K River

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On March 24, 2020, K River commented on BlaBlaCar: A carpooling platform competing with its drivers? :

Really interesting article! I share your concern about cannibalization between the Ouibuses and BlaBlaCars. At the same time, I wonder if part of the value proposition of BlaBlaCar it not only getting a cheap ride for long-distance travel, but also a social experience? If their riders are using the platform because they see it as a unique and fun way to travel, and not just looking at price, then BlaBlaCar may still be a sustainable alternative to Ouibus. Additionally, no matter how cheap and easy the Ouibus may be, BlaBlaCar will still provide greater flexibility in terms of pick-up/drop-off locations and travel times. It will most likely be faster as well. Given all of this, I think BlaBlaCar can continue to co-exist with Ouibus, albeit with lower demand than before.

Interesting article! GoFundMe is such a cool example of how technology can enable expression of human empathy and compassion. It’s wonderful to see people donating to causes both locally as well as in places on the other side of the world!

I wonder if GoFundMe’s trust-building mechanism, which is one of their biggest strengths, will in fact be one of their biggest obstacles for them to scale. How does the Trust and Safety team actually verify potential fraud? In particular, if the money being raised is for personal use without going through an official organization or group of people, I would imagine that this could become a time-consuming and expensive process to check.

On February 11, 2020, K River commented on (Turn) Off the Press: The New York Times is Winning with Digital :

Great post – I wonder how its digital transformation has impacted the content of their journalism. While its subscription-based, I would imagine that they would still need to publish ‘buzz-worthy’ content to keep their audiences engaged, and retain their paid users. Has this come at the expense of journalism that is perhaps not the most ‘sexy’, but nevertheless important for the public and integrity of the press?

On February 11, 2020, K River commented on Coursera – Revolutionizing Education For Anyone, Anywhere :

I agree, though what I’ve found with Coursera is that the courses are offered by a mix of both world-famous universities as well as lesser-known (at least internationally) universities. For the former, I think in-house online courses that are increasingly being offered by these universities could be a significant threat. However, for the latter, Coursera can continue being a platform through which they reach a global audience and enhance their brand value. Perhaps Coursera should focus on expanding its customers in emerging markets, where they are likely to find higher success due to these trends.

On February 11, 2020, K River commented on Stitch Fix – Fashion’s Most Innovative Retail Company :

It’s such a great concept, but I have a few concerns. Firstly, I would imagine competition is increasingly tough, especially from clothes rental services such as Rent-the-Runway as you mentioned. The trend towards more sustainable fashion is not in its favor. Secondly, I would be curious to see how the financials play out. It seems like customers get to determine their ‘budget’, and the stylists have to find a variety of clothes that fit that, which doesn’t seem to leave much room for upselling. I also wonder what the financial model looks like between Stitch Fix and the brands. Presumably Stitch Fix doesn’t carry any of the inventory, and serves just as a platform that can provide valuable customer data. It’ll be interesting to think about how this will evolve as they develop more in-house design and manufacturing. Lastly, to the point about in-house design, this of course could be seen as a conflict of interest from the brands. Perhaps one way they could resolve is if they work together with their partner brands to develop ‘special edition’ collections just for Stitch Fix, rather than make a private label.