This is great, Amanda! I definitely didn’t know all that went into the company behind my soap. In watching the video about the new plant, I was surprised by how automated and exact the process was. Considering their commitment to valuing human capital, I actually expected to see more human capital. However, it makes sense that it would be so automated, because this probably means they have less waste, and can run a more cost efficient process. I think you’ve also identified their biggest challenges for growth, in the number of competitors entering the green cleaning space, especially given that although green is growing, it’s still not dominant in cleaning supplies.
This is really interesting-thanks for sharing! I’m curious as to whether the move to close all stores was the right one, rather than parsing down while they learned about the market. It seems that issues related to their operating model were really problems of scale-they tried to grow too fast, and support 124 stores from only 3 distribution centers, without properly understanding demand. In turn, part of their value proposition was likely dependability, which they were not able to deliver on. What elements from their business model would need to change to have been successful opening in Canada? What are the cultural differences or expecations? Or is it just “value” dollar-wise mean different things in the US and Canada?
This is really interesting Anny, thanks! AirBnB sounds a bit like Facebook, with its two-sided business model (serving users and hosts), and innovative/responsive operating model. I am curious to see where AirBnB goes next. It’s found this market of consumers looking to save on lodging, or prefering to stay in a home to a hotel. But now other startups (e.g., Flipkey, Couchsurfing) are entering the space, so they’re going to need to continue to differentiate themselves (beyond being first movers). Also, they’ve really limited themselves to vacation travelers, who don’t have the same money to spend as business travelers. It would be interesting to see AirBnB team up with a hotel chain looking to expand their reach, as AirBnB is a first choice option for many travelers.