Carina Rutgers

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On November 23, 2015, Carina Rutgers commented on Bikes, Data and the Crowd :

Thanks for this post. I have a bike so I’ve never thought about the fact that empty Hubspot stations can be a source of frustration for loyal users. I wonder if they’ve considered creating a booking system (like Zipcar) that would give people certainty that they would have a bike when they know they need it.

Thank you for this post! Given the many ed tech startups out there, it will be so interesting to keep an eye on firms like Altschool to see how they scale and if they can survive in this space. I love the personalized approach they offer, especially the PLP really creates value for students, teachers, and parents.

On November 23, 2015, Carina Rutgers commented on Mint: aggregating personal financial data with ease :

Thanks for the post! I was really excited when I first learned about Mint because I wanted to be able to look at my total spending and income across all of my different accounts, rather than doing it by Bank (to AJT’s point). I quickly stopped using the service though because it didn’t allow me to analyze spending across my household (i.e. with my husband). It would be amazing if they built in a feature or revamped their structure to make it possible for two or more partners to track their spending across different accounts.

On October 31, 2015, Carina Rutgers commented on What’s in a name?? :

Interesting how crowd sourcing for names can go so wrong. It reminds me of real life, namely the task of picking a baby names. A lot of friends and family provide a lot of ideas (often funny and ones they would never consider themselves), but at the end of the day the choice has to be up to the parents and not the “crowds.”

On October 31, 2015, Carina Rutgers commented on White House Petitions: “We the People” gone wrong :

This is so interesting and hilarious. Thank you for sharing! I like your idea of vetting ideas before they are actually put up for petition, though this could of course also create a lot of useless work for staffers who might have to sift through many death-star-like ideas. The White House could rely on the crowds to upvote useful ideas (similar to the way Reddit relies on readers to curate the best content to the top) but for that, they would have to have better direct network effects that actually drive diverse people to their platform (not just Star Wars and Colbert fans). What an interesting example of a failed use of crowds – I hope they figure out a way to make “We the People” function effectively.

On October 31, 2015, Carina Rutgers commented on How the Crowd Saved LEGO :

So interesting! I wonder if this idea has been copied by LEGOs competitors because harnessing the creative brain power of children at play seems like a concept that could work for many toy companies. Thanks for this interesting post!

On October 5, 2015, Carina Rutgers commented on Skype: The ultimate network business :

I’m a big fan of Skype because it allows me to keep in touch with my family in Germany. As you describe, the direct network effects are obvious, what’s interesting though is that I don’t care about the total number of users overall but specifically about the number of users in my own personal network (just like we saw in the Facebook case). I wonder if Skype also benefits from indirect network effects – I can’t think of any obvious stakeholders that would fit the “merchant” bucket in the diagram we’ve been using in class. Thanks for the post!!

On October 5, 2015, Carina Rutgers commented on Pinterest – a new social media. Playing with the big guys :

Thanks for this interesting blog! I think Caribou makes an interesting point. I used to use Pinterest a lot but have recently found myself relying more on Instagram to search for images and inspirations.

One factor that makes me confident Pinterest will continue its wave of success is that the content they already have built up creates values for users, it is not as important as for a platform like Twitter or Facebook to keep producing new content because drawing inspiration from images can be a timeless task (i.e., if I want to see ideas for a wedding shower, I don’t just want the latest and greatest but instead the most relevant to my taste).

On September 14, 2015, Carina Rutgers commented on How is Slack killing email? :

Thanks for this comprehensive overview, Shashank. I have little experience using SLACK in FIELD 2 and have to say, I initially was not convinced at all. To me, it seemed like yet another messaging service that I had to add to the many others I already have (GroupMe, Text, What’sApp, Gchat, etc.). Using SLACK really requires users to change their behavior and let go of a lifetime habit of using email. Even though the value creation you describe above makes sense to me on paper, I am not confident this model will actually take the world of enterprise email by storm unless SLACK integrates with an existing major player (Gmail, or Outlook) to allow users like me a soft transition. Excited to see where they take it.

On September 14, 2015, Carina Rutgers commented on Burberry: Leader in Retail Tech :

Thanks for this interesting read Anndrea. It’s fun to hear how Burberry has integrated the online experience and different digital channels to better engage with its shoppers. I definitely see the value they create for themselves through effective online marketing campaigns and also think they create value for the customer by making them feel more like Burberry is a lifestyle, not just a piece of clothing. Also super interesting that they are using technology in the back of house to improve the customer experience as well (i.e., inventory management).

I agree with you that they are a winner right now but my two concerns for the future are: 1. How easy will it be for other brands to jump on the same bandwagon and copy Burberry’s strategy and 2. is there any risk of alienating or loosing focus on the core customer who might not be very tech savvy and still enjoys the more traditional way of shopping (i.e., is there any risks this might “water down” Burberry’s brand image to a young, techy company?)

On September 14, 2015, Carina Rutgers commented on Airbnb: Stop Locking Guests Out! :

Thanks for this article, really interesting to think about tweaks Air BnB can make to offer and capture more value. I agree with #1 National Cranberry Fan says that replacing hosts’ locks would be a huge expense that would sort of go against the companies scrappy business model (…couldn’t they easily solve this situation by using good old fashion lock boxes).

Based on what I’ve been hearing about Air BnB lately, there are two bigger picture threats that concern me more in the long-term. First, large hotel chains are currently doing incredibly well in terms of Revenue per available Room Night and are starting to say that they don’t see Air BnB as a true threat since they are not really worried about the latter taking market share of the business traveler segment. I like your suggestion on this point but I think like Air BnB would have to start a new brand or new business model all together to really compete with Starwood, Hilton etc. Second, real estate firms are buying up and renting out properties on Air BnB which, if I understand the value proposition correctly, goes largely against the unique and local experience it promises leisure travelers. What is Air BnB doing to protect its operating model from these property sharks :-)?

On September 14, 2015, Carina Rutgers commented on AYR: Immersive online experience with a real-world twist :

Thanks Sherry and HBStudent2016. I definitely see your concern about differentiation through the digital and home try-on aspects alone and agree that this is becoming a crowded market place. I think AYR uses the digital experience as table stakes…the basics that they have to get right. What I think they actually see as their competitive advantage is the design and quality of their clothes, specifically jeans. In that sense, they have to play the same game traditional labels have played for decades, which is finding the secret sauce to set themselves apart in the minds of the customers by doing one thing really well for a specific target audience.