Only you could have thought to write about HBS, David! You’ve clearly mastered all of the TOM concepts and this is certainly an interesting way to apply them. I especially liked your comparison of us (the students) to self-selecting raw materials, however the admissions committee also plays a big part in that. I’d never reflected on HBS from the perspective you laid out in your post but agree that HBS is a uniquely self-sustaining organization which derives benefits to all parties involved.
Fantastic post Theresa. I’d heard about Warby Parker but hadn’t really looked into them in much detail. Sounds like a strong and sustainable business model, particularly given Luxottica’s monopoly position and enormous margins. Their philanthropic mission is also a great foundation to build on given how closely it is aligned with their underlying business. In my view the clear attraction is the price though, $95 a pair is significantly cheaper than designer frames. I think there is an important psychological component of pricing everything evenly at $95 a pair as well.
Given how hard it is to judge whether a pair of glasses will suit someone until they try them on, I would have thought that this would be a big barrier to success for their business model. However it sounds like they’ve been able to overcome this with their “try 5 pairs at home for free” offer and their brick & mortar stores. I do wonder how much opening brick & mortar stores cut into their margins though.
Thanks again for the great post. I know where I’ll be getting my next pair of glasses from!
Great post Yuval. It was really interesting hearing about the positive aspects of Roku. I’ve tried Roku in the past and didn’t have a great experience and ended up switching to Apple TV. I didn’t realise that Roku had a community and allowed user generated content, that’s certainly a key area of differentiation. It also surprises me that Roku had the largest market share.
Given how competitive the environment is though, I wonder if allowing ads will drive people towards Apple TV and Chromecast? I would have thought many customers are using these devices just to access their paid subscriptions (Netflix etc.).