Jesse Bendit

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On March 24, 2020, Jesse Bendit commented on Zocdoc: The Yelp for Medicine? :

That’s a great point and I totally agree! I know that a lot of the highest quality doctors sometimes won’t even take insurance, don’t need referrals, etc. because they have such high demand so they might be less likely to put on Zocdoc.

I like the telemedicine idea to help add more value for all doctors! Also, somewhat what I mentioned in the article – a big way WebMD makes money is through doctor subscriptions because they have doctor only portals with info. If Zocdoc can add on more supplemental services that add value to doctors other than just reviews, than this can help attract the best talent and I think they need to do that to keep / grow the number of doctors.

On March 24, 2020, Jesse Bendit commented on Zocdoc: The Yelp for Medicine? :

I think a big difference between Yelp and the medical space is that for doctors, there are so many different types and insurance also becomes a big issue. So while I’ve used Google reviews to look at doctors, I think for that initial finding of doctors under your insurance, Zocdoc is a lot more helpful, which keeps people coming back. I also think that the benefit of being able to schedule on Zocdoc is attractive for both doctors and user, + doing paperwork, so these add value that Google currently is not.

I do agree with your point though that there are other platforms that can replicate ratings and that ratings on Zocdoc because of industry dynamics might not be as numerous, so this makes it a bit harder to generate as strong of network effects. But overall, there are some aspects of Zocdoc that help to create that moat.

On March 24, 2020, Jesse Bendit commented on Boatsetter: Democratizing The Sailing Experience :

Love Boatsetter and have used it in the past! I think you identified a few of the issues that are most apparent to me. First repeat usage vs. moving off platform – you mentioned repeat usage is low, which makes the risk of moving off platform low, but I wonder if the repeat usage is low because users are in fact moving off-platform / contacting the boats they’ve used in the past directly? Also, I think a lot of the value / margin of the business comes from repeat usage and limiting the CAC + cost to setup / serve customers – how do you view the long term profitability of Boatsetter (that requires more coordination with captains, owners, pickup, gas, etc.) vs. an Airbnb? Last, I think one of the most interesting parts of Boatsetter is what you mentioned around its ability to cover costs of ownership – I totally agree here and wonder if it makes ownership more likely because people can now afford it by renting out boats OR less likely because people now have access to boats on the few occasions they desire (since you mentioned their only utilized 1% of the time anyway)? Interesting post for sure and great company to use!

On March 24, 2020, Jesse Bendit commented on A “Plaid”form worth paying (a lot) for :

Do you think that further expansion of Open Banking could potentially hurt Plaid’s growth? In a lot of the geographies where Open Banking is furthest along, banks are being encouraged to create their own APIs so that FinTech startups can access the information directly, which would allow these companies to ultimately cut out Plaid or other competitors to easily link into these APIs to create single sources of bank data – do you think this presents a risk to Plaid’s competitive moat or is their data / information differentiated enough that they will continue to be relied upon above using banks or other startups?

I believe that CarGurus already has a P2P sales option (https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/sell-car/) – this is typically just a small part of online marketplace’s business because its a one time fee (maybe a few times if they need to renew) versus ongoing and larger subscription fees for dealers (who value higher because they are selling many cars) + buy upsells (enhanced listings, or in the case of competitors like AutoTrader – vAuto, websites, etc.).

Andres – what’s your opinion on whether or not CarGurus can continue to differentiate itself on its IMV? A lot of companies have moved in similar directions of giving more transparency to buyers, so do you think this slows down CarGurus’ growth? And dealers typically do not like too much transparency (TrueCar is a perfect example – they lost a significant number of dealers in a single quarter because they were showing too much information) – how does CarGurus continue to differentiate without pissing off paying customers (e.g. dealers)? I totally agree with you that they have really done a great job growing and adding value, and think it’s sustainable, but definitely a competitive market and wondering how you see them innovating more in the future!

On February 12, 2020, Langley commented on Mirror: digital disrupter in fitness and beyond :

I agree with the first comment that I struggle to see Mirror winning this market. I think it’s advantage is its trendiness (and the amount of marketing spend that overloads our feeds), but I’m not sure why the Peloton app can’t replicate a lot of the main things Mirror is doing in terms of bringing people classes. The other health and fitness monitoring is nice, but think ancillary, and for the steep price that Mirror costs, I think there are other ways users can get this information. There are some other products like these trying to enter the market (e.g. Tonal) and my opinion would be that having some equipment is what you’re paying for since virtual classes are pretty easy to replicate themselves. Time will tell though!

Great post – like a few of the others, I wonder about their ability to scale, but they might also be able to do well as a smaller, more cost efficient player. The large banks have so many resources and so much money to invest, it doesn’t seem like a big stretch for them to be able to copy many of the things Monzo does (maybe not quite as well on existing platforms though). But given the overall switching costs of changing banks, which might be more mental than actually difficult, it seems hard for me to imagine Monzo becoming the “winner” of banks, even just in the UK. Banks also offer so many other services that might make it difficult for Monzo to replicate themselves and make it harder to fully disrupt the industry. Definitely seems they are doing great though in the areas they focus on!

On February 12, 2020, Langley commented on Venmo – Winning a Larger Share of Consumers Wallet :

I’m interested to see if Venmo eventually turns to using it’s balances to do some lending similar to banks. I can’t imagine the current revenue streams you mention are enough to make it profitable (as discussed by others above), but also wonder if they have the capabilities to overcome regulatory items to lend in that way. I also wonder whether those same regulatory hurdles will make the international expansion piece difficult – seems like there are already incumbents in a lot of the other countries because it’s a model that is very difficult to get the approvals necessary everywhere quickly, which slows Venmo down.