare,” Blumenthal said.To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at btenerellabr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, Paula DwyerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Yelp: Despite a strong US consumer, local businesses slumped in 2019
    Yahoo Finance

    Yelp: Despite a strong US consumer, local businesses slumped in 2019

    Despite accounts of a strong U.S. consumer, local businesses slumped in 2019 based on data from the business review site Yelp. 

  • Moving Average Crossover Alert: Yelp
    Zacks

    Moving Average Crossover Alert: Yelp

    Yelp Inc. (YELP) is looking like an interesting pick from a technical perspective, as the company is seeing favorable trends on the moving average crossover front.

  • Business Wire

    Yelp Economic Average Shows Slumping National Growth in 2019 With Continued Declines Expected in Q1 2020 Across Sectors

    Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP), the company that connects people with great local businesses, today released its first-ever annual Yelp Economic Average (YEA) report, a benchmark of local economic strength in the U.S. The report found that most local economies nationwide slumped in 2019, down 1.3% from the previous year, led by underperformance in restaurant, food and nightlight categories, as well as brick-and-mortar shops. A weak fourth quarter, down 1.4%, largely contributed to the 2019 drop and marked the largest quarter-over-quarter decline since 2018. The report also found that businesses in states that voted Republican in the 2016 presidential election outpaced the economic growth of businesses in states that voted Democratic.

  • An Intrinsic Calculation For Yelp Inc. (NYSE:YELP) Suggests It's 43% Undervalued
    Simply Wall St.

    An Intrinsic Calculation For Yelp Inc. (NYSE:YELP) Suggests It's 43% Undervalued

    Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of Yelp Inc. (NYSE:YELP...

  • DL vs. YELP: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?
    Zacks

    DL vs. YELP: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?

    DL vs. YELP: Which Stock Is the Better Value Option?

  • Zacks

    Another Small Decline as We Wait on Trade

    Another Small Decline as We Wait on Trade

  • Why Is Yelp (YELP) Up 10.8% Since Last Earnings Report?
    Zacks

    Why Is Yelp (YELP) Up 10.8% Since Last Earnings Report?

    Yelp (YELP) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

  • Elon Musk’s Boring Co. Is Run by a Former Bar Owner Who Can Quote Ayn Rand
    Bloomberg

