Cal K

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On November 24, 2015, Cal K commented on Where is the meat Buzzfeed? :

I agree with Donald. I think machine learning and algorithms will be much more sophisticated in the future and solve some of their problems. However, I do think that differentiated content creation is also important as well. As we see from Netflix, just providing content available that’s available elsewhere wasn’t providing them with the growth and sustainability in the long run. When they started producing exclusive content, their value proposition to customers are a lot higher thus a higher propensity to spend (I imagine they will raise prices later). Buzzfeed also creates short videos online that can be compared to Netflix’s strategy.

On November 24, 2015, Cal K commented on Caesars Palace “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” :

Great post Alon. Interesting to know that they consider a customer a whale with only 400 dollars in losses a day. If they are using data analytics on the customers, wouldn’t it be fair if they allowed customers to use data analytics to gamble as well? Just doesn’t seem fair that they don’t allow card counting.
I would add that although data analytics have become a commodity in the casino industry, they do have one advantage in this area. Because they were the pioneers of using data, they have more historical data than others which implies that they can learn more from the richer data sets. It’s easier said than done and I don’t know how much incremental advantage they would be able to realize, but theoretically experience in data should give them more insight.

On November 24, 2015, Cal K commented on Netflix : Leveraging the Power of Analytics :

Thanks for sharing MaskOfZorro. I wonder if they used data analytics to predict additional subscriptions due to House of Cards being exclusively on Netflix. Then they could presumably calculate the maximum price they are willing to pay and also calculate payback time for the investment. Also, I wonder why the third data point was relevant if they were already considering films directed by David Fincher in the second data points.
I agree that because they are an internet based streaming company, they have a competitive edge in the richness of data over companies like HBO or AMC which is on cable and can not collect the amount of data Netflix can. Now it depends on weather they can create and capture value through making the data insightful and executing.

On November 2, 2015, Cal K commented on Quora – Capturing the Intelligence of the World :

I wonder how this type of crowdsourcing will pan out in the future. If only power users and reputable people answer questions and everyone else in the world freerides, wont the information available be limited to the views and biases of a certain type (type A, people who enjoy being part of an online community etc) of people?

Great post. This type of situation is really unfortunate to hear. In this case, they created the very thing they were trying to destroy in traditional media. They were trying democratize content but ended up with power users (comparable to CNN, Fox news etc) that dictated what content would be exposed the most. I wonder if putting control system would have helped at all. Even with tighter controls, wouldn’t there be users that are hungry for power and followers and eventually have the capability to abuse for their own agenda?

On November 2, 2015, Cal K commented on Wikpedia – can the pioneer stay relevant? :

Interesting post. I think Wikipedia and Yahoo Answers have some overlap but I think people use both services for different purposes. Wikipedia is more for a general but comprehensive overview of a topic and Yahoo Answers is more for very specific questions that may not be answered by an encyclopedia. Some questions on Yahoo Answers don’t even have right answers if someone asks an opinion on a topic.

On October 5, 2015, Cal K commented on a two sided marketplace for all your care needs :

I wonder if they can keep quality consistent while scaling. Even with background checks and vetting/education, I would hesitate to use this service on the off chance of someone harming my sick grandmother or child. It definitely isn’t something I would use as lightly as I do Uber so I do think they have a tougher path than Uber does. Your suggestion of a social network component is something that would alleviate some anxiety though.
Also I think their operation of Citrus Lane and Big Tent is a great tactic to lock-in long term loyal customers and build up barriers to entry for new entrants.

I will definitely download this app. Thanks for the introduction. So the course hole is mapped through crowd sourcing? So what happens when management moves holes to different locations on the green?
I like that it encourages friendly competition among friends. I would also think that it acts as a tool to humble brag about your accomplishments.
I wonder though how important their yardage estimator is to their users. I for one am not that great of a golfer so if the app is off by 5 yards, I wouldn’t be too bothered by it. If a competitor can get their yardage estimator fairly accurate and focus on creating value through network effects, I think they could be taken over.

On October 5, 2015, Cal K commented on Luxe – On-demand valet service anywhere you want* :

I mostly agree with the comment made above. That being said, I truly believe that this service solves a pain point that I experience at least 2-3 times a week. If there is any other ways they could create and capture value for the users, I still think that they could service a niche target market. One suggestion would be driver service to prevent drunk driving.

On October 5, 2015, Cal K commented on Go-Jek : Uber for motorcycles in Indonesia :

I think they started the company to disrupt the current market consumption initially, but they ended up disrupting both the current consumption and non-consumption market by adding in the options of courier and food/groceries delivery service.

I think the primary customer target now is not necessarily riders only. Now that they have expanded in to food delivery/groceries service, they have increased the pool of their target market.

On October 5, 2015, Cal K commented on Go-Jek : Uber for motorcycles in Indonesia :

Thanks for your interest. Its a very interesting case personally because I am friends with both founders as we did our RC year together in 2010. Both have enormous respect for each other and I think they’re still friends. Hopefully.

On October 5, 2015, Cal K commented on Go-Jek : Uber for motorcycles in Indonesia :

Instituting a driver ratings system is something that I forgot to put in. I think they are already doing this. Here is a section of their FAQ on their website.

How do I rate my driver?
At the end of the order, you can give ratings to your drivers. We take customer service very seriously in GO-JEK in order to improve our service, so please rate honestly and accordingly. Feel free to leave comments as well in the comments section.

On September 14, 2015, Cal K commented on DraftKings – How a fantasy is changing the sports industry :

I feel that the daily fantasy sports business model is quite similar to the lottery. It’s legalized betting except it’s not owned by the state like the lottery is. It is a for profit entity that maximizes shareholder’s values. I can’t help but to think if there is any moral hazard concerns that the MLB and NBA have ownership in these daily fantasy sports companies.

I agree that Roku has succeeded due to their open platform policy which provided the most content to users. I think Apple realized this and opened up the platform to developers. In digital TV age where availability of content is one of the most important decision making point for consumers, Roku will have to continuously provide a wide array of content for cheap if they want to compete with AppleTV.

On September 14, 2015, Cal K commented on Tinder Is Crushing It (imho) :

lol nominate this for best post

On September 14, 2015, Cal K commented on Digital Matchmakers Win! :

I agree that the Match Group has won in the online dating space through the addition of Tinder as a “gate-way drug” mentioned in the post. To add to that, I think the Match Group has also made a strategic move to going mobile as they launched Tinder as an mobile based service. and OKcupid were traditionally visited through PC web and they were lacking a mobile presence, so the Tinder app was key to making the group relevant again.
That being said, it seems that online dating has become somewhat commoditized as there are a slew of competitors entering the mobile space in this industry. Many people use 2-3 different dating apps at once and I can’t help but think that the monetization in this mobile market will be a difficult one.

I really agree with this blog post. Zenefits has definitely addressed a strong pain point in start-ups and small businesses. Many first time entrepreneurs, from a tech company to a local restaurant really do not know the first thing about HR regulations and norms and they certainly do not have the time and resources to employ an HR team. Founders need to focus on a boat load of other more important issues such as sales, funding, and hiring key employees rather than meet with insurance agents.
If I were Zenefits I would leverage all the data that can be gathered from all the small companies and do some consulting or offer different services for smaller businesses to diversify revenues. I think the services that Zenefits offers will be tremendously helpful for small companies outside of the US as well. Maybe the next step for them is to expand globally and capture the needs of small companies around the world. It will interesting to see how they expand going further.