I'm Not A Robot
I love my Allbirds 🙂 They have a great store on Newbury Street!
I would disagree, I would predict Mirror will be a total loser in this market. This is primarily because of the disconnect between their questionable value proposition and high cost. Their website claims that they offer “THE NEARLY INVISIBLE HOME GYM”. However, there is no gym equipment included in the package at all, visible or invisible. They should say, “Gym equipment not included.” Fancy marketing aside, they are offering an oversized digital screen with significant glare that lets you watch a remote instructor. Odds are, these affluent customers who have $1,495 in loose change, already own a smart TV which can play any videos, live or recorded, which they desire. The ability to simultaneously look at one’s self only adds value to people who have a positive body image or find their negative body image motivating (a rare few), and only reduces their value proposition. It reminds me of the compelling ad for Planet Fitness (from 2018) called “Mirror Guy” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2afTmPt9egw which highlights the selling point that their gyms don’t have any mirrors.
Hopefully, despite the curated glowing reviews on their website, consumers will see through the marketing before regretting their purchase of this overpriced screen with limited utility.
Thanks for the article! This definitely seems like an uphill battle trying to create a new market for UAM, and I am skeptical that the business model will be sustainable without a significant user base. There is a lot of headline risk that any incident will damage their reputation and willingness to try it out significantly, including the recent death of Kobe Bryant on a helicopter. There is likely a small audience of wealthy people who want to commute into or between big cities, who may prefer the flexibility of a subscription service to reserve spaces on helicopters. A subscription service may provide more stable revenues for now, while they see if a broader market exists.
Thanks for sharing about Coursera! I have been familiar with them as they partnered with my college university, and some of my engineering classes were taught in person while simultaneously being offered online to people who didn’t go to my school. I think it’s very interesting to see how they have used their partnerships with universities to supercharge their credibility as a brand, but I wonder what the universities will think about Coursera competing with them by offering their own bachelor degrees. Do universities earn ongoing royalties for courses their professors create, even if they are used for these other degree programs? Is there an IP concern about who owns the courses that are developed?
Coursera has found success as a platform for hosting learning in the education, business, and government markets, but do they create their own content? To truly succeed, they must become more than a commodity and win going forward, they must become a brand which consumers think of on their own terms.