Joe Tung

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

Very interesting company and well-written blog post! I love that the company is breaking down barriers to accessing mental health care, especially given the stigma associated with receiving care. I am curious how Zencare screens therapists to be on the platform to ensure adequate training and quality. Perhaps another monetization move might be targeting companies and offering the platform as an employee benefit while getting paid on a PMPM basis.

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

Great post, Alli! I was actually thinking of writing about Upwork as well, but I am glad that you beat me to the punch. I agree with you that disintermediation might be a big problem for Upwork. My roommate is currently starting a company and used Upwork to find freelance software developers. Once he found a few developers he was interested in, they took the conversation offline. I wonder if one way to address this from the perspective of Upwork might be to charge freelancers for the connections made in addition to a commission fee for the transaction amount.

On March 23, 2020, Joe Tung commented on BloomNation: a budding platform for florists :

Great post and interesting business! I love that they’re helping out local florists by charging lower commission rates and focused on ensuring customer satisfaction. I wonder if multi-homing is a big problem for them though. There doesn’t seem to be very strong incentives for the florists to stay completely loyal to this platform. As a florist, I would want to advertise my services on as many different platforms as I can to get exposure.

On February 9, 2020, Joe Tung commented on Garmin – Getting lost in the changing navigation maze :

Fascinating post! I wish we had insight into some of the conversations going on in the executive meetings at Garmin in the late 2000’s. Was it a lack of foresight that prevented Garmin from capitalizing on their early lead in navigation? Or did the executives consider the possibilities you posed (dominating either the hardware or software space) but executed poorly?

I see a recurrent trend in our class’s blog posts that incumbents that do not adequately consider competitive threats from digitally-enabled companies end up losing. I am surprised though that in this case, Garmin is able to stage a comeback as you mentioned, as most other companies that fail to innovate in the digital world end up becoming obsolete. This does speak to the importance of diversification as well. I wonder what changes Garmin might make now in their strategy going forward so that they do not fall behind again.

I had not heard of Monzo before, but I am going to check them out now — thank you, Colm! I love that Monzo seems to focus on the customer experience with the community forum and feedback section. One of the major pain points for me with traditional big banks is their slow speed of response; I hate being put on hold for an hour in order to talk with a customer service rep who can address my concern in 5 minutes. Bank of America and other banks have tried to address this pain point with smart bots that can help answer basic questions, but having a structured feedback forum is on another level. I do wonder how that might scale once Monzo becomes even bigger though.

I agree with you that incumbents are not well-positioned to catch up with Monzo soon. However, the bigger challenge I see for Monzo is newer players who might be able to copy their model. They do seem to have the first mover advantage in this space, but the barrier of entry also appears quite low for a similar-minded company to take up market share.

On February 9, 2020, Joe Tung commented on Applied Intuition – Powering Autonomy at Scale :

This is a fascinating post, Rocio! I agree with you that companies that are able to simulate real-world road conditions effectively will derive huge cost savings from testing autonomous vehicles. I wonder whether traditional automotive manufacturers or companies like Uber/Lyft might end up becoming the best partners for a company like Applied Intuition. It would seem that manufacturers might hold the edge given they have the supply chain in place to iterate on changes needed for production of AV parts following simulation feedback. However, companies like Uber/Lyft have incredible amounts of data on rider/driver patterns as well as greater incentives to utilize autonomous vehicles in order to cut down on driver costs. Perhaps a future business model might involve all three components working together — manufacturers, service platforms, and simulation companies.

I am also curious how accurately companies like Applied Intuition are able to simulate real-world conditions. It seems that their simulation algorithms are based on past patterns of scenarios; if an autonomous vehicle were to encounter a completely new set of situations (e.g. collision testing with new car materials at a previously untested speed and angle), would current inferences be able to be extrapolated to generate outcomes we can trust?