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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Most Important Takeaway From Berkeley's Haas Informational Session

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 Posted by Chris Tung , No comments
Last week, I attended an informational session for the UC Berkeley Haas program, and one thing the moderators continued to emphasize was that business leaders should always focus on finding a useful difference. Whether you're looking to develop an idea into a startup or you're trying to stand out in an interview, it's important to always establish clear objective, explain unique value propositions, and provide incremental benefit to a person, a company, or the world, but these three ideas are kind of a mouthful and hard to remember. But, once I heard the moderator told us to simply "Find a Useful Difference" my mind was blown. It was the most succinct way of simplifying these three main ideas into one easy to remember sentence and was definitely the biggest takeaway from the session.

One of the best examples of a company that found a useful difference is Airbnb. Brian Chesky and his fellow founders discovered massive inefficiencies in the renting and hospitality market. Rather than sitting idly by and working with broken systems and overpriced hotel chains, they made a platform that allows people to rent their space to others directly. In doing so, they created a much more affordable way for people to travel resulting in massive scale and growth. Now, Airbnb has a larger evaluation than Hyatt Hotel Corporation, and although many people are skeptical of large tech rounds that are fueled by hype and over evaluation, what makes Airbnb such an interesting, and in my opinion properly valued company, is that they have truly found a unique and useful difference that places them at the core of a market that they created. With that much brand recognition and growth, it will be very difficult for other players to enter the space, and it also allows Chesky and his team to develop new projects to discover more verticals and generate even more value to customers.

Ultimately, there are so many factors to consider when starting and scaling a business, but if you focus on finding a useful difference in everything you do, then you're on the right path to success.

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