Erik K

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On May 4, 2017, Erik K commented on NYT VR: The Gray Lady’s VR Experiment :

Great post Micah! So interesting to see where The Times is innovating in this post-internet and post-social media world. For content companies like The Times, I believe VR represents a huge future opportunity to both reclaim advertiser dollars from Google and Facebook and bolster their subscription business models. What types of spatially-interactive (social?) and immersive experiences would it take for users to opt for VR news rather than video news? You alluded to how challenging this might be and in doing so identified the key issue IMO.

On May 4, 2017, Erik K commented on Magic Leap – Reinventing How We See the World :

Great post Jack! Such an intriguing company. How does the core technology differ from its competitors Hololens and Meta? If so many of the patents being used are in public domain, what part of the tech stack will become the key competitive differentiator? With these long time horizons it seems as though most of the headset tech will be commoditized by the time they come to market. If that’s the case, where will they capture value?

On May 4, 2017, Erik K commented on STRIVR Labs: VR training in NFL :

Great post man! Super cool company. As former athlete I can vouch for how extremely helpful visualization of the right content can be. I wonder how they are thinking about content creation vs. giving athletes the tools to create the content for themselves. The latter would be much more scalable and generate much better customized results. How might they give the tools to a quarterback to create content for himself? Would he have to wear a 360 degree camera in a bunch of situations? Tragically fragile hardware for such a physical sport! Maybe their best niches would be in low contact individual sports like tennis, or golf that would better lend themselves to athlete generated content?

Great post, thank you! Agree with you that TopTal faces significant challenges. I remember hearing about how Catalant (HourlyNerd) has found significant traction identifying *internal* talent for large enterprises. There seems to be significant potential for disintermediation for these temporary project-based worker platforms. How do you think the space will evolve: will free-lancers be pulled off these platforms and work directly with/for their client when they find a good match? Or will most of these workers choose the flexibility of freelancing (and multihoming), and forego the benefits of working at one firm in-house?

Nice post Katarina, thank you! Lazada seems like an interesting success story for Rocket Internet. Two questions come to mind… Do you think Lazada could reach its potential in SEA without Alibaba acquiring them? How does Alibaba intend to handle Lazada: integrate or leave autonomous? It seems like SEA is a uniquely challenging market for the five reasons you mentioned, and I wonder how much the acquisition will better address these challenges and benefit consumers.

On April 12, 2017, Erik K commented on Google’s Chromecast: Masters of Scale :

Great post Michelle, thank you! Google did indeed do a remarkable job gaining marketshare in this highly competitive space through low-end disruption and tight integration within and across platforms. I agree that multi-homing will continue… do you think it’s possible/likely for one digital media streaming device to win? Or does the fragmented nature of high quality content production (i.e. many great producers) suggest there will be a longterm fragmented market of streamers? If Chromecast/FireTV/AppleTV is in fact an ancillary, data-collecting initiative for Google, Amazon, Apple, etc. that feeds into their larger strategies, perhaps they will be fine with low network effects and high multihoming? In short, I wonder if there will be a winner-take-all situation.

On April 11, 2017, Erik K commented on Digg: Failures and Learnings :

Nice post Felix! Thank you. I agree the undemocratic upvoting seems like it doomed them from the very start. As someone who hasn’t spent too much time on Digg or Reddit, I’m fascinated by how these communities crowdsource the discovery, creation and propagation of internet trends. Are these communities as fad-ish as the content they propagate? Another post described the challenges Reddit is facing with offensive subreddits — What role should individual businesses (and the communities they regulate) play in surfacing/creating “news”? These online communities’ tendency toward negative outcomes raises some interesting ethical questions around their very existence. I wonder what democratic upvoting method (if any) could have resulted in a sustainable, positive community at scale while maintaining freedom of speech. Curious to see what happens to Reddit…

On April 7, 2017, Erik K commented on Palantir- A Secretive Unicorn :

Great post Jack thank you. Palantir certainly seems to have won the mindshare around data analytics as a service. Bansi wrote a great post about DataRobot and the automation of data science. To what extent do you think such an approach could help Palantir scale beyond its human capital restraints?

On April 7, 2017, Erik K commented on One Robot to Rule Them All :

Great post! Thanks Bansi. Interesting to think about data scientists new role in this DataRobot world. I wonder if the critical thinking role of the data scientist can ever be replaced by “dumb” brute force methods, as it seems that connecting online and offline worlds will continue to require human judgment. In which situations do you think robots will (or won’t) replace data scientists?

On April 6, 2017, Erik K commented on Crisis Text Line: Saving Lives Through Data :

Really great post Lauren, thank you. Regarding future opportunities, what are ways they could leverage their dataset, other than operational cost savings and triage that you cited? Might be really interesting to further partner with Verizon/AT&T to pair with demographic and/or app usage data to conduct even more granular anonymized mental health research. Of course, some form of differential privacy would be important.

On March 22, 2017, Erik K commented on 99Designs of Logos on the Wall… :

Great post Gil! What are the main challenges you see for their future? Does their business model attract designers sufficiently to all projects, or are they specializing in one segment (e.g. top tier?) How do they compete against other design platforms?

On March 22, 2017, Erik K commented on Reddit: Managing the “Front Page of the Internet” :

Great post Michelle. One of the ways other platforms mitigate Micah’s so-called “rambunctious” user engagement is by requiring real identities and using social network log ins to hold real people accountable in their circles of friends. Why does Reddit allow for anonymity? Should they?

On February 2, 2017, Erik K commented on Fire Phone- Amazon’s $170 million Summer Fiasco :

Great post, thanks for writing it. I’m curious about what decisions Amazon should have made differently… should they have been Android OS rather than Fire OS and thereby have Fire become a hardware play? If they decided to do both software and hardware, is price the only way for them to have competed against Apple and Android’s established user bases? Did they launch (and give up) too quickly, before they created meaningful value? Or was it truly impossible for them to enter the mobile phone industry at that point in time given their broader strategy?

On February 2, 2017, Erik K commented on Nest: Falling Into The Chasm :

Really interesting post, thank you for writing it. I’m curious about the extent to which the lack of strong network effects for Nest (and for the IoT space more broadly) will lead to a highly competitive and unprofitable market. Specifically, the proliferation of “smart” devices and the subsequent commoditization of data as its collected by many players, the future does indeed seem bleak for Nest! What will “winning the Smart Home battle” look like? And of course, security is a huge concern, as you’ve mentioned

On February 2, 2017, Erik K commented on NVIDIA: How to win the “GPU wars” :

Great post, thank you for sharing it. NVIDIA’s growth is a remarkable story. I’m curious how sustainable or defensible their competitive edge is… When a new technology breakthrough inevitably finds itself further down the Moore’s Law cost curve, what will happen to NVIDIA if that breakthrough happens in another company?