Super interesting read,
I have only flown VA once and it was a pretty cool experience, definitely on board to fly again! I think there are a few things that give me pause going forward for their future prospects –
A) Other airlines seem to be catching up in terms of in-flight experience. Almost all carriers now offer in-seat entertainment, whether on the seat itself or via free web application accessible via wifi. Many of the new internal remodels of the legacy carriers have a very similar “cool” vibe feel to them with LED lighting and fancy carry-on luggage spots
B) The single-plane model works super well right now, but what about when they need to upgrade? Not only do the new 787s/A380s look pretty awesome, but the new version of the 737 also offers a significant tech upgrade over existing models. It’s just a little bit of an unknown right now given they have never had to go through a major fleet overhaul to date
As their service competitive advantage shrinks and other carriers begin rolling out their newly purchased upgraded fleets, I think they will struggle to maintain their core business customer as the new large-airline-conglomerate landscape formed as a result of mergers in the last 5 years offers business travelers non-stop access to almost every market on a single airline with better perks (such as free upgrades and more vacation destinations available with miles) and comparable service.
That said, I am totally convinced they have done an excellent job in the last decade really leading the charge on with a service-focused offering and capturing much of that value with a streamline operations
I have two pairs of shoes that I wore to work for the last 4 years, both of them from Allen Edmonds. I think there is something special about shoes that isn’t really that important in other clothes. the biggest selling point for me, wasn’t necessarily the “American Made” in particular but the love and care they seemed to put into their product all around, they are really nice solid shoes that just feel high quality. They also have great customer service! A few years ago, I bought a pair of shoes in a Chicago Allen Edmonds store that were a size too small, wore them to a wedding, and then swapped them out for a different size when I got back to the Boston Allen Edmonds store! Amazing.
This type of service wouldn’t be that important to me for say a dress shirt. Definitely agree with James: stick to shoes
Super interesting post!
I think the piece you brought up about the community and fraud prevention is especially insightful. Given that I would imagine Kickstarter alone provides very little additional visibility to any given project (each project seems to build their own awareness via viral campaigns and the mainstream press) the only thing preventing someone from listing on indigogo is probably the additional layer of legitimacy the kickstarter brand provides. I wonder if kickstarter could refocus it’s business model on further building that legitimacy angle rather than simply acting as a funding platform. Kickstarter could not take any fees from the initial fund raising but instead get a small amount of equity in the launched company. Or maybe a project could pay slightly higher fees to get a dedicated “kickstarter advisor” that would help directly interface between the creators and the community.
Either way, definitely an interesting and critical component of our new internet economy!