Thank you so much for sharing this, Hao. I can fully relate to the pain point here. I have personally spent the past 2 months looking for properties and visiting each one personally as I rarely trust the pictures. I think Looking Glass represents a big opportunity especially for people who are moving across cities. This will enable them to view multiple apartments more realistically and way faster! I also wish there was a standard platform in US (not a big fan of Zillow and Trulia) regarding housing rentals and I wonder if AR/VR can make that possible and more productive.
Thank you for sharing this, Sijia. you brought up an interesting question about the future of VR Content providers – would they continue to be just content providesr or can they venture into hardware and start distributing the content themselves? I think given the massive size of entertainment industry, this question is very important and can highlight the true winner of the game. Handling distribution will help Warner Bros. handle the exclusivity problem well but it obviously comes at a risk as well. Given the rise in AR/VR, I think the more activity and attention the sector attracts, the faster the rate of innovation would be!
Mohit – thank you for sharing this interesting post! I was surprised to read that Amazon is tracking behind on AR/VR but I do think with Alexa and Echo, Amazon has the right fundamentals in place to combine AI and AR/VR for better experiences in the future. Fully agree with you on possible application in the retail, furniture and the videos segment but curious if you think Amazon will ever contribute its AR/VR technology in the future to more social sectors like education, etc.
Thank you for sharing this interesting post on NASA. I think one entity which needs to make data usage more productive is definitely NASA given how expensive it is to acquire this data (literally millions of dollars for each space station) and how critical the implications could be (as you said, origin and destiny of our race depends on it). People have often questioned why hefty funds are allocated to NASA exploration when the Earth has its own problems i.e. poverty, hunger, climate change, etc. which require attention. I think NASA can definitely make those valuable dollars even more productive by utilizing big data analytics. Curious to see how things change in this field in the near future.
Afaf – thank you so much for bringing up this interesting discussion. I have always wondered why education is the slowest-moving sector in terms of technological development and I agree with the 3 points you mentioned above. I think given the lack of innovation and resistance to change in the current public education system, the innovation can only come from outside. Many tech ventures, especially on the west coast, are now working on such things but one important variable many of them fail to consider is – public-private partnership. Since education funding is concentrated in the public sector in US, it is extremely important for tech startups to demonstrate success and collaborate with public stakeholders.
Thank you for sharing this interesting post, Andrea. $1 billion indeed sounds like a big investment but I am sure the savings are proving worthwhile. I am a little surprised with Fedex and DHL’s slow response to this wave though. You mentioned they have been investing in their own big data assets as well but I wonder why, despite having higher share than UPS (I am assuming so), they are so slow to react to this upcoming wave of digitization.
Interesting post Phuong! Although I have never used Quora myself, I have often heard it’s praises from my friend. I was surprised to read that Quora still struggles with its monetization model. You mentioned they are experimenting with the ad model now but do you think given it’s massive user base, it could get away with charging $1 per question? This will not only help them generate money but will somewhat filter out questions and users so that they get high-quality traction only. Curious to hear your thoughts on this.
Great post Oyku! I had participated in a Kaggle competition last semester during a Bigdata course and it immensely helped me. However, I somehow felt it did not give me the complete flavor of identifying the problem, data mining, cleaning the dataset and coming up with valuable insights given it’s pre-packaged problem format where the data is anonymized or even changed at times. I know Kaggle is still far ahead of its game but considering the low barriers-to-entry in this industry and increasing sophistication around data analytics, do you think and if yes, how Kaggle should consider evolving their business model?
Thank you for sharing this interesting post! I agree that UL is staying far ahead of the game by utilizing this crowdsourcing platform while other CPG companies have not fully realized the value of this interaction. I am curious why UL would only take consumer ideas and ask some agency to execute this project? A skeptical consumer like me may think that it’s just a CSR/PR campaign vs if they not only took ideas but also awarded funding for people to make a difference in these communities – could it be a more powerful campaign that way?
