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Great post! Very interesting to learn about all the acquisitions and to read about consulting companies struggling to become more digital themselves. I think there always will be a trade-off of speed (doing thing through video conference) and client relationship building. Given that any advisory business is primarily based on the latter, I don’t believe that digital will ever fully replace the in-person meetings, and thus I don’t see the lifestyle of consultants to change significantly soon (hopefully I’m wrong!).

On April 30, 2018, jklim commented on Private: Aaptiv: The Netflix of Fitness :

Great post! I never actually heard of Aaptiv before and personally am a little skeptical of on demand online classes only. They seem to fail to create the community aspect, which is what ultimately made SoulCycle and the like so popular. People tend to work out harder when in a group, motivating one another. However, I do see value of offering on-demand classes as an alternative options for those days you can’t attend a physical class. Peloton is an interesting example. They moved from on-demand/online only to now online and off-line, opening studios in NYC. I think this shows that the winner will be someone who can successfully blend the two worlds. There is indeed some value in the volume of classes available as you recommended, so perhaps Aaptive can rebrand itself as a technology platform that can be used by individual boutique studios (and their top instructors) to create online classes. This way you don’t need to train the instructors (since they were already trained by the individual studios) and are able to scale quickly without compromising the quality of content.

Great post! I personally am a huge fan of robo-advisors. Although it is unclear if any of the stand-alone robo-advisory companies are actually profitable on their own, they definitely have been able to disrupt the wealth management industry. MS is one example, but other companies incl. the largest asset managers Blackrock (they acquired Wealthfront) now include robo-advisor as part of their business. Personally, I do not believe that robo-advisors will ever fully replace a financial advisor (FA), but it will be interesting to observe how a role of an FA will change as “robos” become more and more mainstream. McKinsey predicts that the industry is moving towards digitally assisted advice, which would allow for solution personalization even for smaller wallet clients. See: https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/Industries/Financial%20Services/Our%20Insights/The%20virtual%20financial%20advisor/The-virtual-financial-advisor.ashx)

When it comes to fees, part of the reason robo-advisors are able to provide cheap solution is the fact that they invest in passive funds only. This is in contrast to what MS offer their clients, i.e. they offer either internal or external active mutual funds, which tend to come at a higher rate. Given this, do you believe MS runs a risk of cannibalizing parts of it business by offering cheap robo-advisory solution?

On April 9, 2018, jklim commented on Using data analytics to optimize employee engagement :

Really interesting post! I really like this concept. With time as Peakon signs more clients, it will be in a good position to see what motivates employees across companies and industries. It can then leverage this data to run its own training or hiring division. However, such oversight over the employees worries me, as if used incorrectly, can feel like a burden on an employee (think Big Brother oversight). This is unfortunately hard to predict. I also wonder how invasive are the surveys? How often an employee have to do them? It is hard to strike a balance between input frequency (amount of data) and the usefulness of the output.

On April 9, 2018, jklim commented on Spotify may know you better than you realize :

Great post! I agree that Spotify is the market leader for music recommendations. With the amount of data it has on human preferences, I wonder if there is a way for them to try to predict what type of songs would become hits. This is similar to what Netflix is trying to do with movie production.

On April 9, 2018, jklim commented on Netflix: Your Data, Your Show, Your Experience :

Thanks Sean, great post. I do agree that Netflix is definitely the industry leader when it comes to data usage. Having said that, from a user standpoint, I still think they have a long way to go. The sheer volume of their library means that discovering new movies/shows is extremely difficult. I wonder how Netflix can better optimize this process or if this should be their focus at all.

On March 26, 2018, jklim commented on Wikipedia: The Ultimate Crowdsourced Knowledge Tool :

Great post! I personally love Wikipedia and it is fascinating how it continues to be one of the first website you open when researching any concepts. It is also interesting, how it manages to control the quality of its content. As for its longevity, I do worry that their current system (counting on donations) is not sustainable and can take energy away from improving the website towards fundraising. To that extend, I wonder if Wikipedia shouldn’t reconsider other revenue options such as adds or even some form or premium subscription, e.g. make only 10 articles per month available for free (similarly to what Harvard Business Review does).

