Kike

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Thanks for this interesting post Hung! I fully agree with MS. I tried Blue Apron a few years ago and the biggest reason it didn’t work for me was meal prep time. It took way too much time to cook the meals, even though I enjoyed it when I did have the time. That resulted in me having so many leftover ingredients and products and it would pile up because I wouldn’t be able to cook them fast enough to keep up with the pace of the box delivery. I’m surprised by Blue Apron’s survey that only 16% of people listed time as the hardest part about cooking dinner. However, since it is second hardest after deciding what to make, I think Blue Apron would be wise to figure out how to get meal prep time to go down as well.

On March 6, 2019, Kike commented on Domino’s Pizza: Delivering Innovation and Profit :

Thanks for this interesting post! I couldn’t help but be most curious about what you mentioned in your conclusion — the development of third-party services like Uber Eats. From Domino’s perspective, it has already invested so much in its digital transformation that it might seem like duplicative / wasted effort to also make delivery available on those third-party services. It looks like Domino’s also doesn’t intend to partner with any of these services anytime soon because it wants to control the customer experience and brand quality (https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/15/dominos-wont-be-switching-to-ubereats-anytime-soon.html) But given the rise of these other third-party delivery apps, is it a mistake for Domino’s not to partner with them? Does that limit it’s potential market of customers?

On March 6, 2019, Kike commented on ClassPass friend or foe :

Interesting post Daniela! One group I’d be interested in is personal trainers. Would they be considered a winner or loser due to the proliferation of ClassPass & boutique studios, or would they even be affected? On the one hand, I could see them being losers if more apps allow in-home exercise options. On the other hand, are the people who purchase personal training services completely a different segment than those who would use ClassPass or in-home apps?

On February 25, 2019, Kike commented on Caring Bridge- Creating a Community of Caring :

Hi Hari,

Thank you so much for sharing this personal and touching post. I have never actively used Caring Bridge personally, but about 6 years ago, a college friend was paralyzed from the neck down after taking a dive in a shallow pool. He used Caring Bridge to update his friends about his recovery, and actually posted links to his Caring Bridge on his Facebook page frequently. I agree that it’s a better platform than Facebook for this context, because sometimes the updates need to be much longer and much more private. Interestingly, in trying to re-visit my friend’s Caring Bridge site, I now see that it requires me to have a login (which I have never had before). I wonder if that is an attempt by Caring Bridge to build in more security around privacy among its users. It’s also interesting (and makes sense) that Caring Bridge makes money fully from donations. That demonstrates to me that enough people are so affected by health journeys of loved ones that they find a service like this important enough to donate to. I have also had close friends go through their own health journeys, and part of what is so overwhelming for them is the need to keep everyone updated. Many of my friends will simply designate someone else to communicate with people who are concerned on their behalf. Caring Bridge, as you mention, seems to be a great way to help eliminate much of that overwhelm and streamline communications all in one place for those who want updates.

I’m so sorry to hear about your friend and your dad.

I’m very interested in this concept of Dark Kitchens. One such example that I heard of a few years ago was called Good Uncle, which originally launched as a way to replicate really popular restaurant items in their own kitchens and sell and deliver them in locations that are far away from the actual restaurants.[1] They seem to have pivoted from that basic model now to focus more on college students.[2] I can see the value in the original concept though — it could be really cool & interesting to get a replicated menu item from a local restaurant somewhere else in the country (for example, maybe getting replicated Animal Style fries from In-n-Out in Boston, or getting replicated Roscoes Chicken & Waffles in Florida, or getting replicated Bojangles Chicken & Biscuits in NYC). This could be an interesting way to partner with these local restaurants to extend their reach as well. For example, instead of operating a simple franchise model, Bojangles could instead license their recipes to this delivery service to expand their reach.

References:
[1] https://www.businessinsider.com/good-uncle-raises-22-million-2016-2
[2] https://www.food-management.com/colleges-universities/good-uncle-wants-be-new-meal-plan-campus

On February 25, 2019, Kike commented on Via: a platform revolutionising transportation :

Thanks Alex for an interesting article! My first reaction was similar to Li and Juan’s, as I wondered how Via could differentiate itself from Uber and Lyft. As a rider, I don’t think Via has any real brand differentiation yet, so I just add it to my list of potential on-demand transportation options when I’m in a city that offers Via (for example, if I’m in NYC, I check Uber Pool, Lyft Shared, and Via, and choose whichever option is cheapest). I would agree with Juan though that a big differentiator between Via and the other options is its government partnerships. Uber has notoriously made government officials and regulators upset by entering markets without partnering with them. By leveraging government partnerships, it opens up additional revenue streams outside of riders simply paying for rides (for example, a partnership with the LA Metro was funded by a $1.35m grant from the Federal Transit Administration).[1]

Another potential revenue stream, as Juan hinted at indirectly, is school transportation systems themselves. For example, the Harvard Evening Van Service (which provides free rides in Cambridge between 7pm-3am)[2] is now powered by Via.[3] However, as a regular user of the Harvard Evening Van Service, I have to say that I find the quality of the service lower than I did before it started using Via’s technology, as it is no longer a door-to-door service and wait times are longer.

References:
[1] https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/17/los-angeles-taps-a-shuttle-service-to-get-riders-to-metro-stops/
[2] http://transportation.harvard.edu/shuttle-van-services/evening-van-service
[3] https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/harvard-evening-van/id1419081124?mt=8