Thanks for sharing this! Even though Solazyme has a number of different finished oil products, they all seem to be dependent on the same biotechnology platform to produce. What will happen to the company when the intellectual property on that platform runs out? Or if someone finds a work around? Is there something unique about the process itself that can’t be replicated?
This was a pleasure to read. You mentioned that Dorman is constantly changing its product offerings as competitors enter the market and drive prices on the old products down. Are they finding new manufacturers every time they do this? Or are their suppliers flexible enough to adapt their lines to make new products every 2-3 years. The supply chain management for such a large and dynamic product list seems quite complicated. Thanks for sharing; I had never thought about this industry before.
This was a lovely read. I’m curious — you mention that Patagonia’s customers are often willing to pay a premium because of the quality of its products and its social mission. This came up earlier in the year in the Nike case, but I feel there may sometimes be a tension between being environmentally cautious and providing the highest possible quality. The example you give of the fleeces made from recycled soda bottles — do customers find that they are objectively higher quality than alternatives or is it more of an emotional benefit from knowing the products promote sustainability? (And if these recycled materials are actually better options why doesn’t everyone use them?). Regardless, I’d love to work at a company that lets me surf every afternoon. Well done!