    Elon Musk’s Boring Co. Is Run by a Former Bar Owner Who Can Quote Ayn Rand

    (Bloomberg) -- Before he became the director of one of the world’s most closely watched transportation companies, Steve Davis owned a bar. And not just any bar. Thomas Foolery was dubbed by the Washington City Paper “the wackiest bar in Washington.” It sold Ring Pops, kept a Bedazzler on the premises and gave 10% off to anyone who dressed up as Carlton from the TV show Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.So it’s perhaps fitting that Davis is now the president of Boring Co., Elon Musk’s wackiest transportation startup. Boring Co., despite its audacious goal of remaking urban transit, also created a media sensation last year by selling flamethrowers and building an actual watchtower as part of an elaborate Monty Python joke.Now, Davis and Boring Co. have more serious plans. On Friday, he’ll be on site to mark the official start of tunnel-drilling underneath the Las Vegas Convention Center. It’s the first big test of whether the whimsical Boring Co. can actually complete a large-scale commercial undertaking.Boring Co.’s $48.7 million subterranean transit system in Las Vegas is its only major project so far, outside of a nearly mile-long test tunnel in Hawthorne, California. Pit construction and other preliminary work on the project began two months ago. If all goes according to plan, in January 2021, Las Vegas convention goers will be able to board Teslas running along a throughway buried underground, and be hurtled halfway along the sprawling complex in just 1 minute. So far, despite Boring Co.’s high profile, Davis has largely stayed out of the spotlight. Through a spokesman, he declined multiple interview requests for this article. But he’s a key force within the company. “He has the ability to inspire people,” said Mike Wongkaew, who was a Boring Co. engineer until late last year. “He also rolls up his sleeves and helps out.” Last year, as the company raced to finish its Hawthorne test tunnel, Wongkaew said Davis was among those helping carry supplies like plywood frames deep into the tunnel.Colleagues describe him as a sharp engineer who provides both broad leadership and tackles detailed engineering questions. “He’s a technical guy,” said Juan Reyes, former acting administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, now a partner at law firm Seyfarth Shaw. “They really count on him to resolve issues.”And at Boring Co. today, there is no shortage of issues. While the company has made progress in Las Vegas, two more of its major projects have been stymied. In Washington, a proposed link from the city to Baltimore is mired in regulatory review. And in Chicago, where former Mayor Rahm Emmanuel promised speedy action on a proposed downtown-to-O’Hare shuttle, the mayor’s unexpected retirement threw the plans into limbo. His successor, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, told the Chicago Sun Times in June that Musk’s promise to build the tunnel without city money was “a total fantasy” and that the project didn’t rise “to the top of our list” of priorities. Other critics have questioned both the safety of Boring Co. tunnels and the company’s lack of experience building large-scale infrastructure. But it’s a newcomer’s fresh thinking, the company contends, that’s allowed it to develop technology to construct tunnels faster and cheaper than the competition. Boring Co.’s champions believe that combination will make a new transportation future possible. Now, in Las Vegas, with two parallel 0.8-mile tunnels under the convention center, Davis is going to get the chance to prove it.Davis started working with Elon Musk in 2003 as one of the first hires at Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. With his twin master’s degrees in particle physics and aerospace engineering, Davis developed a reputation at SpaceX for relentlessness. “He’s been working 16 hours a day every day for years,” one SpaceX engineer told Bloomberg journalist Ashlee Vance in his book, Elon Musk. “He gets more done than 11 people working together.”He’s also performed feats of engineering. At one point, Musk assigned Davis the near-impossible task of making a part that cost $120,000 with a budget of $5,000. Davis toiled for months and eventually came up with a way to craft the part for $3,900, Vance writes. When Davis sent Musk a lengthy message with the good news, outlining the process and savings, Musk sent a one-word email back: “Ok.” Davis now jokes about the incident, but it reveals a hard-headedness from Musk, a famously tough boss, as well as Davis’s ability to handle it. Davis is one of Musk’s longer-serving executives.At SpaceX, Davis spent a few years working in different locations, including Omelek Island in the Marshall Islands, where the company once had launch facilities, as well as its Southern California headquarters. Then, a little over a decade ago, he moved to Washington to open the company’s D.C. office.There, missing the type of frozen yogurt he’d grown accustomed to in California, he decided to learn to make it himself via trial and error, according to an interview with a local radio station. As a side project, he opened his own yogurt store, Mr. Yogato, in the city’s Dupont Circle neighborhood, three months before the first successful launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 1 vehicle in 2008. Mr. Yogato customers who answered trivia questions correctly got 10% off, as did anyone who could stump Davis on a Seinfeld question, according to the “Rules of Yogato” posted on the shop’s website. Those who came dressed as tennis star Bjorn Borg got 25% off.This burst of entrepreneurship unfolded as Davis, still at SpaceX, got to work on yet another degree: a Ph.D. program in economics at George Mason University, where he wrote his 2010 dissertation on U.S. currency debasement. In the preface he noted he one day hoped to open a restaurant called “Little Yohai,” perhaps finding inspiration in Morrie Robert Yohai, inventor of the Cheez Doodle.Instead, he settled for opening a bar, Thomas Foolery, which became one of the first restaurants in Washington to accept Bitcoin. The bar was stuffed with “gimmick upon gimmick,” wrote the Washington Post, including “angry hour” discounts for patrons who shouted their drink orders. It also served comfort food like grilled cheese sandwiches, cookies with ice cream and spiked versions of milkshakes. “Basically, it takes you back to being a kid, but with alcohol,” one reviewer wrote on Yelp.Today, Davis is no longer a restaurateur. Thomas Foolery closed in 2015, and he sold Mr. Yogato last year for $1, after holding a contest to select the new owner. Now, Davis seems to have found a creative outlet on a much larger scale.In 2016, Musk started Boring Co., which he tapped Davis to lead. Onstage at a presentation in Los Angeles last year, Musk and Davis joked about their plans for the company’s waste product of tunneling sludge. Davis deferred to Musk, laughing at his jokes without seeming obsequious, and a couple of times gently nudged him from one topic to the next. Their easy rapport may help explain Davis’s longer-than-usual tenure as a top Musk lieutenant. At the event, Musk said he was contemplating selling Boring Co. bricks made from dug-up dirt for life-size Lego kits, or perhaps using them to create an Egyptian-style monument. Davis responded by telling Musk the company would build him a pyramid. (So far Boring Co. has only built the Monty Python watchtower.) While the two men talked, between them, a snail crawled around in a pineapple-shaped terrarium, meant to symbolize the slow pace of competitors’ tunneling equipment.Some in the industry are not amused. In Las Vegas, the city’s own mayor, Carolyn Goodman, took a stand against the Boring Co. project there, citing the company’s track record of completing zero commercial projects so far. But this spring, Davis spoke at a Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority meeting about the company’s vision for the transit system. The group outvoted Goodman and approved the tunnels. Wooing skeptical public officials has become an integral part of Davis’s job, as he fights for the requisite approvals and contracts in places like Chicago and Baltimore. It’s a task he was familiar with from his time at SpaceX in Washington, negotiating with agencies like the Federal Aviation Association. “He was always trying to adjust things so the government would ultimately approve it,” said former railroad administrator Reyes, who got to know Davis through Boring Co.’s efforts to navigate the intricate federal review process required for the Washington-area tunnel. Yet in one way, Davis’s role as a government liaison is an odd fit. He has served as a member of the board of advisers of the Atlas Society, according to its website. The group is dedicated to exploring the philosophy of Ayn Rand, known for equating government bureaucrats with “looters and moochers.” According to one 2012 report on a lecture he gave at the Atlas Society, Davis can quote from Rand’s influential novel, Atlas Shrugged. He also appears in the background of a 2012 movie based on the book.Whatever his literary preferences, regulators will look more kindly on Boring Co. if Davis can pull off the Las Vegas project without a hitch. Plenty of other cities could use a low-cost transit option. And the Boring Co. is likely to bid on other projects as they come up around the country.One contender: San Jose, California, which has sent engineers to meet with the Boring Co. and earlier this year put out a request for information on two projects. One would connect Diridon Station downtown to the airport, and the other would run along the Stevens Creek corridor, a busy thoroughfare that connects downtown to Cupertino, about a dozen miles west. It was the Boring Co., said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, that inspired the city to believe it could attract relatively low-cost, high-tech proposals.If Boring Co. lives up to its promises in congested urban areas around the country, its technology could one day outdo the fervently held techie dream of building cars that fly, Davis has said. “Flying cars ... they don’t really exist,” he said during the Los Angeles presentation with Musk. “Tunnels do exist. And are very buildable.” To contact the author of this story: Sarah McBride in San Francisco at smcbride24@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Anne VanderMey at avandermey@bloomberg.net, Mark MilianFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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