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Thanks for sharing, Miguel – super interesting! Thinking about leveraging Airbnb properties for remote work could be an great market to tap into for sure.

Thanks DJ, those are both great points.
On the VR partnership and a virtual tour, that could be a great initiative. But I could see this as an extension of the online experiences and making them more real. The VR logistics could be difficult here, but there’s definitely room for creativity here. Thanks for mentioning this.

On your second point, given they have a liquidity crises in the current situation, making the business asset heavy may not be the best option, but definitely some analytics intelligence services to the real estate players could be a viable option!

Interesting idea, probably a long term goal, but given they have an impending liquidity crisis, may not be the best option in the short term!

Right on point! Infact, Airbnb just announced a big push for a 24-72 hour waiting period between two occupied dates and has been working on cleaning protocols for peace-of-mind. This is probably not sustainable for business in the long run, but does give peace of mind for travellers.

On April 29, 2020, panda commented on Airbnb vs COVID: The battle for community and connections! :

I haven’t heard any traditional players such as Marriott / Hilton do an online experiences thing. So yes, completely agree with you on the fact that Airbnb could be leading here.

Yes, it seems to be low investment and high ROI if executed properly, so why not? 🙂

On April 28, 2020, panda commented on Airbnb vs COVID: The battle for community and connections! :

Those are all fantastic points, Walter. The fairness question will always be there – Airbnb has put customers first here, and is refunding hosts on case-by-case basis, based on mutual benefits in the past for both parties.

As to your point on changing travel patterns, one positive trend that could emerge is that people prefer to explore local communities as they work remotely versus staying in hotels or the crowded tourist destinations. Airbnb surely has the community edge and capabilities to shine there.

On April 28, 2020, panda commented on Airbnb vs COVID: The battle for community and connections! :

Great point, Sneha. I see a couple of differences between Masterclass and the Online Experiences here. As you pointed out, the community connection here could be a big differentiation. Masterclass would be more unidirectional and Airbnb could really strengthen the community through these intimate one-on-one sessions. The quality may not be the best as they are just beginning, but could be improved over time. Secondly, the Masterclass pricing model is subscription based, while Airbnb would want to go for individual or small group live sessions and make them more interactive.

I also think this can be a good long-term viable option and a big hedge against disruptions like these. Super low cost, platform-model with already active community are other things that work in Airbnb’s favor.

Great Article! The Hardware + Software combo lock-in seems to be the reason for missing out on potentially more consumers. I would be curious to know why did Nintendo decide against unbundling the game and the accompanying hardware? The ROI is super clear. This also reminds me of the Peloton model, of selling the app with lessons at a monthly subscription that you could use on your own cheap bike. That has worked out great, and Nintendo could learn from that? Or is the issue of compatibility between Nintendo’s game platform with other hardware posing security risks?

Thanks for writing this – super cool. I particularly like the leveraging customer data from offline stores to create a hyper-local delivery service keeping the customers happy. And combine that with the digital strategy, this makes customers even happier and reduces boredom. It will be interesting to see what happens now that economy is reopening. Will they realize that the offline stores are no longer needed and instead just have warehouses and deliver to the customers?

On April 28, 2020, panda commented on MasterClass: The future of “edutainment” :

Didn’t know how Masterclass really operated, and that it is positioning itself against Netflix or Coursera. Very interesting business model. I was curious about the legitimacy of these courses given it proposes to “teach” people something. Is it just for leisure, or can it try to follow a Coursera model of awarding certificates and then linking it to the employment market? Given it is not going “deep” but “wide”, wondering if its sole strategy to get as many eyeballs may result in fewer renewals.

On April 20, 2020, panda commented on Brewing with a dash of Data and Analytics – Starbucks :

Great point Nicholas, and that’s whats been partially happening at least in Seattle. For example, coffee connoisseurs such as you don’t like the standardization and AI piece. They want a local experience and great coffee. That’s a customer segment that will be very tricky to address at scale. However, if you habitually order the same thing, the app can easily figure it out and make the process more convenient. Will you really like that? Will you really like someone talking to you while you order or just have it delivered without any conversation? All these questions will have different answers in different regions and would be hard to do it with machines.

On April 19, 2020, panda commented on Improving Representation in Media through Machine Learning :

Super pertinent problem and solution that could be applicable to a wide variety of industries! Even things as simple as Outlook/Gmail can have these “inclusion” checks that could change the representation bias that exists in the society today. HR policies and job postings is another key area which could use tools such as this one. My one concern (having developed this as an Outlook plugin during a hackathon) is the universally acceptable definitions of bias given these may differ drastically by culture. Especially in creative writing, a one-fit-for-all approach might not be the best one. Wondering if AI can solve this issue? The other issue in these type of recommendation systems built on Deep Learning / NLP is lack of explain-ability – why is this an issue? What do you think could be potential solutions here?

