Interesting article, Craig. I had been meaning to read more about Jet. I’m surprised they changed their business model so quickly- their “digital Costco” membership model was in my mind their key differentiating factor, but that model must have also caused high barriers to sign-up ($50 upfront fee). Now it seems like they have to compete by passing down savings from distribution / product line efficiencies to consumers. Versus behemoths such as Amazon and Wal-Mart, that’s not going to be easy- Jet will have to provide material discounts to its customers.
I do find the Jet Anywhere program to be quite unique, but do you think the benefits of customer insights and net impact to traffic will be worth the cost of issuing Jet Cash (after factoring redemption)?
Micah- great post, thanks for sharing. You bring up many interesting points. It seems that the culture of heavy API use is providing many benefits both from an internal efficiency perspective and a marketing / customer value proposition perspective as APIs are offered to external parties. The concept of solving things for internal use first and then selling internal innovations to others is fascinating. It really is a competitive advantage to be your own target customer. Holding all else equal, I wonder if these could be an argument for Amazon to enter new verticals if they can use back-end knowledge / experience they gain from operating new verticals to develop new products for AWS for a variety of clients.
Really interesting post- thanks for sharing. I see the upvote as the key distinguishing feature essential to Reddit’s engagement and community building. You outlined an interesting potential strategy for how Reddit could better monetize, but the conversion of page viewers to logged-in users is likely a prerequisite. A redesign could broaden appeal and increase engagement. I agree that Reddit may have difficulty pursuing a redesign (a la Digg) if they were to do so- but do you think Digg’s downfall was more a function of execution vs. an inherent issue with redesign? I also think Reddit’s simplistic aesthetics appeal to avid (logged-in) Redditors, but perhaps this is at the expense of regularly engaging a larger web audience?