“Only two ways to make money in business: One is to bundle; the other is unbundle.” – Jim Barksdale
In the last post, I talked about the history of merchant acquiring and how the industry evolved. This post talks about the natural progression of the trend and the rise of the full stack acquirer.
A quick recap
The core jobs to be done for merchant acquiring is to enable a merchant to accept credit card payments. It started with one institution, the bank, and then unbundled into a plethora of entities. We now have a complicated ecosystem consisting of the card networks, issuing banks, acquiring banks, payment processors, and the alphabet soup of PSPs and MSP’s. Merchant acquiring transitioned to being a commodity business and scale became king. The need for scale caused the companies to grow via acquisition.Read More »
I’m a broken record on this topic :), reading 10ks is the best free learning tool if you want to understand how businesses work. We have a 10K a month group as part of the Fintech PM guild and this month we tackled the travel behemoth, Booking Holdings.
What is Booking holdings?
Booking Holdings is the holding company for a constellation of brands and is an Online Travel agent company (OTA) that primarily serves the international market (Ex-US). It was previously known as the Priceline Group, renamed to Booking Holdings in 2018, and is listed on the NYSE (BKNG). The founding of the company has its roots in the acquisition of booking.com by priceline.com in 2005. They are headquartered in Amsterdam with operations in multiple countries. Their main brands are Priceline, booking.com, Kayak, OpenTable, and Agoda. In 2019 they did ~$15B in top-line revenue and their current market cap is ~$62B. A majority of booking.com revenue is driven by hotel bookings.Read More »
In the last post, I highlighted that SMB’s are mostly a long tail business with a majority of the market at the smaller end of the spectrum. An insight that I did not appreciate going into this market is the amount of sensitivity to price. The statement that “There are three things that are most important in SMB, price, price and price” is 100% true! With most small businesses being small and not really in it to grow this price sensitivity makes a ton of sense. So if you are a startup in this space you come across an interesting squeeze.Read More »
Every companies’ strategy mentions owning the full customer relationship as a key goal. The thinking goes somewhat like this.
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- We have identified a customer need in a super specific niche area inside a large industry vertical.
- Once we acquire this customer for this super specific need, we want to continue serving them and building a relationship with them
- This same customer has varied needs that exist in the large industry vertical, a vertical that is unnecessary complex and filled with incumbents offering poor products.
- We will build products that address all their needs. We will cross them into all these products
- The customer is happy as there is only one place to go for all his needs
- We will own the customer for everything they need in that industry vertical – we build high LTV
This post is #2 in the series of “The ultimate guide to hiring PM’s”. Post #1 is here.
Continuing with the theme of approaching the hiring process as a product, the hiring process has two main goals:
- Targeting: Find the right person. Create an efficient interview process that provides a full view of the candidate.
- Conversion: Reduce the candidate’s friction. Once you have decided you want a person on your team, ensure you have the best method to convert the user (candidate) to a customer (full time hire).
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