JC Napoleon

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On December 14, 2015, JC Napoleon commented on Uber: global disruption of an old industry :

Many thanks for sharing Etienne, such an interesting company! I use it almost everyday. In London, I remember checking my Amex bills and realized I was spending like 1500 pounds per month on Uber! No wonder why it’s worth $60Bn!
I have always wonder why/how Uber has been more successful than other online taxi companies that existed before them. Addison Lee in London was extremely successful with its app system, and got crushed by Uber in a few months! Maybe the compensation/commissions offered to the drivers were better. If that’s the case, I wonder how Uber would react if a-like-of Lyft were to come with a more agressive pricing strategy.
I wonder how the contractual relationships with the drivers will evolve, it can have a huge impact on the performance and valuation of the company (if Uber needs to hire them and pay social and health insurances), especially that the legal case is filed in California, its home market!
I also wonder how successful the company will be in its new products (food and package deliveries).
Many thanks again! JC

On December 14, 2015, JC Napoleon commented on Ryanair’s low-cost 30th birthday :

Thanks a lot for sharing Peter. I love flying with Ryanair, because I feel I am saving money!
I think the most interesting element is that Ryanair operates only one aircraft, where they also save money on pilots (all of them are trained on one type of plane, and they can fly every plane of the fleet) and also on maintenance (maintenance people are trained on one plane only and repairs are easier). However I wonder how much capacity/demand they are losing by doing so: I am pretty sure an airline can only optimize the supply and demand by having both smaller and larger planes on some routes.
I also think it’s interesting that Ryanair is becoming “less low cost” and slowly moving up the quality chain: Ryanair is now available at Gatwick in London for example, and not only Luton/Stansted anymore.
Finally, I wonder when Ryanair will enter the long haul market, for example on transatlantic flights. I am sure they could be very successful!

On December 14, 2015, JC Napoleon commented on KONE – Onwards and Upwards! :

Charles, many thanks for sharing your thoughts on Krone, this is a pretty interesting and attractive business model that I am not familiar with.
I really like the fact that Krone sells its escalators and elevators at slim margin (and maybe breakeven or even loss?), in order to hook up the customer during the construction of a new building (when they are capital/cash constraint until the building starts to generate revenue), and then charges large maintenance services for many years, because of high barriers to entry for external maintenance contractors.
I wonder how much they charge in maintenance per year and how does that compare with the installation cost. If the company sold the installations at loss (which I would not be surprised by), it would be interesting to see the number of years to breakeven or achieve a descent return.
I also guess the dynamic must be different between escalators and elevators, because escalators are probably easy to replace, and easier to maintain than elevators (by an external contractor). Whereas elevators are more complex and probably kept for decades in the same building, therefore the building manager doesn’t have the choice but to pay the maintenance (which I guess is gradually increasing with time!).
Thanks again!!