Recently start-ups with a particular business model are gaining traction and finally got my attention as well: Food-delivery services.
Amongst others there is Lieferando and Lieferheld . Both are aggressively expanding, using international expansions or TV-marketing. Back in 2000 I worked as an intern for Snacker.de, which was VC-backed and also tried to develop this market and offering. Snacker ceased to exist in 2001 if I recall correctly. It was a great experience for me, where I learned a lot, worked with great people and got the desire to work entrepreneurial implemented in my DNA. (Actually the last one was probably done by my grandfather, but that is a different story.) So naturally it is interesting to see this business model pop up again on a larger scale after more than ten years.
I am not sure, if Lieferando and Lieferheld will be successful, but I would be glad to see this offer finally take off. I think some circumstances actually changed in the meantime. But other challenges still exist. For one, Snacker needed to use fax-machines to inform the individual restaurant of an order. Obviously with DSL and UMTS, this unreliable technology is not needed anymore. Improved connectivity makes menu updates or the information if the restaurant is opened or closed easier to transmit and therefore keep the database up to date in real time. Also Snacker at the time was afraid that instances such as half time of a soccer world championship final, might represent such high numbers of orders, that IT might break down. Therefore roll-out was organized per city and TV-adds where never considered. I am not sure if this might still apply in times of cloud computing and Amazon renting out capacity.
Back in 2000 and now in 2011, the value proposition is the same. A wide portfolio of restaurants willing to deliver food to you. Where ever you are, whatever you want to eat. The open question is, do people actually want to try out a new pizza service every time? Or do they prefer to order at their favorite place instead of trusting some online reviews? (user reviews of products or services was new to the internet by the way in 2000, but Snacker had it incorporated.) Another issue is to keep track of the changing base of partnering restaurants and delivery services. The market is very fragmented and volatile. Many delivery services close shop after few months. The churn rate is incredible.
Both Lieferando and Lieferheld do or plan to cooperate with another service bloomsburys . Alliance are a interesting topic, since such services build networks of restaurants and collect interesting information about restaurants. Some information can be used for B2B-offerings or real estate players. Also food is delivered to the doorstep of the final consumer. Such direct access is rare since the days of vacuum-cleaner salesmen. This is an interesting point of contact for e.g. promotion of a big multinational consumer goods company (think FMCG). However, a sustainable business model should not depend too much on additional business. A clear value proposition will build a loyal customer base. Add-on sales and services can follow later, but the core business model should be profitable by itself and early after the start.
I will follow this business model and am looking forward for what new technologies and more tech-savvy customers will add to this business model since I was involved. Hopefully we will see some exciting and delicious services and possibilities.
There is an interesting article about Germany in the vanity Fair. Although I think some of the statements are very much stereotyping Germans. But the influence of the German behaviour on the European crisis and therefore other member states is pretty striking. Although I think the issue can be seen from two different angles. Does Germany have to be less German or Europe become more German taking advantage of the German financial health? This ties in niecely with the observation that politicians always see the market as the vilian. But maybe the markets are pointing out what politicians caused in the first place. The European union was always a idea driven by politicians, some of the promiment German politicians.
I recently did an analysis on the German consulting market. I understand that tech start-ups are somewhat of a hype right now. But consulting is not the glamorous alternative anymore.
After years of high growth the market for management consulting, traditionally an early indicator for economic shifts, grows slower and margins of the top consultancies are deteriorating leaving the entire market vulnerable to price shifts across the board.
New in-house consulting units quickly learn from archetypes and replace external consultants gradually:
-Margins decrease since high value projects are not contracted out
-Higher competition for remaining tenders with mid-sized customers
-Moderate growth in demand is captured by in-house consultants
Management consultancies need to reconsider their generalist positioning as clients request more experts. Demand for implementation in addition to pure concepts puts new requirements on structures and costs of consultancies. Career models of consulting as a stepping stone starts to be outdated as market conditions limit potential for fast track careers.
Some of the players in the market start to react and activly work on their business model. Some seem still to hope, that pre-crisis conditions will eventually return.
How does this sound: An App where the user can publish a situation of immediate danger. This is published to all users in the relevant area. Depending on the kind of situation the radius changes and other actions can be triggered. It’s like Spiderman. I guess there are many Pro’s and Con’s. Anybody?
I have not had the time recently to post a lot. Part of it is because I received the first pre-readings for my executive MBA , and therefore I spent the nights studying again. I might make some posts on the experience of the MBA and its relevance for my work and goals if this is of interest.
Otherwise I will keep on covering other emerging topics on my mind. For instance I like what is happening in the living room. Seeing the new boxee box being launched and the AppleTV further pushing the streaming approach instead of downloads I am just amazed how slow everything is still developing in Europe.
So I came across one of my all time favorite topics: wireless energy. It was mentioned during Foocamp. I personally came across the idea 8 years ago when I was staying in Scotland with a friend in his very old house. In the bathroom there was this cord to pull in order to switch the light on. It made me think how wireless energy would change the game. Of course the infrastructure of every building to be built would be very different. Copper prices would fall because nobody needs wiring in buildings anymore. Lithium prices would increase because in order to receive initial wireless energy every light bulb etc. would need to be able to be in a kind of stand-by mode. The problem of cars running on electric power and the issue of too little batteries would also be resolved. There are already studies on induction spoils underneath the highway, but this wouldn’t be needed anymore. On the other hand we probably would need to invest heavily in the security/fashion industry. This will merge in the future because Gucci will try to get into the now suddently promising helmet market. Helmets will need to be designed nicer in the future since everybody will wear them to get rid of the constant buzzing sound in their ears due to long range wireless energy transition.
Every energy consuming item as a fridge, lamp or ipad will need to be identified to whom it belongs. This will allow for a clear identification of the owner and a correct billing. After all, the energy waves won’t stop at your footstep, so it needs to be sure that your lazy neighbor cannot mooch your energy.
Once the minor open technological questions are answered this industry will a marketing dream. So buckle up and plug out.