Lisa – I love your post about education technology and Duolingo. I launched the ed-tech practice at my old VC firm and find the sector fascinating and underserved. My suggestion for Duolingo is to advance their B2B enterprise business and continue to launch professional development services for corporations. These contracts will be large and sustainable and will help fund the consumer facing side of the business (which should be kept free). Monetization is always tricky with consumers and language translation applications are largely becoming a commodity. It will be interesting to see how Duolingo navigates this environment.
Great post on mobile banking options in Poland! I can imagine that it would be quite stressful to set up banking options and then have to set up Venmo in addition to that! Are consumers in Poland quite loyal to one specific bank? Or do they have multiple bank accounts like many Americans do? Does Poland support any cross bank payment platforms? I imagine you would need one bank to be ubiquitous across consumers so that they could transfer money across those payment rails. I know Chase Quick Pay option struggled with that.
Great post. I’m a big fan of RTR but unfortunately have a hard time finding inventory on the site that fits me (because of my height). I imagine that they must keep a low level of abnormal size inventory since it is uncommon, but it is quite disappointing as a consumer. It would be interesting to better understand how they’ve been tackling this issue from an inventory management perspective. Also, I think it’s quite interesting that RTR has started to rent out accessories to go with the dresses. I wonder what verticals they will penetrate next and how this will affect their value prop.
Great post! I’ve always been fascinated by beacon technology and its many possibilities. The data aggregation is incredibly valuable for both retailers and brands. I’ve always struggled with the low adoption rates of beacon technology however, both from a consumer and retailer perspective. I would imagine there is friction with consumers in downloading the application and making sure it is active while in the store. I would suspect also that the technology causes people’s phone batteries to diminish. Also, I would love to better understand how accurate the geo-fencing is on behalf of the retailers.
Great post on telemedicine! I agree with all of the benefits listed above regarding telemedicine. Especially accessibility – giving more folks access to quality healthcare is incredibly impactful. My prior venture firm looked at several telemedicine startups and struggled with adoption and costs involved with launching new geographies. It is incredibly challenging to recruit and onboard doctors and patients. Especially when Teledoc sells to corporations – how do they ensure that the HR department is properly communicating the benefits and usage behaviors of the platform to employees? It would also be interesting to look at Teledoc’s granular data – how often are consumers engaging with the app? What other verticals within medicine can they target? Mental health seems like the low-hanging fruit, but I also have concerns around the lack of face-to-face interactions for those types of medical care.
Great post on how Coca-Cola has been at the forefront of climate change. Historically Coca-Cola has been under public scrutiny as a result of producing high-sugar unhealthy beverages which ultimately translate into adolescent obesity. I’d be curious to understand how the company balances their initiatives of fighting climate change with these controversies. How do they balance health concerns with climate concerns? How does using sugar substitutions for real cane sugar impacting the health of consumers?
This post hits particularly close to home as a few of my family members are Venice residents. I have seen this initiative “in action” over the past few years when I visit the floating city. I agree with you that they should acknowledge their mistakes in this case and not let this happen again. Unfortunately, Venice will be quite hard to salvage. So much of the economy there is driven by tourism and putting up gates to prevent the sinking will prevent cruise ships and other tourism to easy access the city. There is a serious trade off here. Hopefully other floating cities can use Venice as an example of what not to do when implementing these programs. I would be interested to understand other use cases of similar programs and if/how they were implemented.
Great post on aviation. When you mentioned the land management initiatives that Boeing has put into place it made me think of other ways they could add value in the advent of climate change. Given the high cost of managing airports, I wonder if Boeing could partner with airports to reduce the number of runways and focus on developing hub airports as we discussed in the United Airlines case. It is not surprising that airport runways are being damaged by global warming, further jeopardizing the safety and efficiency of flights . Boeing needs to run point on making sure their planes are being operated in safe conditions, and they can do this by mandating where their plans are taking off from and landing at.
As a Colorado native and an avid skier, this post hits particularly close to home. I also struggle with the idea of more snowmaking. Especially in areas that are drought prone such as California, I imagine snowmaking consumes a massive amount of water and wonder if there are any innovative approaches to mitigate these. Your point about humidity was interesting as I did not know that was a factor to snowmaking. I’d like to better understand ways that we could artificially reduce humidity and temperatures in the snowmaking equipment to make it more efficient. Also, are there ways to recycle water in snowmaking devices so we are not tapping into freshwater deposits? I agree they should continue to expand to other areas not yet affected by climate change. Vail Resorts has done a good job of this by acquiring resorts in other geographies. Also, I think the resorts prone to climate change related operational issues should focus on expanding their offerings during the off season (i.e. mountain biking, golf, etc) to boost their bottom line.
Very interesting post on flood insurance. I was not aware of the severity of these implications and am surprised the NFIP seems to be complacent in their preventative actions. It would be interesting to take a deeper look at what preventative flood measures are being used inside the home as you mentioned in your closing section. With the advent of the Internet of Things, I would assume that there are some innovative connected home devices that could be leveraged in flood detection and prevention. Insurance providers could subsidize the cost of installing these for homeowners (similar to how they subsidize and install fire alarms) which would put one more control in place to catch home flooding in its early stages.