Great post! Although I do agree a need for a good platform like this, I do worry about the quality of content. For short Q&As this might be less of an issue, but how do you prevent check if people do not plagiarize or simply give a wrong answer or explain concepts in a confusing way? I therefore think, that even if you use a crowd-sourcing concept, some form quality control has to exist. For simple short questions, perhaps you can use AI to help check the rightness of an answer. But for the more convoluted problems, maybe students should have the option to ask an actual teacher. This could be offered as a paid option.

Great post! It is amazing to see a use of the crowd sourcing /community model for non-for-profit organizations! I would assume that Tarjimly will not struggle with motivating people to contribute, neither do they struggle much with the quality of content. Everyone contributing is naturally incentivized to produce high quality work given what’s at stake. I personally would love to be able to have a platform where I can help other so easily, i.e. from the comfort of my sofa. I hope that Tarjimly will inspire more businesses like this.

On March 6, 2018, jklim commented on Twitch: the ESPN of Esports :

Thanks for this! Although I agree with most of your points, I would argue that Twitch is not susceptible to multi-homing tendencies. It is true that a number of platforms offering e-sports exist, however Twitch continue to be a clear winner due to its first mover advantage. From a player’s standpoint, using Twitch gives them access to a large, already established fun base. As such, their switching costs are actually higher than it seems. Building a fun base from scratch is a lengthy process. For this reason, I believe Twitch is well positioned to continue to ride the fast growth of e-sports.

Great post! Although personally I’m a huge fun of class pass I worry that they recent pricing changes (moving into the credit system based on demand) will turn customers away from the platform. Historically, customers will sign up with the hope of getting a cheaper Barry’s or Flywheel as you mentioned and then use the other classes on less known studios. With the new pricing, the “star” studios became more expensive than booking outside of class pass, making many customers angry and freezing their accounts. I therefore wonder if class pass can build a strong platform on its own (perhaps the introduction of on demand classes will do just that) without relying on some of the key fitness chains, to attract and retain customers.

On March 6, 2018, jklim commented on Etsy’s battle against Amazon :

I completely agree with your points on why Etsy will sustain its market share. In particular, I strongly believe that given the somewhat niche focus of Etsy, it was able to build a very sticky community of both buyers and sellers. For this reason, I don’t believe the community is particularly sensitive to pricing or ease of returns. Furthermore, the general media attention on Amazon squeezing out small suppliers only further incentives people to stick to Etsy.

Great post! I agree with you that malls are not dead, but we will experience consolidation. Not sure that I agree with the 90% offline to online data, but I view physical location as must have marketing tool. In the e-commerce area, having the luxury of owning a physical location (particularly one in prime, high traffic location) is what will differentiate luxury brands from the rest. As such, malls as ecosystem/hangout spots are dead, and those that are in remote locations will be shut down. Other than location, the mall layout might matter as well. For instance, millennials tend to prefer to spend time outside, so malls with open plans might also do better than the old fashioned indoor ones (see: http://time.com/4865957/death-and-life-shopping-mall/)

On February 1, 2018, jklim commented on Sad Snaps :

Great post, although I do struggle with labelling it a looser already. The IPO underperformance is somehow in line with a lot of major tech IPOs. The point on competition is valid however. Yet, with all this in mind I do think there is a scenario in which snap transforms itself into a different type of business. Today, it still is a favorite platform for advertisers, who continue to discover new end customer groups through snap stories, since aside of live streaming, it is one of the most interactive platforms out there. In addition, although I stopped using the app some time ago, generation Z continues to use the app as is (see: http://www.adweek.com/digital/vandita-pendse-blend-guest-post-instagram-vs-snapchat/). Given this, I believe there is an upside case in which Snap surprises all of us, such as being the first company to actually monetize live streaming.

On February 1, 2018, jklim commented on Netflix: The Media Killer :

Great read! Although, I do agree with you that Netflix does seem like a clear winner of the new media battle, I do wonder how much more growth can it achieve. The international adoption of Netflix, although driving growth, is a completely different game. Unlike in the US, where Netflix was first, internationally it faces competition from providers such as iFlix who arguably are better positioned to deliver content targeted at local tastes. In addition, similarly to what Twitter experienced, new users become harder and harder to acquire. Increasing subscription price is another source of growth Netflix has been tapping into, but this might be exhausted soon as well. This coupled with pay-for-revenue strategy makes me a little worried for its future.