Could not agree more with the other comment, but I wonder if that’s specific (generally) to our generation. We all (mostly) dislike advertisements, but as retailers gather more one-to-one relationships with customers and can better target their promotions, I believe we’ll see a shift in feelings towards advertisements.
Great post! As you mentioned, countless food start-ups have entered and excited the landscape yet Blue Apron remains relevant and popular to the consumer. I agree with the earlier post that Blue Apron’s ability to balance supply and demand is due mainly to its very curated menu, and thus limited customer choice. I think Blue Apron recognized that of all the steps you mentioned in the first line of the post, deciding what to cook can be one of the more difficult steps in the dinner process. Customers (myself included) have chosen to give up “choice” for this curation. With that in mind, I wonder how often Blue Apron customers repeat a purchase. Once you have a new set of recipes, why continue to pay the hefty price of Blue Apron?
Great post with interesting looks at a range of campaigns. Internet trolls have also made their presence felt in product and location reviews on websites such as Amazon and Yelp. It has become harder and harder to trust “the crowd” in reviews these days, dampening the positive impact online reviews once had (at least for me).
Cal – great choice to write about in the blog. I’ve used many of Quirky’s home automation (Wink) products, and found them to be (generally) good products for a reasonable price. I agree with your points in the post, but most strongly the fault of Quirky using the crowd as a proxy for market demand. Crowdsourcing demonstrated success for developing products (well, except maybe the egg tray :)), but the failure to use more traditional methods for testing demand was clearly a detriment to Quirky’s success. It goes to show that crowdsourcing can replace certain modules of the process, but not the process in its entirety.
John – Super interesting choice to write about. SketchFactor illustrates the difficulties of using crowdsourcing to generate content versus innovation. Content crowdsourcing has demonstrated success for companies like Waze, but it appears human insecurities and prejudices override the benefit in this case. I completely agree with your final assessment and really wonder if the founders ever believed SketchFactor could avoid what it ultimately became.
I should have read the other comments before reading the post…because I share many of the same thoughts 🙂 That being said, seeing these employees in their blue jackets and scooters always makes me smile, so I want to see them do well. Unfortunately, I do not own a car, so I cannot personally be helpful. I do see services as their (only) way of potentially expanding outside of their existing niche market. I wonder if they can take a RelayRides approach and facilitate a peer-to-peer car sharing when the cars would otherwise be parked.
Very interesting company, and maybe we just have to admit that a company can be considered a success without a $1b valuation.
Dani, it’s an honor to give you your first heart.
Excellent post. As we discussed in class today, all of these successful platforms have at least one competitor in the market. Is there a comprehensive care provider that competes with Care.com? Competing platforms have been developed to focus on one aspect of Care.com customer value proposition. Do you see that as a threat? Or, is the major barrier to Care.com’s long-term success and sustainability people going off platform after establishing a relationship?
I’m (unfortunately) not a dog owner, but wrote a post on DogVacay and found the similarities between the two companies very interesting. I currently struggle to see how Rover and DogVacay differentiate themselves, other than geographic location, which you discuss above. If both companies provide their service in the same city, I see the potential for multi-homing to be quite high. Granted Hosts build up a profile of reviews and ratings, but I do not view that as a major switching cost. I am curious how you view the potential impact of multi-homing and switching costs.
The NFL has made a lot of advancement with the in-stadium digital experience for fans. Driven more by necessity since many football fans find watching the game on television (vs in the stadium) a better experience, and the exploding interest in fantasy football, NFL stadiums contain WiFi and many interactive fan experiences. I wonder if MLB can learn from the NFL (and other major sports leagues) to better marry technology with America’s past time.
Despite its 50% open rate, do you see TheSkim remaining popular as email inboxes continue to rapidly grow in size? I am a big fan of Quartz (www.qz.com), which links-out to breaking and daily news, and then creates its own proprietary content. Quartz sends a daily email, which I rarely open, but I frequently find myself opening its app when I have a few minutes to spare because I know I’ll find something interesting to read. I have hear many positive things about TheSkim, and I am curious to see how it attacks its strategy of becoming a lifestyle brand.
“Belowthefold,” thank you bringing attention to a retail giant’s unlikely focus on digital innovation. I spent the summer at Walmart’s Global ECommerce, and had the opportunity to witness first-hand many of the innovations you mentioned. The company certainly has many remaining challenges to compete with Amazon, but it is exactly these challenges (and the existing solutions you discussed above) that make it such a fascinating place to work with an MBA. I cannot say for sure whether Walmart will continue to be a winner, but it definitely has the scale and resources to control its destiny.