Thanks Nupur! What surprises me in these cases is the idea that our preferences “persist”. In other words, the fact that people like political drams and Kevin Spacey means they’ll like the next political drama and Kevin Spacey piece. But wouldn’t one expect that at some point we’ll get tired of political dramas and god forbid, Kevin Spacey? Why is it that we are willing to watch the same sorts of things over and over again instead of seeking newness, and how will Netflix produce truly original content if it relies on our past preferences?
Thanks Yao! This is very cool. In SMICI we learned that movie studios essentially follow a blockbuster strategy where they outside spending on specific ventures “blockbusters”, and those ones tend to have outsized returns in the box office. The use of data here could essentially disrupt that model and help make Legendary a stronger contender to the big six studios you named. I do wonder though if all that matters is really just marketing spend — the more a movie is marketed to us the more likely we are to believe it is a “must see”.
Thanks Andrew! I agree with the privacy issues mentioned above but realized at my summer job that Slack isn’t actually private at all – employees live in a facade that it is a private IM tool but in fact the employer owns all the data which is probably why such tools can be built for the application. I am sure there are so many other use cases to analyze the data going through Slack, and VIBE may want to soon integrate with other data sets in the organization to start predicting key events…like when an employee will quit?
Thanks! I have always wondered why Google Glass failed and cannot believe they went in at a $1500 price point. I agree that Snap has tried to fix a lot of these blunders but wonder if it will see the kind of hockey-stick adoption they’re expecting. Anecdotally it seems their foray into wearables has also been a failure. Could it be that regardless of price point, the customer value proposition for these wearables just isn’t clear (e.g., why use Spectacles to record a video when you can use your phone)?
Thanks Adam! I think this is an outstanding use case for VR. I wonder if there are any studies to show the efficacy of this kind of training (either as a substitute or complementary training method to more conventional rehab programs). I have no doubt that it must be effective, in fact my hunch tells me it can be more effective than traditional methods because of the immersive and personalized nature of the product.
This is really cool! I have spent months in physical therapy and think gamification is a great way to go. I wonder how many people buy the optional biofeedback sensors though as that must be key to ensuring that this works successfully but probably drives the patient cost up quite high.
Ah I would love to sign up for something like this! In reflecting on why they failed, my sense is that crowdsourcing works well when your variable cost to “serve the crowd” is near zero. This is because the value always lies in the data or knowledge that can be captured from the crowd, so you want as large a crowd as possible. However, if the marginal cost for every additional crowd member is high, it is difficult to scale and realize the benefits from the group. I wonder if an alternate model for this business would be to simply get feedback on different menu items and restaurant concepts online, without creating the actual dining experience – this would make their cost to serve large crowds almost zero and any value captured would be pure profit?
Nice post Anish! I am a big fan of Quora and think it’s interesting to see many of my friends as super users by writing long answers to questions. I always wonder what the motivation is here, because they are not people that necessarily always go out of their way to “help people” in other aspects of their lives. This is cynical, but I wonder if there is a less altruistic motivation which is that people simply like to “show off” their knowledge. If this is true, then there are many other knowledge-sharing businesses that could be built to exploit this intrinsic human need to brag about what we know 🙂
I love the idea of helping travelers connect with each other in real-time when disaster strikes. There are so many times when a flight has been canceled and everyone lines up to ask the service reps the exact same question, except the line is 20 people long and so inefficient. There must be a better way to disseminate this information and share knowledge about the flight. You can also include features that can help people swap seats or get access to something while in air (e.g., Tylenol). Someone should build this!
Thanks Natalie! You made an interesting comment in class that this is a platform of other platforms (e.g., Netflix is a platform business that sits within platform based streaming devices like Roku). It is interesting because the content does not really multi-home, therefore users must subscribe to different streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go). However I wonder how that extends to users multi-homing across streaming devices. Surely if one device offers access to all the different streaming services, there is no need for a user to keep multiple devices? I was wondering what your rationale is for using multiple streaming devices and whether that is influenced by this “platform within a platform” problem.
It is fascinating how WeChat is becoming the app of all apps. I wonder if they will consider a foray into hardware as a next step. Once they acquire enough users, they may be able to capture all the value from these users (hardware + software) through a closed ecosystem. Although this would not be beneficial for users of course and could backfire if the users defect to a competing app.
Thanks Yezi! I agree with you that trust and reliability are key in this market, but therefore I feel a first-mover advantage may not be as relevant in this case. Firstly, it is because the first mover is most susceptible to the “teething problems” of an emerging technology and its reputation will likely take a brunt for all of these. More importantly however, I feel that if an established name like Google chose to build a similar platform in the near future, the trust associated with its brand equity would quickly draw users and developers to their platform instead. Do you know if a large player like Google is planning to enter this space at all?
Thanks Lulu! I used Slack at work this summer and absolutely loved it as well. I did wonder whether my team saw any real efficiency gains from it however. My boss was a cross-functional leader and was constantly being pinged on Slack to the point that she was never truly “present” in a meeting as she was fielding questions from all parts of the org. I found it distracting just to watch her! I therefore wonder if there is a point at which this sort of app can be value-destructive once it is adopted across an organization, and what sorts of features or controls need to be built to prevent that from taking place.
Thanks for this post! I think you’re spot on with the reasons why mass adoption is being hindered – with price being a key concern. However, this seems to be a chicken and egg problem. It is likely difficult for most new technologies to reduce their price until they can sell them at high volumes, and yet they need to reduce the price in order to generate enough demand. I guess Google is in a position to take the P&L hit and be a “loss leader” as Chun mentioned, but it could be brand dilutive for Nest to slash prices just yet.
Thanks Michelle! I am an avid fan of the NYT and also didn’t know about their niche apps. I agree they are making big strides in digital news – especially on Facebook by using 360 videos and Live almost daily now. I wonder if they need to shift their focus from new customer acquisition to up-selling their existing customer base. My guess is that their core readership may already have subscribed to the platform and the next step would be to find ways to capture more revenue from them, instead of finding new readers.