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On December 14, 2015, VincentP commented on In-N-Out – The Freshest, Friendliest Fast Food :

Really interesting, thanks Leigha.

I just read another post about Shake Shack and it looks like both In-N-Out and Shake Shack share a lot in common (service quality, emphasis on the quality of food). In which way would you say these two differ? Or is In-N-Out simply a copy of Shake Shack targeting a different target (city vs suburbs/rural)?

On December 14, 2015, VincentP commented on Emirates, connecting the world. :

Very interesting. Even though there is a lot of speculation around the fact that Gulf companies such as Emirates and Qatar are subsidized by their respective governments, I don’t know how much of that is true.

It’s interesting that Emirates has bought very large planes (which I guess are largely economy class), while being able to create a luxury brand. Was curious to know what their business model really was – a focus on economy or on the business/first class customers?

Very enjoyable read indeed.
I would however disagree on your view of monopolies, especially when you quote “A monopoly like Google is different. Since it doesn’t have to worry about competing with anyone, it has wider latitude to care about its workers, its products and its impact on the wider world…In perfect competition, a business is so focused on today’s margins that it can’t possibly plan for a long-term future. Only one thing can allow a business to transcend the daily brute struggle for survival: monopoly profits”.

I’d say that many Monopolies fail precisely because they have no incentive to reform themselves or adapt to a new context. They also have no incentive to innovate because there is no competition to fight for market share. Similarly, they don’t need to worry about employees too much because there isn’t competition to headhunt your best employees.

As you say it yourself, the EIC relied probably more on force (physical force i mean) than market dynamics or even the rule of law. This is obviously a model that has been used in history but I would disagree as to its capacity to survive on the long term.