Good points Tom. The video of Blue Origin successfully landing a rocket had to hit Musk hard, regardless of what he says. I am glad they are there as a competitor for SpaceX though. The Government contracting process in which these contracts are awarded is dependent on multiple bids. SpaceX is winning currently because they are the only low cost launch option but as competitors start to take hold, this may no longer hold true. Another issue all together is going to be manned launch. With SpaceX’s recent “reliability” issues pointed out by Tom, I wonder how they will fare in the next government Request for Proposal (RFP) if there is a similarly priced competitor without the history of rockets blowing up! They cost-plus margin pricing scheme mentioned in the write up is not a Lockheed-Boing thing, but a government contractual process thing. This is unlikely to change in the near term and the competition takes place on the “margin” side of the house. In other words, if a similar cost competitor comes along with no other advantages, the winner of the bidding process will be the one that agrees to the lowest profit margin and this worries me for SpaceX going forward. Lockheed in particular is an old pro at this very cumbersome process and if they can ever make a cheap rocket my money would be on them (as much as I hate to say that).
I agree with Michael, Panera has succeeded in becoming a “third place” for many americans. I wonder how much their location choices has played in their success. I have primarily lived in suburban areas and always frequented Panera, and must say that I have never seen the line issues experienced by others. I have seen stores operating at fairly high capacity throughout the day though. I think by locating in areas that have several demographics in close proximity (retirees, Stay-at-home parents, young professionals), the Panera’s that I have visited were successful in balancing demand, in part, due to their choices of where to operate. I wonder, as the U.S. gets closer to saturation of fast casual restaurants, how they will need to alter their stores to meet the needs of different customers than they are used to serving?
Great Post Cathy. I wonder if the fact that Regina Miracle generates 35% of its revenue from L Brands worries the company leadership? I wonder how much they are trying to diversify their revenue base (Under Armour)?