Hi Andrea, thanks for writing this post, M-PESA is definitely a very interesting company to learn about (sounds like the Venmo of the developing world!). I think its particularly cool that individuals can either pay using the M-PESA mobile money they obtain from agents or by selling airtime, which is another valuable, and exchangeable unit of value that can serve as fiat money. One question I had is how depositing/withdrawing cash for mobile money at an M-PESA agent is different from going to a bank to conduct a transfer. In both instances, the user has to travel to a physical location before an electronic transfer can happen. Is the difference that users will keep large balances of mobile-money like we do in the US with venmo to limit the number of visits to the agent? If that is the case, then cyber security would also seem to be a critical component of the operating model to ensure this electronic money remains safe before it is converted to cash.
Great post Michelle! I agree Harry is a very interesting company and you brought up some key points on the distinct qualities that differentiate its business model vs incumbent brands. One part of their operating model I am still a bit confused by is their decision to purchase a factory in Europe. I worry that as a US start-up, they will spend too much time dealing with supply chain and manufacturing issues in Germany that will divert attention away from marketing efforts in the US to rapidly build scale to capitalize on its first-mover advantage. On a similar note, when their existing factory is fully utilized, it is unclear to me how easily it will be for them to bring new capacity online. I say all of this with the assumption that consumers care about good quality razors, but that the primary value proposition of the Company is its convenient delivery to end users and its lower priced items.
Do you think Harry could have entered into partnerships with the existing European manufacturers to de-risk the business by avoiding capital intensive projects? Or would the negatives outweigh the benefits?
Thanks for sharing this interesting write-up on Emirates, one of the few airlines that I have truly enjoyed flying on. I am really impressed with their ability to be a cost-efficient carrier, while at the same time constantly upgrading their fleet to ensure they have top-of-the line planes. Do you think this creates a potentially risky situation for the airline? If demand falls off a cliff or capacity rises from increased competition, then Emirates will be stuck with underutilized expensive planes?