Thanks for the post Lauren –
The Snap Kitchen business model seems primed to attract millennial, health conscious consumers. I was wondering if you had to opportunity to ask Mr. Kirchhoff how he plans to scale the business if Snap Kitchen continues to grow rapidly around its four launch cities (Austin, Houston, Dallas and Chicago) or in new markets. For example, would the commissary kitchen model work if Snap Kitchen misses its growth estimates or fails to launch successfully in a new market? One could imagine a scenario where planned store front growth or new market forecasts fail to meet expectations, saddling the business with underutilized, expensive commissary kitchens. This might effectively erase the competitive advantage at the core of the current model (as we saw in the FRC case on Boston Chicken).
Thanks for posting about Cards Against Humanity – it is a hysterical game!
My question is whether Cards Against Humanity is a one-hit wonder or a sustainable, replicable business model. As you adeptly outline above, the Cards Against Humanity team has done an outstanding job keeping costs relatively low while benefitting from viral, word-of-mouth popularity. It also seems that CAH has two relatively straightforward revenue streams: 1) Selling Cards Against Humanity start packs and 2) selling expansion packs to pre-existing customers (they are on their 6th pack currently). It appears they have also decided to expand the game format to new areas (90’s nostalgia packs & holiday themed expansion cards).
Even more surprisingly, the company seems to be doubling-down by giving their gamers the ability to write, create and download their own decks for just $10 under a Creative Commons license. I would be interested to see if their is any precedence for this in the board game / card industry since it could draw CAH fans away from fully-priuced CAH decks and expansion packs.
Thanks for your post. Rocket Internet is a fascinating company and benefits tremendously from the copycat model that you outlined in your post. Moreover, my experiences working with Rocket-back companies and entrepreneurs (primarily in Southeast Asia) supports your thesis that Rocket’s universe of companies benefit tremendously from Rocket’s centralization in Berlin and, especially, its IT support. This has proven to be hugely valuable as their portfolio companies enter (and often compete with each other) in booming emerging market regions.
My question is whether Rocket Internet or its companies can sustain it/their success after implementing their “growth stage playbook”. While their start ups often generate tremendous buzz, Rocket also suffers from high manager attrition and relatively typical (venture backed) portfolio company failure rates. To me, the question remains if Rocket’s “proven winners” can become profitable businesses in the long-term. This volatility and unproven track record also calls into question Rocket’s decision to go public last year. Wouldn’t Rocket and its companies be better off remaining part of a private company with less external reporting requirements?
If you’re interested, I found this article in the FT thought-provoking: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/28a2a164-7645-11e5-a95a-27d368e1ddf7.html#axzz3trO4fhnK