This is a very interesting case study of a lean team having a broad and powerful impact by leveraging recent technological innovations, including crowd sourcing. I wonder if this model would work in many other cities and what its scaling limitations are (i.e. could you extend this to the county level or the state level)? Are there ways that constituents can “game the system” by organizing among themselves and pointing out the same issues or suggesting the same projects, effectively over-magnifying the importance of certain a issue or project when compared to others?
This is a very interesting post. I’m fascinated at their ability to maintain their image as a craft beer company while reaching the scale that they have. I wonder how much investment is required by the company to participate in these community events and beer competitions (perhaps they are actually even profitable in a small way if they sell beer or paraphernalia at these events)? I also wonder whether they have reached such a scale at this point that they cannot be challenged by potential competitors (i.e. if someone were to purchase several local craft brew companies and roll them up, would they be able achieve a similar level of operational efficiency that The Boston Beer Company enjoys)?
I am impressed by how much the operating model hinges on human capital. In an industry that is very operationally intensive, it seems counter intuitive at first glance that the human component would be the most important part of the operating model. However, after more thought, one may consider the fact that just to exist in the restaurant space requires excellent logistical coordination and expertise, so executing the human component of the model better than your competitors can be a differentiating factor and advantage. I wonder if the level to which they empower employees will change as the existing stores mature and the business scales, opening more locations.