This is a great write-up Adela – thanks for sharing. I’m curious…do you think they see a bigger opportunity in eventually deploying this AI tool to handle the more complex pieces of HR (e.g., cold outreach, candidate selection, comp negotiation, etc.)? Or do you think there is enough whitespace for them in this existing use case? I also wonder if this could be an interesting acquisition target for LinkedIn, as it would allow them to support enterprise clients with both (i) sourcing interesting candidates for new roles and (ii) conducting initial outreach / intros to gauge interest.
Very interesting, thanks for sharing Daniel. I’m surprised they have built such an impressive technical tool, yet are offering it as an open-source platform for others and instead making money through consulting services. Do you have any insight into why they took this approach (perhaps it relates to the competitive dynamics of this kind of tool)? I’m also curious to learn more about other use cases for the technology – could this be used by companies for AI chatbots (e.g., customer service chats)?
This is super interesting, thanks for sharing Sutton. I would be curious to learn more about the technical challenges they faced when building this solution. For example, were they able to apply this technology across all industries or sales-motions (e.g., technology, consumer, B2B, B2C)? Or did they target one specific kind of salesperson first as they built out the technology? Sounds like a fascinating tool that is already paying off its clients.
This is a super interesting post, thanks Chris. As I read this, I realized it’s been some time since I last used my Starbucks app, and turns out I forgot I have $17 sitting in the app that I need to use…thanks for the reminder. I wonder if the Company has ever gotten any push-back on this model from customers? While I’m certainly not angry with Starbucks for the fact that I forgot I had money sitting in their app, $100 million of breakage income a year is significant…
I would also be curious to learn more about their Treasury strategy with all of this extra cash. I assume they invest it in very safe, low-yielding assets like U.S. Treasury securities to generate some income on the capital. But as I think through it further, a “run on banks” is far more likely to ever occur than a “run on coffee” — do you think they could get more aggressive with a Treasury strategy than a typical bank, and have they tried this before?
This is a really interesting post, thanks Sutton. I wonder what it is about this situation / company which makes it so difficult to monetize their value. Is this due to the scope of the company’s value creation — i.e., perhaps that many of these benefits are at the margin, it becomes difficult to capture value at scale (many minor tweaks in usage patterns to generate many incremental benefits in energy usage)? Or is there something else driving this?
I would also be curious if the Company has looked to other go-to-market models — perhaps partnering with regulators or utility providers — as a way to better capture the value they’re creating.
Thanks for the really interesting post, Daniel. I’m really curious as to why Zillow’s home buying didn’t work out, particularly compared to other companies like OpenDoor that are arguable executing more successfully on iBuying at scale.
Did Zillow miss on execution in some way, or does their data not actually provide a competitive advantage in iBuying? It really highlights the importance for companies to understand what your data is actually communicating, where that data can be applied in strategically useful ways, and perhaps most importantly, where it cannot.
Really interesting post, Daniel – thanks for sharing. I’ve subscribed to Substack blogs in the past and have found a ton of value in the platform.
The every.to example is fascinating to me – it’s striking that these writers are now forming a new version of traditional media (WSJ/NYT/etc.)…which is exactly what they left to join Substack. I think your points on the inherent drawbacks of the platform are really interesting and make sense – Substack could likely create stronger network effects through recommendations, visibility on other blogs, etc. That said, the exponential growth in paid subscribers suggests they are doing something right!
Thanks for a super interesting post, Heili. I find the acquisition of Fishbowl to be fascinating…do you think Glassdoor wasn’t innovative enough around its core platform (e.g., incorporating direct messaging, forums, etc.), and it had to play catch-up to avoid disruption by Fishbowl or Blind? I’ve also always wondered how Glassdoor captures its value from employers – does it charge employers fees for any of its services, does it make money on advertising, or is there some other strategy that they employ?
Super interesting post, Sebastiano. I find it amazing how BlaBlaCar has carved out such a unique model relative to the larger, more common ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft, by virtue of its cost-sharing approach for drivers. The value creation drivers and the value capture potential for the network clearly have influence over one other.
I’m curious to what extent the company has thought about scaling outside of its current market. Is there a larger opportunity to leverage BlaBlaCar’s platform outside of long-distance carpooling trips? For example, would the company ever consider shorter-distance trips, and begin competing with Uber and Lyft, or would this create too much complexity in finding drivers / riders at scale with similar starting / ending points?
Great post, Snigdha! This is a fascinating business. I’m curious if you have thoughts on the company’s outlook following the recent FB/Meta earnings release and subsequent share-price drop. It sounds like Instagram is trying to compete with TikTok with its Reels platform – its fastest growing product – but the competition from TikTok has FB investors concerned. Also, it would be interesting to know what sort of impact Apple’s data privacy changes will have on the platform’s value to advertisers/brands going forward.
Super interesting. I’m impressed by the fact that they were building these tools early, pre-pandemic, as it seems that this transition may have been too technically difficult to roll-out if they had only begun these investments in 2020. I’m also extremely impressed at how big of an impact it had on their business, with e-comm sales overtaking retail, given that jewelry is such a in-person, retail-oriented consumer purchase. I will be curious to see if these trends continue, or if shoppers revert back to retail purchases as in-person experiences resume.
Thanks for the interesting post, Heili. Sounds like they’ve turned a really difficult situation into an opportunity to differentiate themselves. I was impressed by the fact that RXR was investing in this technology early, prior to the pandemic. I think it would be interesting to know more about how difficult it was to continue these investments during peak Covid, with no one utilizing their offices, with such a large fixed asset base, and with remote/hybrid work becoming more common – I’m sure their was a lot of debate. I would also be curious to understand how these services have impacted their value capture as well – I’m assuming it has allowed them to keep more tenants, and attract more new clients relative to their competition.