A.J. Steinlage

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On May 1, 2018, A.J. Steinlage commented on Digital Tools for Real Estate :

I love your idea about Airbnb expanding into the tenant – landlord trust/matching opportunity! Real estate is definitely an industry that is ripe for digital disruption and I wonder if this transformation will do more than just digitize analog processes such as tenant screening and rent collection. As you highlighted, the industry is very fragmented, with many players offering digital solutions to both tenants and landlords. I wonder if there are other ways a new or existing player could create more value for the ecosystem? Could a platform like zillow or trulia leverage its large user base to expand into other services?

On May 1, 2018, A.J. Steinlage commented on McKinsey & Company – will “The Firm” win DIGITAL? :

Thanks for sharing this post! I think you highlighted some extremely relevant issues, and I think your insights on the measurement and promotion of human capital and the changing of its revenue model was spot on. In addition to expanding its expertise and offerings in digital, I am curious if “the Firm” is concerned about other issues brought on by digital, such as the commoditization of knowledge, crowdsourcing, consulting platforms, and artificial intelligence. Hopefully, McKinsey’s strong brand and reputation of “no one gets fired for hiring McKinsey” will sustain it in the short term, buying it enough time to make a digital transformation of its own.

On May 1, 2018, A.J. Steinlage commented on Huntington Ingalls – Transforming the Shipyard :

Thanks for sharing this blog on digital transformation in the defense industrial base. Many of the challenges you discussed mirror those faced by the Department of Defense. In addition to digitizing construction blueprints and work stream management, I wonder if there are other opportunities to for Huntington-Ingalls to digitally transform itself. I wonder if HI could shift to a subscription or outcome based model, similar to General Electric’s shift from equipment and service contracts to selling up time or performance. I’m also curious if HI has considered disrupting its underlying processes instead of just digitizing the current ones. Either way, I’m glad their submarines kept you safe and hope they can successfully make the transition to the digital age.

On April 11, 2018, A.J. Steinlage commented on DeepMind: Who Needs Data to Learn? :

Great post Anton! Regardless of the future importance of data, it is impressive that Google is willing to disrupt itself. Like you and Liza pointed out, even if reinforcement learning diminishes the value of data, Google will be positioned to capture value. I also share Liza’s broader existential concerns regarding the possible applications and implications of AI upon humankind. Fortunately organizations like the United Nations and OpenAI are studying this topic, but will regulations stunt the growth potential of AI?

On April 11, 2018, A.J. Steinlage commented on McData: underdog McDonalds using data to defy its naysayers :

Thanks for the post Austin! I have not been to a McDonald’s in several years and I assumed they were continuing to struggle. Your post totally changes my perception of both the restaurant and what areas data science/ analytics can be applied to. The rate of implementation you highlighted was extremely interesting and I wonder how it was initially received by employees, store managers, and franchise owners. Does McDonald’s have a few test centers where it conducts R&D and rolls out new initiatives? This would be a great change management case to study, especially given the age and culture of the company.

On April 11, 2018, A.J. Steinlage commented on The Golden State Warriors – Data & Talent = Heart!  :

Thanks for sharing this great post! I share your concerns regarding the leveling of the data playing field as more teams adopt this technology. I wonder how far up the innovation curve the GSWs are compared to teams like Houston and if they will be able to sustain a competitive advantage. I also wonder who owns the data generated by each player: the franchise or the player? Will a player and his agent be able to take his data set with him to new teams? As more and more teams adopt this technology, I’m sure player contracts will need to account for this question and others.

On March 27, 2018, A.J. Steinlage commented on CrowdMed, a virtual Dr. House :

Saurav, thanks for sharing. I share Cyou’s concerns regarding the payment tiers and the problem of diagnosed subscribers leaving the platform (along with their revenue), but I am sure that profit model would change if they partnered with an insurance provider. I also wonder if CrowdMed is leveraging the data it is collecting to build algorithms that could assist with diagnosis. I also see the “tele-med” models that some hospitals are experimenting with as a direct competitor. I wonder if Crowdmed partnered with a hospital or only allowed M.D.s and P.A.s to diagnose, if that would improve the perception of legitimacy in the eyes of patients and insurance providers. I’m excited to see where this goes.

