in A16z, Airbnb, Anne Lewandowski, Apple, Best Reads, Casey Winters, financial independence, FIRE, Float, Marketplaces, Mikal Khoso, SEM, SEO, Uber, UX

3 Best Reads of this Week

“”I left my occupation 2+ years ago and now travel around the world living out of Airbnbs for 1-3 months at a time…No matter how one pretends, it’s going to be a lonely existence. For me, I’ve lived and dine with each place I’m at. If you are always on vacation, you are never on vacation. You are always seeing people and places that you will probably never see again.  You make friends and routines that end with each change of location and relationships are next to impossible.

I’m not retired at all and to some my life would seem glamorous. While it suits my personality, because I never fit in anywhere anyways, it’s not going to work for 99.99% of people.  Vegas is fun for a week, really tiresome for a year. Remote working sojourning around the globe will likely never be a big thing. People need a home and a social base. Embracing a nomadic FIRE lifestyle means accepting that you are no longer relevant or important and in some ways now operate in the ether between existence and non existence.

It’s a truly odd thing to feel like a ghost living mini lives that end with every move. One month can feel like a lifetime, six months can feel like a week. Time has no meaning and you are a traveler in between worlds waiting for death’s inevitable tap on the shoulder. It’s a terrible idea of a life for most, but for those that want to feel drugged while completely sober, there is nothing better.””

If You Play With FIRE, Don’t Get Burned, Of Dollars and Data

“It’s one of the key challenges of any marketplace. “Demand efforts” like SEO, SEM, CRO, and amazing UX are necessary, but not sufficient; ultimately, the key to owning demand is through supply strategy.

The right supply strategy varies based on the product being offered and those customers’ needs. If users value consistency and predictability—like, say, UberX—the path to long-term success generally lies in being both better and cheaper than the competition.

However, in most marketplaces, users value having a high variety of supply. For these marketplaces, there are three main strategies for supply differentiation: comprehensiveness, exclusivity, and curation. “

Marketplace Supply Strategy: Comprehensive, Exclusive or Curated, A16z

“According to Bloomberg Airbnb ex-CFO Laurence Tosi, formerly CFO investment group Blackstone, “quietly built a hedge fund within the company’s finance department. He used a portion of capital from the balance sheet to buy stocks, currencies, and fixed-income securities, mimicking the treasury fund he ran at Blackstone. The side project represented 30 percent of the company’s cash flow last year and made about $5 million a month for Airbnb, the people said.”

AirBNB quickly shutdown this internal fund when news broke of it, but by all measures it was an unparalleled success. Apple – another darling of tech – runs Braeburn Capital, an asset management firm that is allegedly the world’s largest hedge fund with its total assets under management sitting at about $270 billion.”

The Power of Float-Based Business Models, Mikal Khoso