I’ve always found Bonobos to be a fascinating company. I feel like it was one of the first to capitalize on the ability to have a vertically integrated clothing store through the e-retail channel, and do so by focusing on men’s clothing, which traditionally was thought to have less opportunity for innovation and creativity than women’s clothing. They then capitalized on the transition from being 100% e-retail to building brick and mortar stores to aid their business model and foray into being an omni-channel retail company. Now Bonobos is offering women’s clothes with a similar “high-quality, great fit and affordable” mindset that their menswear adheres to. I will be interested to see how they try to stay ahead of other omni-channel retail companies in the coming years!
Really interesting post and I’m impressed by your succinct summary of their operating model! Red Hat was one of the software/Enterprise IT companies we covered when I worked at Deutsche Bank in Equity Research sales. Our research analyst found this company to be one of the harder ones to fully explain to investors. Many investors simply focused on Red Hat’s connection with the “cloud” buzzword you mentioned and they jumped on board, but as you clearly lay out above, there are a lot more nuances to their business model that demonstrate the immense value the company creates. I hadn’t realized the extent to which Red Hat maintains a relationship with the legacy IT companies and is able to capitalize on their connection to the open source community.
To Professor Iansiti’s point above, our investors were also most interested in hearing about any acquisition talks Red Hat was engaged in, and became noticeably more engaged with our research on Red Hat after larger companies bought other smaller software firms that had some similarities to Red Hat’s business proposition. I agree that this is one explanation for the higher multiples!
I really enjoyed this post as well! I also hadn’t realized the extent/openness of the TEDx product, and it made me think about not only the quality control aspect of what gets posted to the platform (and its interesting to learn that only 1& make it to the site for broad distribution!), but also about controlling the message of the product and ensuring that audiences react to and use the talks in the most productive manner. If people understand the limitations and broader goal behind the TEDx talks, then they will get the most out of them.
This idea of open knowledge reminded me a little of the Ed Tech company I worked with last year. Though it was a closed platform, the company’s aim was to democratize education and therefore published its content and lessons free of charge to the website. However, the company then worked closely with schools and teachers to determine best implementation practices and trainings on how to use the subject material in the classroom. Recently, the company experienced explosive growth due to networking/community effect as teachers around the nation found the content online and began to not only use it in their classrooms, but also posted youtube tutorials to help other teachers understand how they should use the content. While this attention and positive feedback is extremely exciting, the idea of controlling the message also comes into play. As creators of the content, the company believes that they have the most high level insights on how users can engage with the material in the most fruitful way possible.