Thanks for sharing this post. It would be very interesting to look at the differences between European football clubs and other professional sports franchises. Many US sports teams, especially baseball clubs, fail to turn profits despite large media markets and a large number of games. Perhaps some of these clubs need to take a look at FC Bayern’s operating model!
Thanks for the comment. One of our classmates actually wrote his post on FedEx Ground. I encourage you to check it out here: https://d3.harvard.edu/platform-rctom/submission/fedex-grounds-remarkable-ride-to-the-top/. FedEx Ground has grown its market share to about 37%, while UPS maintains about 60% of the ground parcel market. In the express delivery business, FedEx has about 80% market share. So, to answer you question, there is some truth to the idea that UPS dominates ground and FedEx dominates the air. However, it is important to note that both companies have expanded their logistics solutions, and competition remains high.
I find it interesting that you imply that predecessor organizations to the Islamic State relied primarily on terrorist attacks in the West. While the genesis of ISIS from the ashes of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia is well-documented, there was quite a bit of differentiation between what was largely a Sunni-backed insurgency in western Iraq from the global Al Qaeda that perpetrated the 9/11 attacks. A more interesting comparison, at least to me, would be to compare the ISIS model to those of Hizbollah in Lebanon, the Mahdi Army in Iraq, and Hamas in Palestine. These groups, which largely relied on terrorist-type tactics to foment unrest against the powers governing their respective areas, were able to “go legit” by morphing into political entities that effectively govern territory and provide basic services to the local inhabitants. In all three cases, each of these groups, that largely started as insurgencies, have been able to use the democratic process to control seats in their respective parliaments. They have chosen to work within the existing system, and their goals are local rather than global. ISIS, on the other hand, has global ambitions and has chosen to challenge the very notion of the Westphalian nation-state.
Perhaps an even more salient comparison would be with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Like the people in eastern Syria and western Iraq, the Afghan people in Kandahar and Helmand provinces initially turned to the Taliban to provide a sense of justice and order in the midst of governmental and extra-governmental malfeasance. However, they eventually angered the United States by providing sanctuary to Al Qaeda and wore out their welcome in other parts of the country due to the brutal nature of their rule and their unapologetic favoritism of the Pashtuns above all other ethnic groups.
In any event, good analysis of the business and operating models of the Islamic State. I especially appreciated your discussion of their marketing efforts.