Thanks Alli! As you eluded to, my main concern with Upwork is “width vs depth”, it’s hard to create a platform that cater to all the verticals (creative, sales & marketing, CS, data science, eng etc) while maintaining a high engagement and therefore low disintermediation risk. Vertical competition is fierce: Instawork for hospitality industry, Joist for industrial contractors, Wonolo and Merlin for blue collar jobs, Toolbox for construction etc. I wonder if Upwork could explore possibilities in vertical integration, so as to create more value added services and keep both demand and supply on the platform for long term.
Thanks Petra! I’ve looked at wedding planning space before (for investment opportunities) and was amazed how fragmented and inefficient it was. You are totally right Wedding Wire create a lot of value by aggregating both demand (couples) and supply (vendors) side. I wonder whether there is still room for innovation & disruption as many of the pain points that I have heard from customers is the overwhelming optionality – a dozen options to choose from for bouquet, catering, registry… the list goes on and on. Wedding planners could potentially be an additional value-added service that help couple make those infinite choices. And in terms of increase customer value as they usually just shop once – one trend I’ve seen is vertical integration, for example: Zola wedding registry started to offer couple honeymoon package based on high demand.
Thanks James! as a former investor in Zubale I agree with many of the points you mentioned. The demand side (CPG companies) is strong and stable and supply side (contractors) is highly fragmented so it makes a lot of sense for Zubale to exist and grow as a platform. One threat I imagine on the supply side is the increasing alternatives to Zubale for gig economy workers. Multi-homing already exists. Maybe it’s not exactly the same task as sorting merchandising for CPG companies, it could be last mile delivery (Rappi, Mercadoni, Cornershop, Glovo etc) and others. And over time Zubale might need to increase incentives to keep contractors on the platform – would mobile phone credit and digital rewards still be enough?
Truly an amazing story where the technology, product and supply chain lined up perfectly. I wonder what’s next for DJI as they tapped out the consumer market and drone is a product that consumers tend to hang on to for many years given its high quality and premium price, rather than replace / upgrade like iPhone every 1-2 years. In light of the recent pilot that Amazon launched with FedEx and Walgreens, what role do you see DJI could play in the commercial space? As that market potentially could be much bigger if where a commercial drones fleet and the replenish cycle will be somewhat predictable.
Such an exciting winner story in LatAm! And also reminds me of Alibaba that initially started out as a Ecommerce platform and expanded into adjacent space gradually (vertical integration). You are spot on in terms of Fintech being the new growth area in order for Mercado Libre to continue to be a winner in the next decade. I do think they are uniquely positioned in the value chain to take on that challenge. A few low-hanging fruits are: 1) SME working capital financing: they already own all the merchants transactions so it will be easier for them to develop a proprietary risk assessment model to underwrite loan (like PayPal Working Capital); 2) Consumer PoS financing: for consumers who are not able to afford the purchace in one payment, especially the non-banked population / without credit card. they could offer installments to entice more consumer purchases (like Affirm in US); 3) Insurance: as consumers already have a Mercado Pago wallet, and invest the balances, Mercado Libre could take it further to offer insurance products. Thoughts?
Thanks Bastian – super interesting post! I actually looked at Garmin when I was working on Fitbit acquisition at Google CorpDev. You are spot on in terms of Garmin’s diversitied business units and recent growth more coming from fitness / wearables – as consumers needs are shifting away from single-purpose tracker (Fitbit’s stock plunge) to more functionality (Garmin & Apple Watch). I wonder whether they could leverage their strength in hardware to build something interesting for wearbles, potentially the next gen computing platform. However, software / content econosystem strategy (build / partner / buy) needs to be fleshed out as it’s increasinly more about a blended hardware + software offering for optimal user experience.
Your question around “What if it had been Garmin, not Google, that sent cars to streets worldwide in order to map and take pictures of every corner of the world?” is thought-provoking. Mapping requires inherently different capabilities which I’m not sure Garmin possessed at that time. But I am curious if they had foreseen the shift from GPS device to app and had leveraged their wide distribution of hardware at that time to crowdsource mapping info, how would the landscape look like today.