Leverage Hacker

Nathan Murphy's Blog

Netflix for Airbnb: Is It A Possible Business Model?

Will a Netflix for Airbnb style model ever disrupt Airbnb? Perhaps. The industry seems to be fairly attached to a pricing model that goes up and down based on demand – not very friendly to subscription based pricing.

Even more so the difference from country to country  in land prices makes it hard to establish a flat pricing model. I do wonder though if it could have an Uber’esque flat fee structure that can then invoke higher fees if there is a surge in demand.

I do suppose this is even harder when you factor in that most ‘all you can consume for one flat price’ business models are generally better catered to content businesses like Spotify rather a true offline resource – places to sleep.

The problem being solved here is pure millennial laziness. Organising a long trip overseas is still somewhat laborious although 10x easier than 10 years ago. The ability to just go from place to place on a whim without having to really do anything except move your backup is attractive.

Humans were once nomadic by necessity, moving with seasons and wildlife for survival. Now a new generation is nomadic by choice, able to work from anywhere and shift home on a whim.

There’s a few startups in the co-living space popping up that seem to cater the travelling professional nomad. Coliving and Common are two but I’d say Roam holds the most promise thus far. These are different from Airbnb in that they offer a community of like-minded people upon arrival.

So if someone could recreate Airbnb but have a simple Netflix style subscription option with a monthly fee instead of supply based pricing that’d be great. Cheers.

Ironman Reflections: My Most Valuable Lessons Learnt From The Race

Last year I completed an Ironman. These are some Ironman reflections I have after crossing the finish line.

 

Do the race your way

‘They say’ a lot of things: “You need to train 6 days per week. It’s impossible to do the race without training on a real bicycle. You have to do a half Ironman before you do a full Ironman. Don’t drink alcohol in the lead up.”

It’s all bullshit if your only goal is to cross that finish line within the race cut off time and get that piece of metal. I trained once per week for 3 months prior to the race. I did my cycle training on a stationery bike in the gym (thanks Holly for that $$$ saving tip). The first triathlon I ever did was the actual Ironman. I drank all the way up to the day before the race.

Admittedly I’m smug about a lot of this. I also acknowledge that I’m a 25 year old male with the ideal body for endurance events (read: tall and skinny). However, the main point here is that there is no such thing as gospel for what it takes to do an Ironman. I’m a strong believer that anyone can do it. At the end of the day it will come down to willpower more than anything else.

 

Be prepared for the post finish line

One thing that really shocked me was how my body shut down after I crossed the finish line. My core body temperature plummeted and I was shaking uncontrollably. Emotionally I felt destroyed and wanted to ball my eyes out. It was a weird reaction considering the elation I had felt as I ran that final hundred metres before the finish line.

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G20YEA

Learnings from China as a G20 YEA Australian Delegate

This year I was proud to represent Australia as a delegate to the G20 Young Entrepreneur’s Alliance 2016 summit in China. Alongside a crew of great Australian representatives from different parts of our entrepreneurial ecosystem I embarked on a journey to the country that is steadily rising to political and economical leadership in the 21st century.

It was my first time going to such a summit and representing my country, to say I was excited is an understatement. I was also going in with a strong sense of determination to learn as much as possible about how other G20 countries are developing their ecosystems and to build a global network of entrepreneurs and ecosystems drivers.

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jobhack

Why We’re Launching JobHack.org – Free Entrepreneurship Education

JobHack is a free online entrepreneurship course. Participants learn the practical skills of entrepreneurship through 5 online challenges so they are empowered to create their own jobs. Each challenge takes no more than an hour to complete and builds an applicable skill in areas such as validation, design, marketing, digital, pitching and so on.

 

Let me tell you why we’ve started this initiative. For the last 2 or 3 years, I’ve been frustratingly aware of a problem that exists in the entrepreneurship education paradigm for young Australians. Particularly in the space of learning how to start a business and create jobs.

 

I’m most passionate about entrepreneurship education initiatives that can achieve true scale and democratise access for a large percentage of the young population. Back in 2014, I was lucky enough to be involved in the pilot creation of $20 Boss, an initiative created by the Foundation for Young Australians in partnership with NAB. Due to it’s forward-thinking program design; $20 Boss has already been delivered to more than 6000 high school students in 2015 and is on track for 10,000 in 2016. In two years it’s scaled to more than 11% of Australian high schools – an incredible feat.  Great things are happening in high schools, but older ‘young Australians’ are missing out. Specifically people aged 18 to 30.

