Adam Gold

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On December 13, 2015, Adam Gold commented on Redbox – “Disruptor” Finally Disrupted :

Hi Will,

Thank you for the insightful post. In particular, I liked your description of how Redbox’s distribution method relative to Netflix made it much more difficult for them to manage inventory. I personally found that at the Redbox near my work, older titles no one had wanted in the first place were plentiful whereas hit titles that had just been released were always out of stock.

However, it seems to me that Redbox’s strategy still has some advantages over Netflix. One is the accumulation of recurring fees when customers don’t return their rental immediately. Another is the ability to rent console video games; game streaming services like OnLive have failed to stay in business, while Redbox’s game rentals should still be viable at least through the end of the current console cycle. Do either of these sources of revenue contribute significantly to Redbox’s top line?

In addition, I wonder if a move into streaming would have ever been possible for Redbox. Unlike Netflix, which shared revenue with content partners even in its early days, Redbox has always had an adversarial relationship with the film industry, which viewed Redbox as taking money away from DVD sales and contributing nothing in return. This tension may have made it difficult for Redbox Instant to source quality content. Do you think this could have been overcome even if Redbox had the capital to attempt a streaming platform earlier?


On December 13, 2015, Adam Gold commented on The Tangiers Casino–A Sure Bet :

Hi Austin,

Thank you for the great post. You do a great job of explaining how operations changes at the Tangiers made the business extremely profitable and changed Las Vegas casinos forever. Looking at casinos today, it seems as though every one of Rothstein’s innovations, from hiring female dealers to hosting flashy entertainment acts, have become standard in the industry.

Having not seen the film, can you go into more detail about what exactly was illegal? Whether the funding was sourced legally or not, The Tangiers described in the post appears to be a legitimate, sustainable business.


On December 13, 2015, Adam Gold commented on Axalta: “We Paint Winners” :

Hi Winnie,

Thank you for your very interesting post about an important company. It looks like Axalta really understands its target customer in emerging markets and has organized its operations accordingly.

Do you have any sense of the competition Axalta faces in this industry, either domestically or abroad? What is Axalta’s competitive edge relative to its rivals? Is it lower cost, better understanding of customer preferences like color, or something else entirely?


Hi Christine,

Thank you for your comment! Mendocino Farms does not make sandwiches in front of customers. Instead, customers wait at their table and servers bring meals to them once they are ready. Mendo’s menu is much larger and more diverse than restaurants like MOD Pizza or Chipotle, so organizing the kitchen so that meals could be prepared in front of customers in the same way would likely waste space and limit customer choice.

In my opinion, the customization options are actually already better at Mendo than at some of its rivals. Because orders are generated at the front of the restaurant with a special order-taking staff member who can observe the entire order, there is less opportunity for confusion or mistakes, and the staff can ensure that the order is consistent with regards to things like matching gluten-free bread with gluten-free ingredients.

In addition, because of Mendo’s tight integration with local providers, I don’t anticipate that it will quickly expand outside of Southern California. I think it can adopt the same approach with a different set of local partners in other geographic regions, and the ones you mentioned are the best fit culturally, but I anticipate that it may take time.

Hi Jeremy,

Yes, I believe all of the stores are wholly owned and operated by the company. Given the amount of control they maintain over the customer experience and the employee training process, I don’t anticipate they will choose to franchise in the near term, especially since they will continue to fully control their locations in their partnership with Whole Foods.