Surprisingly enough, I think it is interesting to mention that UberEat is actually the only business where Uber is making a profit! Why is that? Can Uber leverage similar models that allow it to finally become (at least slightly) profitable? The interesting element of UberEat business model is that it is a 3 party platform, that involves drivers, customers and finally restaurants. While in the traditional Uber model, as you pointed out, heavy user subsidies have made extremely difficult for the company to make money on their riding service, in this care Uber can take advantage of the third player involved and gain some margin from the restaurant – as well as charge the customer more for a service that they value as additional to the simple ride. What else will UberEverything deliver in the future? The more parties they will be able to combine in a single platform the more value it will create for customers and finally the more profit it will be able to capture.
I very much like the way in which you are framing the ending question of your blog post: “is it simply too challenging to build scale off the backs of every day people lending money for fun?” as I think you are nailing the main issue of peer-to-peer lending model. In my opinion, the customer value proposition for lenders is extremely low, to the point that it can be compared to a gambling experience or just a game “for fun”. I don’t believe lending platform will dominate the lending market, but will instead gradually disappear (or just become channels for institutional-to-individual lending) in favor or more hands-one investment platform like Kick-starter. In those platforms, peer-to-peer investors have the opportunity to read about a business idea and decide more consciously to invest in it, which make the decision more sound or at least the game more fun!
Thanks for sharing this post! You may want to take a look at my post about Peloton strategy? It is interesting to consider how fitness trends are shifting more and more into the houses of consumers, and all the players are trying to get a foothold in customers’ houses.
Will this be a winner take all market? Can online fitness platform – that need to achieve large scale in order to be successful and sustain the high investments in content and technology – still leverage network effects once their customer base grow? Can they recreate the curated “hipster” experience that made boutique studios so successful in the first place? It will be interesting to see how competitive forces but even more network forces will play out in this “digital fitness” game to allow eventually one player to dominate the in-house fitness market.
I enjoyed reading your post and found it particularly interesting as I am considering to join a luxury mall company in Europe.
I would make an important distinction between shopping malls operated by Real Estate owners like Simons and pure retail players like JC Penney or Nordstrom.
I believe that the first ones – despite their business seems to be still growing and not threaten by e-commerce – are in a harder position to embrace a digital transformation. How can a Real Estate company make a move into the digital space??
As you pointed out in your article, I believe shopping malls will have to reinvent themselves from being a pure Real Estate business with a retail arm to enter instead the entertainment business, and offer customers a compelling physical experience. That experience can for sure leverage digital components, but will have to be physical for the mall business to survive to the e-commerce disruption.
Interesting idea around licensing Amazon Go technology which I haven’t considered before!
My concern with that idea is that the technology is now based on the fact that customers who enter the Go store must have an Amazon account., where the shopping amount is deducted from. I wonder if Amazon will agree to license the technology and relax the requirement to have an amazon account, loosing also the immense amount of data coming from it.
I also don’t believe that in the near future the Amazon Go technology will allow to completely remove human assistants from the stores, hence I am not sure of how many retailers will want to re-engineer their store layout and license what is presumably a very expensive hardware (cameras) + software solution.
I studied the Peloton case too as I found the “fitness as a service” you mentioned a very interesting business model and fitness trend for the future.
I guess the main questions I am left with are:
– will Peloton’s success replicate outside the New York fitness bubble?
– how will Peloton be able to differentiate itself from well known spinning brands like Soul Cycle and Flywheel?
My view on the latter is that Peloton should consider opening the content platform to third party / private providers, to increase demand-side network effects and aggressively acquire new customers, while also entering the B2B channel (hotels, condos, etc.) for customer retention and acquisition.