HZ

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Thanks a lot for the post! Super insightful. I don’t feel Teledoc was fully ready to capture the value as a result of the pandemic. I have heard anecdotal evidence from several friends that they had to wait for hours and hours to get on a call with a doctor using the Tele-Doc platform, neither have I seen any advertisements of Teledoc to take full advantage of this opportunity. I do agree we are in a new era of virtual care, but the main value proposition should be focusing on creating an extra-ordinary customer experience. The Tele-health player that is able to manage that would be best positioned to take advantage of this shift to virtual care.

On May 2, 2020, HZ commented on Peloton: Riding Quarantine into a Demand Boom :

Super insightful article, on the competitive market a major threat is the entry of Equinox with Variis by Equinox. Which will combine workouts from all major Equinox brands including Soul Cycle in addition to having an extremely similar bike hardware product. This could make the model very competitive and result in customer churn to increase. Another concern is the sustainability of hardware sales since I do anticipate second hand bikes being available in the market. Lastly, with more digital workout subscription services being rolled out including Variis by Equinox, we may have competitive wars like the Streamer Wars.

On May 2, 2020, HZ commented on Zoom: Can “Zoom” become a verb? :

Great post! I believe Zoom’s focus on enterprise and not focusing on end customer may give them an edge over entrants such as Facebook, although the product is a commodity hence I do see continuous pricing pressure. I am also optimistic on zoom becoming a platform that small business could build on top off by opening up APIs to businesses, for instance hospitals could build tele-health solution on top of zoom, or lawyers or tax consultant could build remote consultation services on top, which would only be enhanced by 5G. Although, the current advantage Zoom has is the video and audio clarity as a result of its technology, the conditions may not hold true in the 5G world as everyone will be able to achieve high-definition video.

On April 22, 2020, HZ commented on Stitch Fix: Your Personal Shopper :

Great post! The Stitch fix model is truly innovative but I am bearish on the long-term sustainability of the business in its current form, having tried to use the subscription twice and returning all items on both occasions. I don’t feel the Human assisted Advanced analytics employed today truly captures the customer’s needs. feel the company will continue to have high-churn rate and higher customer acquisition costs. Although I do feel eventually the algorithms would become superior with more data and demographically diverse customer base.

On April 22, 2020, HZ commented on Rare Carat: The Kayak of Diamonds :

Very insightful post, I actually used Rare Carat when shopping for an engagement ring and was able to learn quite a bit about Diamonds. Personally was too concerned about the bots and trusting the site to buy a precious stone online despite finding better prices on the site. I feel the space would become increasingly competitive with incumbents integrating similar technology.

On March 23, 2020, HZ commented on HUYA – the Amazon’s Twitch of China :

Very interesting post. Super intrigued by the concept of virtual gifts as being the main source. Wondering if any of the large player such as Ali Baba, Baidu or Tencent have plans of entering the video streaming space, as a push from either of them could be an existential threat for Huya. I still feel that virtual gifts may not be the most sustainable revenue source, as one may not be compelled to give again once they have already done so.

On March 23, 2020, HZ commented on Upwork: In Demand Talent On Demand :

Super insightful post! I have been following Upwork quite closely for a few years and believe in its strong future potential with the software engineering and data science requirements of small firms increasing. I do see some hope in the tackling some disintermediation using AI based on the interaction on the platform. In my view the push should be on developing a strong B2B sales force to sign up companies with recurring work who are less likely to disintermediate based on the services being offered to them.

On March 23, 2020, HZ commented on Upwork: In Demand Talent On Demand :

Super insightful post! I have been following Upwork quite closely for a few years and believe in its strong future potential with the software engineering and data science requirements of small firms increasing. I do see some hope in the tackling some disintermediation using AI interaction on the platform. In my view the push should be on developing a strong B2B salesforce to sign up companies with recurring work who are less likely to disintermediate based on the services being offered to them.

On March 23, 2020, HZ commented on Instacart – A Platform Thriving in a Pandemic :

I have not personally used Instacart but I wonder in a world where Amazon continues to innovate and build scale where Walmart is making a strong push and catching up by reducing it’s delivery timelines, could the space long-term have multiple players. The clear advantage Amazon has its Prime Membership that links to some many of Amazon services. Another risk is potential regulation on workers where federal or state could mandate them to have the same benefits of regular employees, something Uber and Lyft have been struggling with lately.

On February 11, 2020, HZ commented on Venmo – Winning a Larger Share of Consumers Wallet :

Great post!! Venmo is indeed a winner and continues to innovate by grabbing more share of our wallet and transaction. Moving forward I envision Venmo creating a whole fintech eco-system. The p2p money transfer market is a need across the globe and would be interesting to see Venmo capitalize on this opportunity by aggressive international expansion, while the biggest challenge would be the regulatory barrier involved abroad. Similarly another use case of cross-border transfers would be another lucrative expansion strategy, again with its own set of regulatory challenges such as AML. What I feel may be the largest opportunity maybe to add more value added features to the core app and allow for functionalities similar to something like Wealthfront. What Venmo has, is a strong active consumer base, stickiness to the platform will allow it to monetize in several areas in the coming years.

On February 10, 2020, HZ commented on Bloomberg: Four victorious decades :

Back in undergraduate, when I first used the Terminal and found out about its monthly subscription costs, I distinctly remember saying that this will be disrupted in the next five year. Five years later, it still continues to dominate because of the reliability of data and high switching cost because of the wealth of information. Large barriers to entry exist and the business has been built over 4 decades, for any competitor this is a mountain of information to collect, store, process and verify. I still remain bearish on the product long-term, borrowing on the principles from BSSE, the market is ripe for a low-cost disruptor to enter and target the non-terminal consumers, not posing a threat to Bloomberg initially, but eventually moving upmarket and posing a legitimate threat, which may be made possible by machine learning or Artificial General Intelligence.

On February 10, 2020, HZ commented on Visa and Mastercard are LOSING fast to Indian alternatives :

Very interesting post on how a national government through regulation is promoting local players to compete with international incumbents. Would be interesting to see if this models scales to other emerging or frontier economies. Would be interesting to see how UPI and Rupay aided in financial inclusion and were able to reach out to the unbanked population. A concern with a state backed payment system/ mechanism maybe privacy, as this could be used to monitor citizen’s purchase patterns to bring them into the tax net or monitor black markets. Overall, the success of RuPay makes for a great case study for other economies to promote local champions and boost Fintech.