MP

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On March 4, 2018, MP commented on Spotify | Should Investors Join The Band? :

Thanks for sharing. I agree with everything that you have laid out above. I believe that there are several pieces to the puzzle missing before Spotify can truly flourish. One additional issue worth mentioning is the company’s incredibly high user churn rate, which I believe is north of 50% annually. The company must continually refill its leaky funnel, which is costly and unsustainable. To fix this problem, Spotify must figure out a way to make its platform stickier. You could imagine a scenario where Spotify offers exclusive content, similar to Netflix, thereby making users more likely to stick around. This is just one idea for one problem the company faces. Lots to be seen with this company in the coming years.

Thanks for sharing the post. The value proposition for both customers and studios is quite compelling. Yet, ClassPass has struggled over the last few years and has been forced to radically change its business model several times. I question whether the company will ever be able to establish a long-term, sustainable profit model especially given constantly evolving consumer preferences. The most pressing industry change that ClassPass must quickly address is the shift to on-demand fitness classes, such as those offered by Peloton, Aaptiv, and Equinox. The company’s release of ClassPass live is the right move, but it is still to be seen whether such a product can be competitive in an increasingly crowded market. I envision a future product that offers something akin the Netflix of fitness; Aaptiv seems to well positioned to offer such a product.

On March 4, 2018, MP commented on The “Harvard” of Dating Apps: The League :

Thanks for sharing the post. I had never thought about the intrinsic flaw in the League’s business model. The better the League is at the job-to-be-done (helping people find relationships), the less valuable its platform becomes. The company essentially has to constantly refill its marketing funnel in order to replace the users that leave the platform. To that end, demographic trends and consumer preferences are highly important in understanding the long-term sustainability of the company’s business model. The company must ensure that it attracts younger generations to the platform in order to refill the funnel. And it must ensure that the League stays relevant in a competitive space.

Thanks for your post. It will be very interesting to see how the next 10 to 20 years play out in the continued fight between Amazon and Walmart. Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers will be the big losers. As it looks today, Amazon is poised to gobble up the world. But it is unclear in my mind where Walmart will land. While Walmart has posted some impressive growth in e-commerce, I question whether they will be able to keep up with Amazon in the long-run.

On February 1, 2018, MP commented on Netflix: The Media Killer :

Shaun, I agree that Netflix is a real winner here. The Company’s tremendous success comes at the expense of traditional cable providers as well as traditional film studios. Cable providers have been scrambling to figure out a way to compete with Netflix. Moreover, Netflix has started a trend towards over-the-top distribution of content from providers like HBO and Showtime. This has created major issues for cable companies as consumers begin to cut the cord. Netflix has also evolved to be so much more than just a technology application to stream third-party content. It is now a full-fledged TV and movie studio, competing with the Hollywood big-wigs. Netflix’s original, exclusive content is high quality and further strengthens its customer value proposition.

On February 1, 2018, MP commented on Sad Snaps :

Mike, thanks for sharing. I agree that Snap is a loser. I do not see any sort of real long-term competitive moat. This point is perhaps best supported by the fact that Instagram replicated Snap’s entire business practically overnight. Although Snap has engaged an attractive demographic, I am worried about the long-term usage rates as the product loses its appeal and the resulting loss of advertising revenue. Snap needs to innovate considerably to create some sort of sustainable differentiation to ever be labeled a winner in my mind. (As a side note, I deleted Snap last week in favor of consolidating my social media presence on Instagram).