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On April 30, 2020, hbs51369394 commented on Nintendo COVID Gains Hampered by Ring Fit Adventure Strategy :

Had fun reading this article! I’m one very happy person for buying the Animal Crossing themed console the day it released, which was also the first day of spring break. I agree that RingFit should be turned into a digital game, and exploring de-bundling. One other question I was quite curious about and speak frequently to other switch players about is whether or not digital games should be priced differently from physical games? Currently, they are exactly the same at $59.99 for the core Nintendo releases (Pokemon, Mario, etc.). The benefit of the physical game of course, is that it’s resellable in the event you don’t like it. Digital gives you no return or exchange window, so you tend to be stuck with what you have.

On April 28, 2020, hbs51369394 commented on “Mickey in the Middle of It” :

Great article, Disney’s fate is going to be a super interesting one to watch in this pandemic. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed watching the Disney’s famous DisneyWorld fireworks show go digital.

I think one massive competitive advantage that Disney has that its competitors do not have is the value of their IP in a world where new content releases will be extremely limited for all studios. Disney’s IP and its focus on young entertainment make a lot of their movies infinitely more “rewatchable” than others. For example, part of what made Disney+’s release particularly huge was not just the new series developed especially for Disney+, but access to the vault of Disney classic movies.

Another question I’d love to know is how Disney might need to think about restructuring its organization or making some key business or cultural changes as its adapts itself into the new normal. Thought this article was quite thought provoking, published by the FT only yesterday (27th April).


On April 28, 2020, hbs51369394 commented on Evo theaters: Social distancing and watching movies :

Fun article – makes me want to go to a drive-in movie complete with snacks. One other key lesson I’m taking away from this is that sometimes digital transformation is not re-inventing the wheel, but instead breathing new life into not existing but even obsolete innovation such as the old school drive-in complex through mobile apps, sound technology, etc. Apple is famous not for inventing products from scratch but actually resurrecting products people thought were gone forever – tablets, watches, etc – and perfecting them. The pandemic has made some old habits like these come back, and digital can play a great role on giving them a new life.

On April 21, 2020, hbs51369394 commented on Affectiva: building AI that reads human emotions :

Great article! This technology has the potential to have applications with tremendous effects. Given that, I’m curious on whether there needs to be a specific rollout plan which starts with the less risky applications first before moving into Black Mirror territory – thinking how this could be used in the legal profession to determine the validity of testimonies or even verdicts. If that is the case, then the company will need to retain a lot of control as you previously mentioned.

Fun article! I like how big data was used to bring more clarity towards what is originally a black box. I also suspect there are a lot of efficiencies and value creation present as the wine goes down the supply chain towards distributors and customers. By having more insight towards the production process, Palmaz is likely able to also better control distributors’ expectations in terms, slow down bullwhip inventory effects, and even potentially do more effective marketing even before the wine is bottled up.

Great article! While most chatbots are usually directed towards consumer services, it’s great to see that Alibaba rolled one out for suppliers and partners, especially since they are a marketplace platform. Small and medium businesses in the long tail are often playing catch up when it comes to cutting edge technology, but this is a great way for SMB education in terms of big data and analytics. If they’re smart, they’ll learn how to use analytics for their own businesses, or else Alibaba has just increased their dominance and dependence as a major sales channel.

On March 23, 2020, hbs51369394 commented on OpenTable: Restaurant Reservations Made-Easy :

I’ve noticed that there is some price discrimination on Open Table from some of my past reservations – depending on the restaurant booked, sometimes the app requests a deposit that is not refundable if cancellations happen too late. This might be driven more by the restaurant policy than OpenTable, but perhaps it something worth exploring as a product feature to some segment of restaurants (high demand, more upscale, etc.)

The upcoming restaurant recommendation engine seems like a great way for OpenTable to capitalize on the wealth of data that they have. Is there a way they could not only use it to benefit consumers but also restaurants in some form of advertising if they need more awareness within a specific consumer sub-set?

On March 23, 2020, hbs51369394 commented on Zencare: Modernizing the search for mental health care :

Great read! I was wondering if Zencare would scale beyond its local clustering and in-person consultations constraints in order to deliver online therapy sessions. It could potentially give therapists access to clients they would have otherwise not been able to reach, and also solves the demand side problem that some people cannot find therapists in their underserved area. Might also be a way to keep the platform sticky.

On March 23, 2020, hbs51369394 commented on MasterClass – Mastering Scale as Edutainment Platform? :

Had fun reading this – I also took Gladwell’s class on storytelling and enjoyed going through it! Masterclass seems to be positioned as an upscale/luxury version of Coursera and other MOOCs, leveraging celebrities and high quality content.

Two things I’m wondering:
1) Are same side network effects from the supply/teacher side? Is there a way to leverage a Masterclass brand that makes it more of a thought leader platform like TED or even offline events such as SXSW?
2) Would Masterclass be an acquisition candidate for a talent management agency?

What I’m seeing is the digitization of what were brick-and-mortar fundamentals. Love the application of AR and AI – the technology has effectively disrupted the in-store consultant. Investments in UX/UI are the equivalent of great displays. Services like recommendations and how-to classes not only work because Sephora is an established beauty authority, but it also continues to reinforce the brand strength (virtuous cycle). This is what will keep their products from being commodified and effectively safeguard them versus Amazon.

On February 12, 2020, hbs51369394 commented on Fitbit: Weathering the Storm? :

Playing in the fitness/weight loss space is a challenging one in terms of efficacy when 95% of diets fail and where 50% of dieters end up gaining more weight than they started with. The pivot towards more general health and partnerships with care providers is a more stable (and infinitely less fad-ish) industry, however this requires significantly more R&D and technology investment given the sensitivity of health care data. I’m not very confident on Fitbit’s ability to do this as what got them successful were marketing strategies that creates a consumer brand category such as step count or designing for aesthetics. As you’ve also mentioned, Apple has done a lot in the health care space in the interrim.

On February 12, 2020, hbs51369394 commented on Digital Art Collective TeamLab :

Interesting piece about digital transforming the art world, especially where there is a pre-conceived notion that art should be completely human in expression and execution. However, that is starting to change, I recall that an AI generated composition was of similar quality as that of top composers. Referencing back to the class discussion about translators, I wonder how translators (those well versed in both technology and art) can not only help facilitate more collaboration between the two seemingly opposite disciplines, but also help the rest of the world understand more about both technology and art by new media.