Loved this post. I think Tesla went above and beyond with the introduction of completely battery-powered cars. I think, however, that they went a little too far, too soon. Pure battery cars still have so many limitations, and while you mention their supercharger stations across the globe, Tesla are still quite a long time away from actually building out that network. For now, Teslas are confined to commuter cars. Will brings up important competitors, like the BMW i8. The i8 combines a battery powered engine with a standard gasoline combustion one. This dynamic allows the car to travel further, recharge the battery on the go, and deliver outstanding performance (let’s be real, cars are meant to be really driven). Given these points, I think Tesla went a little bit too far, and is beginning to face real headwinds from competitors that are likely reading the market better.
Awesome post! I love Mendocino Farms sandwiches! When reading this post, the only thing I could think of, and you touched on it very briefly, was how they would support their business by competing with the same target customer as a Whole Foods. Most Whole Foods have their own hot and cold food buffets, so why would a customer who already knows and goes to Whole Foods pick Mendocino over another option that’s equally delicious, has greater selection, and features a similar price point? While Whole Foods has begun to allow Mendocino to operate inside a store, I don’t think that’s a viable business model as they try to expand. It seems to me that Mendo will be fighting an uphill battle against Whole Foods.
Love tough mudders! Let’s do one…
Onto your post. Well done piece. As many have mentioned above, I question the viability of the business model, but they have somehow stayed on top of the market despite competitors like Spartan Races (as Peter mentioned). Do you think the first mover advantage was that large in this space? Does it have something to do with the fact that CrossFit also became big around the same time, championing the masochistic athlete? If CrossFit dies out, will ToughMudder & co. go with it?
One of the reasons Southwest was so successful as they grew was because they were able to lock in oil prices while they were lower before they jumped up to over $100 per barrel a few years ago. It would be cool to see how well they have been able to monitor and lock in prices these days, especially as the price of oil has plummeted. Will Southwest feel the pain?
Loved the post! Palantir is basically a big data analytics firm, with some twists in their algos… I wonder how many competitors are going to pop up and eat their lunch with more innovative methodologies. This business’s only barriers to entry seem to be talent in general, which is being churned out yearly from programs all over the world. It seems to me that the next palantir is just around the corner
I wonder if beating Apple and Google by thinking outside of the box is the way to go. I was under the impression that Apple and Google especially have entire divisions (like Google X) that do crazy, out of the box things. While Microsoft has done extremely well this year with the Surface tablet, I wonder if they can continue to grow. I’d like nothing more than to see them take the fight to Apple/Google, etc!