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On December 13, 2015, rdalal commented on Ferrari: Innovation on the Road and Track :

Thank you for the comments. I think Ferrari will continue to push the envelope with innovative technology as evidenced by its hybrid LaFerrari which uses a traditional V12 engine supplemented by a HY-KERS electric motor giving it 950+ bhp. I think it, along with other hypercar competitors like the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 which use similar powerplants will remain at the cutting edge and companies like Tesla will find ways to bring similar commercial solutions to the mass market. I agree that if we ever get evolve to fully driverless car world, Ferrari will likely have no place, but as a purist, I hope that isn’t anytime soon.

On December 13, 2015, rdalal commented on CommonBond: Disrupting the $1.3 Trillion Student Loan Market :

Thanks for the post. Their risk algorithm is certainly interesting but for their business model – I am wondering what they are paying in customer acquisition costs. Specifiaclly, beyond word of mouth, how is their message being spread? My concern is that digital advertising efforts like sponsored search, facebook ads or worse, they dreaded spam email will dilute their brand image and put them in the category of LendingTree / Greenlight and other loan companies that might have a lower cost of capital put still feel sketchy regardless.

Thanks for the great read – big fan of TJs. Their financials definitely exemplify a well run business but what I wonder is how their vendors view them as a customer based on what I assume is a lower margin sale versus selling to a retailer like Whole Foods who can pass through a higher price to the end user. Maybe because they have such low SKU count, their volume / turnover is higher so they make up for it that way.

I was introduced to the brand through Nordstroms actually which I think is a perfect complement to their high-touch service model at etail and Guideshops. I think it gives them greater brand awareness but I wonder what percent of their sales is actually through this channel and how it has affected their back end / need for investment as they adapt their strategy to satisfy Nordstrom as a distributor.

On December 13, 2015, rdalal commented on Catch Surf: A Surfboard Company with an Apparel Problem? :

Really cool retro designs – I wonder if the apparel trends/styles will be as popular in other regions like the East Coast where “Socal” culture doesn’t exist, especially if the sale of beater boards don’t take off and thus doesn’t provide any “push” from consumers. I know what I want for xmas now. Thanks for the fun read.