Interesting point Venkat! Actually, I spoke with someone from the NYTimes, and they actually welcome the initial costs. This because they see it as a barrier to entry. If they can provide good content from their superior scale / revenue base, then they could temporarily capture part of the market. The only problem is that they’ll have to keep innovating constantly to stay ahead of the curve… might require a totally new organizational set up to make that happen. Very curious how it will pan out in the future!
Wow this is a phenomenal development! Never heard of this platform – and its amazing. I tried a few demos, and its very interesting. Especially also because all of a sudden you have create a virtual environment where atmosphere and ambiance matter again. I wonder if in this way they can start from the low-end, but then slowly move to high-end products? If they get good enough in creating an environment, they could even sell premium space in their virtual mall to high-end providers such as watch makers.
I can totally understand that a company like Alibaba wants to be the first mover in this. As you mention, if they can start learning from the experiences and slowly improve the experience they could really revolutionize online selling. Goes to show that traditional brick-and-mortar stores are way behind. I cannot imagine a store like H&M doing this that easily – the organization internally will likely block it (cannibalization of own jobs! quality not up to par!). While a company like Alibaba is all about this type of iterative thinking, plus will have few cannibalization fears.
Very cool post!! Interesting case + learned a lot from the analysis,, thanks 🙂
Very cool topic and well-written post!! I had a good friend who used to have a start-up in exactly this.. She got great traction from a few leading clothing retailers. The main problem she got was similar to what you describe, with an additional twist. She also was forced into thinking about becoming a selling platform (because that was the way she could force more retailers to make her the standard, since everyone in this space is fighting to be the standard). But the biggest problem she had was that technology could in one swoop get her out of business. The rumour that iphone 8 will have two camera’s for instance (and therefore be able to signify depth of an image), could in one instant render most of the company’s IP irrelevant. It’ll be interesting to see if technology will actually help, or block, Metails future. Was a fascinating read!! Great writing style too, really enjoyed the examples. Thanks 🙂
Wow, really love this idea and post! Especially because museums are by definition location constraint: how many ppl can really go and see the Mona Lisa, compared to how many would love to see it? My guess is there’s such a massive group that would love to get up close, but would never go to Paris. For that low-end consumer, this product might be perfect. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if all the museums got together in the near future to create a platform where for a small fee you could get access to all the museums. It would be the perfect differentiation: for those low-end customers that do not want to pay to see it live, you could still ask a low fee; at the same time, the high-end customer would never be satisfied enough by just seeing the painting in VR, so would still go. Very curious how this evolves! Will follow it after reading this post… thanks Caroline 🙂
Great article! Never knew Artsy existed – totally love the concept. Especially the idea that you can ‘Netflix’ your taste: if you like Van Gogh, perhaps you’ll also like Monet? I’m going to try this out, very curious 🙂
Would be interesting to think about how they could monetize this in the long run. Maybe by becoming fully integrated into the auction community? Or by becoming an independent platform for buying and selling art? They now seem to fully focus on expanding the platform (and get scale), and have enough investors that are backing them.. but can they really monetize? (similar to Clay’s framework on nailing before scaling… do they have their economics right, or are the network effects strong enough that economics will sort themselves out later?)
Will definitely follow Artsy in the coming years, thanks for sharing!!
Great post! So interesting to see how Starbucks found out early on about the power of data (through the location optimization), and then proceeded to basically look at how else they could use it. It’s also a great way of keeping customers in your store / loyal: Starbucks constantly has new offers, payments are easier and easier, and they increasingly personalize.
I wonder how it could look like in 10 years. I wouldn’t be surprised if they achieve perfect online/offline integration. Basically, you walk into the store, and because you have their app, they know who you are and what your regular coffee is. Makes you feel at home, even if you are on the other side of the world…
Wow, this is phenomenal. Actually the first time I really see an application of the health data trend + insurance companies capturing the richness of the data. Can imagine this partnership would be super valuable for basically all health insurance companies. For the first time, they’ll be able to really get accurate data on how healthy people are.
Would be interesting to discuss the end game in class. Where could this go? Would you have integrated Apple and insurance accounts? Or apps that track movements? And how can Vitality win in this market?
