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On November 1, 2015, Fbalestra commented on Blue M&Ms: Using Crowdsourcing to Re-invigorate a Brand :

With these crowd-sourced flavor/color/etc campaigns, I am always a little skeptical of whether the boost in sales companies see is related to the crowdsourcing component or the additional resources placed in advertising. No doubt I think the idea of being able to choose a chip flavor or an MnM color can draw in customers to interact more with the brand than otherwise. However, I still would like to compare product performance data between these crowdsourcing campaigns and other successful ad campaigns of similar cost to see if the crowd-sourcing component truly does add value. Thanks for the post!

On November 1, 2015, Fbalestra commented on Foldit – Solving Puzzles for Science :

What I like about Foldit, is that it does not require its users to have more than basic competency in geometry and visualization, but Foldit can derive massive value from the results. I believe that a potential issue with many crowdsourcing platforms is that a majority of the value created is done so by a few key members who are experts in the topic. Here however anyone can become useful and start creating value right away. Therefore I imagine worries such as user stickiness and compensation are not nearly as important because there is very little key user risk. Thanks for the post!

On November 1, 2015, Fbalestra commented on Local Motors is crowd sourcing your next car :

I think Local Motors definitely has a spot among other niche limited production car manufacturers. That being said I believe what really drives up automobile R&D costs are the high targets companies must hit in performance, safety, reliability, etc in order to be succesful. Once companies start having to score high marks in all of these categories, the costs to achieve them can become exponential. I would be curious how local motors’ cars stand up against similar competitors. That being said it definitely is a novel idea and it will be interesting to see how this company progresses. Thanks for the post!

On October 5, 2015, Fbalestra commented on BzzAgent: An Effective Management of Network Effects :

I am curious how BzzAgent is able to find and employ enough people who are somehow connected to potential buyers to gain the scale necessary to attract a multitude of clients. To me, the true value of WoM (especially with friends and family) is its perceived unbiased nature. Therefore how does BzzAgent get around the agency issue of employed ambassadors wanting to give honest feedback on products to their friends/family, and clients wanting their products to be advertised in the best light? If BzzAgent is able to get around these problems, there is a lot of value to be had, but I am skeptical that it is possible. Great Article.

I am curious if in this new marketplace it will be more important to attract as many content providers as possible or to have a few high quality content providers that either twitch or youtube is able to lock in on to their platform.

On October 5, 2015, Fbalestra commented on The Arduino Community :

I think it will be interesting to see as connected devices become more prevalent in society, and a lot more people and companies look to create value with this hardware, whether Arduino will be able to stay on top or if a rise in competition will deteriorate market share. I am guessing that given the incredible library or software applications Arduino has, it will maintain its dominance as an early stage prototype device. Great choice of article subject!

On September 13, 2015, Fbalestra commented on DraftKings – How a fantasy is changing the sports industry :

I am curious what effect this will have on players. If large amounts of money start riding on certain player statistics, will this have an impact on the player’s motivation? Just like how fantasy football creates annoying fans who have little team loyalty as they instead just care about their fantasy team, I wonder if players will start to value their own statistics over the team’s by the same logic. Obviously betting on sports and fixing has always been a problem, but as money pours into solo athlete stats, it could have a large impact on athlete performance, whether it is for legal or illegal reasons. GO SEAHAWKS!!!

On September 13, 2015, Fbalestra commented on The New York Times: Outwitted in the Digital Age? :

Although I believe NYT is at a crossroads with its digital vs print offering I remain bullish on the agency for two reasons. First I believe that the drop off of print subscriptions will eventually level out and there will always be a flat percentage of customers who value a hard print edition over digital and NYT will be able to charge a premium for the service. Second, with the proliferation of content on the web, I believe users are beginning to place higher and higher value on the quality of content and if NYT can become better at understanding how to price its content and advertise effectively, it will increase digital viewership.

On September 13, 2015, Fbalestra commented on Get a Slice of This: Domino’s Dominates Pizza through Digital :

Dominos’s mobile offering has definitely been effective at putting it ahead of the competition as well as thinning my wallet. That being said digital technology moves fast and I believe soon other pizza chains and other restaurants (big and small) will be able to contract with ecommerce providers such as Shopify and Squarespace to give a similar offering. Once this occurs I am curious where Dominos will go to stay ahead of the competition. Thanks for the post!