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Finding Ikigai

Ikigai has changed my life. It’s a Japanese concept that helps you identify your life purpose.

Before ikigai I couldn’t focus on one thing. I constantly switched between projects, never truly satisfied for a long period of time. The last few months however have been an awakening as I’ve learnt to make sure that every thing I say yes to and work on is relevant to my ikigai.

Give it a go, it might change your life.

What It’s Really Like Going Through An Accelerator Program

In mid-2015, I was successful in applying to an accelerator program in Melbourne, Australia. I’d found out about the program and I didn’t know if my chances were that good, but I thought I’d give it a shot anyway because I had a new business idea that needed some funding.

By context and by background, I am a serial entrepreneur so I love starting new businesses all the time.

An accelerator program, if you haven’t heard of it already, is an organization move that invests some money typically into a group of people — all with different business ideas. Giving each of them a portion of money and taking a slice of equity in the newly formed businesses. They then guide them through a few months of a program where they are held accountable and helped to turn their ideas into profitable and scalable businesses.

The most famous accelerator in the world, of course, is Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley based program. Out of Y Combinator have come amazing startups, such as Dropbox and Airbnb. Being a non-technical Australian, getting into Y Combinator is somewhat unlikely so instead I applied for Angelcube.  

AngelCube terms were quite favorable to me honest in the Australian start-up ecosystem context because they gave you $40,000 and took 8 percent of your business. Giving you a half-million dollar valuation right off the starting line.

So. How did I get in?

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Don’t Take The Marshmallow

There is a marshmellow underneath a glass cup on my bedside table. It’s there to remind me of the long term dangers of giving in to instant gratification.

I’ve had it there for about 6 months ever since I read a book called ‘Emotional Intelligence’ by Daniel Goleman. It’s an incredibly well researched book that explores the impact of emotional intelligence in our everyday lives. You learn very quickly that the traditional measure of intelligence; IQ, is by no means a predictor of success, happiness or health in life. 

I learnt a great many things from that book, but there was one particular study the author referenced that made me want to resist the temptation of a marshmallow on my table everyday. 

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How An Elastic Band Can Make You Happier

Do you have a bad habit that you’d like to break? If you do, rejoice! It turns out there might be an easy way to rid yourself of it.

I’ve been overly conscious of my bad habits more and more as I’ve gotten older. So much so that I would sometimes feel overwhelmed and frustrated with how it seemed my habits controlled me rather than the other way around. 

More times than I can count did I try and fail to stop my various bad habits through sheer willpower alone. Each time I would crack with in a matter of days. Incredibly frustrating. 

The solution it turns out has been incredibly simple – pain. In short, I’ve quickly learnt to associate various cravings and subconscious habits with pain delivered through the snap of an elastic band. 

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How Soylent Could Save The World

I made a prediction that Soylent will hit a billion dollar valuation within 10 years – I’m now revising that to 3 years. That’s because Soylent is one of the only scalable and sustainable solutions to the enormous strain we are putting on the food & energy chain that feeds the growing human population.

“Ok. Hold up Nathan, WTF is Soylent?”

Let me start from the beginning.

On February 13th of 2013, a young man named Rob Rhineheart posted an audacious blog post titled ‘How I Stopped Eating Food’. Since then this post has garnered 812+ comments and can probably credited as the blog post that birthed the company (that is now assumably worth north of $100M).

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Why Do We Chase Unicorns? 

Founders have this weird tendency to aspire and believe they can reach the top 1% of any given field when in reality they never will. I’m talking specifically about startups in this case. The media has helped glorify billion dollar startups (known as ‘Unicorns’) and their founders that have come out of Silicon Valley over the last 10 years.

This has shaped the conversation and ambitions on the ground floor. I’ve spent time with a lot of young first-time entrepreneurs over the last few years. There is a common theme among some of them – they aspire to start billion dollar businesses. 

This doesn’t make sense and is an inefficient use of a generations combined capabilities. Unicorns are not the norm – they are outliers.

You might be thinking – “aren’t we supposed to encourage our future entrepreneurial leaders to reach for the stars?” And I’d agree that we should, but only to an extent. 

The main issue I see with encouraging the goal of joining the ‘3 comma club’ is that it breeds a dangerous environment of unrealistic goals, wasted resources and sets up the individual for a negative toll on their mental health.

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