Interesting post! A friend of mine made a very similar bot in the Netherlands. It worked fantastic, until it go into what he called ‘black swan’ events. It’s just very difficult not to have people try to game the system, exactly because they know its a bot. I wonder if they could have done it better by either just not revealing its a bot – but that its a live chat across the globe for instance – by beta testing it first with a small community outside of the public eye, or by having a service rep still having the final say over a post. And then slowly scaling it / opening it up. Interesting to see how they / other companies next plan to pilot bots!
I like the idea. Especially if you could integrate it with Facebook or something. Basically an improved version of Facebook events. And if it could be automatic login (so that if you are in the location of an event it automatically checks you in, similar to foursquare), you could get the data without any effort from the consumer. Opting in to this would allow you to see where other people are. Great idea man! 🙂
Love it Yuval (as always!). To Yi’s point, I wonder how difficult it is to get credible sourcing. From two ways: 1) are employees that are writing their reviews really objective? (as in, without external influences… otherwise a company could just ask everyone to fill it out in a positive way to push the company); 2) how can you check former employees, since they don’t have official email addresses anymore? $1 bln valuation is crazy btw… really wonder about the cash flow model behind it. Then again, Linkedin got bought by Microsoft for $26.2 billion, so that might not be so crazy after all…
Love it Boris! Interesting to see how they are even forcing big developers such as Ubisoft into using their platform. And that they are essentially becoming the new playstation / xbox platform – generating a fee from each game, without actually creating it yourself. With their latest step into hardware I am very very curious how it plays out. Do they have the capability to build, market and distribute a console like PS and Xbox do? And: how will those platforms respond? I can imagine that PS and Xbox will start to attack Steam in retaliation (for instance by forcing game developers into making more exclusive content?)
Great article Yi. Interesting to see how they carved a place in the market. I definitely wonder how sustainable it is (why doesn’t Amazon for instance create a special ‘home’ edition to its website, so you get a similar customer experience, or enter the market aggressively by temporarily offering really competitive prices to the suppliers). My guess is that they didn’t expect Wayfair to be so successful, and that it is now too late to go into fierce competition (since it will just lead to multi-homing, and Wayfair is able to fight for a long time with their current size).
Great article Seunghyun! Very interesting to hear your perspective – esp. since you were part of the company. Would love to hear your view on how T-store can turn this around. It looks like Kakaotalk made games move towards a multi-platform strategy.. is there something T-store could do against that? And what was the effect of the JV with all carriers? Looking forward to discussing in class!
Great article! Love indeed how the operating model is perfectly attuned to the business model (few assets, lots of investments in a perfect digital platform).
I was actually doing a thought experiment earlier as to how you could still disrupt Airbnb, and its incredibly difficult. The main way how I could see it is that Airbnb will create value for too many constituents at the same time – from business people, to students, to specific holiday destinations. As such, they open a window for specialized organizations that directly tailor to one group. For instance, only business people – very high end and fancy website, excellent customer service, etc. Very similar to how Snapchat disrupted Facebook (just offering a simple one-on-one communication with good friends / potential love interests).
Love the article! Great read.
I wonder especially about your last point: whether they are doing this to disrupt themselves. Maybe they are doing this more as a defense move – because they want to be ready to respond if needed. So not so much a value proposition on itself, but a way to monetize some extra value (low, but nice addition) and simultaneously make sure that this space is heavily competitive (so that less people see value in it). At the same time, if this space does take off, then they are in the right place to capture the value.
I heard they are now also moving this into a digital classroom environment (where you basically have a classroom discussion with your webcam). I found that particularly interesting because it seems to suggest they are looking for ways to increase the performance of HBX (and thus further disrupt themselves).
Great article! (also love the topic 😉
I’ve been thinking a lot of about how you could push the subscription-based model further so that people become members rather than subscribers (with the idea that they feel more connected with the brand, and are therefore less likely to leave the newspaper). This could be by being more forceful on the mission (and rally around that point). But it could also be through more active engagement with editors (for instance through active response management).
Would love to discuss this with you once offline to hear your ideas / brainstorm how they could stem the tide!