Interesting post, thanks for your insights! I was doubly keen to read this because in a different class that I took this semester, Managing the Future of Work, we had one of the partners of a top consulting firm come in and talk to us and he spent a long time speaking to exactly this question. According to him, with the increase in capabilities of big data, consulting firms will no longer need the swarms of post-college, pre-MBA consultants that they have been hiring to date, but instead, will be able to hire one data scientist with a PhD who will be able to manipulate the data and get the same results that a whole incoming class of post college hires would do. One of the questions that this made me think about, and your blog post furthered that questioning, is what will happen to those potential employees? Are there other functions within the companies that they can do, or would the consulting firms simply not hire them anymore? What will happen to the client facing aspects of consulting? Will the type of person be hired be someone with strong inter-personal skills as opposed to analytical skills?
Really interesting, Hans, thanks for posting! I especially liked reading this after our moneyball European football case, (and I appreciated your explanations of the US version of the game so I could follow your post). I wonder if other teams will start to follow what the Eagles have done with data now that it has proven to be such a successful way to win a title. If other teams do start to copy, I wonder then how long this lead will last for the Eagles, as other teams might start seeing the same opportunities and doing the same things to try to win, converting 4th downs, etc. and the ‘edge’ that the Eagles have found now might not last. They will need to keep investing in data in order to be able to see gains over time.
Hi Jared, really interesting post and company, thanks! Humanyze is a fascinating concept and one that makes me quite nervous. Whilst I can see and understand all of the benefits to an organisation of having this data constantly monitored and the take aways that could be derived from it, as an employee it sounds dystopian and controlling, at best. You mention in your post that the company will need to think closely about how to communicate to employees what it is doing so as not to intimidate or anger them. I think it will be very interesting to see how this plays out over the next few years and whether Humanyze needs to offer some sort of training for the management of companies it is working with so that they can learn the best way to ‘sell’ the Humanyze products to their employees and gain employee buy-in.
Great post, Sean, thanks! I agree with all of your thoughts and comments about Netflix and how they have been utilising data to improve the offerings it gives to its customers, but I wonder then how they decide to stop hosting shows or films that are very popular. Do you think that it is to make people feel excitement when they return? Or perhaps due to licensing deals? I switched to Amazon Prime precisely because Netflix stopped offering the show that I wanted to watch and Amazon had it for free. It is interesting to me that Netflix did not pick this up in its data and try to mitigate this as it has happened several times since then.
Austin, I have no words! What a fabulous choice for a blog post. Few things make me more happy than the Boaty McBoatface debacle. It is an excellent example of trying to engage the ‘wisdom’ and participation of crowds and what can happen when their plan does not align with yours, as the organisation. I do wonder however how wise it was to not name the research vessel Boaty McBoatface. I understand why they would not want to, but to give the naming rights to the crowd and then take it away could be seen as undemocratic.
Awesome post, Juan, thanks! I had not heard about this company before but it is interesting to see the power of crowdsourcing in the US market as the power dynamics of the major producers shift from the US to other countries. In other classes we have read about western companies that are travelling to developing nations and helping to implement crowdsourcing products similar to this one to help farmers to make better informed decisions. It is really thought provoking to see an example of a Us based company that is helping local farmers as the power imbalance in the industry has shifted so heavily against them.
Thanks for this great post, Hans! Waze is the perfect example of a business that has utilised crowds for value capture and value creation. Your post was very well written and laid out a lot of interesting information. One thing that I am still less clear on and find very interesting is how Waze initially managed to convince users to start contributing to the platform. It was a novel idea when it launched and felt, in some ways, like a video game. I wonder if that is part of what led to its popularity and eventual virality.
Ahh, thank you for the clarification, that was my confusion! Thanks for explaining!
Great post, Juan, thanks! I had not thought of the possibility of Spotify needing to evolve into a record label of its own, but that makes total sense if it is to try to control the content. It will be interesting to see, after the IPO, if the Big Three do buy sizable shares in Spotify and if they do what sort of power they will be able to wield over the company and the future decisions that it will make. In some ways, by going public, Spotify is almost giving the possibility of power back to the studios as if the Big Three are willing to invest enough into the company they will have a substantial say into the future business model and workings of the organisation. I wonder if the risk of that is worth the reward of going public.
Hi Rexxar, what an awesome company you founded, this is really interesting! Congrats on all of the progress that your cofounder and you have made. Verizon acquiring Yahoo and creating the market need for your services is an amazing blessing and should really help you to catapult the growth of your business. In the paragraph about value capture you mention two models that the company has tried so far. In the first one, you refer to low multi-homing costs. I was a little confused by this because I had thought that part of your appeal was that there were no other, credible, free sources. Is that not the case?
Thanks for this great post, Taka! It was really interesting and especially so after the Ant Financial case we did last week. I had not heard of Grab’s focus of moving into the payments space. I wonder how Ant Financial might react – as it is trying to move into that space as well and to expand globally the reach that it has. You mention in your post that Grab is already functioning in eight different countries so whilst is will need regulatory approval to operate the payments part of its business there, it is already operating in these countries which is likely to help with the regulatory process. It will be fascinating to see how Ant Financial reacts to Grab’s business model expansion!
Thanks for this great post, Iryna! This was really interesting and a great example of when money and blind faith can really get in the way of the actual potential that a company has and of the value creation it is producing for its customers. From your post, it is clear that the VCs who were investing in the company thought that they had a great opportunity for significant value capture, with this tech enabled product that could appeal to people who were interested in healthy lifestyles and people who wanted to show offer expensive and branded tech in their homes. Where the company seems to have failed is on the value creation for the consumer piece. $700 is a hefty price tag for a product that can be squeezed by hand and be just as valuable to a consumer.
Hi Lama, thanks for the post! This was really interesting to me. It feels like Audi is trying a first stab at an omnichannel strategy, but missing part of the key aspect of an omnichannel strategy, which is to be available wherever the customer is and to be available wherever and whenever the customer wants. I would be interested to learn what Audi did to ensure that their tablets and digital experience in the showrooms does not feel like a videogame or gimicky but feels like an additive, high end experience. I wonder, if over time as this technology becomes more widely dispersed across industries, if there will be a shift away from this digital experience in showrooms back to the high touch, individual, feeling of salespeople as that may start to become the thing that is rare, having an individual pay attention to you in real time.
Thanks for this post, Saurav! This is a space that I didn’t know very much about and reading your post has made me quite hopeful about drug discovery and cures that might be found in the future using AI technology like this. In a similar vein to Kat’s question above, as I was reading this I found myself wondering in what ways it differed from IBM Watson and how the company is seeking to create value for consumers and to capture value for itself using a distinct approach from Watson’s as a start-up of five years is unlikely to be able to compete with the resources that IBM is placing behind Watson.
I also found myself wondering about the human competitors’ reactions to this technology. Here I am wondering about the scientists in labs, researchers and doctors who are attempting to find the same cures and solutions but are not necessarily able to compute or discover things as quickly as BenevolentAI. Do they tend to focus on the Benevolent part of the company – that it is likely helping to make a difference in the world of medicine – or on the AI part – that if successful it might remove the need for their expertise?