I think airbnb have some problems with the management. They have made political actions at the expense of the business. I think that this will eventually lead to problems in the future as it shows that their ethics mean more to them than being successful and offering properties to all. As an investor I want a company I choose to invest in to be focused on making money and expanding and not moral grandstanding and shrinking as a result.
I know next to nothing about airbnb, so I have no idea whether I approve of their position, or otherwise.
I do wonder, though, whether there is room for compassionate capitalism and not pursuing profit at all cost.
Indeed, sometimes the most economically rationale option (e.g. outsourcing production to the lowest cost country but which has bad press due to, for example, child labour) might, on balance, do more harm to the long term economic success of an organisation. Or would your position be this is the best value option so should therefore be pursued nevertheless?
What exactly are you referring to here? Sorry not familiar with your point of reference but I don’t closely follow airbnb.
I’d expect every business to have certain red lines they won’t cross (for example ripping off customers, participating in unlawful surveillance of users, aiding fascist states). I won’t always agree with most companies of course, but a business without a moral compass is not one I’d want to invest in - this is one of my objections to facebook.
It is not IMO in any company’s long term rational self-interest to be amoral - it would inevitably cause legal, social and reputational problems in the long term.
I think get what you’re saying, but every company has Political, Environmental, Legal and other factors that they will have to navigate. Banking has had PPI & Libor Scandal, as an example. Apple and Spotify are navigating legal issues… Management changes are also common place.
I think the question is to what extent will these issues affect performance? And in the case of Airbnb, people worldwide rely on it as a form of income, in my opinion, it almost has too much responsibility to fail now.
I believe they’re referring to their decision to delist Israeli West Bank listings (which was supported by both HRW and Amnesty btw).
To link to what @kenny said, companies have no right to automatic profits. They have a right to exchange goods and services in exchange for money. And its been proven socially responsible, even listed ones, outperform others over a long enough timeframe. Stakeholder theory has been mainstream for a while now.
Airbnb clearly have no problem with occupation as they list properties in many disputed or occupied territories such as Artsakh / Nagorno-Karabakh, Northern Cyprus, Transnistria, Western Sahara etc… But they chose to single out and discriminate against a specific state and take a side in one of the most divisive conflicts around.
We are facing very high levels of polarisation and dogmatism worldwide and the ideological factions are entering into purity spirals to affirm and progress their goals. The change from Ashton Kutcher Shuts Down BDS Anti-Israel Protester Ariel Gold at Airbnb Event - YouTube to the decision to remove the listings in Judea and Samaria / Palestine / West Bank show that the company is most likely in a race to the bottom by bending the knee to vocal ideologues.
This has caused a company to fill the vacuum they have left https://www.timesofisrael.com/after-airbnb-settlement-snub-an-all-israel-rental-site-goes-live/ and most likely will affect their sales in Israel. I would also imagine that it would alienate supporters of Israel and possibly lose their custom. Regardless on what you think of this conflict, I really do think that this was a bad business move as I would assume that they lose more than they gain just for what I would imagine they think is a show of virtue.
Or it’s simply something they believe strongly about
I’m not going to debate the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict (as this isn’t the place) but if they’ve decided that what they believe is right is worth more than profits then good on them for sticking to their beliefs
Depends if you’re speaking as a subjective human or objective investor. I don’t think it was a “good business decision” in the truest sense. But as many others have alluded to, that doesn’t mean I’m agreeing or disagreeing with their stance.
FIT IPO’d at $20 and is now $5
SNAP IPO’d at $17 and is now $10
GoPro IPO’d at $24 and is now $6
Spotify is not too far off its price, so that I think is testament to the business and Etsy is the only one that is higher than its IPO from $16 initially to $68 now so that is definitely a good business.
My thoughts around IPOs were two fold:
Getting in on first day of listing is a loss maker as the private sellers will just sell off and the value will drop significantly, so if its a good business (like Airbnb or Stripe) wait till it bottoms and then buy in as it hopefully will rise long term.
IPOs as a long term investment the majority do not recover to the day 1 price so don’t buy in at day 1. You could swing/day trade them but for long term investments they seem overvalued/priced to begin with.
For me it does come down to ethical investing, to an extent. But it’s a tricky one.
Taking this one aside, I for example won’t invest in a gambling company. Even though people voluntarily gamble, I just feel like I’m making money from someone losing money or potentially a bad habit. Having worked in banking I’ve seen the effects. But that’s just me personally. I even questioned whether I should invest in a tobacco company.
That aside, most organisations have a Corporate Social Responsibility and know that investors make money if they grow their customers, but if for whatever reason they do something that customers may not like (not arguing for or against airbnb here) then it can impact everyone.
Company image sometimes isn’t as far removed from the bottom line these days as before, so they may have thought it important to address both.