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On December 14, 2015, Alonso commented on Trader Joes – Innovation in the grocery business :

Excellent post Aaron!

I found really interesting how they managed to obtain lower prices in their products while paying high salaries to their employees. The key of their operational model that you mentioned is the high percentage of private label products that represent more than 80% of their merchandise. That is their key element of differentiation and their competitive advantage to achieve low prices. My question would be, why Whole Foods cannot achieve the same prices as Trader Joe’s while also having a large percentage of private labels? I found this article that talks about how the uniqueness of Trader Joe’s products are increasing the loyalty of their customers over Whole Foods.

On December 14, 2015, Alonso commented on Airbnb : Finding a Home Anywhere :

Great post Yvonne!

A while ago I saw a video of Bill Gross explaining the main reason why startups succeed. One of his main conclusions is that timing is the most important factor that differentiate successful startups from failures. He says that the main reasons Airbnb was so successful was the economic downturn that started in 2008 (the same year of Airbnb’s launch). Do you think there’s a potential risk of loosing property owners willing to host tourists when the economy improve?

This is the link to the video:

Great post Allen. I agree that Apple’s business and operating model is focused in the development of innovative products. Apple developed the iPad after similar products from their competitors failed in the past. There was great concern if Apple’s iPad was going to be successful, but they created a product of higher quality and integrated it with the app store.
In recent years they launched the watch and many analyst aren’t sure if it’s are going to be successful. Can Apple replicate their past success launching new hardware products? How much do they miss the vision of Steve Jobs?