Walter Mitty

Walter Mitty

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Walter Mitty
On March 24, 2020, Walter Mitty commented on Caviar – Food delivery’s race to your doorstep :

Thanks for the article! I’m a big Caviar user, as at least in Boston, it does still have exclusivity with a few restaurants I like. I have no idea they were acquired by Doordash (I’m also a user of Doordash), and I wonder why they haven’t tried to unify the experience given that it seems, based on the article, that Caviar is less worried about having exclusivity or “hip” restaurants. The competition in this market is really high and with the lack of differentiation of the market, I think the bigger pockets and best UX is going to win. Also, as Anuj said, the synergies between Uber drivers and UberEats delivery needs creates opportunities to reduce logistic costs that Caviar may not be able to match in the long-term.

Walter Mitty
On March 24, 2020, Walter Mitty commented on TaskRabbit – IKEA Furniture Assembly on Demand :

Interesting article, Leo. One of the things I’m worried about the platforms that offer to do “any” task, is how to compete against specialized platforms. For example, cleaning services, food delivery, home repairs, are some of the tasks that some platforms have chosen to focus on, and they offer better user experience and sometimes a better business model compared to the more vertical platforms such as TaskRabbit or Handy. The differentiation of such services may point to a market that is not going to tip, with a final state of multiple specialized platforms instead of a huge fits-all platform. Now, given the IKEA acquisition, this is probably something they don’t need to worry about, as I expect IKEA to focus TaskRabbit on the tasks that have synergies with their business model.

Walter Mitty
On March 24, 2020, Walter Mitty commented on Despegar: from tech darling to struggling business :

Very interesting post, Miguel. I used despegar.com a few times when I was a college student looking for the cheapest flights, and when Despegar was almost the only platform available in Latinamerica. As you said, competition in this market has grown in the last few years and I see myself searching in bigger platforms such as Google Travel, Kayak or Expedia. I don’t know how Despegar could fight against them given their scale, some of the initiatives of facilitating payment with credit and hedging exchange rates could work given the needs of the average Latinamerican user. They could also be acquired by a bigger player, increasing their scale but maintaining some of the features specifically designed for their main customers.

Walter Mitty
On February 11, 2020, Walter Mitty commented on A Storm is Coming for Blizzard Entertainment :

Very interesting article! As a WoW player myself I’m really sad to see the directions they took with different games and the lack of understanding of their users and fans. It seems that the acquisition of Blizzard by Activision changed their focus and innovation process.

The Warcraft 3: Reforged release is surprising, such an easy way to attract old customers and they made so many mistakes. I share Colm Farrell concern on how the industry is going to look in a few years, and if this type of game studio is now just part of a niche segment for old gamers looking for some nostalgic memories.

Walter Mitty
On February 11, 2020, Walter Mitty commented on Betterment: Winning in the wealth management space :

Thanks for the article! As a user of Betterment, I agree with the point about user experience and a customer-centric focus, it’s really easy to use and one of the reasons why I chose them (and their 1.84% APY of course). It’s easy to see how they are building one by one different products and services that could replace a bank in the near-term. It’s going to be difficult for larger organizations to respond to companies such as Betterment, with less overhead and no need for physical space.

Walter Mitty
On February 11, 2020, Walter Mitty commented on Peloton: Winning the fitness battle, losing the economic war :

Interesting post, I haven’t used Peloton myself but I would like to get one in the near future. I agree with the analysis regarding the obsolescence with their equipment, and how to keep those users into the subscriptions. I wonder if they can create features that link to their app and platform in ways difficult to replicate for competitors. Also, I would like to see how they make money: is the recurrent subscription the source of revenues and profits? or is the equipment? If they’re selling the equipment at cost, just to attract customers the idea would be to lock them up with the app, making the obsolescence argument less relevant. Another issue is differentiation against competitors, this could end up like online mattresses, with 200 bikes and apps that do the same thing.