Alex Sambvani

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On April 28, 2017, Alex Sambvani commented on IonVR: Virtual reality, not vomit reality :

Thanks for this post! I think that VR sickness is a very high profile problem, but I wonder in fact how big of a problem it actually is. Are the most mainstream apps receiving complaints from users? Are is there content or are there apps that companies have put out in the market that users are not engaging with because of VR sickness?

On April 28, 2017, Alex Sambvani commented on Vertebrae – The Advertising Platform for VR :

This is a great post and a very interesting company. Given that Facebook owns Oculus and that Facebook earns essentially all of its revenue from advertising, do you think that this company is at risk of being shut out of the content that Facebook has on its platform or on platforms that it controls? It seems to me that Facebook would be extremely interested in doing this type of advertising directly themselves.

On April 1, 2017, Alex Sambvani commented on Crowd-Sourcing Community Problems and Projects :

This is a very novel idea! I think that it makes sense to crowd source this. One thing that I would wonder is how you figure out prioritization. Unless this type of platform is in fact run by a municipality, it will be tough to guarantee that the projects that are sourced on the website are in fact representative of the populations interests (i.e. how do you prevent manipulation by private citizens). However, if you have a municipality run the platform, then you run into the same issues around government inefficiencies, etc. I think this issue can be solved but it’s something I would be concerned about if I were to implement this.

On March 1, 2017, Alex Sambvani commented on The Unreal Platform for Game Developers :

This is an extremely interesting concept. Do you think that they have a real chance at taking share away from Unity? What are the biggest barriers to growth other than competition?

On March 1, 2017, Alex Sambvani commented on Twitch: Big Dollars in the World of eGaming :

Very interesting read, Kevin. Twitch has grown into a behemoth, and it seems unlikely that anyone will be able to compete in the near term while offering a similar service. Given that they seem to have achieved sufficient scale, what do you think the next big strategic step for the platform should be? Do you think they are monetizing as effectively as possible?

On March 1, 2017, Alex Sambvani commented on Medium: creating a new writing platform for the masses :

Thanks for the article, Daniel! I like how you dissected Medium’s strategy and explained how it has become what it is today. It seems like Medium has become the leading place for people to post their thoughts in blog format. Although multi-homing is not very difficult for writers to do, it seems like a nuisance to publish the same post on multiple platforms. Do you think that this multi-homing will continue to be an issue once the platform reaches massive scale? My guess is that the more content that authors publish, the higher the switching costs become, decreasing the likelihood that they will leave.

On March 1, 2017, Alex Sambvani commented on StubHub: The Best Platform for Fans to Find Fun :

Thanks, Venkat! That is a great question. The way that StubHub enforces this is by charging sellers the cost of replacing the ticket for the buyer. Therefore, if a seller cannot fulfill an order, they will be liable to pay for replacing the ticket to the buyer. Further, if a seller has too many instances of failing to fulfill an order, that seller will be suspended from the platform.

On February 9, 2017, Alex Sambvani commented on Instagram is Winning (Mobile) Advertising :

Thanks for the comment! I think that Instagram has a few advantages over Snap. First, the content on Instagram persists, and I think this is important for brands. On Snap, the content that brands generate is useful only for a short time, and I think that this is a turn off for many. Snap is also harder for business to navigate, primarily because the content requires more thought and effort to create. For this reason, I think that Instagram is a far superior advertising solution for small and medium sized business. Essentially all of Snap’s customers thus far have been sophisticated advertisers (and largely media companies that are expert content creators). Instagram is likely stealing share from Facebook in the mobile space, and I think it makes more sense for advertisers (especially retailers) to use Instagram instead. Fortunately for Facebook, Facebook owns Instagram and in a sense is disrupting itself. So long as Facebook is capturing the attrition from the platform via Instagram, Facebook should continue to be successful in mobile.

On February 3, 2017, Alex Sambvani commented on Music Unlimited – Sony Lost This One As Well :

This is a very interesting post. I didn’t realize that this service even existed, and I interned at Spotify this past summer. I guess that speaks to how fleeting this was and how non-threatening it was to Spotify’s business. At some point, Sony must have decided that they were not positioned well to execute this product; they actually ended up investing in Spotify (the three major labels collectively own ~10+% of the company). I think this happened well before they officially killed the product. While Sony did have a lot of relevant assets for a music streaming service, they lacked the talent and processes needed to build and iterate a successful product. I think they may have been better off acquiring a streaming service (e.g., Tidal), instead of building one organically.

On February 2, 2017, Alex Sambvani commented on Amazon Go – A Winning Bet in the Convenience Store and Grocery Business :

Great analysis. I find it puzzling that incumbents have not been alarmed by this. I also wonder how Amazon tends to monetize. The margins in the grocery business are notoriously thin, and even though this type of technology would perhaps enable Amazon to run a brick and mortar grocery business with a slightly lower cost structure, it doesn’t seem likely to me they want to build out this type of business. Purely speculating, I would guess that they will roll out a few stores in order to collect data, dial-in their learning algorithms, and calibrate the technology. Later, they will probably seek to license out this technology to brick and mortar grocery stores (and probably other retailers as well). What do you think?

On February 2, 2017, Alex Sambvani commented on Is Journalism Dead? :

Great write-up! One thing about BuzzFeed I find particularly interesting is that they are very good at creating viral original content (specifically, short form videos) and have begun to create custom viral content for brands that is published on the BuzzFeed platform. It will be interesting to see if other media players begin build these types of capabilities themselves.