Grubhub Grabs Profit by the Seams

GrubHub and Seamless have now merged into one company. Last year alone they collectively earned over $870 Million dollars in profit. GrubHub has Chicago origins while Seamless started in New York.  Mike Evans the co-founder of GrubHub and the newly combined companies COO said, “I’m excited about the expanded restaurant network that our diners will be able to use.”

The merge initially has many benefits, but over time there are very important executive decisions to make in order to optimize all dimensions of a quality service. One benefit is that combined they will operate in over 500 cities in the United States. They also decided to keep all 650 full-time employees. The former CEO of GrubHub Matt Maloney will remain CEO while the former CEO of Seamless Jonathan Zabusky will be president.  Both former companies have merged with much smaller organizations in the past. For example in 2011 GrubHub bought Dotmenu which gave them an extra 250,000 menu listings at different restaurants around the nation.

The company still has many decisions to make. One decision the company has yet to make is the name of the new brand. Perception is reality, and they should take very careful consideration of how to name the new brand. They have been heavy competitors in cities like Chicago for many years, and they have both built their own brands into what they are today. GrubHub did have more profit, and therefore it would be advantageous to keep that name over Seamless. Changing the name entirely is also an option. Since there whole process is derived from online use it is unlikely they will create a new name. For example if a family uses GrubHub or Seamless on a nightly basis, they will likely have the URL memorized or saved in their favorites. This means the new company needs to be very transparent and loud with their changes in order to retain the brand loyal consumers from both companies.  I have one recommendation if they decide to change the name of the company, and that is to buy a new website with the company name. Then link both former websites to the new website which on the surface seems like it would satisfice all the consumers. From there the new company needs to internally improve their servicing process.

After the merged company has chosen a conforming brand they should also merge the processes to optimize reliability. They can assume they will have a large impact in the market for online food ordering because separately they held large portions of the market share. It is likely that both former organizations had their own unique processes, but one standardized process would be most financially beneficial.

Do you think the new company should change their name? Or should they use GrubHub or Seamless as the new company name? Do you think they should standardize their processing systems? Overall do you think this merge is beneficial to the owners?


Strategic Alliances Between Video Game Developers and Media Firms

Strategic Alliances between Video Game Developers and Media Firms

By: Brett Halan

So basically the situation at hand is that media companies like Disney are starting to develop their own video games rather than export the development. The skill to develop and program games was once extremely rare and difficult to learn. Today it is being taught by more and more universities, and the skill is more widespread. Companies like Disney and PIXAR have a strategic alliance to create games like Toy Story and many others. They still do have an alliance, but Disney is experimenting by creating their own methods to creating games. Other media companies are following their lead as well.

These companies originally make a film that is later turned into a video game. Toy Story is an example of this process. The problem is that as of lately the video games that are extracted from original movies are not successful whatsoever. Disney and the others had to ask themselves why?  They concluded that the quality of the games is terrible. The video game developing companies spend much of their effort working on original pieces of work like Halo or Call of Duty that attract the largest consumer base. They spend little time on these movies turned video games because they are historically weak sellers. The quote “quality is subjective, and perception is reality” pertains directly to this situation. The only real person who can claim that one game has more quality over the other are the end consumers. The media companies and the developing firms are essentially making the same mistake over and over again, and they need to accept change.

To fix the lack of quality going into the games there are a few alternatives. The most popular is that the media firms are buying smaller video game development companies. They are expanding in a way to give them a higher amount of control over the end product. As we saw in class during the ball passing game, when you have control over the process and design the end result is improved. Another alternative could include simply end making video games based off movies.     

Overall, the consumers of the big box office movies seem to really enjoy the movies, so why are the video games not popular? Media firms blame the video game developers for not putting maximum effort into the games. There are a few questions we should consider. The first is how do the media firms go forward with improving the transcendent definition of quality of these games? The second question is how are the video game developers going to stay in business with their strategically aligned partners?

Even though the information for this post is from 2008 the information is still relevant for today. I imagine we will see less and less video games based off of movies in the meantime. Further down the road I imagine some movies will have a more advanced feature where you can control the action similar to a video game. Today they have alternative endings to movies, but I think that is just the beginning of interaction with the audience.    

Sources from:

M. Marr and N Wingfield (2008). “Big Media companies want back in the game.” The Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2008.

C. Salter (2002). “Playing to Win.” Fast Company. December. Pg. 80.

C. Edward (2008). “Morphing Video Games into Movies.” BloombergBusinessWeek. March 19, 2008.