Really appreciated your comment about the inherent retention issues baked into dating apps. Many VCs I’ve spoken to in Silicon Valley echoed that retention issues make them skeptical of investing in dating apps.
With the ubiquity of dating apps in today’s world, however, I wonder if dating apps now actually undermine the retentiveness of relationships. Before, the standard reasoning argued that successful users would not return to the platform because they had found happy relationships. Now, I wonder if people’s successful relationship is with swiping itself and exclusive, monogamous relationships represent only temporary hiatuses from online dating.
If that is the case, then dating apps could become a much better investment going forward for VCs. Interesting possibility of technology reshaping the world to its own needs!
Really enjoyed this post, Liz. Like the other commenters, I have concerns that Humanyze’s goal of helping employees interact with each other more effectively and maintaining their privacy are in conflict.
In order for employees to improve interactions with their colleagues, employees need data on what went positively and negatively during interactions. If Humanyze IS NOT storing that data for employee self-review, then I’m not sure how useful the insights the software generates can be. If Humanyze IS storing that data, then I have concerns that the information will be abused by Humanyze or a malicious third party. Given the reputational damage inflicted from email hacking scandals, I can only imagine how much more disastrous a conversation log hack would be for companies using this software.
Really enjoyed your perspective on Rhumbix, Sam! I particularly liked your suggestion that Rhumbhix has the potential to be an industry thought leader by leveraging the data at their disposal.
Given the efficiency gains Rhumbix is generating for companies, do you think they have the ability to be a business model innovation leader as well? It occurs to me that Rhumbix could experiment with a contract structure that allows the company to share in the savings it drives for customers. For example, Rhumbix could adopt a hedge-fund-like model where it charges customers a baseline monthly fee and then a percentage of the costs saved.
App analytics firm, SensorTower, estimates that FarFetch only received 60k downloads worldwide in October, ranking it outside the top 250 free shopping apps on the App Store.  If luxury shopping searches continue to move onto mobile at the rate we’ve seen, I worry that FarFetch will lose market share to a more mobile-savvy competitor.
Do you think FarFetch has the in-house technology expertise to turn around its mobile performance or do you think it needs to acquire a company in order to gain those skills?
Similar to DK, we used Hipchat and later Slack at the startup I worked at for three years.
Slack certainly makes communicating with coworkers easier, but I found that the results of easier communication were not entirely positive. Your article correctly mentions the “always-on” mentality Slack can foster. We also found that Slack lead to lower quality communication between employees because the barrier to sending a message was so low and response time was so fast. With Slack, employees would fire off messages impulsively without thinking critically about what information they actually needed and without any regard to the recipient’s time. This problem was particularly pervasive with cross-functional communication between engineers and businesspeople.
Do you think there are features Slack can add to ensure that communication quality does not erode within organizations?
In the article, you mention that Hershey should consider investing in genetically modified cocoa plants to help farmers improve their yields in the face of increasing temperatures. I wonder, however, how feasible that is given the negative press Hershey has gotten to date for their use of GMOs made by Monsanto .
Given that scotch whisky is Scotland’s largest export, I would have been curious to learn more about how Diageo’s export chain affects the environment. Are Diageo and other brands like Grants significantly understating their CO2 footprint by hiding CO2 emissions in their distributors’ ledgers?
To the debate above about why Diageo has pursued emissions reductions, I’d be interested to see if the investments they’ve made have helped them lower the costs of producing scotch whisky.
In your article, you write, “Starbucks, for obvious reasons, has been an early supporter of corporate climate change initiatives.” I would have been interested to see you discuss Starbucks’ motivation for supporting climate change initiatives in more depth. Do you think Starbucks supports climate change initiatives because of a deep-held sense of social responsibility or does Starbuck’s support these initiatives to strengthen its appeal to customers who care about these issues?
Given Starbucks inability to address their own environmental footprint, I would argue that Starbucks is merely paying lip service to supporting climate change in order to appeal to its customer base.
In your section about Coca Cola’s water sustainability challenges, I thought you could have also mentioned that Coke has begun losing business due to climate change sensitivities. In India for example, it lost an operating license during 2004 because of a water shortage . This context would have helped explain Coke’s need to adapt to climate change to protect its bottom line.
One interesting challenge to the Mirai’s widespread adoption is its current price point. At $57.5K, many consumers are priced out of buying a Mirai . For context, the average new car purchase in 2015 was $33.5K. Given the low distribution of hydrogen stations, I’d be curious to know how Toyota plans to gain market share in spite of the dual challenge of limited refilling stations and a high price point.