Stevie G

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On December 14, 2015, Stevie G commented on Progressive Insurance: Flo is an Operational Genius :

Great post, Vanessa! Seems like Progressive has done a great job aligning its business and operating models. Your post made me think of a few questions:

1) Progressive is clearly at the forefront of improving the customer service experience (i.e., the claims re-engineering you mentioned above) – I also know that Progressive is pioneering the idea of insurance premium transparency by letting customers see (through Progressive’s platform), how Progressive’s quotes compare to those of other leading companies. The hope, I imagine, is that i) Progressive’s quotes are lower or ii) that the customer appreciates Progressive’s honesty. I’d be curious as to whether this customer service idea is actually helping Progressive gain market share, or whether they’re sending business to competitors

2) Are there any privacy concerns with the pay-as-you drive model? I imagine some people might be wary of letting Progressive track their travel data all the time

3) Safer drivers command lower premiums (and thus lower revenue for Progressive), so I’d be curious to see whether the decrease in payouts from accidents actually outweighs the higher premiums that Progressive left behind with its more risky drivers

No need to respond to any of these! Very thought provoking idea!

On December 14, 2015, Stevie G commented on AB InBev: Standardization and Cost-Efficiency :

Really interesting post, Tom. Given its emphasis on a cost-conscious culture where every dollar needs to be justified, I’m curious how successful InBev has been recently at attracting top junior talent to the organization.

My sister currently works for Kraft Heinz, another 3G Capital company, and constantly talks about how the quality of life for junior employees is pretty terrible. She works private equity-like hours due to 3G’s mandate, but isn’t compensated in-kind due to the cost-cutting mentality of the owners. I wonder how, in an attempt to streamline the business to run like a finance-driven enterprise, InBev is competing to attract talent from banks, PE firms and tech companies, which provide M&A-inclined graduates with higher pay, and countless perks / benefits. A constant pipeline of talented individuals is likely a major part of InBev’s recent M&A / integration success, so I’d be curious about it’s sustainability going forward given there are more options in the market.

On December 14, 2015, Stevie G commented on The Tragic Map Of The Only Places You Can Get In-N-Out Burger [1] :

Great post, Kevin! As I thought about why In-N-Out has avoided expansion, it got me thinking “what are the actual goals of the organization and its main shareholders?” From article [2] it’s clear that In-N-Out has good reasons to stay on the West Coast (quality control/distribution, exclusivity, competition and no franchising), but surely all of these problems could be solved or mitigated to achieve a presence on the East Coast. I imagine setting up the infrastructure to open a few stores would be an enormously profitable enterprise due to the cult-like following. What I guess I don’t usually think about is whether or not “scale” is actually important to a company like In-N-Out. It’s an incredibly successful, family controlled business, that’s generated enough ROI that it’s founders are billionaires. Expansion of any kind outside its comfort zone makes the brand vulnerable, and for no really compelling reason. I read that Lynsi Snyder, the 33 year old heiress of the company, receives all of the company’s stock and retains sole ownership on her 35th birthday…we’ll see if she has any different plans once she takes the reigns!