On April 19, 2020, panda commented on Skywise: Airbus bet on big data :

Super interesting article! Given that the airline manufacturing industry gets so much of data, this definitely will add value to the whole industry. I am curious to know what are the existing procedures in place? And how much skin does Airbus have in the game today? And how open would the airlines be sharing their data with Palantir and a small startup?

On April 19, 2020, panda commented on Use Me if You Dare, Hack Me if You Can :

Very well written post – I have TikTok on my phone and I haven’t created an account yet, but I still go there once in a while to test and see if the videos are relevant for me. It is amazing to see how quickly it adopts and somehow “knows” what you like. My one comment here could be if this could just bucket you in one “persona” that will keep getting reinforced and make it difficult to change or even look at the other “persona” suited content. So some spikes to throw off things that are totally unrelated and seeing how they fare might be a good experiment – and probably something that they already do?

On March 25, 2020, panda commented on NVIDIA’s Winning Platform Strategy with CUDA :

Thank you Alex! Great points. So, Google is already trying to do this with Tensorflow + TPU architecture. Microsoft is trying to do this with FPGAs (hardware) and still figuring out the software for it but way behind. However, although Tensorflow is opensource, Google has the most contributors and owns the edits on it. This also gives Google a significant advantage and prepares it to make it work better on Google Cloud TPUs vs AWS / Azure for example. The integration problem is very complex and a simple copy-paste probably wont work, but you’re right in saying this is getting a stiff competition and NVIDIA will have to be on top of the game to ensure its dominance especially given it doesn’t have a big Cloud presence. Just the army of software engineers that NVIDIA has employed to bring in the latest models in CUDA can’t be matched by anyone (NVIDIA can do it because of the current scale).

On March 22, 2020, panda commented on Blackbuck – Hauling the future :

A super unorganized and an interesting space to venture! Given so many uncertainties in regulation, insurance, leakage – to what extent can tech and optimizations solve this issue with an asset-light model? Would this company be valued at online company multiples or offline? What prevents someone like Amazon and Flipkart who would arguably reach pinnacle of customer delivery get into this space given they have the tech prowess to dominate?
Answers to these questions would be crucial to determine the future of Blackbuck! Thoughts?

That’s a very brave model, given it relies heavily on advertising and is against big incumbents (Google, Facebook). I also like the tight integration between the ad company and a podcast company, and that made me wonder if this integration philosophy would also apply to other industries / businesses beyond podcasts. I wrote an article about the Hardware-Software integration that led NVIDIA dominate a market. Where else could this be applicable? And how long before Apple plays dirty by identifying creative ways of taking a portion of revenues? Or is this even possible?

On March 22, 2020, panda commented on Meituan-Dianping: Amazon of Services :

Very interesting! And it seems like “Super Apps” – offering everything in one place are a big thing in China. With that context, this is a great model and would be expected to have strong network effects. I like your last line about focus – given they are doing everything, they may be jack of all trades and masters of none. Is there a chance of getting masters across different verticals or someone like Alibaba just going into another price war and MD being vulnerable to another red year?

On February 11, 2020, panda commented on Applied Intuition – Powering Autonomy at Scale :

I like the horizontal vs vertical outlay of the industry you mentioned. Completely agree with the fact that Data will become increasingly important as we move towards Level 5 Driving Systems. However, more than the AI models – which I believe will become a commodity, the underlying data capturing ability and combining that with simulations to create a rich database will be the key. Moreover, the car industry is very relationship driven (Multiple tiers of suppliers) and it should be interesting to see how these relationships evolve as you have the horizontal players coming in.

On February 11, 2020, panda commented on Stack Overflow – a Winner at a Turning Point :

Interesting article! Anyone who has coded (including me) can attest to the importance of stackoverflow. Sad to see the recent news regarding the moderator firings and changes to the website. Do you think this is a part of the broader resentment against tech (Google faced a lot of protests, Amazon was put under a lot of scrutiny although the context was different than StackOverflow)? Or is this happening only at StackOverflow? What do you think about the other community platforms such as Kaggle / Github that have growing popularity in the recent times? I think there’s space for all to succeed as long as they listen to the community.

On February 11, 2020, panda commented on Winner – AutoStore: Shaping the Future of Warehousing :

This looks like a great solution especially where space is constrained in high density cities of the world. Also in Emerging Markets, where volumes are large and population density high, this could be a great micro-fulfillment solution. I would have loved to get more insight into the competitive space and what are the e-commerce giants across the world doing? For example: Amazon’s Kiva. How is Autostore planning to compete with these giants?