Category Archives: SAMPLE POSTS


[ALGN – Align Tech, SDC – Smile Direct Club] Brand, scale economies, and vertical integration

Below is a transcript of a podcast I recently recorded.  It has been lightly edited for clarity.  You can find the podcast by searching for “scuttleblurb” on Apple or Spotify. So Align technology is the company behind the Invisalign brand of clear liners. And so those are the clear removable plastic trays that are used […]

interview with @LibertyRPF

I recently did an interview with my friend @LibertyRPF, who publishes an insightful newsletter covering tech, science, investing, and various other topics. It is one of my morning staples. You can access the original interview here. Q: Hey David! It’s been a little over a year since we last did this [see 𝕊𝕡𝕖𝕔𝕚𝕒𝕝 𝔼𝕕𝕚𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟 #𝟙 for our first […]

[ELLI – Ellie Mae] Market Opportunity, Competitive Threats, and Profitability

Ellie Mae is one of the few SMID-cap SaaS vendors I track whose stock has lost value over the last year, its growth narrative clouded by waning growth in mortgage originations. During the first half of 2018, a common view espoused by housing-related companies was that refinancing volumes had pretty much nowhere left to go […]

[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 […]

[TripAdvisor, Trivago, OTAs] Thoughts on the Carnage

Trivago’s “relevance assessment dimension”, implemented in late 2016, is an algorithmic adjustment that compels hotel advertisers to improve their landing sites and booking engines if they want to rank higher in trivago’s search results.  The idea is that while the user experience starts with a room search on trivago, it extends to when she clicks off […]


There was a time, not too long ago, when an investor could treat IAC as a collection of binary early stage bets anchored by a few more mature and profitable entities. To most, IAC’s 12% passive minority stake in MGM, acquired near the COVID lows, was a weird one-off opportunistic gambit that could be marked […]