Erdem Yilmaz

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On February 28, 2017, Erdem Yilmaz commented on Can a platform, once lost, regain its power? :

This is a great article and it’s really a lot of fun to read from you Seunghyun, as you were an insider. In addition to what ONE store can do, I would be interested to know your perspective on what T store could have done. There is always the question that if there is really anything one can do against Google or Apple but partner early with them. For instance, it can be different in South Korea but here young users buy gift cards to buy games on Google Play. As operators already bill the usage every month, is there a room to enter to game market by creating additional payment channels (may be by charging game fees on the monthly bill from SK Telecom etc.) that don’t require credit cards?

On February 28, 2017, Erdem Yilmaz commented on OYO rooms: You stay in hotel “On Your Own” terms :

Thanks for a great article. Interesting business model with aggregating rooms from hotels branding them as OYO. There are tour agencies that I’m familiar with following similar models in Europe, but I’d never consider them as competitors to AirBnb as they provide vacation packages with exclusive benefits and act more like a reseller. It sounds to me that investors have a right to worry as current model seems to depend on offering cheaper prices and might ask OYO to produce a profitable and sustainable model. I think, OYO must have aggregated enough data to identify the market segments that are most profitable and I would probably focus on those segments to create a differentiation rather than expanding. What do you think?

On February 28, 2017, Erdem Yilmaz commented on Medium: creating a new writing platform for the masses :

Thanks for a very interesting article. I can’t wait to see if Medium will ever be able to capture significant value by charging subscribers for a premium content. ( It has become very attractive for executives to publish about their firms and give their article an objective / journalist look. I wonder if Medium should be focusing on monetizing more from the authors by filtering the nature of the content. What do you think?

On February 3, 2017, Erdem Yilmaz commented on Winner: Venmo – the next generation checking account :

Thanks for a nice post with great points supported with data.

I think Venmo would have a hard time competing with Apple or Google for in-store retail or having it adapted directly on large online retailers. Assume that I’m buying a coffee, I would either use Starbuck’s own app or Apple pay. Why would I use Venmo?

However, I do see a big opportunity in emerging markets for a credible company to control digital payments, especially with financing and microfinancing services and I think if played well, Venmo can serve to a large consumer base there. Also, being backed by PayPal brings brand recognition and credibility, which is quite important in financial services.

This 2014 Article from McKinsey argues that there is significant latent demand for digital payments in many markets of sub-Saharan Africa.

Thanks for a nice post on a very recent architectural innovation.

Checkout lines are painful but they are not the worst thing in the world. As you mentioned, Amazon knows how to innovate and design products and services around customer needs with the latest technologies. In my opinion what we can expect for this initiative is that Amazon Go will continue to evolve in terms of products and services stores have to offer, in terms of algorithms they run on modeling the users (since they follow the user in store over their phone, and the user is already buying things online from them, Amazon will gain a competitive advantage over their pure web based competitors, ebay etc.). I expect Amazon to have a distinctive advantage to spot the location and size for the next store and what the sell there. Executed well, Amazon Go and its successors can provide substantial growth in groceries and meals to compete with old and new incumbents (Blue Apron, Hello Fresh) as well.

On February 3, 2017, Erdem Yilmaz commented on Instagram is Winning (Mobile) Advertising :

Thank you for a great post. I really enjoyed your analysis. I agree that Instagram has proven its value to the advertisers and as you mentioned, especially, ads that are embedded within users’ feeds are perhaps the most effective and they created a new breed of entrepreneurs as “social influencers”

There is tremendous amount of research that shows that word of mouth affects consumers. On the other hand, products need to be interesting or exciting to be talked about (actually “texted about” is probably a more proper statement here since compared to oral, written communication is the way of communication of the era and it’s shown to lead people to mention more interesting products and brands). I think this is where Instagram has been successful. Entrepreneurial individuals who are able to create excitement over a boring product that we have seen many times played an important role on the success of Instagram.

My question is that can Instagram continue with this excitement? Do you think Snap can threaten Instagram and Facebook?