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On November 23, 2015, Grace commented on Nordstrom Innovation Lab: Rethinking How You Shop :

Hi CC,

You bring up a good point. I think Nordstrom (like most traditional retailers) is in a tricky position-since they are not really ‘redesigning’ and ‘innovating’ on the fashion product itself (that is the job of the manufacturer). They have to come up with ways to ‘innovate’ the in-store experience. I like your points about out-of-store experiences, such as TestStyle and PocketStyle. While I could see these potentially helping to create a customer profile and understanding of ‘who’ their customers are, I wonder how successful the tools are? For the example above, such as makeup, I would think that is a pretty personal decision–to match colors to skin tone, etc. It would be very interesting to track returns and customer satisfaction on orders suggested through these new tools.

On November 23, 2015, Grace commented on Nordstrom Innovation Lab: Rethinking How You Shop :

I don’t know that Nordstrom has really found the true captured value through their apps as they stand. How is what they are doing in terms of tracking loyalty card purchases and page click views very different than other retailers?

On November 23, 2015, Grace commented on Flo Is Hungry for Your Driving Data :

I think is a really cool tool that Progressive is offering. Providing real-time warnings to drivers as well as feedback as to risk over a period of time is quite informative to both the driver and Progressive. On Progressive’s side however, I would think there is some level of self-selection bias among safer drivers choosing to use the tool versus riskier drivers who prefer not to have all actions monitored. Do you think there is a way Progressive can overcome that?

On November 22, 2015, Grace commented on Data and Hedge Funds :

Cargo metrics seems to be selling data that isn’t personal, but specific to shipping and commodity movement. In watching the video, Data Brokers, though, it stands to think that data brokers are likely to face more regulation in the future regarding privacy and personal protection. As that happens though, I would think that most individuals would be willing to provide a fair amount of information to data brokers, if they could understand the value the individual will capture by providing it.

I like your ideas to make sure kids are spearheading the ideas and remaining involved!

On November 1, 2015, Grace commented on OurCrowd: Changing the way startups are funded :

I think this is an interesting concept but some of the pitfalls discussed in class regarding crowdfunding real estate come to mind as problems with this model as well. For instance, what sort of deals would this bring to bear, since it almost seems like an avenue that may be explored by entrepreneurs who were unable to get funding/were passed up by more traditional VC and angels.

On October 29, 2015, Grace commented on Fiverr – get anything done with $5 :

I love the concept of Fiverr and think that there are many types of projects that can be done at that cost. However, when I think of graphic design or programming, five dollars seems so cheap, that it makes me worry about the ‘living wage’ issue. Has Fiverr received any negative press in that regard?

On October 5, 2015, Grace commented on Nike – from products to platform :

You bring up a great point, that Nike has often been a source for innovation, but I would argue that the innovations they have capitalized on are actually in manufacturing, in supply chain and in manufacturing. In the field of wearable technology, where there are already front-runners, perhaps they understand where they have missed the first-mover and therefore would be better equipped to pattern versus vertically integrate.

On October 5, 2015, Grace commented on RelayRides – The New Era of Car Sharing Economy :

I have not heard of RelayRides–but think this business has a lot of potential, based on your explanation of the business model. One of the concerns you point out is the potential alienation that users feel in not being able to talk to the person at the rental counter. Some companies, such as Enterprise who has Emerald Club, have actually eliminated that personal connection as much as possible to the benefit of the customer, by allowing the individual to check in, choose the car either online or from the Emerald Car aisle. It seems as though the use of RelayRides, if the car owner can input the coordinates of the rental car into a platform when they arrive at the airport and the user can simply receive the coordinates upon booking, may be the most streamlined approach and encourage additional users to the platform. I do see more of the logistics issues to this plan, however, such as who pays for the parking while the car is in the carpark prior to pickup?

What an interesting post. I think that the question you raise on monetization is such an important one. With prices having dropped so low to compete for the bigger user base, it is essentially a race to see who will lose first. However, the question becomes what will happen even once the competitor is driven out of the market? Are users willing to accept a higher rate to sustain uber or a different winner, given that the price differential cannot be too high or else people may return to taxis.

On September 15, 2015, Grace commented on TILT: Taking the Hassle out of Group Fund Collection :

You bring up a good point. In order to get money as a fundraising campaign, then the organization must be a 501(c)3 tax exempt nonprofit, I believe. By providing that number, it should cut down on those sort of issues being linked to a nonprofit. For personal campaigns however, I don’t know that there is any legitimacy checking beyond requiring the individual to have a Facebook account and driver’s license or other form of personal identification. Therefore, the potato salad example above could still happen!

I think that Blockbuster is an interesting example of a infrastructure model that is so asset heavy that it can be difficult to reinvent. With the number of physical locations with rent and overhead along with the inventory of dvds required to service all of those locations, it is not a surprise that when faced with a leaner model such as Netflix’s dvd by mail and then again by digital streaming, they simply could not compete. I even question, however, as to whether they could have responded sooner. How do you compete when your cost structure is so great in comparison to the disruptive asset light model that Netflix and digital streaming brought into the industry?

On September 14, 2015, Grace commented on Polyvore: Consuming Traditional Fashion Retailers :

Right now Polyvore has a lot of traction in the fashion market. It is interesting to think of the different methods that platforms have used to commercialize curation. For example, Pinterest has just started to make some of their pins ‘shoppable’ in much the same way, where the user can click through and buy what is showcased. The value-add that Polyvore brings of course, is the curation of styles and looks across companies. Now, as more of these curated fashion sites enter the market (competitors that I can think of include BeachMint, The Coveteur, and PopSugar’s ShopStyle) new innovations are going to be required. I wonder what the next value-add offering will be, perhaps a stylist who sends recommendations based on the curated styles that you have liked in the past?