On March 27, 2018, A.J. Steinlage commented on Tarjimly: Crowdsourcing Translators to Help Refugees Communicate :

I agree with everyone so far: great post! I share JPW’s concerns regarding advancements in products like Google Translate that could render this platform irrelevant in several years. This company has a great mission as you highlighted, but I am also concerned about its ability to capture value without having to share some of that value with the volunteer translators. As someone previously noted, the translators currently outnumber the users, but I wonder once Tarjimly scales if that ratio would remain true with 65.3 million refugees in the world today. I think it is possible in the growing “gig” economy, but I wonder how much value would need to be shared to attract sufficient numbers?

On March 27, 2018, A.J. Steinlage commented on Farmers Business Network | Disrupting One Farm At A Time :

Juan, thanks for sharing – this topic is extremely interesting! Your post brings up an interesting case where users associated trust with paying a subscription rather that a freemium model in traditional network platforms. I am curious about FBN’s growth to date. At 6,000 users, their penetration is only .3% of the U.S. market. What are some of the other barriers to user acceptance and are there any competitors in this space? I’m sure the value and stickiness of the platform increases with more users, so I wonder why user growth hasn’t been greater. My final question revolves around the insights FBN provides. You mentioned in your post that FBN provides farmers with pricing and yield benchmarks, but I wonder if it gives farmers detailed insights and/or recommended actions for each acre of land?

On March 7, 2018, A.J. Steinlage commented on Charging Towards Change: The Future of Transportation :

As you and some of the other posts alluded to, I think there is a risk of revenue dependency on selling hardware. At some point, the hardware will become commoditized and drive down prices. I wonder how ChargePoint thinks about the alternative: giving the hardware away or free in order to rapidly grow the network and generating revenue by sharing charging fees or long-term service contracts. Thanks for sharing.

On March 7, 2018, A.J. Steinlage commented on The “Harvard” of Dating Apps: The League :

I don’t have much to add to the discussion so far. My questions revolve around their current business model and if they can sustain on fees from premium profiles alone. Are there any in-app ads or do they capture any value from the events and activities they facilitate? Thanks for sharing!

On March 7, 2018, A.J. Steinlage commented on 2U: The Education Platform That Got It Right :

Thanks for the post Jay. I found the $5-10 million that 2U invests in each school “partnership” to be extremely interesting. They’ve obviously lowered the barriers to entry for schools to offer online degrees, but I wonder what the cost of switching is for both students and schools as competing platforms enter the space. How much of their own capital do schools invest and do they sign a multi-year contract? I am also curious about how 2U thinks about the commoditization of middle and lower tier school online degrees and the impact on their revenue model.

On February 1, 2018, A.J. Steinlage commented on Fitbit: From Winner to Loser :

Thanks for sharing Pum! And lot’s of good comments on this topic. I can’t say I’ve ever owned a Fitbit, but as everyone alluded to, I wonder what the company’s true value proposition was? Furthermore, could Fitbit have done anything differently to prevent itself from becoming a “loser.” Could Fitbit have expanded into healthcare wearables or monetized the data it collected or provided better insights or created a community? Or was it doomed from the beginning because of products like the Apple watch? So many questions, but very few definitive answers.

On February 1, 2018, A.J. Steinlage commented on Xiaomi: China’s Threat to Apple :

Thanks for sharing your post on Xiaomi. While visiting China over winter break, my cell phone broke and I quickly needed to buy a new phone. I struggled to speak Chinese with a friendly local, but eventually communicated that I needed to buy a cheap, but good cell phone. Once she understood my question, she immediately pointed me to Xiaomi. I’m not sure if the store concept is new, but Xiaomi was operating a small retail store with an Apple store vibe to it. The phone itself cost just over $100 USD with no service plan or contract subsidies and worked just as well as any other Android device I’ve owned over the years. Your article helped explain why Xiaomi is able to deliver such a product at low cost, but makes me wonder if this competitive advantage is sustainable and if Xiomi will expand into other products besides phones?

On February 1, 2018, A.J. Steinlage commented on WeChat: A winner in China but a loser abroad :

Thanks for sharing your post on WeChat. I visited China over the winter break and quickly discovered that WeChat was a necessity in to survive over there – almost everyone lives and works by WeChat. As a new user, I found the app be extremely user friendly and the all-in-one feature to be convenient with many carry over synergies between features. As I traveled the country, I was amazed to find that even an old man street vendor selling food on a rickety one-burner stove accepted WeChat Pay; almost no one uses cash or credit card in China. I agree with your conclusions regarding the lack of penetration in foreign markets, but I wonder how much focus WeChat has actually placed on growth beyond China. While competition in developed markets, like the United States and Europe, will be tough as you pointed out, I wonder if consumers in emerging markets will appreciate WeChat’s features if it is able to make its app more regionally specific.