Rafael Rivera

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On December 14, 2015, Rafael Rivera commented on Chipotle: How non-real Mexican food became so successful :

Hi Brandon,

Sad to hear that the price of your burrito is increasing over time.

Chipotle has had problems to be replicated abroad. The company tried to open Chipotle restaurants in London and Paris, but revenues were lower than expected. In part, prices were relatively higher than those in the USA because it was more difficult to find reliable partners. Also, Mexican food is not as common as it is in the USA.

I agree with the fact that Chipotle needs to finds a way to control its costs. It offers a clear value proposition of high quality, sourcing from suppliers with high standards but the question is… Is Chipotle going too far? Does customer really value the fact that all suppliers rise their animals in open areas? Maybe Chipotle really doesn’t need to implement such extreme regulations to itself. It needs to listen his consumers better and identify areas where they can make those tradeoffs.

On December 14, 2015, Rafael Rivera commented on FIFA – Glorifying the Game or Rotting the World’s Biggest Sport? :

Great article Gil! Really interesting.
I wonder if ‘corruption’ was always part of the underground operating model of FIFA. If not, it is interesting to know when corruption hit the big bosses of the game. For big organizations with little scrutiny, people who hold power find easy opportunities to get personal gains.
Many of us will work in big organizations some day. It would be interesting to know how to identify red flags in our organization, especially when someone is following corrupt practices. I wonder if some external stakeholders identified some red flags in order to implement measures on time. Identifying red flags and acting accordingly can be the difference between long-term sustainability and a big scandal of corruption.

On December 13, 2015, Rafael Rivera commented on Tesla Motors – Electrifying the Future :

Really interesting model, Brandon! The company is really thinking about the future, not only because they use electric cars but also because they are developing disruptive technology such as the auto-pilot car. My only concern is the profitability of the company. Founded more than 12 years ago, the company still doesn’t make profits. I know they are thinking about the future, but investors can be a bit impatient in the short run. It would be interesting to discuss if there are some changes in the operating model that could increase profitability in the short-term without compromising the long-term objectives of the company.

Great article Jackie! It is really interesting the way communities can work together to produce something really needed such as food. Similar to Sidarth, I am curious about how this business model can be replicated in other areas. Developing countries are deeply affected by a lack of food. However, their conditions are quite different. Some cities like Mumbai or Mexico City are really crowded so I guess it would be difficult to find a spare land to produce a business like Growing Power. Some other communities, like those in Sub-Saharan Africa, live in communities with extremely low density of population, so this model would also face some challenges.
I am not saying that this model should be applied everywhere. I am just saying that the entrepreneur was really smart at finding a series of conditions that made this model viable in his community in Wisconsin.

Great article, Anny! Last year one of the C-members of Airbnb came to one of my classes at HKS. He mentioned that one key element of his operating model was QUICK expansion. In a few words, in the last 4 years they have tried to expand to as many countries as possible. The idea is that Airbnb wants to be the lodging option for any traveler no matter where they go. If a customer doesn’t find an Airbnb in a specific location, the probability that he will use Airbnb for his next trip is lower. Then, coverage is a key element to drive loyalty to Airbnb. For expansion, they use massive advertising in targeted cities and sometimes they offer lower fees to incentivize use. It is definitely a very interesting model!

On December 13, 2015, Rafael Rivera commented on Venmo: harnessing social network for online payments :

Great post, Tina! I am one of the most frequent users of Venmo. I literally use it for every transaction with my friends. One of my main concerns, however, is security. I think Venmo doesn’t have a transfer limit. Also, every time I make a transaction, it doesn’t ask for a password or anything else. If someone loose his cellphone, anyone can make a transaction to other account from there. To make the business model rounded, I would add some security measures that don’t compromise the flexibility of the program.