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On December 14, 2015, James commented on Redbox – “Disruptor” Finally Disrupted :

I enjoyed the very clear analysis on the centralized and capital efficient Amazon model vs the RedBox model. It seems that Redbox made a bet on low engagement consumers, and Netflix made a bet on high engagement consumers. I remember wondering this when the Netflix model was originally introduced: “Would people really bother to make this list of movies they wanted to see, wait for them in the mail, and then mail them back?” It seemed like a lot of hassle when you could just go down to Blockbuster. If I’m RedBox, it’s this mentality which drives me into a capital intensive kiosk model. Interestingly, my intuition probably would have been that RedBox made a good bet: generally speaking, I’d guess consumers are lazy, and prefer convenience above all else. I would have been wrong.

On December 14, 2015, James commented on TESSEI: The 7 minute miracle of the bullet train cleaning crew :

I am fascinated by the power of bowing as a demonstration of “pride and diligence”. I can only imagine how this helps to remind employees of the seriousness of their work, and of their reinforce their self-worth. It is hard to imagine anything of the sort being implementable in the United States, and yet perhaps there are things we can learn. It seems like a principle worth exploring in the future…

On December 14, 2015, James commented on Tesla Motors – Electrifying the Future :

Love it! I wonder to what extent Tesla’s business model (their goal for it anyway) has put pressure on their operating model. To produce “compelling mass market vehicles,” you’ve got to hit that $35k price range. I know this is a real challenge. You can imagine how much more challenging it would be if they had to build in a margin for dealerships, and a margin for up-stream suppliers. In essence, what I wonder is if vertical integration and a direct-to-consumer marketing strategy are products of necessity rather than pure innovation. That’s not to say there is something wrong with this model for innovation. After all, “necessity is the mother of innovation.” It does suggest, however, suggest that Elon didn’t look at the world and decide these elements of the current industry were necessarily broken, though it is hard to imagine how they aren’t. Perhaps necessity is indeed sometimes a prereq.