Thank you for the great post! I never paid much attention to the marketing or fund raising methods of charity organizations and this post widened my interest. As you and Katarina mentioned, I wonder the efficacy of the use of VR for fundraising. To me, it would not make much difference between VR and 2D image about how I feel from seeing the image. I rather think Amnesty International should prioritize how they can increase their exposure to potential donors. Hence as you mentioned in the post, I agree that Amnesty International may target to form partnership with as many media or VR suppliers (they can use this partnership as an initiative of their CSR) as possible and use the VR contents as cheap indirect marketing tool.
Wow I did not know that you interned at the same field! Yes I believe minimally invasive surgery creates huge value to patients. When I think about if my family needs to do surgery but have option to have minimally invasive method to minimize the damage to my family’s body, I will definitely choose the method rather than conventional open surgery.
And it is true that as you said there is problem in users’ capability of these robotic equipment. Hospitals may see it as just a marketing gimmick as you said. Also, thee is a possibility that hospitals may see the value but I guess the less pressure from demand side (i.e. lack of patients’ literacy in the technology and methodology) hospitals and physicians are reluctant to invest in the infrastructure and training. That said, I think it will take many more years to educate patients, as we would not investigate unless we need. But I hope the attention and innovation in AR will shed light on this application in medical field and provide indirect marketing force.
That’s exactly right Andrew! There are application of AR in scanning patients which enables physicians to simulate the surgery in advance. This certainly reduce the human error and surgical time. Also this simulation provides safe and increase number of opportunities for medical interns to practice. Above all, there is tremendous positive effect that AR can bring in healthcare field in the coming years.
Thanks for the post Seanna. This is really cool! It was like watching a Hollywood movie. But as you mentioned it seems it requires huge capex. I wonder how can RR obtain buy-in of shipping companies. If were a management of shipping company I would think I rather incur higher labor costs in order to avoid huge up front capital spending (shipping business is cyclical and vulnerable to macro economies and thus they would be concern about their cash position). Also this revolutionary ship would change secondary market of ship sales / purchase and I wonder how many players can afford to purchase the products. Would market be sufficiently big enough? As Tyler mentioned in his comment, I think RR should target governmental agencies too, as they would have more leeway in their budget and would be keen on technological advancement.
thanks for the post Andrew. This is really interesting. If I were a management of a firm, I definitely want this kind of system that I can understand the employees’ morale without having conversation with them in order to avoid bias or dishonest expression.
Said that, I have a same concern with Sonali that if employees are aware of the system they would be cautious enough to avoid using words or emojis to make employees think they have some problem. On contrary, it seems hard to implement the system without noticing employees as the initiative may raise employees resentment due to privacy or distrust issue. I wonder how VIBE thinks about the issue and overcome.
Thanks for the post Yao. This is truly fascinating. I always thought that creation of movies is done by top-down i.e. by initiatives and insights of few producers and directors. My question would be that while the Legendary’s strategy seems appropriate to satisfy current demand of audiences, I wonder whether the strategy fits with creating movies which receives high recognition of arts such as Academy Award.
Sorry for my late response Mohit and thank you very much for your comment. I cannot agree more with you that one of the major differences between DeNA and Wikipedia is the existence of editors. I believe if they have internal or external editors who oversee the accountability of articles, as well as the inclusion of references, they could have mitigated this issue.
Also, I believe if DeNA have had more customer oriented mission, they could have avoided this issue. They did not focus on customer satisfaction at all but merely viewed customers as a source of revenue (to funnel advertisers into the platform). If they had the customer focus culture or mission, they would not have employed such a untrustworthy initiatives.
Sorry for my late response Megan. Rating system is great and that is something I haven’t thought about. It can not only increase the accountability but if we can encourage readers to rate the article it can reduce the labor cost for the company and it can serve as a third party audit function.
DeNA neglected the accountability issue due to its small size of the business but this case taught me the small side-business can endanger the whole organization if it ruins reputation and brand equity.
