Similar to Matt, I wonder about the strategy behind vertical integration. As you pointed out, they are aiming to build out an infrastructure of super-charging stations. Would that strategy be better served by an open-standard battery technology, which encourages widespread adoption of electric cars by multiple manufacturers, and provides an incentive for broader distribution of supercharging stations?
I think one other interesting way they boost the customer experience is with FastPass, which lets you book time slots on a ride in advance and skip the queue, which is a really interesting way of smoothing capacity across the park, and ensuring guests maximize the value of their day.
Disney Parks has a real challenge with incentive systems – as you highlighted they can command high prices on food and merchandise – but at the same time, I imagine they rely on repeat visitors for a significant portion of their revenue. The question then becomes how do you manage the trade off for managers between maximizing a guest’s spend in a given day, and the perceived value they received which likely influence return rates.
My understanding is that Amazon (increasingly a competitor) provides much of the backend infrastructure for Netflix through the AWS platform. How would you think about operations being a source of competitive advantage if they are outsourcing this capability? Are you worried about Netflix being disinter mediated?
It seems to me the key part of Netflix’s operating model is very similar to Wyeth Pharmaceuticals – how can they use their database of watching habits to better identify original or licensed content with positive ROI.