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On December 13, 2015, TRogers commented on Casper: Going to the Mattresses :

This is great! I wish I would have known about this company before I bought my mattress a few years ago. The showroom experience looks wonderful, and it does (as you say above) add to the luxury element of the brand. There is also an aspirational element to the showroom. This mattress is positioning itself as the mattress for the upwardly mobile millennial, and although I’m sure the competition will start to copy these ideas soon, I think you’re right in assuming that this operating model will give it a distinctive competitive advantage going forward (at least in the short run).

On December 13, 2015, TRogers commented on ICEHOTEL: 8th Wonder of the World? :

This is great Richard! I knew nothing about the Ice Hotel, and your post highlighted many of the different features of the hotel along with how these operational features match what we’ve learned in class. The part that stands out the most to me is the “culture of innovation”. As I read your post, I kept thinking about the innovation funnel and the “Threadless” case, so I’m glad you mentioned it in your post. It would be easy (re: cost and time effective) to use the same design each year. [but] The constant innovation not only gives people a reason to come back, but it also exposes new artists (and their networks around the world) to the venue each year. I’m curious though. Given the resources available in the area, does this operational model give them a distinct competitive advantage or do you think a competitor could challenge them?

This is an excellent post Ivan. Before working in financial services, I used to work in the non-profit sector in Atlanta, and while working with Deutsche Bank, I dealt with non-profit leadership frequently in New York City. Many of these operational challenges represent a sea of change across the non-profit world. Diversifying your fundraising sources is key to long term sustainability in the sector, and SC’s reliance on “grants” can be very dangerous for the long term. I do have a few questions through. What is the right mix for a non-profit organization in this area? Should they be striving towards World Vision’s 50% from individuals? If so, what would the other 50% look like?

Your point on measurement is spot on as well. It’s so tough to quantify actions, and as a donor, I like to see tangible results. My only worry is that the focus on quantifiable results may bring on a tremendous pressure to get a results at all costs. That being said, there definitely needs to be something to prove that something is being accomplished, and if SC moves towards more individual donors, this will become more and more important. Once again, great post!