Great post Hao!!! I never view the business model of Amway as crowd sourcing sales force but you are exactly right. More interestingly, it was truly insightful to know about the similar product line offered by WeChat. It is no doubt that WeChat can leverage its digital platform and network, realizing low inventory and logistics cost. I personally do not like this kind of “Ponzi scheme” as I believe the traditional model put an inventory risk to the low-end sales force of the pyramid. Having said that, this WeChat model seems different. It seems it enables to avoid putting the inventory risk to the sales force and the model only uses the individual sales force as the market channel with commission. It is different from the ponzi scheme and we may even see it as a way of creating business opportunity for individuals. I never used WeChat but more I hear about the product, the more I am intrigued. I wish the product launches in Japan soon.
Thanks for the post Kathy! I am one of TED fans and the post was really insightful as I got to know its business model including revenue model.
I totally understand the benefit of having non-profit status in order to be independent and free from external influence. One question I have on this regard is that is there any setback or trade-off of being non-profit status i.e. limitation in business or regulatory scrutiny etc?
Thanks for the comment Meili!! I cannot agree more. I think it really depends on the customer expectation. If users know the service is free of charge and understand the disclaimer that the service does not guarantee the accuracy of the contents, users should be more receptive. In DeNA’s case, even though the company did not get fee from users, users knew that the company got revenue from advertisement and the users felt they were exploited. I have no doubt that this was one of the causes of the social resentment.
I used to visit Jakarta almost three time a year when I was doing business before coming to HBS. For sure that city has the worst traffic. I remember I can make only 1 appointment in the morning and at most 2 meetings in the afternoon due to too-heavy traffic. Once I seriously considered using Ojek when I almost missed my flight due to heavy traffic.
As you said the business has zero switching cost and multi-homing seems inevitable but this emergent service will greatly improve the quality of life of Jakarta citizens for sure. I am usually hesitant to ride on a bike but I would consider if I can reduce several hours of being stuck on the road.
Techie, thank you for the comment. Actually I’ve never used Transferwise but happen to know when I moved here and urgently needed dollar (at that time I used wire transfer from a Japanese bank to Bank of America and the cost was about 2% and I was furious). I use Bitcoin and the settlement speed is as fast as bank wire (2 business days). I understand the transaction speed of Transferwise (according to Transferwise it takes 1 to 4 business days) cannot match up with some of competitive services but improving transaction speed is one of the top priorities of the company (according to a former PM of Transferwise, found her comment via Quora) and I believe they are committed to improve this area going forward.
Jing, thank you for the comment. I did not know about Ripple. I believe many people realized the market opportunity in the money transfer market but Ripple seems it takes a position to co-exist with the incumbent money transfer system, providing efficiency and cost reduction to banks. It may have a better positioning than Transferwise in terms of avoiding retaliation from incumbent players.
Thanks for the post Rahul. Yes the entrance barrier is low in the industry. However, I believe first mover advantage works in the model for cost advantage and brand equity to solicit supply (teachers) and demand (students), at least in Japan. Customers are sticky and not so price sensitive if the price differentiation is in the range of single digit. Also they build their reputation in supply side and their recruiting network, word-of-mouth effect is strong to solicit qualified suppliers.
In addition, their back-end service has been established and they have more cost improvement opportunity by bringing the function in emerging markets such as Philippines and India.
Said, it is true that once they reach to the saturation point of retaining Philippine teachers, they need to seek other geographies. Then, they will face the challenge and it is true that their cost of acquiring supply would be higher and price point will be need to be scrutinized.
I cannot agree more with the Nintendo’s new initiative. People’s life style has been changed drastically with the emergence of smart device. I believe Nintendo’s commitment on releasing games on the iOS and Android platforms and the console which enables seamless integration with smartphone are on the right path. Its great assets are contents and characters, and by expanding the platform in mobile segment Nintendo can leverage its strength. I am not a big game player but am a Nintendo fan and hope this new focus will lead the company to a market leading position once again.
I did not know about Betterment and Wealthfront and thought human oriented investment management companies such as Vanguard are the only available investment platform with relatively cheap cost. For the risk averse investor, including myself, index like assets with low cost are really attractive and I have no doubt that these disruptive companies increase their AUM.
I never heard such companies available in Japan and hope they will expand their regional coverage to east Asia soon.