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This is wonderful! Great stuff, Alan! I think there are a ton of useful and fun applications for DALLE-2, so I’m excited to see what the future holds! What implications do you feel most excited about? I also love Kevin’s comment above!

What a wonderful post, Stephen!! So interesting to hear how this technology has so many applications. I wonder if he have ever had to do a virtual interview where you speak into a camera? I’ve never had to do one, but I know people who have and it seems like a strange experience. Might be the future of the interviewing!

On April 18, 2022, Maxwell commented on Etsy: Keeping Commerce Human…with AI :

Great post, Alex! Etsy is a prime example of a platform that connects humans to humans in [small]B2C way. This was a delightful post, and I had no idea how central AI/ML is to Etsy’s functioning as a platform. I’m very curious about what the future of Etsy might look like, and how it might evolve given the rapid evolution of AI/ML. What do you think?

Have you used Etsy before? If so, what was your experience like? I think I used it many years ago, but it wasn’t too notable.

On March 27, 2022, Maxwell commented on The Secret Surveillance Sauce to Domino Pizza’s Success :

Great piece, HeilI! Thanks for sharing!

I’m very interested in how the self-driving car will play out, given it’s sole purpose of delivering pizza. Since Nuro won’t be carrying any humans, I wonder how different it is to design the vehicle? I bet it’s probably easier, and I suspect we might be seeing Nuro pretty soon!

I appreciate Stephen’s comment above about workplace surveillance. What do managers do when there is a pattern of incorrect pizzas? How do they address that, besides redoing the pizza?

Thanks for the great read, Heili!

Alan, great minds think alike! What a wonderful piece!!

I’d love to hear more about your perspective regarding the limitations of big data with podcasts. I think big data is very impactful when it comes to podcasts. Most podcasts on Spotify contain ads within the podcast, which is a huge source of revenue for both Spotify and the podcasters themselves. Additionally, I think that since podcasts are a bigger commitment, there is less ‘multi-homing’ in the sense that most users may only listen to a handful of podcasts, compared to the thousands of songs. This might be a bit of a stretch, but I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on this!

Sebastiano, this is a great point! There is always a fine line with these technologies, and you highlight an important way in which Spotify’s technology could be leveraged to exacerbate users’ emotional states.

From your perspective, how might you ensure Spotify’s responsible use of this technology? Do you think policy is ideal, or best practices? How would you like to see Spotify navigate its responsibility towards user mental health vs. maximizing streams?

On March 27, 2022, Maxwell commented on The Big Mac of Big Data :

Stephen, what a great post! Thanks for sharing. I haven’t thought much about fast food chains might utilize data analytics to create more value for customers, this is a great example, as Heili said, of a legacy company utilizing data analytics to stay competitive.

I wonder what competitors like Wendys, Burger King, and Subway are doing? I will be interesting to see if similar companies begin leveraging AI to create more value for customers.

Thanks for the enjoyable and thought provoking piece, Stephen!

On March 6, 2022, Maxwell commented on HomeAdvisor powered by Angi :

Great post, Julia! Thank you so much for sharing. Super interesting platform, and I agree with your conviction that the future seems bright for HomeAdvisor!

I’m curious about the customer and service-provider experience. Does this allow service-providers to more effectively meet new clients? It seems like it, but I’m curious about multi-homing for service providers, and how HomeAdvisor compares to competitors in that regard! Thanks, Julia!

On March 6, 2022, Maxwell commented on Glassdoor: Viewing the Workplace Differently :

Hey Heili! Thanks for such a wonderful post! I share many of the sentiments our classmates said above. I’m also intrigued by the acquisition of Fishbowl, and it seems like Glassdoor is moving in a very interesting direction! I’m not too familiar with Glassdoor or Fishbowl, and my conception of Glassdoor before reading this was that Glassdoor is a great site to find job opportunities, but it seems like much more than that!

Have you ever used Glassdoor before? If so, what was your experience with it?

Thanks, Heili!

What a great post, Stephen! Thank you so much for this thoughtful and thorough analysis of Glossier. They seem like a great example of a platform that connects users and centers their needs. Super exciting about their Series D – and I wonder what their roadmap looks like.

Have you used Glossier before? It seems like from the customer perspective, loyalty programs are a great way to allow special access and unique perks for customers. I appreciate how you mention that special events are also a part of the loyalty program, this is a great way to build relationships offline.

Excited to see what the future of Glossier is like! Thanks, Stephen!

On March 6, 2022, Maxwell commented on To Axie Infinity and beyond! :

Alan, what a great post! Axie is such an interesting case study for what Ethereum can enable, and the types of ‘platforms within a platform’ that are capable with Ethereum.

The current network congestion with Ethereum definitely impacts the Axie player experience. I’m curious about how Ethereum’s transition to proof of stake will impact the Axie playing experience. Do you play Axie? I’d love to hear about your experience if so! I’ve heard from people that it’s a super complicated game, so I’ve never tried it out before!

