I agree that this was a great strategy for updating their product – the limitation of choice makes it simple but also exciting and almost binary – sort of like the harmless, inoffensive version of the national election were everyone has an opinion. It think this is a great strategy for companies to use, as long as they’ve done the research to show that the consumer wants change…not that I think there’s a lot of tan M&M fans out there, but you want to make sure you’re not alienating part of your consumer base.
Just a curious example of how Lego has been involved in another crowdsourcing example: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/oct/27/ai-weiwei-lego-collection-car-scheme-melbourne
In this example, artist Ai Weiwei is actually crowdsourcing legos from communities after Lego refused to sell the bricks to the artist on political grounds. The artist has set up “collection boxes” in the form on cars with ajar sunroofs around various communities and the response has been huge. Just thought you might enjoy this other example – Great post!
This is a really interesting post and project! My one question would be to really understand how crowdsourcing/funding works here. Is it fundraising in the same way a charity raises money for orphans, a wikipedia form of crowdsourcing the necessary information or a community of users sharing their experiences? I definitely agree that the internet is the best means of achieving goals around products that aren’t uniformly legal and sharing a breadth of stories from different communities.
I agree that Venmo could be at risk from traditional banks, however, considering how long it took my brick and mortar bank to create an app that was remotely usable (and really only for people with the same bank), I think this is a long way off. During this time to scale, I think Venmo will continue to become a verb the same way Uber has. In addition, because it has such a large following, it sort of becomes a default mini-bank account. It feels like fake money that I send and then receive back. For some reason I find it more comforting to see occasional big charges on my credit card (much of which I receive back in Venmo and then spend when other people pay) than to see multiple small charges. The buffer of money in Venmo, increases my willingness to engage in social money spending without the stress of seeing a ton of charges in my account.
This is really interesting! I had not thought of Soul Cycle as being prone to network effects since it is such a offline experiences; however, what you said about the improved experience as a result of more participants makes sense. To some extent, I think Soul Cycle could suffer from some sort of negative network effects: since it’s so popular/expensive and frequently overbooked, it might diminish people’s willingness to participate or might decrease their ability to find a steady community (if they’re attending different classes with different instructors and therefore not receiving the same “tribal” experience). I think until the demand is met, Soul Cycle will continue to be incredibly profitable for themselves and other copycat models.
Spotify has done a great job tackling the existing pain points in the music industry and creating a huge direct network effect for listeners who benefit from their friends joining and creating playlists that they can follow or send to other friends. I think one other interesting thing they have done is with their new running feature (and their integration with the Nike running app) which creates additional customer touch points and stickiness by integrating itself into the customer workout. Huge fan!
I am a huge fan of class pass and used it this summer when I lived in NYC as a short term gym solution. I love the variety and ability to try new places but I do think they could lose clients to some of the studios that they introduce them to. I wonder if perhaps their is a way to monetize this but getting kickbacks from studios that people end up joining after attending via Class Pass? I think the value creation is super obvious for the customer as well since they have variety and ability to go to very expensive places such as Barry’s and Flywheel for a fraction of the price. I wonder if there is a hybrid they could offer to solve the issues mentioned above around community. Something along the lines of the ability to attend a more traditional (and perhaps lower end gym with treadmills/etc and no classes) on an unrestricted basis while continuing to offer the class flexibility on the other hand? I’m also curious to see how some of their “mini” memberships perform (the ones that allow something like 4-5 classes per month only). Very excited to see how they do; I would definitely consider this as my “main gym” after school!
I agree with this comment. I really enjoy NatGeo’s instagram account and they also do a great job promoting their photographers via Instagram (several of which I now independently follow). I can’t help but feeling a little like Nat Geo “sold out” on their mission by selling a majority position to Fox since it seems so unaligned with their mission; however, like many acquisitions most users will likely not notice or care (unless they start posting pictures that deny the existence of global warming etc.). I’m curious to see how this partnership manifests – thanks for a great post!
I agree with the above comments. There are several things about this I really like. First, they offer great and seamless service (which is feasible with the huge margins they achieve). Second it addresses many pain points of the retail experience such as waiting half naked in the dressing room, feeling rude not purchasing anything after trying on a lot of items, and poor lighting and space. Third it syncs with the online experience (another option they could consider would be the option to have the clothes shipped to you free if you didn’t want to carry them around but wanted to buy them at the store. I recently did this at a ModCloth pop up in San Francisco and it was great). Finally the data on customer’s preferences and the ability to leverage this data in a followup email is huge. I’m curious what their “abandon cart” rate is and how well they do with followup. Really excited about this innovate concept!
Great point, however, Harry’s is more expensive than DSC by a large margin so I think they’re definitely going after a less cost sensitive model; to me it felt like it was competing more head to head with The Art of Shaving – inclusive of an on-premise “barber shop.” I like what Harry’s is doing but I’m worried it’s not low-cost enough to be true low-end disruption 🙂