Love that this is a HBS founded company! June’s value prop is extremely timely given all of the limitations in the healthcare system and restrictions that have been placed on access to resources for expecting mothers. I can see how they will be able to capture more users given that in person classes can’t take place but am skeptical if a large enough segment of expectant mothers will choose to take digital classes once normal life resumes. I would imagine this is a very emotional and important decision and you would want that personal connection that is hard to foster over a screen. However, I believe it is super valuable for mom’s to have a support system and community to lean on. It seems to me that there is more value for the doula and insurance side of the platform by eliminating geographic constraints and reducing overall costs. It will be super interesting to follow along!
Interesting read! I used ClassPass before COVID and have to agree that the customer service has been great related to cancelling subscriptions and rolling over unused credits. However, I had no idea that they had digital classes offered on their platform. I agree with the concerns above of disintermediation but am also concerned that in an extremely crowded fitness space, ClassPass is seen as an online booking tool rather than a content creator like Peloton or Nike. Given this perception, I think it will be difficult for ClassPass to generate a lot of engagement on their digital platform resulting in users (like myself) using other platforms for at-home fitness classes and studios bypassing ClassPass to engage directly with their members. I am concerned that the pandemic has accelerated the trend towards at-home fitness and many ClassPass users will not reactive accounts after the shelter at home orders lift.
Thanks for the post! It’s great that Airbnb has been able to leverage their strengths pre-COVID to pivot and generate some revenue while also helping out their communities. One concern I have for the travel industry, but particularly Airbnb, is the lasting impact and shift in consumer behavior related to travel once the shelter in place orders are lifted. I am curious if travelers and hosts will feel comfortable letting strangers into their homes or staying in someone else’s home after we have been practicing social distancing and are more aware of germs than ever. Given the good relationship that you mentioned with both hosts and travelers, I think Airbnb can overcome this fear but needs to start working on cleaning protocols and messaging ASAP.
I had no idea this existed but it is a very cool application of AI. I share your concerns around data & privacy – it made me think about all of the issues around voice assistants speaking without their prompts or recording things they were not supposed to. Given these toys would be around children, these issues are even more sensitive. Although they would have to be careful how they used the data, one potential utilization would be to use the data to inform trends and help generate toy ideas for the future.
Really interesting to learn how they have blended data science algorithms and human talent to curate the best possible clothing selections for their customers. I agree that the threat of a larger incumbent entering the space is real but one clear advantage stitch fix has is each user’s specific clothing preferences, which will continue to grow. Traditional retailers or even Amazon is unlikely to have this level of data. One way to leverage this advantage is to build their own clothing lines based on their preference data or to partner with traditional retailers to utilize the vast amounts of data they have.
I agree with you that to continue to utilize data to create a competitive advantage and increase customer retention, Nike will need to gather the right data. One interesting approach that they are taking is the Nike Plus membership program. This allows them to track all member purchases, online shopping habits and Nike app utilization. Nike has a tremendous challenge ahead to begin to gather this data from the physical channels that they are operating but are making strides to introduce tech to do this. To date, Nike has largely used this data for the consumer experience but I believe the real value lies in utilizing this data for internal operations like product design and planning.
Super interesting read – I have seen ads too but wasn’t aware what the platform consisted of! In addition to the concerns that you raised about the business model and competitors, I have concerns about user retention. Because of the big celebrity names, I think it will be easy to attract customers to the platform and they benefit from free marketing, but will this be more of a novelty than a repeatable activity? After watching one cooking class with Gordon Ramsey will I really come back each month for more instruction? One possibility to combat this is, instead of offering one time videos, they could begin offering courses that would keep the user engaged over a longer period of time.
I agree with your concerns about the sustainability of the company. Particularly related to disintermediation because they are currently only capturing value from the vendor side of the marketplace. They will likely need to continue to add services or update their pricing model to incentivize both parties to transact on the platform. Additionally, because the platform is a local marketplace rather than a global one, it would be easier for a competitor to enter and begin to take market share from Wedding Wire.
Super interesting read and very cool that they are using AI & AR to help increase the value prop. I think it’s interesting that they are beginning to work directly with brands to launch shoes. I can also envision GOAT adding value for brands through all of the data that they have collected about the buyers and sellers of the platform. Brands are not likely to have any data on the re-seller customer segment and it could be extremely valuable inputs for pricing, inventory levels and future trends.
Interesting read Joe – I wasn’t aware of all these initiatives! There’s a great lesson here that the partnership route, particularly for companies that are have little competency in digital, is a really great option to kick start digital transformation. I think these efforts have been so successful because, despite being digital in nature, they are still rooted to the Lourve’s mission of enriching the experience and enhancing exposure of its art. I think its fantastic that the museum is embracing technology to increase the audience they can reach, since travel can be such a limiting factor. A potential next step would be utilizing VR to share the museum’s physical exhibits with those that aren’t able to be in Paris.
Great post! This reminds me a lot of the Nokia case that we did in class and in particular where we discussed how FUJI re-invented themselves through diversification. It would be interesting to hear Garmin’s leadership discuss whether this was architectural vs component innovation and how/if that would have changed their response. In addition to the alternative options you wrote about, I wonder if there could have been a successful partnering strategy with the large operating system providers to build the software together so they would have remained the owner of navigation without having to invest in application building.
Interesting read! I think the membership programs that have become increasingly common in retail are an interesting way for traditionally analog companies to begin to experiment in the digital world. There is clearly value on the table for both the company and the consumer so I can imagine it would be an easier internal sell than some other digital transformation projects. I wonder how Starbucks will continue to improve their application to build an experience that connections the physical and digital worlds for their consumers and differentiate against other big chain coffee shops.