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Shadow of Mordor, doom, transistor.
Yeah. I made mine for $30. And the color is strikingly accurate. Of course it's not as deep, but I guess that's kind of the point of this painting. I'm not that deep myself.
I like the idea of making a copy of something that you have to see in real life to understand. Because you're almost never going to. You can look at pictures on the internet and the pictures side by side on the same monitor are different. So nobody knows if mine is close enough to the real thing. And that's awesome. Because functionally there is no real thing for most people.
Well it'll be interesting to see how all of this plays out.
When I was in business school, my teacher said something that stuck with me, and it has been shown to me over and over since. If your core competency is easy to reproduce, then you will not long be a company of any importance. It's why I don't like Snapchat, and it's why I don't like a lot of other 'hot' companies. They will one day completely be supplanted by their bigger rival who was nice enough to wait for them to do all the work.
Blue Apron is, in my opinion, easy to replicate. Like you said, and I use it too and really like it, they put some food in a box for people who don't want to spend time shopping. The food goes together in ways according to a card in the box, and they tell you you're doing a solid for the environment like 10 ways along the way. Which, when you have a single egg packaged, strikes me as odd, but I also don't care. The point is, Amazon could do the same thing if they had a grocer. And they could do it cheaper. And they could charge less for it. Hell, they could even make it so that you could just go pick it up ready to go AT the grocery store. And that's a big profit consideration that wouldn't be available without this acquistion. The money in a grocery store produce section is in the slices of pineapple that cost 4 times as much as a pineapple. That's the kind of logistics I'm talking about.
But operating closer to your customers also cuts the legs out from Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has been struggling for years against the online shopper. They've tried to make their own online shopping experience, which in my opinion is not as good as Amazon's. They've also leveraged something against Amazon that Amazon can't keep up with, and that's same-day pick up for items already at the store. Or shipping free pickup for items that are bulky and would otherwise be expensive for Amazon to ship, but because Wal-Mart has a truck going there anyway they can do it no big deal.
But Whole Foods also, is very profitable. So even if Amazon didn't do anything, they could still ride a big profit machine. If Amazon, simply continued their no dividends policy for example, they could pocket the cash that Whole Foods shares paid out in dividends which was $44 million. They could close locations that didn't fit their new idea for what Whole Foods looks like in 10 years. They could do a lot of different things with it.
Oh man usually I'm on board with your business stuff but I don't agree with this as a bad idea. I think buying Amazon stock at 199:1 is surely a bad idea, definitely, but I also think Amazon is being really shrewd here.
Blue Apron is not special aside from their place in proving that delivered groceries in meal format is a pretty profitable place to be. But they have nowhere near the buying power, logistical prowess, negotiating ability, or a dozen other things that Whole Foods has. More to the point, I highly doubt that putting things in a box and shipping it with minimal interaction with a human is their strong suit against Amazon. A company who also has perfected the art of buying other businesses and amalgamating them into the Amazon fold, and moreover has weaknesses against brick and mortars. Hard to order something from Amazon and get it in an hour here. They don't have facilities that could make that possible because they were trying to avoid charging sales tax here until just a few months ago. But if they're going to change the sales tax collection then they might as well operate locally as well. They just picked up 437 locations to do that from. Even if it just serves as a pick up vs delivery spot at first.
Even better, they just picked up Whole Foods locations which were almost always picked for their proximity to wealthy markets with disposable income.
When you walk into a Wal-Mart Supercenter and you look left, Amazon had pretty much the entire side of the store covered. But until this week, Wal-Mart had the market cornered vs Amazon on cheap groceries. There's pretty much no reason to believe that Amazon will keep Whole Foods the same. Like you said, Whole Foods is a profit margin driven business and Amazon is volume. But I bet that Amazon is going to change Whole Foods into the Amazon grocery store. Amazon Fresh or some equally market researched nonsense. Also, Whole Foods was a trend. I'm surprised it survived the housing crash.
All in all, I really like Amazon from this end. I don't think I'd like to work for them. But, when you look at why I would choose Blue Apron over Amazon of a similar offering, especially when it's probably cheaper and more customisable, I'm going to switch to Amazon's version as soon as they offer it.
Well, that's certainly the obvious slant of the article, but it's also not necessarily what the man said about market pressures. They quoted him on one word, 'unintentional,' and made up the rest.
You can call this market failure but it's not. The article is extremely biased and it's very obvious from the start. It's not reporting, it's editorial.
An example, "Many drivers thought they were paying into their truck like a mortgage. Instead, when they lost their job, they discovered they also lost their truck, along with everything they’d paid toward it."
Why did they think this? They certainly talk to each other. They certainly signed the documentation that put them into the agreement. If I buy a car with a loan, or a lease, I should know the difference. But the article portrays this as if the companies stole money from them. If you have a lease, you don't get the equity. You're paying for the depreciation
I did the math. If I made a 1600 payment on a 5 year loan, even with 3% financing for 60 months, I can afford a $83,000 truck. A new truck like California requires STARTS at $150,000. So these guys were paying depreciation, which is what a lease does.
There are tons of examples in the article where these people are working for little to no money. Why? That's not a market failure, that's a failure on their part for their willingness to participate. You could work at McDonald's for fewer hours, come home every night, and still make more money.
Another example: "In October 2008, that changed dramatically in southern California, home of the nation’s busiest ports, Los Angeles and Long Beach. State officials, fed up with deadly diesel fumes from 16,000 outdated trucks, ordered the entire fleet replaced with new, cleaner rigs. Suddenly, this obscure but critical collection of trucking companies faced a $2.5 billion crossroads unlike anything experienced at other U.S. ports."
So California introduced a huge and immediate new cost into the trucking industry during one of the worst economic downturns in American history which gravely affected retail and thereby the trucking industry. And the trucking companies had to get really creative about how they could even afford those trucks. Which is to say, they couldn't. So if they wanted trucking in any sort to continue to exist, they had to start leasing trucks. Or, of course, they could have stopped working for shady companies and become independent contractors.
The article even mentioned that some of these guys owned their own truck and gave it up to the company as a down payment? On what fucking planet is that a good idea? Those trucks are extremely valauble. House valuable. As in, you could literally quit, sell it, and live off of the money for two years valuable. And they just gave them away as a down payment? Again, not a market failure, that's stupid to the point where I'm incredulous that it even happened like they're reporting.
This article is garbage and is only getting shared because it agrees with Hubski's preconceived notions that capitalism is the bane of the working man.
Critical thinking starts to expose this article as very biased.
I find the term Spicy Bois to be absolutely hilarious. When people who aren't from St. Louis move here, and they ask about our particular slang, I always make sure to tell them that we call fire ants "Spicy Bois". And that it is of French spelling. None of which is true.