Awesome post Brandon! I think Tesla is fascinating (Elon Musk is definitely a genius) and had no idea they had these other streams of revenue through carbon credits and Tesla Energy. They are becoming a leader in battery technology and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see them in cell phone batteries and other consumer products soon. Cell phone market is huge and people would pay top dollar for an iPhone that could last a full week without a charge versus what we have now. The auto and energy industry is quite mature and ready for disruption. Tesla is doing a great job of developing a new business and operating model to disrupt both industries. Direct distribution is brilliant, however, as we learned in the Ford case, there is a lot of regulation in the auto industry. Do you think the old laws that were put in place decades ago will change anytime soon? I think Tesla might need to do some lobbying to get them changed, otherwise this could be a big threat to their business. For example, Tesla can’t legally sell in New Jersey at all!
Great post David. I had my first Top Golf experience over the summer at home in Florida as they recently opened one in Tampa. It was a fantastic experience and I would definitely go back again. It was interesting learning about their operations. I had no idea most of their food was made from scratch! Or that they took hiring so seriously. I think it definitely shows, as I was impressed with how great the service was despite the crazy amounts of people there. I couldn’t tell if Top Golf was just a new fad or if this place was actually going to maintain this level of business. It was all the buzz when I was at home so I had to check it out. I think they definitely do a great job of getting people in and providing them other avenues of entertainment as they wait to golf (which can be long, as you mentioned). However, the wait is still fun and I didn’t mind it. And even while you golf I thought it was great that we got to eat and drink by our bay. The whole experience reminded me of those eat, drink and bowl type of places – except for golf. They translated that concept well. The only thing that concerns me is that the investment required to build a Top Golf is clearly high. Do you think they will have the strong consistent user base required to get returns on this investment? Or is this just a fad?
Fascinating post Tina! I’ve wondered for a long time how Venmo makes money (or plans to in the future). The service is so widely used now that “venmo me” has become the payments equivalent as “google it” is for search! I like that they are focusing on user growth and developing this behavior where we rely on making so many payments through venmo to our friends. The next smart step is to convince users to make payments to businesses through it as well. Users are now quite comfortable with Venmo so I don’t see this being a huge problem. The hard part will be convincing businesses who have to pay the 2.9% fee. This charge is similar to credit card processing fees, which many businesses avoid by simply not accepting credit cards. If Venmo can offer additional value to businesses as well, I think it might entice them more. For example, if they could collect payment data across businesses and provide it to businesses, that would be very valuable data – similar to the type of data Nielsen gathers. Businesses could see what types of goods are popular at their competitors, average transaction size, etc.
You know your entertainment biz news well Marc!
Completely agree. I think they will eventually shed the DVD business, but I would say that’s still at least 5 years away. For now, I think there are users that still want both services for the movies and TV shows that aren’t available for streaming. So they need to hold on to DVDs to keep those customers. It would be interesting to know how many of the DVD customers and streaming customers overlap.