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On November 18, 2015, JG commented on Palantir – Masters of Big Data :

With pretty universal agreement that the ability to use and analyze data is going to be important to future business, how long do you think businesses will continue to outsource these types of projects to Palantir vs. starting to build this expertise internally? If they continue to rely on a 3rd party, businesses might find themselves “left-behind” and less competitive than they need to be to be successful going forward.

On November 18, 2015, JG commented on How Ibotta Is Changing the Coupon Game :

Does the addition of a teamwork mode start to add noise to the data?
I’m not sure how it functions, but if people start to participate and redeem coupons as groups, then doesn’t Ibotta lose visibility into the preferences of the individuals making up the group. Assuming that teams are dynamic, isn’t the individual data worth far more than a group’s data?

On November 18, 2015, JG commented on Birchbox: using data for personalized discovery :

Does Birchbox’s launch of its own private brand create a conflict of interest on their platform? What has been the response from other brands who might get displaced by LOC? It seems like a gutsy move when you’re playing the role of an aggregator. Sure they probably have great data on what people like and took advantage of it (you might compare this with Netflix creating original content), but in a business more dependent on brand loyalty for repeat purchases, it might be a bit too aggressive.

On October 27, 2015, JG commented on How the Crowd Saved LEGO :

In response to Elizabeth’s comment above, I think Lego actually has incentive to NOT have contributors share instructions. Since LEGOs ARE so modular, in theory, if you had a whole bunch of (the right) pieces and the instructions were available online, you could just go ahead and build the new model without any net new purchase from LEGO. In some ways, I think what you’re purchasing IS the instructions to that builder’s design.

On October 27, 2015, JG commented on Wisdom of Crowds for Rare Diseases: CrowdMed :

As you mention above, the people participating and providing diagnoses to these rare cases may not all be specialists in the field. How do you motivate more health professionals to become contributors on this platform? I wonder what is incentivizing health professionals to participate? Out of their busy days, what drives them to this community? Is it a good way to learn? Is it to help even more people in their little free time? Or does it come down to monetary incentives?

I wonder how you incentivize the experts that aren’t currently on Quora to go there?
I’m sure people ask a lot of questions where the right person to answer it isn’t present or engaged in Quora’s online community.
Is Quora’s stance that non-experts can contribute to these questions sufficiently? Or does Quora try to bring people not on the platform onto the platform? What motivates experts to actually join the platform in the first place? Unless they have questions on different issues, are they just there to share their own knowledge? Is it out of their generosity or perhaps pride?

On October 2, 2015, JG commented on Netflix – Getting Smarter Everyday :

I think one way Netflix could try to enhance its direct network effects is by allowing users to recommend content to others, and enable a feature that reports back whether the user actually watched the content and asks them what they think.

Imagine how many times someone has told you to watch a show, and you’re like, “o yea, I’ll definitely check that out!”
I think a more powerful interaction would be for me to be able to “send” you a recommendation, and I could actually keep track of who follows up on my recommendations. Users might get reminders like “Bob recommended you to watch Y – watch it now?” and after a user watched a recommended show or movie, it would ask users to “tell Bob what you thought”.

I think this type of interaction would be very powerful and benefit Netflix quite a bit.
It would create a social stimulus for users to watch content they might not otherwise watch. It would also strengthen the reason for users to provide reviews and ratings to content. Holding people accountable to other people would make Netflix far more powerful.

I wonder to what extent FitBit really benefits from network effects, in that I’m not sure if the product actually gets better with more users.

Fitness goals are deeply personal, and the one size fits all goal of 10,000 steps would also seem to be inappropriate for many users.
So I wonder how vocal most users are about reaching their goal, and even if they did share, if that would actually motivate others more or not.
Each person has their own circumstances, and I’d venture to say it would be more effective for a user to compete with his or herself versus competing with others.

Do you think an industry partner might be a method for Venmo to solve this problem?
Consider OpenTable and their successful penetration into businesses. As they’ve been able to get businesses to adopt OpenTable for managing restaurant reservations, do you think it would make sense for the two to form a partnership? People could make a reservation via OpenTable and just pay through Venmo automatically in one simple process?

Perhaps the problem is the sheer number of pieces of technology permeating into the role of restaurant management.
Maybe adoption of technology is just harder for restaurants, and the bar for them to change the way they do things is just higher?
Maybe by integrating with something they already use, Venmo can make the transition feel less painful.

On September 14, 2015, JG commented on Not Slacking off in the office :

Do you think that Slack will ever be a full replacement for email?

I think Slack works great for dedicated teams of people who work closely with each other on an ongoing or long-term basis, so project/development teams are an obviously good use case. But I wonder how Slack would work in functions where people work far less closely with the same individuals repeatedly but have to reach across multiple parts of an organization to reach out to different people on a daily or weekly basis? In these types of cases, i wonder how Slack competes with a simple email request, because there is no new on-boarding process to go through nor a strong reason to compartmentalize a single request into a category of conversation.

On September 14, 2015, JG commented on Google and Its Chromecast :

One thing I think that differentiates Chromecast from other dongles/boxes that augment TVs is the openness of the solution. Multiple people in a room can each cast things to the device, and in doing so, create a “queue” of content to watch around the TV. I think this difference is absolutely critical going forward. I think many different types of technologies are trying to make their experiences more “social”. Wii obviously did a great job with this by making the living room a far more interactive place. In the same way, a group of people all with different types of content can more easily share and consume together.

Very interesting post Sherry, thanks for the read 🙂

I wonder what your opinion is on LinkedIn’s premium subscription model?
As you emphasize the value of their user base and the network effects users benefit from, I wonder if inhibiting the ability for the majority of users to do key things (like message any user on LinkedIn or see all users who have viewed your profile) actually detract from these same network effects. As you mention, premium subscriptions make up a small % of their revenue, and I wonder if they actually create more complexity and bloat LinkedIn’s overall offering by having to keep it separate and supported. As discussed, they have a number of ways to monetize their user base and data, and the premium subscription seems to not fit there or be necessary.