Are you familiar with any other blockchain games? I’ve messed around with DeFi Kingdom a bit ( and I’ve found it to be fun experience, it’s more of a narrative driven decentralized exchange (DEX), rather than a proper game like Axie.

On March 6, 2022, Maxwell commented on Ethereum – A Decentralized and Open-Source Super Platform :

Thanks for your kind words, Daniel!

One of the things that makes Ethereum so special and innovative is that it’s an open-source and permissionless programmable blockchain, meaning anyone can program / build anything.

There are blockchains focused on enterprise integrations (a great local example is Algorand), and there are definitely pros and cons to those sorts of integrations. Blockchains can also integrate with each other through ‘bridges’ but these bridges are often susceptible to attacks/hacks, and they are considered not the best idea generally.

I agree with your note about how non-transferability of assets on Ethereum will help drive its success. Almost all of the most successful NFT projects and DAOs are based on Ethereum’s blockchain, and this is further driving huge network effects.

On March 6, 2022, Maxwell commented on Ethereum – A Decentralized and Open-Source Super Platform :

Thank you for this thoughtful note, Snigdha! I think the UNICEF and Eth Foundation partnership is fascinating.

One crypto organization I’m involved with is Gitcoin ( and their mission is to fund digital public goods. They have an extremely innovative funding model called quadratic funding that incentives ‘the many over the few.’ Here is an article about quadratic funding:

In short, it works by matching donations to the most amount of people donating, rather than the person donating the most. So 100 people giving 1 dollar would be matched with more funding than 1 person giving 100 dollars. I definitely recommend checking out Gitcoin, and if this is of interest to you I’d be happy to connect you with someone who works on grants at Gitcoin!

On March 6, 2022, Maxwell commented on Ethereum – A Decentralized and Open-Source Super Platform :

This is a great point, Serrino! Many alts are built on Ethereum’s chain, and I think so much of the pricing is speculative. I think generally the Ethereum ecosystem itself won’t be too effected by alt coins and ‘pump and dumps,’ but I think these things definitely contribute to a negative reputation for Ethereum and crypto in general.

The thing I love most about Ethereum is that it’s value driven, not profit driven. The core developers and people building Ethereum genuinely are working towards a brighter future enabled by decentralized technology, not greater value capture. One of the reasons I chose not to expand on the ‘value capture’ aspect of Ethereum is because I think it all so speculative, and ultimately Ethereum is about enabling better systems, not more profits.

On March 6, 2022, Maxwell commented on Ethereum – A Decentralized and Open-Source Super Platform :

Agreed! Thanks, Adela!

On March 6, 2022, Maxwell commented on Ethereum – A Decentralized and Open-Source Super Platform :

I totally agree, Sebastiano! Thanks for your thoughtful reply. The PoW congestion definitely impedes network effects, as do high gas fees. I used to think the PoS transition would lower gas fees, but recently I’ve been reading about how that might not be the case – gas fees may remain despite the shift to Ethereum 2.0.

On February 13, 2022, Maxwell commented on Laying A New Foundation and Redefining “Smart” Real Estate :

Thank you for such an articulate and thoughtful post, Heili! Such an innovative company, and this definitely seems like the future of real estate. The implications of IoT and AI-based technology embedded into these buildings reminds me of the predictions for the ‘smart cars’ enabled by 5G from the Korea Telecom case we read. I wonder if in 10 years these smart buildings will be ubiquitous, or perhaps this is another example of a technology trend that won’t fully materialize.

On February 13, 2022, Maxwell commented on Discord – Your Place to Talk :

Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Serrino! So many crypto-native organizations rely on Discord as their primary mode of communication!

On February 13, 2022, Maxwell commented on TikTok but the Party Don’t Stop, No :

Such a great comment about Vine. I totally agree with you, this is often something I think about as well. I’m not sure if 2016 was too early, but I think the format of vine wasn’t as conducive to sustainable adoption. One of the things that I think makes TikTok so pervasive is the culture around remixing and borrowing ideas. For example, every TikTok trend evolves as it spreads, and people adopt trends and add their own spin. This imitation leads to empowered users borrowing and building on each other’s ideas. TikTok can become very self-referential, which ultimately perpetuates its market dominance.

On February 13, 2022, Maxwell commented on Skillshare: inspiring discovery through creativity :

Sebastiano, thank you for this wonderful piece! And thank you Heili and Sutton for your terrific questions as well!

I had the same thought as Heili about Skillshare beginning to produce in-house content, both as a viable business venture and as a way to assure quality.

I really love Skillshare’s emphasis on lifelong learning that allows people to develop their passions. This is terrific, and I think it complements the more academically-oriented Coursera and EdX. Micro-credentialing for passions (i.e., photography or creativity) is an interesting idea, and I wonder about the utility of these micro-credentials. I’m excited to see the future of Skillshare!