Interesting post, Komal! I think one of the most fascinating aspects of Airbnb has been its ability to completely change consumer behavior. Before Airbnb, when would any of us feel comfortable renting space shared by (or offered by) strangers? Like Uber, this business has found a way to make us feel comfortable trusting complete strangers. That is why the user experience (e.g., peer-reviews, other security-enhancing design choices) may be the most important aspect of their operating model. Without giving both the supply and demand side of their marketplace a feeling of security and comfort, I don’t think Airbnb would be the success story today that it is.
Interesting post SK, and I’m not sure if I want to even ask about the economic impact of your visit over Thanksgiving 🙂 As you’ve laid out in your post, the operating model at casinos is so deliberate and fascinating. Another aspect of their operating model you didn’t mention is the design of the space, which is thoughtfully planned to attract and retain gamblers for as many hours/hands as possible. From the lack of windows and clocks (so gamblers lose track of hours), the slot machines available upon immediate entrance (before you can even check in to your hotel room), to the bright lights and sounds when someone wins (hey, they won, you can too!) and the use of free perks (come play and drink for free), casinos are considering every detail in how they attract visitors and get them to spend more money in each visit. These efforts are extremely effective, and unfortunately I’m a sucker too!
Really interesting to read more about the financial metrics and operating model behind the pervasive trend that is SoulCycle. You’ve highlighted some important questions about future growth, and I wonder what the future growth strategy is for the company and how they are thinking about it. As competitors continue to enter their core urban markets, do you think they will give (or hold) on pricing? Do you think they will seek expansion to tier2 type cities? Do you think they will ever become “SOUL” and deploy their operating model to new fitness-related activities? I’m in agreement with some of the posts above in that I worry this might be a fad/trend, and I’ll be curious how they aim to sustain and drive growth in such a competitive space going forward.