[CMPR – Cimpress NV] Scale Economies and Hard Realities, Pt. 3

Cimpress is a fine business that has been in search of strategic direction for the last 6-7 years, groping for the right balance between value-added customization and low-cost production.  These two sources of differentiation are often at odds because the scale economies required to claim a cost advantage depend on running lots and lots of […]

[RP – RealPage] Software Bundle, Not a Platform

In 1998 RealPage Communications, an internet hosting service for the commercial and residential real estate industry, merged with Rent Roll, a provider of property management software, giving birth a few years later to the company’s flagship property management SaaS, OneSite.  At a time when property managers were still awkwardly fusing disparate general purpose on-premise systems […]

[IDXX – IDEXX Labs] Priced to Win

Sometime during my sophomore year in college, I rescued my best friend from a shelter.  When I found him, Castor Troy was a scrawny, mean-as-hell Shepherd Akita mutt who wrestled with personal demons.  While I don’t think his anxieties ever fully subsided, he certainly mellowed out under a steady onslaught of affection, and I think […]

Podcast Blurbs [Tesla long and short case, Framing investment success]

Grant’s Podcast (1/16/2018; Electric Slide) Mark B. Spiegel (Managing Member of Stanphyl Capital) “Number one, Tesla has no moat of any kind.  It has absolutely nothing meaningfully or sustainably proprietary.  Number two, it loses a huge and increasing amount of money despite relatively light competition, but will soon be confronted with massive competition in every […]

[MSFT – Microsoft] Death Star, Reformed

There’s a good reason why Microsoft was dubbed the Death Star by many fearful detractors during the on-premise era: its OS/application stack, with 90%+ desktop share, was an impermeable force that whipped the surrounding computing galaxy into submission.  Given Window’s ubiquity, value added resellers and systems integrators optimized their resources and relationships by supporting Windows […]

Podcast Blurbs [Sleep, Discarding ideology, Common knowledge, Intuition, SaaS upsell]

Hidden Brain (11/14/17; Eyes Wide Open: Part 2) (Matthew Walker, neuroscientist) “If we didn’t need 8 hours of sleep a night and we could get away with 6, mother nature would have done away with 25% of our sleep time millions of years ago.  Because when you think about it, sleep is an idiotic thing […]

[SERV – ServiceMaster; ROL – Rollins] Scale Economies and Hard Realities: Part 2

Countless termites die every day from natural causes, and that makes them the lucky ones.  Many are poisoned by liquid pesticide sprayed along entry routes into homes.  Still others are duped into ingesting toxic morsules that they share with nest mates, unwittingly wiping out whole colonies, slowly, over months.  More creatively (and less commonly), they […]

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Podcast Blurbs [Amazon, Moral luck, Hero worship]

The James Altucher Show, Ep. #287 (How the Four Most Influential Companies on the Planet Took Over the Market and Changed Humankind) Scott Galloway “[The Four] are now going after each other because they’re getting into each others’ swim lanes.  They used to be on each other’s Boards…but, here’s the interesting thing about this.  Wherever […]