Matt B

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Great post, thanks! I think the point you made about how Drizly achieved competitive differentiation in part due to its approach to idiosyncratic alcohol regulations is really interesting. I agree that in its early days this provided them with a competitive advantage and helped them develop a creative and unique business model that threads the needle of following the law while providing a valuable user experience. However, I fear that this advantage is not sustainable, since now that Drizly has demonstrated the model a competitor –whether it be a new upstart or an adjacent incumbent like Amazon — can simply replicate the regulatory strategy while slightly improving upon the user experience in some manner.

On March 17, 2020, Matt B commented on Boatsetter: Democratizing The Sailing Experience :

Very interesting post! I am definitely going to check out Boatsetter on my next vacation. I think that in order for Boatsetter to continue to scale and defend against potential entrants, they really need to double-down on providing complementary services to the boat owners to keep them on the platform and reduce risk of multi-homing. For example, since ports are quite centralized in certain areas, they could set up facilities or local contractor relationships to provide cleaning, fueling, maintenance, etc… services for the boats in between rentals. This would reduce the friction for owners both at initial sign-up and during their on-going use of the platform.

Great post!

On March 17, 2020, Matt B commented on Gojek – A Motortaxi for Every Need :

Great post – thanks Bastian. I think this idea of a “SuperApp” is very interesting and has important strategic implications. While the approach has certainly led to great success for Gojek up to this point, I see a tension between focusing on doing a small number of things incredibly well versus doing a large number of things decently well. The latter strategy is attractive because it increases a company’s footprint but also unattractive in that it creates risks of competition if an up-start figures out how to do one of those things much better than you, rapidly steals market share in that category, and then starts to encroach on other categories. I think the optimal strategy for how much to focus vs. expand would vary greatly depending on market, geography, etc.

On February 11, 2020, Matt B commented on Touch Surgery: The Uberization of Surgical Education :

Very interesting article and company – thanks for sharing!

I used to work with a company that built surgical simulators for medical training (https://www.virtamed.com/en/) and am also aware of companies that are applying VR to surgical training (e.g. https://ossovr.com/). Given that surgery is a very 3D tactile practice and phones/tablets are 2D devices, how effective can Touch Surgery’s platform be for skills training? That is, while I appreciate that the interface is problem orders-of-magnitude better than traditional anatomy textbooks and flashcards for studying techniques academically, to what extent can it actually help close the gap between knowing what to do and actually doing it correctly?

Great article about Allbirds and the brilliant strategic decisions that fueled their meteoric rise in popularity.

I was admittedly a bit late to the Allbirds game, but I recently got my first pair and I absolutely love them.

A few months ago news started swirling about Amazon’s “Allbird knockoffs” (e.g. https://www.geekwire.com/2019/weve-wearing-amazons-allbirds-lookalikes-compare-real-thing/). Do you think the initial strategic choices Allbirds made that you highlighted above will allow them to cement their position of wild popularity, or will they become yet another victim of the Amazon steamroller squashing smaller players with copycat products?

Very interesting article, KA!

One thing that it made me think about is based on the combination of two facts you laid out (1) one potential differentiation lever for Macy’s to pull on is experience and (2) Macy’s is an institution at many American shopping malls, which themselves are on the decline. I wonder if there is a way for Macy’s to bolster their in-store experience in a way where the focus is not on the shopping experience but rather the overall experience.

For example, I know Lifetime Fitness is starting to buy up old anchor stores at shopping malls and convert them into living communities that include gyms, apartments, common space, etc. Perhaps Macy’s could make a play similar to that: get people into the malls for other experiential or community-based reasons and then, hey, might as well buy a polo while I’m there?