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On April 25, 2017, dturenshine commented on HBX Needs to Go Whole-Hog on VR Classrooms :

Great post! I also wrote on VR in education and think it will be a big change for the future. I know the above poster is worried about the high cost, but think that this is a similar sentiment to how people viewed PCs previously when the technology was nascent. Once the price of technology decreases, people will quickly realize that the value proposition is there and wonder how life existed without it.

On April 25, 2017, dturenshine commented on Niantic Labs and Pokemon Go: Bringing AR to the Masses :

Great post Ellen! As someone who was baffled by the popularity of Pokemon Go, I found it really helpful to understand why it was such an instant success as well as the pitfalls the company is now enduring. I wonder how advances in VR technology will change the functionality of games like these – do you think it will be harder to maintain the ‘social’ aspect if you are behind a headset vs. just a phone?

Thanks for the awesome post!

On March 20, 2017, dturenshine commented on Gym Rat: Crowdsourcing Personal Trainers :

Interesting post! Upon reading this idea, I was immediately concerned about “gym rats” without formal training giving advice to new gym-goers (as you aptly pointed out). However, I think this idea is really interesting (and this risk surmountable) given the emergence of social media “gym rat” stars with little to no health credentials. People across the world have taken up online guides to get fit, the most prominent one coming to mind being ‘The Bikini Body Guide’, and this model actually seems to be a clear extension of this phenomenon. Why pay for a training when you can download a PDF for free … and why pay for an expensive trainer when you can find a cheaper version on your block? I think this will be very attractive for people who can not find the motivation to do these moves on their own and therefore need the human interaction of a trainer, at a fraction of the price.

On March 20, 2017, dturenshine commented on Equity investing for the masses: Is Indiegogo killing VCs? :

Interesting post! As the capital flowing into VC has ballooned in recent years, it will be interesting to watch Indiegogo’s trajectory and see if they are able to capture some of that growth. I agree with you that VCs should not be concerned (as of yet). VC investors also serve as a valuable resource to the companies they invest in — through contacts, advice, relationships, etc. These built-in benefits will make it difficult to replace the current structure in the short term, unless the capital is coming in at a significant discount through Indiegogo. I would also be interested better understanding the structure of these deals, the terms given to investors and the range of valuations. It would seem difficult to become a stakeholder while just accepting a blanket set of terms (without negotiations) and I wonder how Indiegogo streamlines this process.

On March 20, 2017, dturenshine commented on Frito-Lay’s Do Us a Flavor Contest :

Interesting post! I have noticed that the idea of crowd sourcing consumer product flavors has become more prevalent and I wonder if Lays was the originator of this fad. For example, I remember Anheuser-Busch launched a similar process to enter into the craft beer market with their “Black Crown” lager. It also suffered some of the same issues as Lays with middling commercial popularity (despite positive reviews) in an over crowded space. I have often wondered whether this necessarily means the endeavor was a failure and therefore really enjoyed your point about marketing gimmick vs product development (and the relative merits of each). I wonder if this crowd sourcing trend will continue to gain popularity or companies will be dismayed by lackluster sales, especially as people begin to associate these new flavors with not-so-great reviews.

On February 26, 2017, dturenshine commented on AirBnB moves Beyond Home Booking to Reduce MultiHoming :

Great post! While I agree (in the current state), there are no barriers to multi-homing for consumers, I also think it is interesting to think about this from the perspective of the seller (or home-lister). There is no downside to multi-homing for sellers with Airbnb’s current business model, whereby sellers pay Airbnb a percentage of each listing. However, other sites like HomeAway charge a flat fee per year to list the property on their site, which obviously discourages multi-homing as listers would prefer to not pay multiple, large upfront fees. I wonder if Airbnb has also been making any changes to the seller side of the market to combat this multi-homing phenomenon. Obviously, a percentage based fee model encourages less active renters on the market (only pay if they actually make money), which leads to a greater variety of homes on the platform (which helps attract consumers). However, I wonder if they can go one step further / if they have begun to think about how to encourage exclusive listings as that would further encourage users to use their site vs other options.

On February 26, 2017, dturenshine commented on Tinder: A Platform After Your Own Heart :

Great post! I also wonder if Tinder’s first mover advantage may also have some long-term negative side-effects. As the first pioneer in this space, Tinder had to really shift customer behavior to adopt this ‘swipe right, swipe left’ mentality. As a remnant of this, many people on and off the app still don’t associate Tinder with long-lasting relationships (whether that’s justified or not). Other companies, like Bumble and Hinge, are capitalizing on this shift in customer behavior while not retaining (as much) of the negative association by positioning themselves as more dating-friendly (Hinge as solely friends of friends and Bumble as more women-friendly by their messaging feature). How do you think this will affect Tinder in the long-run or do you think it isn’t something they are worried about (they don’t want to be focused on more serious relationships, its not hurting user growth, etc.)?

On February 3, 2017, dturenshine commented on Macy’s: Going Out of Style :

Thanks for the post!

I wonder if the demise of Macy’s was actually due to a lack of digital innovation or an inability to understand its customer and hone its value proposition. The advent of Amazon certainly didn’t help, but I think Macy’s would have been struggling even without the boom in e-commerce as it has consistently been unable to differentiate itself from other large retailers. I think before Macy’s begins experimenting with innovations in the tech space, it needs to better understand its purpose in retail and position its investments to align with that goal. Other posts — like Nordstrom and Sephora — show that it is possible for retailers to compete successfully by using digital innovations as a means to reach their core customer.

On February 3, 2017, dturenshine commented on Instacart – Leading the way for grocery deliveries :

Thanks for the post!

Like those above, I am unfortunately also unconvinced that the Instacart delivery model makes sense in the long run. Product selection, especially for fruits and produce, is so personal that it is difficult to “train” people to do this correctly, as preferences vary. Similarly, I worry about scalability, attractiveness of this service by region, and the ability to make a healthy margin after paying the Instacart employees. If this business model was so successful — what would stop grocery stores from simply offering the same option and capturing the value instead? It seems they are watching Instacart to see if its a space they should be playing in and I fear they will ultimately decide it does not make sense.

On February 3, 2017, dturenshine commented on Wayfair: Are Customers Really Ready to Buy Furniture Online? :

Loved your post!

I also have been thinking about the difficulty in shifting consumer behavior to purchase large items, like furniture, online. Obviously one of the biggest hurdles is the large associated return shipping cost and inconvenience if you are unhappy with a product, essentially making returns almost impossible. I think this is likely the biggest barrier and believe Wayfair somehow needs to make this seamless — free returns, pickup — in order to truly be successful and convert customers in this space. While I believe the augmented reality innovations will be helpful, I am not sure it will every truly mirror the ability to see the items in person pre-purchase. I wonder how Wayfair can instead use digital technology to give people the ability to change their mind post-purchase.