*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* *|IF:MERGE1|* Hey *|MERGE1|* , *|END:IF|* *|IF:MERGE11|* *|MERGE11|* *|END:IF|* *|END:IF|* I think we all know that COVID19 has been the biggest disruptor of all time. Not only did it disrupt all arms of the economy including healthcare, manufacturing, and various other industries (I can't think of any which has not been impacted) but, it is also shaping the future. Companies are being bought, pivoting is becoming a norm, bedrooms have become offices, and the push for innovation is at its peak! It has even impacted the "meme" world so much that most of the memes I see are on COVID Here is my favourite one!
For years, home sharing has put pressure on hotel rates and occupancy levels. Social distancing, hygiene and refund policies may be the new game changers. Airbnb, born in 2008, famously disrupted the hotel industry. It stole market share, put pressure on hotel rates, inspired the creation of affordable brands and saw hotels across the spectrum create restaurants, bars and lobbies that channeled the local vibe. Airbnb’s recent layoff of a quarter of its work force indicates the financial strain the company is under. Now the question is: Has Covid-19 disrupted the disrupter?
About a month ago I got a DM inviting me to “a community for casual, drop-in audio conversations.” So I downloaded the app, created a profile, and was greeted by a blank screen. Uhhhh...
Then, a face appeared! Its name was Paul — and it spoke! “Hey! Welcome!”
After we exchanged pleasantries, Paul explained how the app works. There’s one global “room,” and when you join you start off on mute, but anyone can unmute themselves. When you open the app, it sends push notifications to everyone on the app, so they can join you and chat if they’re free.
If capitalism is driven by a search for profit, the food delivery business confuses the hell out of me. Every platform loses money. Restaurants feel like they're getting screwed. Delivery drivers are poster children for gig economy problems. Customers get annoyed about delivery fees. Isn't business supposed to solve problems?
Last week's Uber-Grubhub news set off some antitrust alarms for me and got me thinking about the business of food delivery as a whole. But let me start this newsletter with a story about Pizza Arbitrage.
When Rebekah Paltrow showed up at Dechen Thurman’s 8 a.m. meditation class for the first time, Thurman saw someone a lot like himself. Her last name advertised shared lineage with an ultrafamous blonde movie star. She’d been born into enormous privilege and the expectations that accompanied that. She was a struggling actor who had taken the better part of three decades to figure out that what she was probably supposed to do with her life was teach yoga.