MM

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On April 29, 2018, MM commented on eBay – No More Auctions? :

Thanks for a great post Kelly (at least I think it’s Kelly…)! I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the seemingly Amazon-esque path eBay has embarked upon. Do you think it should eventually own inventory (in select verticals) in order to ensure better quality control and improve its brand image? Separately, aside from Stubhub, which other adjacencies would you recommend for eBay to extend into?

Fantastic post, thank you! Like Haley, I’m curious whether the old guard can actually become digitally-minded, as opposed to simply reacting to trends or financial outcomes that hint at the importance of digital innovation and transformation. Some companies (e.g. Gucci) have opted to include a millennial- / Gen Z advisory committee within their organization that interfaces directly with the C-suite. Do you think something like this would help Disney execs transform into “digital natives?”

On April 29, 2018, MM commented on Goldman Sachs – A Technology Company? :

Thanks for the insightful post! Having worked in banking, this post certainly resonated with me. I would expect one of the biggest pushbacks to digital transformation to be the senior bankers, who 1) see technology as a replacement for their know-how and 2) don’t think that they have the capacity to learn or adjust to new tech. How do you think about getting the buy-in of these folks?

On April 10, 2018, MM commented on Netflix: Your Data, Your Show, Your Experience :

Great post Sean! I think your point that “analytics does not solely drive creative decisions; Netflix still involves production studios and creative staff to make shows a reality” is particularly interesting and a concern for me as I think about the company’s future. Do you think there will ever be a point where Netflix becomes more like a movie studio with a core competency in data-driven decision making as opposed to a personalized streaming platform that also produces shows? I’m not sure if the company is already doing this now, but I foresee Netflix striking exclusive development deals with smaller studios (maybe the likes of A24 or Annapurna Pictures), or even outright acquisition of a studio.

I’m especially intrigued by the usage of sensors and video as an insight-extraction tool. However, I’m curious as to the impact, if any, that this level of surveillance has on employee morale and turnover. From an employee motivation perspective, I would hope that employees are included in the debriefing process and are given the opportunity to co-create higher operational standards alongside management. Unfortunately, I imagine that more often than not, employees are simply told that the data shows they’re doing something wrong, and changes are decided by the top without buy-in from front-line workers.

On April 10, 2018, MM commented on The Most Data Driven Salad You Will Ever Eat :

Thanks for the informative post! I’m curious as to the percentage of Sweetgreen customers that use the app (and therefore allow their data to be easily captured). What’s the company’s strategy for capturing data from customers who don’t have or use the app (especially as many of these them may be new or infrequent Sweetgreen customers)? How is the company using data to build a relationship with non-app users?

Great post, thanks! I don’t see a path forward for Citizen in its current iteration, as the lack of law enforcement support effectively caps the usability of app. Perhaps media outlets like BuzzFeed would want to partner with Citizen in exchange for access to breaking news footage, but I’m not sure that they would want to expose themselves to potential legal or ethical blowback from regulators. An interesting crowdsourcing case, for sure.

On March 26, 2018, MM commented on Volition: Democratizing Beauty :

Thanks for this informative post. I too have reservations regarding its ability to retain its voter community. Given how crowded the beauty space is already, I have a hard time seeing how this concept can meaningfully engage voters in the long-term, unless they somehow are also privy to financial incentives from successful launches.

On March 26, 2018, MM commented on Glossier’s Lip Gloss Empire :

I think this has worked well for Glossier so far, but how do you see them deploying these crowdsourcing efforts at scale as they grow and Emily and team no longer have the time to painstakingly engage with every Instagram comment? I’m also concerned that since Emily has such a halo effect on the Glossier brand, what are the implications for the Glossier community, and can that community feel be sustained, going forward?

On March 5, 2018, MM commented on Etsy’s battle against Amazon :

I agree with your assessment of Etsy’s ability to compete with Amazon. The branding element, in my opinion, is particularly important. Etsy’s brand equity lies in the strength of its community and the promise of bringing small businesses and small business supporters together. Amazon’s brand, on the other hand, is diametrically opposed to Etsy’s. In a world where the leviathan that is Amazon is rapidly encroaching on every single facet of our lives, I think there’s a real sustainable strategic advantage to be had in a challenger that feels authentically “small.”

On March 5, 2018, MM commented on ZocDoc: Finding a doctor when you need one! :

Thanks for the post! As a frequent ZocDoc user, the move to incorporate sponsored results left a bad taste in my mouth. When it comes to an industry like healthcare, I believe that customers have a lower tolerance for promotional listings as they calls into question the real quality of the clinician. If the doctor was already doing a good job, why would he or she have to buy promoted listings? If they purchased the listing rank, could it be that they also faked some of the positive reviews? What are your thoughts on the impact of sponsored results on the customer experience? Do you think it gives the customer another reason to multi-home?

On March 5, 2018, MM commented on Can OpenTable survive, or is it losing popularity? :

Thanks for a great post! In regards to your point about multi-homing, what are your thoughts on OpenTable’s points program and its ability to minimize multi-homing?

On February 1, 2018, MM commented on Fitbit: From Winner to Loser :

Great post! I’m curious about the growth of the overall wearables market itself. As purely anecdotal evidence, I recall being very bullish about the possibility of fitness tracking ~5 years ago, especially with the launch of such apps as Apple’s Health app. However, I recall that general excitement for wearables as a fitness tracker diminished considerably as 1) accuracy of data was called into question and 2) consumers like myself couldn’t really meaningfully use the data once it was collected. I’m not familiar with the Xiaomi device, but I would assume that its dominance is largely derived from market penetration in China, and thus I wonder whether Fitbit’s decline is due to wearables fatigue in the US market?

On February 1, 2018, MM commented on GLOSSIER: A Direct-to-Consumer Beauty Disruptor :

As a user of Glossier products, I very much enjoyed this post. However, I’m bearish on the ability of Glossier to sustain its momentum. While the company clearly understands Instagram, I’m concerned that this capability isn’t unique to just Glossier (see Fenty Beauty, Kylie Cosmetics, etc). Moreover, is user-generated product development scalable as the company grows? What can Glossier do to maintain its community feel and culture?

On February 1, 2018, Mary Ma commented on Retail is(n’t) dead (for all) – Nike is Just Doing It :

Interesting read! I think most retailers these days are attempting to move into experiential retailing that breeds engagement and loyalty. However, as you mentioned, Nike Soho, perhaps the most salient of Nike’s experiential efforts, is only one store. How do you think about the ability of competitors, primarily adidas, to offer a similar or even better in-store experience? Is there a secret sauce behind the success of the Soho store or would competitors find similar success with the same format?