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On December 14, 2015, desponda commented on NetJets – Pioneer in Private Business Travel :

I think this is a very interesting business model, however, I wonder how easily it can compete with emerging point-to-point private flight providers like Beacon Airlines or SurfAir. The concept of these airlines is to provide high quality and high frequency air travel in between busy destinations (e.g. Boston-New York) and offer a $1,750 entry level subscription price per month that enables the user to make unlimited flights per month with 2 reservations at a time. When compared to the entry level of NetJets, it is likely to be significantly cheaper and easier to trial as NetJets sells or leases the aircraft, charges a monthly fee for maintenance, plus an hourly fee for sundries. The value proposition seems to be similar and the risk significantly lower for the consumer.

On December 9, 2015, desponda commented on Venmo: The Facebook of e-payments? :

Venmo has a substantial upside to capture value from merchants as its user network expands. Typically, payment card processors charge a fee in between 2-5% of sales to the merchant. Venmo is getting their users to get accustomed to make payments directly from their bank account or Venmo balance, which is a considerably cheaper transaction. I can see Venmo moving towards payments by offering merchants a “Pay with Venmo” option where they could charge a heavily discounted fee, which will also be fraud free.

Venmo, however, has to make sure their security standards are up to par. There a voices of concern about Venmo security, especially since payments can be done without logging in from your mobile device.

I am very bullish about Venmo, and I completely agree with Ben’s diagnosis of the match between its operational and business models.

On December 9, 2015, desponda commented on Harley-Davidson: Being Bad Can Be So, So Good :

H-D has hit spot on on what will drive growth for the future with the Street line motorcycles. The typical Harley Davidson is meant for the open road, where there are few cars around, wide turns, and riders can go fast and free. However, the Harley enthusiast has his freedom taken away in the big city, where traffic moves slowly, lane filtering might be allowed, and curves are generally tighter. Matt cannot be more correct than saying that H-D sells you freedom, and the Street gives exactly that to the urban road warrior. First, it features a liquid cooled engine. There is nothing worse than standing on traffic with your bike heating up in between your legs. Second, it offers a considerably taller bike at a 5.7 in ground clearance compared to other entry bikes like the Sportster SuperLow at 3.9 in or the Iron 883 at 4.7 in. This is critical in places where there are significant potholes and speed bumps, it also allows the rider to incline the bike more during turns where the foot rest will clear the road easier. Third, the bike has a narrower frame which allows the rider to go in between cars easier, of course, only if the law permits so. I’m completely sure that H-D will be successful at delivering freedom to the road, and now more than ever to the urban jungle.