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Very interesting business model shift.

I wonder how Zillow and Opendoor manage the risk of programs such as this. Homes are very expensive assets to have on their balance sheets, especially if completely unhedged. I wonder to what extent they engage in financial operations to mitigate their exposure, and how much this impacts their eventual profitability.

Hi Hanif – great blog post.

I wonder what the main reasons are that caused Instagram stories to be so much more successful than snapchat. A few things come to mind:

– Integration with other features (such as instagram itself) makes it easier to use the stories feature
– Better user interface and experience (especially after Snap’s redesign)
– Lower customer acquisition cost (due to FB)

What do you think?


Great article and topic.

I have been interested to see that in recent months some hotels / smaller B&Bs have been using Airbnb as a viable alternative booking channel to traditional OTAs. On a recent trip to Napa, I noticed full-service hotels being offered side-by-side with private homes.

This makes sense to me; Airbnb’s fees are usually ~20%, below the ~30% charged by many OTAs. I hope to see this continue in the future. I find that comparing Airbnb options to hotel options is usually the decision that I, as the consumer, am attempting to make.


On February 25, 2019, ganeshraj commented on UberEats, DoorDash, Grubhub: Innovations in Restaurant Delivery :

I, for one, would welcome the introduction of a data-driven dark kitchen. I would be very intrigued by the flavors it could come up with, and agree that delivery platforms are well equipped to introduce this innovation.

I do wonder why platforms such as uberEATS do not play a more active role in helping restaurants shape their menus. My hypothesis is that (i) restaurants don’t trust UberEATS as a valid data source for culinary decisions, (ii) uberEATS hasn’t yet invested in this area, given their massive growth, or (iii) restaurants are resistant to change, prioritizing the in-house experience over the takeout experience.

On February 25, 2019, ganeshraj commented on Running out of Steam? :

I find Steam’s distribution system fascinating. As other commenters have mentioned, it is very impressive to have built such a profitable digital distribution system without the natural advantages from related search/OS/web businesses (as Google, Apple, and Facebook have done). The costs to multi-homing are very low.

However, this makes me question whether Steam plays a vital role in the market. I wonder if the company has to do lots of engineering to ensure games run smoothly on many different types of computers. I don’t have a concrete understanding of how big a task this is – but could account for the firm’s ongoing success.

On February 25, 2019, ganeshraj commented on Twitch: The Future Is Streaming, Live :

Twitch is definitely a possible competitor to traditional media services. However, I wonder to what extent they are substitutes or complements. Personally, I do not see scripted TV and Twitch streaming as providing nearly the same experience or filling the same need for users. Is it possible that Twitch and TV / online video are totally separate markets?