EIO

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I see digital transformation affecting J&J in two different ways: in the way J&J operates internally (e.g., using digitalization to improve supply chain management or using AI in their drug development process) and in the products it offers (e.g., RA-RA). I agree with you that it will be difficult for J&J to digitally transform the way it operates, but I actually think that creating and launching more “digital” products will actually be more difficult. Operationally, it may be easier to create and launch such products, but depending on who these products are marketed to, selling them may be very difficult. If they are products meant for patients (like the ones you mentioned), patients may buy the product if they see their value-add, even if insurance does not cover the product. However, for products that are meant to be used by other entities like hospitals, the hospitals will always need to understand how the product will be paid for. Since healthcare is so “behind” when it comes to digitization, ensuring that hospitals can find a way to get the product reimbursed will be key to the success of J&J’s digital offerings.

Hasbro plays in an interesting space, where the person paying for the product and the end user are typically not the same person: the parent pays for the product and the child uses the product. As a result, Hasbro needs to appeal to both parties. When we were younger, our toys were probably not all the different from the toys our parents played with (in the sense that they were typically “physical” toys), so parents and children were typically aligned on what the “role” of a toy should be. However, children today are much more tech savvy and also seem to be drawn to toys with a digital component. As a parent, I would probably prefer to buy my kid a “physical” toy than a “digital” toy, only because of my own bias of what a “toy” should be. I think Hasbro needs to do some thinking on what it is that both parents and children want. For instance, if I were a parent, I would value toys that have an educational component to them. I’m not sure what children want in today’s age, but if they really value digital products, then incorporating parents’ perception of a toy’s “job to be done” is critical to getting the parent to buy the product in the first place.

Loved reading your post! I agree that trainers play a key role in motivating us and keeping us accountable, but I also agree with others who have mentioned the possibility of these roles being replaced by technologies that use social pressure such as Stikk. In fact, I think that some of the ideas you mentioned– like creating a forum/community through which trainees can support each other– could directly replace the trainer’s role of motivation and accountability once the trainee learned what he/she needed to do in order to achieve his/her health goals.
I hadn’t thought about the possibility of leveraging Harvard’s system to connect different types of information (health-related information, workout-related information, food-related information, daily activity information from technologies such as FitBits) and provide users with a better understanding of their health– very interesting!

On April 10, 2018, EIO commented on Sephora: Staying Ahead of the Amazon Threat :

I’ve used Color IQ before and have found it helpful in guiding me towards the right product. Given the “unique” type of data they are able to collect from users (e.g., consumers’ skin tones), I am wondering if there are opportunities for Sephora to commercialize this data (e.g., selling this data to beauty product makers so that they can gain a better understanding of consumers).

Very interesting model! One thing I took away from Founders’ Journey is the importance of the founding team (when it comes to a successful venture), and I am wondering the extent to which this model works to assess important attributes that are less data-driven like the chemistry between co-founders?

Similar to Carlfuda, I thought that Glassdoor could use something from the LinkedIn playbook to solve the fake user problem. Specifically, my assumption was that LinkedIn users would be asked to provide additional information (e.g., salary, interview, review of company/position) that would then be anonymized. However, as I thought about this further, I think that this could lead to people actually being less honest about the company (since, even if the information is anonymized, the platform will make it easy to track down who wrote the information since user profiles are public). Finding ways to promote more accurate, reliable data is important to Glassdoor fulfilling its value proposition.

I wonder about the sustainability of this model. Specifically, it makes sense that sales would spike during the few months following the release of a new flavor, but what about the long run? I’m not sure how long these new flavors stay in the market, but if they are eventually removed (e.g., because sales decrease after the hype), I wonder how profitable they actually are given the upfront investment required for the launch of each flavor (e.g., launching the campaign, R&D when it comes to finalizing the ingredients/composition used for the chosen flavors, etc).

On March 7, 2018, EIO commented on The “Harvard” of Dating Apps: The League :

I wonder if one way to combat The League’s intrinsic business model flaws is to make the platform appealing to people seeking to meet others in general, regardless of their relationship status. While I’m not sure what the financials look like for platform companies like MeetUp that offer members the opportunity to meet and engage in activities with other like-minded individuals (e.g., people who like the outdoors, people who like cooking), such a model could serve as a way to retain users, even after they find “the one”.

On March 7, 2018, EIO commented on Netzun: a start-up competing in the job search market :

Very interesting post! The frustrations felt by college students with little professional experience looking for jobs really resonated with me, and I can see how a platform like this would have been extremely valuable as a college student. You mentioned that users are not sticky, which may or may not be a problem for Netzun– even if one “generation” of college students stops using the platform, Netzun could still succeed as long as the subsequent “generation” of college students also chose to use the platform and continued to grow. Having said that, a few features that Netzun could offer should it choose to appeal to a wider customer base (i.e., people with experience) could include providing useful job searching tools (see Jobtreks) or advanced AI capabilities to better match job seekers to jobs (see the Japanese company GROW).

On March 7, 2018, EIO commented on ZocDoc: Finding a doctor when you need one! :

Great post! I wonder if there are ways to make ZocDoc more sticky to users by offering other value-add features. One idea could be by aggregating patient electronic medical records gathered across different ZocDoc doctors that the patient has visited to provide patients with a one-stop-shop for viewing their healthcare information. Although a barrier to achieving this would be obtaining such records from providers, medical record availability may become more ubiquitous as patients start to demand more of their data.