Business Curiosities

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Case Studies: Business Ideas

Key Takeaways

  • HomeAway and Vrbo continue to operate as separate brands but have the same pricing models and policies but are closely aligned. Combined, they attract around 27 million visits monthly.
  • In 1998, China-based Hong Kong Telecom (HKT) launched the world's first-ever video-on-demand (VOD) service, Tedium, to be integrated as a more comprehensive interactive television (iTV) service. Tedium has since seen the evolution of other streaming platforms such as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
  • In 1998, Netflix was initially launched as a DVD rental service before it became a streaming service, which saw the evolution of other streaming services such as Hulu.

Introduction

  • This report provides comprehensive research on two case studies, HomeAway and Vrbo, and Tedium, which are some of the business ideas that fit the quote "Ideas don't die, businesses do." Each of these case studies has taken a business idea transformed by implementing it differently, without killing the original concept of the idea.

HomeAway and Vrbo

  • Vrbo, an old and trusted vacation homes brand, was launched in 1995 and acquired Homeaway a decade later. Both of these companies were later purchased by Expedia in 2015. However, HomeAway and Vrbo continue to operate as separate brands but have the same pricing models and policies. Both HomeAway and Vrbo are closely aligned. Combined, they attract around 27 million visits monthly.
  • HomeAway and Vrbo have since inspired other brands in the vacation home market, such as Airbnb, which started in 2008 as just an idea to host guests on air mattresses and providing breakfast (Air Bed and Breakfast, an affordable hotel version. Airbnb eventually evolved into the idea of apartments, which has culminated in the growth and popularity of Airbnb as a business. Today, Airbnb has continued to make sharing easy, enjoyable, and safe. The company verifies profiles and listings while maintaining an innovative messaging system to ensure that both hosts and guests can communicate. Today, Airbnb has also created a trusted platform to transfer and collect payments.
  • Airbnb has created an app that aims to provide security for both the host and the guest. The app incorporates various elements such as risk scoring, watchlist and background checks, and preparedness. These elements have continued to promote trust from both the host and the guest. On an average night, approximately two million people stay in Airbnb homes in over 100,000 cities worldwide. There are over 6 million listings in almost 200 countries to choose from, which is more than what major hotel chains attract. What started as just a business idea has transitioned and taken different implementations while maintaining the original idea. The vacation rental space continues to expand and become competitive, thus taking over costly hotels.

HKT

  • In 1998, China-based Hong Kong Telecom (HKT) launched the world's first-ever video-on-demand (VOD) service, to be integrated as a more comprehensive interactive television (iTV) service. The iTV VOD service attracted subscribers that could access over one hundred local and foreign visual content in movies, documentaries, and cartoons. HKT has since seen the evolution of other streaming platforms such as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
  • In 1998, Netflix was initially launched as a DVD rental service before it became a streaming service, which saw the evolution of other streaming services such as Hulu. The Walt Disney Company, Comcast and FOX, created Hulu's business model from the onset as a video streaming service. Today, streaming services such as Hulu and YouTube have diversified their portfolio to include sporting events, news, and live concerts. Streaming platforms such as Netflix have not yet replicated, which takes away the competitive edge of Netflix as more viewers are looking for the freedom to watch their favorite programs at their own convenient time.
  • The evolution of streaming services has embraced the original idea while diversifying content to suit modern times and to keep up with the competition. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Disney+, and Hulu offer a vast catalog of movies and television shows. While these catalogs tend to overlap from time to time, each of these streaming platforms has different foundations, models, and financials. Net neutrality is an integral concept for all streaming platforms today. These platforms also enter into contractual agreements with major networks to gain permits to distribute past and current popular tv shows.

Research Strategy

To provide a comprehensive report on business ideas that fit the quote "Ideas don't die, businesses do," we have relied on different reputable sources that were publicly available. These sources include official websites of these cases, Forbes, and Investopedia. Through these sources, we have managed to determine how each of the listed case studies has taken a business idea transformed by implementing it differently, without killing the original concept of the idea.

