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On April 21, 2020, HBSstudent0918 commented on K Health: Your new primary care doctor? :

Interesting offering! I love the idea of an interactive symptoms tracker paired with the ability to speak with a medical professional. It’s a nice mix of WebMD with telemedicine in an affordable offering.

The UI looks very intuitive and I imagine the price point will help acquire many customers easily. The only concern I have is whether insurance-covered persons will find value in yet another health app. They may be likely to use the symptom checker, but those are $0 revenue generating users. I wonder if the offering doesn’t have a clear customer base – those that are uninsured may need something with more functionality, while those that are insured may not see incremental value. Just one thought, though I love the idea overall!

On April 21, 2020, HBSstudent0918 commented on How Well Does Spotify Know You? :

Interesting post! I’m an avid Spotify user and believe they do an incredible job recommending new songs and artists.

I’m really intrigued by the idea of machine-generated music. I personally think fans value the “identity” of a musical artist too much to fully switch to music consumption from machines. Having said that, it may only take a small fraction of machine-generated musical content to really put economic strain on the existing production ecosystem. I already enjoy nature sounds and similar content for studying, so maybe it’s not that hard to imagine!

On April 21, 2020, HBSstudent0918 commented on Walmart: Using machine learning to reduce food waste :

What a great technology! It’s wonderful to see examples of technology that benefit a company economically while providing a social and/or environmental benefit to society.

I hope the economics are compelling enough for grocery stores to continually utilizing and investing in these types of technologies. If the resulting savings is too little, grocery stores might scrap the programs altogether and continue on with “business as usual”. It would be great to see more grocery stores sell their “ugly” produce that doesn’t make it to any store to firms like Imperfect Produce, who create a new market for ugly food.

There is a lot of room for improvement in the grocery sector, but I believe this to be a great step forward in reducing inefficiencies and waste!

On March 24, 2020, HBSstudent0918 commented on Zencare: Modernizing the search for mental health care :

Thanks for the post! Upon reading it, I was immediately reminded of ZocDoc, which also matches patients with medical professionals. I think the reason ZocDoc is a better offering is that it is not limited to one type of practice like ZenCare. I use ZocDoc several times per year because my need for primary care, dentist, eye doctor, etc change more frequently than any one of those individually. I wonder if ZenCare will continue to face high attrition because of the user churn issues you mentioned. Perhaps they would be a stickier platform if they expanded to more mental-health related content like blogs, webinars, etc. Maybe they already do this, but that’s just one thought!

On March 24, 2020, HBSstudent0918 commented on MasterClass – Mastering Scale as Edutainment Platform? :

Interesting article! I also have seen the ads and have considered trying it out from time to time. In the end, though, I think “subscription fatigue” has set in, and I can’t justify yet another monthly fee – especially one so steep. I can’t imagine a world in which young professionals give up their Netflix, Hulu, and HBO subscriptions and replace them with Masterclass. I agree with the comments above that it is definitely a premium product, but to sustain engagement over the long term, they will need to shift to additional channels. Perhaps they are better suited as a content developer that licenses their classes to the traditional distributors (e.g. Netflix, Hulu). I think this will help them capture the value of their content without the risk of positioning themselves as another subscription service that results in high customer attrition.

On March 24, 2020, HBSstudent0918 commented on Drizly: A refreshing business model in the delivery app landscape :

Interesting post! I’m impressed by the pricing model that Drizly chose to implement. So many platforms struggle with disintermedition, but I liked your point that the flat fee almost makes Drizly a marketing channel for liquor stores, since the marginal cost of an additional buyer doesn’t diminish their margin. While Drizly is ahead currently, I’m curious how long (if ever) it will take Amazon to enter the alcohol business. Given the high margin on these items, I imagine it’s a very valuable business for a player like Amazon that controls the supply chain. In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy Drizly!

On February 11, 2020, HBSstudent0918 commented on One Medical wins at digital health :

Great post! I really admire the One Medical model and it seems like a perfect alignment of incentives. Our healthcare industry has a long way to go in terms of improving quality of care and experience, and One Medical appears to be an impressive step forward. I’d be interested to learn a bit more about the user experience from the patient side – are they able to reach a doctor in a timely manner; do they end up on “hold” on a call for long periods of time; do they doctors have access to prior medical records to ensure consistency; are patients choosing to forgo annual check-ups with comprehensive blood tests and physical examinations?

On February 11, 2020, HBSstudent0918 commented on Venmo – Winning a Larger Share of Consumers Wallet :

Great post! I’m a huge fan of Venmo and find that it makes life (esp as a student) tremendously easier. I often wonder how defensible this model is, however. PayPal’s app offers the exact same service but with a much higher level of security. The lack of security with Venmo payments is not often discussed, but I think it will become more of an issue in this data-privacy scrutinizing world. There also aren’t many barriers to entry, and switching costs for the consumer are pretty low. I even continue to use Zelle and PayPal to send money to family members and my landlord, all of whom don’t use Venmo because of the lack of security. I think if Venmo wants to dominate the peer-to-peer payment category going forward, they will need to integrate with other platforms or find ways to make their service more sticky than it is currently today. It also only takes one headline of a data breach to scare everyone off and send them to Zelle or an emerging competitor.

On February 11, 2020, HBSstudent0918 commented on Starbucks: Winning on rewards, loyalty, and data :

Great post, Leah!

I feel conflicted about Starbucks’ shift to the digital channel that allows for a greater number of customers to be served in a shorter amount of time. Personally, I’m the type of customer that spends hours at coffee shops for the quiet and relaxing ambiance, smell of coffee, and calming music. These days, Starbucks stores feel more like McDonald’s and the relaxing user experience has been completely lost. While they’ve now lost me as a customer, I recognize that they’ve gained 8 in my place that probably result in higher profitability. A win for Starbucks, but unfortunately a loss for me.