Thanks for the post Afaf! I could totally see a market for this product, not sure how big it is though. The prices do sound exorbitant but I think the customers have a high willingness to pay. I wonder if other players could enter the market and drive prices lower? A question on the customer side – how do you think GlamSquad protects itself from the possibility that customers may eliminate Glamsquad commission by working out an offline arrangement with the hairdressers they like the most and live nearby?
Great post Stephanie! I am a big fan of youtube and think it’s the perfect example of a platform we talked about during the simulation exercise – the one which gets users on the platform for $0 price and then monetizes another market segment i.e. advertisers. While reading the case on Tongal today, I was wondering if Youtube could somehow monetize its video content even more by selling it to advertising agencies etc or conducting researches? Do you see any other revenue streams for youtube in the future?
Thanks Mohit for the awesome post! It’s inspiring how WeChat is paving the path for Tech companies in the West; however, I do think some of this success is to be attributed to the specific context of China. Given the free market dynamics, do you think some company in the West could ever gain as much power as WeChat?
Definitely! I think Etsy does a variety of programs to engage with suppliers/retailers and encourage innovation. Some programs I know about are Etsy seller handbook, Etsy labs, Etsy wholesale blog and Etsy Street teams through which vendors are actively engaged with the company, understand customer trends and also get innovative ideas for future.
Thanks Lulu. I think that’s true – Amazon brand does eliminate the homemade feel and in a segment which is based on relationship and customization, Amazon may not be the right player to exist. Wonder if Amazon will make another attempt to enter this industry though!
Thanks Natalie. Fully agree with you on the ‘adjusting your business model’ part. I don’t know either why Amazon would keep their commission rates so high but I do think that even in the scenario that they had low commission rates and sellers multi-homed between Etsy and Amazon, Etsy may still get more stickiness just because it invests in relationship management which is very important to new entrepreneurs (similar to our learnings from XFire case).
Fully agree with you but I think Apple has always preferred to keep its ecosystem exclusive which definitely limits its user base. I do think the watch could have offered much more features e.g. projecting images, connecting with other Apple devices (not sure if it already does that) and a better interface. I read this morning that Google has surpassed Apple as the most innovative company. I think Apple Watch as an unsuccessful product would have been perfectly fine for Apple had the company been more proactive and fast at generating more innovative products. Google has launched Google home, Google wifi, Chromecast, VR Headset and 2 new ChatApps while Apple only launched iPhone “7” in 2016.
Thanks for the post Gary! Being a big fan of Netflix, I fully agree with your perspective; however, I have one question regarding Netflix’s international expansion. I recently came across a Malaysian platform called iflix which apparently is pretty strong in Asia and cheaper than Netflix as well. Do you think Netflix’s business model is easily replicable and what should be it’s stance towards such competition – simply ignore or a price-war?
Thanks for the post Sonali! Tripadvisor has been my best friend while travelling around the world and I can’t imagine what I’d have done without it.
However, I do think the company is an interesting phase right now where Airbnb (if it survives the regulatory issues) is looking into booking entire travel packages for you. Tripadvisor may have a big database but it’s only a matter of time before Airbnb catches up. In that case, how do you think Tripadvisor will respond to this? Also, I see tons of opportunity to monetize Tripadvisor’s business model further. Curious to hear your thoughts on that as well.
Interesting perspective Bansi! We do see a lot of companies riding on the “data” bandwagon these days while the actual data utilization is pretty low. I think future value lies in data analysis and converting into actionable insights. Many companies are already doing this! The great thing about this model is that these companies won’t have to restrict themselves to a certain industry in the future. Not sure if IMS Health has a future in this but I definitely believe ‘data analytics’ may be the oil of the 22nd century.
Interesting post! I agree Macy’s has lagged behind in retail sector but I do think it’s trying to meet very different consumer needs (fashion) while Amazon plays on variety and convenience. You could compare it to other fashion retail brands. Also – interested to hear your thoughts on what disruptive innovation could the fashion retail sector look to in the future (on the lines of “Rent the Runway” maybe?).