Part
02
of two
Part
02

Companies That Span Multiple Industries Simultaneously

Key Takeaways

  • Maersk’s five core businesses operate under; Maersk Tankers, Maersk Line, Maersk Oil, APM Terminals, Svitzer, Maersk Drilling, Maersk Supply Service, and DAMCO.
  • Bayer Ag generates revenue of $47.1 billion annually. Healthcare generates most of the company's revenue.
  • In 2020, Walt Disney's revenue spiked to $28.9 billion in the media networks segment, an increase from the $16.21 billion generated in the previous year. The total assets of the company amounted to $201.55 billion in 2020.

Introduction

  • The Maersk Group, Bayer AG Company, and The Walt Disney Company are renowned global companies that simultaneously span/fall under at least three different industries. These companies have successfully managed to run different industries simultaneously, around the globe, based on various success metrics, such as their annual revenue.

The Maersk Group

  • Founded in 1928 and headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Maersk Group operates in about 130 countries globally. Some of the industries that the conglomerate specializes in five core businesses; shipping, logistics, energy, retail, and manufacturing. Maersk’s five core businesses operate under; Maersk Tankers, Maersk Line, Maersk Oil, APM Terminals, Svitzer, Maersk Drilling, Maersk Supply Service, and DAMCO.
  • As the largest container shipping company globally, the Danish conglomerate is a publicly-traded family business. Through the years, the company has undergone several multi-phase transformations that include transforming from just an ocean transport company to become an all-around provider of global container logistics. In 2020, the conglomerate used its non-ocean services share to account for half of its overall business operations, up from 25%.
  • In 2020, the Maersk Group grew underlying revenue before tax, interest, depreciation, and amortization 44% to $8.2 billion and revenue growth of $39.7 billion compared to $38.9 billion in the previous year. The Logistics & Services industry grew to $7 billion, compared to $6.3 billion, in the last year, with a 110% EBITDA growth to $454 million, supported by the Performance Team acquisition. Some of the departments that showed improvement include air freight forwarding, intermodal, warehousing, and distribution.

Bayer AG Germany

  • In 1925, Bayer AG, headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany, was one of the six chemical companies that formed the IG Farben conglomerate, which would become the largest chemical and pharmaceutical company in the world. The company spans multiple industries simultaneously. These industries include; human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, biotechnological products, agricultural chemicals and seeds, and consumer healthcare products.
  • As of 2020, Bayer Ag had 106,092 employees around the world. The company generates revenue of $47.1 billion annually. Healthcare generates most of the company's revenue, including sales of pharmaceutical drugs and vitamins. The crop science business, which was expanded through the Monsanto acquisition, comes second, especially with seeds, fungicides, pesticides, and herbicides.
  • An article published by Statista indicates an oscillating sales graph of Bayer through the years. The chemical and pharmaceutical company reported total sales of 41.4 billion euros in 2020. The company also sells human and animal prescription medications and diagnostic and medical testing equipment, which have continued to contribute to the company's sales growth.

Buyer Revenue Since 1995

The Walt Disney Company

  • The Walt Disney Company operates in four main business segments; Media Networks, Studio Entertainment, Park Experiences and Products, Direct-to-Consumer, and international. Under the Media Networks, the company runs the ABC television and radio network, E!, the Disney Channel, A&E, ESPN, and Disney.com. The Park Experiences and Products of the company include Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Cruise Line, and Disneyland. /
  • In 2020, the Walt Disney Company amassed an annual revenue of $16.5 billion; the sales came from the parks and resorts segment, a $10 billion decrease from the previous year due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the company experienced a revenue spike of $28.9 billion in the media networks segment, a hike from the $16.21 billion generated in the previous year. The total assets of the company amounted to $201.55 billion in 2020.

Disney Revenue

  • The Walt Disney Company evaluates its performance based on its operating segments, such as operating income. The company's management gauges performance based on total part operating income, separate from non-operating factors. This makes it easier for investors to evaluate changes in the operating result portfolio of separate entities under the Walt Disney umbrella and independent non-operational factors that may slow down its net income.

Research Strategy

To provide a comprehensive report on examples of companies that span multiple industries simultaneously, we relied on publicly available and reliable sources such as the official websites of the listed companies, Pitchbook and Statista. Through these sources, we managed to provide information on the various industries and segments under each of the listed companies and their success metrics, such as annual revenues.
Sources
Sources