I’ve had several discussions with logistics and transportation execs over the last month and have repeatedly seen how much the industry depends on network effects to drive supply side economies of scale. The very factors that make platforms work are already at work in these industries.
In my latest article, I use the lens of networks and platforms to look at how the airline industry favours a winner-takes-most dynamic by building supply side economies of scale. There are important lessons here for those building platforms to exploit demand side economies of scale, as well as for pipeline companies that operate global supply chains and are digitizing them.
Think Different and Better - by Ian Cassel (LINK)There are important lessons here for understanding asset-heavy businesses. We often tend to dismiss asset-heavy businesses saying asset-light ones will disrupt them. That is lazy thinking. If anything, Amazon is so successful not just because it’s a data company but also because it is asset-intensive on the supply side to the point of leasing access to those assets out as a service, first through AWS, then through Fulfilment by Amazon, and now with logistics. As pipelines move towards platforms, we will see more of the Amazon model than the Facebook or Google or Uber model. Pipelines won’t reject assets. They will, instead, complement their asset intensity with data network effects and utilize these assets better.
Invest Like the Best podcast: The Bet with Buffett – Hedge Funds vs. The S&P 500, w/ Ted Seides (LINK)
The Absolute Return Letter, May 2017: Investment Rules (LINK)
Mutual Fund Observer, May 2017 (LINK)
Seneca on Grief and the Key to Resilience in the Face of Loss: An Extraordinary Letter to His Mother (LINK)
Robert Sapolsky Explains Human Behavior (LINK)
Related book (released today): Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst - by Robert M. Sapolsky [Book review HERE.]Declassified nuclear weapon test footage is scientifically fascinating and existentially terrifying (LINK)