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On March 23, 2020, hbs51369394 commented on OpenTable: Restaurant Reservations Made-Easy :

I’ve noticed that there is some price discrimination on Open Table from some of my past reservations – depending on the restaurant booked, sometimes the app requests a deposit that is not refundable if cancellations happen too late. This might be driven more by the restaurant policy than OpenTable, but perhaps it something worth exploring as a product feature to some segment of restaurants (high demand, more upscale, etc.)

The upcoming restaurant recommendation engine seems like a great way for OpenTable to capitalize on the wealth of data that they have. Is there a way they could not only use it to benefit consumers but also restaurants in some form of advertising if they need more awareness within a specific consumer sub-set?

On March 23, 2020, hbs51369394 commented on Zencare: Modernizing the search for mental health care :

Great read! I was wondering if Zencare would scale beyond its local clustering and in-person consultations constraints in order to deliver online therapy sessions. It could potentially give therapists access to clients they would have otherwise not been able to reach, and also solves the demand side problem that some people cannot find therapists in their underserved area. Might also be a way to keep the platform sticky.

On March 23, 2020, hbs51369394 commented on MasterClass – Mastering Scale as Edutainment Platform? :

Had fun reading this – I also took Gladwell’s class on storytelling and enjoyed going through it! Masterclass seems to be positioned as an upscale/luxury version of Coursera and other MOOCs, leveraging celebrities and high quality content.

Two things I’m wondering:
1) Are same side network effects from the supply/teacher side? Is there a way to leverage a Masterclass brand that makes it more of a thought leader platform like TED or even offline events such as SXSW?
2) Would Masterclass be an acquisition candidate for a talent management agency?

What I’m seeing is the digitization of what were brick-and-mortar fundamentals. Love the application of AR and AI – the technology has effectively disrupted the in-store consultant. Investments in UX/UI are the equivalent of great displays. Services like recommendations and how-to classes not only work because Sephora is an established beauty authority, but it also continues to reinforce the brand strength (virtuous cycle). This is what will keep their products from being commodified and effectively safeguard them versus Amazon.

On February 12, 2020, hbs51369394 commented on Fitbit: Weathering the Storm? :

Playing in the fitness/weight loss space is a challenging one in terms of efficacy when 95% of diets fail and where 50% of dieters end up gaining more weight than they started with. The pivot towards more general health and partnerships with care providers is a more stable (and infinitely less fad-ish) industry, however this requires significantly more R&D and technology investment given the sensitivity of health care data. I’m not very confident on Fitbit’s ability to do this as what got them successful were marketing strategies that creates a consumer brand category such as step count or designing for aesthetics. As you’ve also mentioned, Apple has done a lot in the health care space in the interrim.

On February 12, 2020, hbs51369394 commented on Digital Art Collective TeamLab :

Interesting piece about digital transforming the art world, especially where there is a pre-conceived notion that art should be completely human in expression and execution. However, that is starting to change, I recall that an AI generated composition was of similar quality as that of top composers. Referencing back to the class discussion about translators, I wonder how translators (those well versed in both technology and art) can not only help facilitate more collaboration between the two seemingly opposite disciplines, but also help the rest of the world understand more about both technology and art by new media.