Instructor: David Schuff, Section 003

Marlea Tremper

Airbnb’s next disruption? The airline industry.

Recently, Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky hinted at the company’s plans to establish an airline and enter the “end-to-end” trip business. Currently, Airbnb uses an online platform to connect people looking to rent their homes with people who are looking for accommodations. Airbnb creating an airline would likely cause a great disruption in the aviation industry. By establishing an airline, Airbnb would become an online travel hub and expand their services. According to reports, Airbnb has been building a flight booking system since December 2016.

Ten years ago Airbnb disrupted the hospitality industry with their innovative accommodations platform, which is now the largest in the world. Now, Airbnb offers the ability to book tourist experiences and business travel accommodations. The addition of an airline would further expand Airbnb’s reach within the travel industry. Airbnb’s strategy to build a one-stop shopping for travel seems similar to Amazon’s strategy. Unlike other one-stop shop travel websites, however, Airbnb would create their own airline. Airbnb has a similar valuation as the major U.S. air carriers, but unlike the major legacy airlines, is a private company.

What do you think of Airbnb’s strategy to become a one-stop shop for travel?

airplane photo

How the Zara Effect is changing the Organizational Structure of Luxury Brands

Zara, a Spain-based fast fashion company, has dramatically disrupted the way luxury brands operate. Fast fashion brands like Zara and HM operate in a much more agile manner compared to traditional designer fashion brands, who typically have a very silo-ed structure. “Zara effect” is a concept used by those in the fashion industry describes the tendency of customers to check back in more regularly for new product, which has increased the pace of the current trend cycle. The agile structure of Zara means the company can more quickly produce fashion goods that meet customer needs and desires. Luxury brands are restructuring to better use customer data and become more adaptable, modeling after start-ups. High end brands are also investing in tools like AI software and other data-parsing technology. Luxury brands have prime opportunity to adjust their organizational structure due to their creative industry.


gucci photo

Photo by pbr10021


Systems Thinking and Climate Change

Before discussing Systems Thinking in this class, I was exposed to the theory in the Environment GenEd. To truly understand the effect Climate Change is having on the Earth, a Systems Thinking approach must be used to incorporate all aspects of ecology. The holistic analysis of ecology is called systems ecology, which focuses on the interactions between biological and ecological systems. Systems ecology allows us to identify the influence human activities are having on the environment. An example of Systems Thinking in ecology is the study of declining populations of muskoxen in the arctic, whose cause of death remained mysterious until scientists applied a Systems Thinking approach to their research. According to lead researcher Joel Berger, a Colorado State University professor and senior scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society, rising temperatures cause precipitation to fall as rain, which then freezes and leaves plants, the main food source for muskoxen, inaccessible. Berger and his team of researchers have also discovered that a herd of muskoxen died after becoming encased in ice during a powerful tidal surge, an event caused by rising sea levels and extreme temperatures related to climate change. Separating the muskoxen’s ecosystem into “systems” helped identify the cause of death, and the cause of that cause of death. Ecosystems contain biotic factors, such as plants and the muskoxen themselves, and abiotic factors, such as water, weather and temperature.

Where and when do we meet?
Alter Hall 603
12:30-1:50 Tuesdays and Thursdays
Office Hours
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00-3:00 PM