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

Great job, Yvonne.

I think Airbnb has had great first mover advantage and has a well developed business model. I think the biggest risks to Airbnb are as follows:
– Increased scrutiny regarding privacy and security: There have been numerous instances of individuals being harassed or injured while staying in an Airbnb property. Airbnb’s internal restrictions did not allow for them to release private information despite an emergency. Moreover, Airbnb does not have the training or capability to handle these sorts of situations, whereas hotels have protocols and training to identify and respond to suspicious behavior.
– Increased government regulations and fees: Hotels have been pushing back on Airbnb and what they view as inadequate taxes for what are essentially hotels. I wonder if we will see a new handling on Airbnb properties and how this will vary by state.
– Eroding of social mission: Airbnb claims to provide social value by allowing people to make extra income from their properties. I think there is serious risk of corroding their image and this value proposition with the proliferation of people with multiple apartments or units that are essentially functioning as real estate agents via Airbnb. It seems that Airbnb should do more to crack down on these individuals or create standard operating procedures around qualified owners.

On December 14, 2015, Fioffreda commented on BirchBox: A BEAUTY-FULL monthly gift :

Fascinating company! Does Birchbox receive the samples free from the companies that are trying to promote awareness and distribution? If so, I wonder if there is a risk of companies no longer supplying the products for free (or at a discounted price) if they don’t see desired returns. Does Birchbox track conversion rates from the boxes and share those with the beauty products? I’m also curious to learn more about the company culture and staffing model. Are staff passionate and well versed on makeup and beauty products? Finally, I also wonder if they could add a “premier” Birchbox subscription package with the highest end products. This could help improve margins and be a way to price discriminate.

On December 14, 2015, Fioffreda commented on Tableau: Managing the data explosion :

Great analysis, Sagar! There is definitely huge value in being able to quickly cut and visualize data. A few thoughts and questions:

1. How does Tableau’s organizational culture and structure support its mission? Is it built in such a way to facilitate innovation?
2. I wonder how Tableau will be able to keep its competitive advantage given the low barriers to entry in the marketplace. They could potentially embed or partner with other frequently used software to make it more of a staple for users.
3. I am also curious about how Tableau thinks about continuing to scale. This might involve being used as a policy making / government tool or thinking about adjacent products (ed. tech?).