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Interesting post and idea. Definitely agree on the difficulty in attributing responsibility / causation. I could also see police departments using this service for a year and then perhaps figuring out that certain neighborhoods or areas are more prone for certain types of crimes and once again start to rely on their own intuition.

Really cool post! Love the idea of being able to use data from the beacons to improve how visitors interact with the various spaces. I can see that being another point of leverage for the museum too in acquiring pieces to feature — e.g. being able to provide that extra reassurance that an artist’s work will def get attention by being able to provide data around foot traffic, etc. on where the work is featured within the museum.

On November 23, 2015, JL commented on Bikes, Data and the Crowd :

Really cool post! And totally agree with you that there’s probably some low hanging fruit for Hubway, especially with the dynamic pricing. Agree with Carina above that they could benefit from a zipcar “booking” system — in addition to driving additional customer value, it would probably allow for much more scale and efficiency with data collection as well.

Great post! Totally agree with a lot of the points already made in your post and the comments regarding challenges. Transparency and possibly some sort of “consolation” award will be key for continuing to grow and maintain the user base for this platform. I could see how users could become disillusioned by the idea that 10,000 supporters for a project still does not get your idea to the manufacturing stage, leading to user disengagement.

On November 1, 2015, JL commented on NASA is Getting Crowdy and Saving us from Asteroids :

Very cool concept! What I think is interesting is that by nature of the work, it immediately taps into a very niche but very enthusiastic, skilled community (or for amateurs, a community that has a desire to practice a skill and learn) – I have to imagine that the user “churn rate” for a program like this is super low. I agree and worry about the ability of this program to grow and maintain quality; NASA will need more resources (people, technology upgrades, etc.) to monitor and if funding is being cut at such a drastic rate, I’m curious to see what happens in the future with this type of program.

On November 1, 2015, JL commented on Finding the Next Unicorn with Product Hunt :

Cool post! I think it’s great how Product Hunt manages the integrity of the community and the posts by creating a system by which users need to essentially “earn” the right to submit products and comment — certainly helps build the broader trust system needed for this type of crowdsourcing platform to work. I think that adding in a direct communication channel for investors could be a huge benefit for the platform; in addition to taking some cut of the investment, I could see this becoming a much more elevated, streamlined alternative to Kickstarter — where product demand, proof of concept, company viability are already pre-vetted (and with higher investment tiers, etc.).

Really cool post! I had never heard of Yoga Panda until now and am super curious to see how they scale. I have the same question at Jennifer B above, regarding how Yoga Panda is able to capture value. I have to imagine that Yoga Panda is positioning itself as a hybrid between MINDBODY and ClassPass: 1) Capturing value (and creating lock-in) from the studios in a similar manner to MINDBODY by offering the customer analytics and reporting tools that allow studios to look at their business as a whole – in exchange for charging the studios a subscription fee and 2) creating value for customers (and studios) via the ClassPass model. While I think there are relatively high switching costs for studios who are on MINDBODY right now, you could argue that the quality isn’t exactly there (I recently watched a studio owner navigating her MINDBODY account and joking that she didn’t know how to use 80% of the features and that it was confusing), leaving a big opportunity for other players like Yoga Panda to come in and create an ecosystem with even stronger network effects.

Great post! Totally agree on that RTR has utilized network effects to change behavior especially as it relates to the social culture around procuring a high end dress and openly sharing that information with your network through social media, etc. What I think is interesting about this model is that there’s definitely a tipping point that happens where value derived from actually wearing the clothes probably decreases for a large subset of users as the rate of users joining increases — primarily from the quality of the garment, availability of most desired styles, etc. While Couture Collective is probably looking to directly address that issue by limiting the usage per garment, I wonder how they’ll address the higher inventory carrying costs as they scale up the business.

Really enjoyed this post! Especially since I literally just downloaded the Redfin app to my phone earlier today — my fiance and I are also slowly testing the waters of buying a home right now 🙂 . I wonder whether additional value could be eeked out (created + captured) by integrating other services and introducing research/planning tools (e.g. articles on key questions to ask realtors, things to “look out for” when going to an open house, etc.), especially to assist new home-owners or home-sellers.

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

Great post and great company! I totally agree with Grace’s comment above and echo the same sentiment that Polyvore will need some new innovation if it plans to break out from the other competitors in this space; I’m also super curious to see how Polyvore will fare as Instagram and other social media platforms jump into mobile shopping. Although Polyvore certainly has the data available to draw insights from, I wonder if moving into the “personal stylist” genre goes a little too far out of their operational wheelhouse (e.g. managing inventory, delivering on customer experience). I could see the move pushing them into a completely different genre in addition to taking on a whole new set of competitors like StitchFix, a company that seems to be moving more in the direction of private label opportunities over curated third-party vendor styles.

On September 14, 2015, JL commented on WTG, Valve! Steam FTW!! :

Very interesting, John! Steam is certainly a winner by any financial measure, but I’m curious about your contention that it’s also providing ways for both large and small game developers to be winners. I’ve heard about “Steam Sales:” semiannual events where all types of games see steep discounts, often in excess of 90%. They’ve become so prevalent that developers are heavily pressured to participate. It seems as though this devalues newly-released games, giving potential purchasers a reason to “wait until the sale” to actually purchase something. Do you think Valve may be using its effective monopoly position to increase its cachet with game purchasers (i.e., getting a reputation for being the best place to get games cheap) at the expense of developers who may not want to heavily discount their product, or at least may not want people to assume they’ll later be discounting their product? Enjoyed the post! kisses xxoo

On September 14, 2015, JL commented on Burberry: Using Digital to Revitalize a Brand :

Great post! I fully agree that Burberry has done an excellent job of utilizing digital to step out, especially with respect to the rest of the luxury retail industry. That said, I do think that the rest of the industry is starting to catch up — many retailers are also doing very similar things as far as robust mobile apps, RFID tags, integrating digital with the in-store experience, etc. go. I worry a little bit that Burberry maybe hasn’t made the appropriate investments to create a full digital ecosystem that can actually deliver on the envisioned customer experience. I mention this because of their recent quiet closing of Burberry Bespoke and the difficulties associated with mass customization on a complex product like the trench. While they now have the Scarf Bar, which I imagine is a much easier product to execute customization on, I find myself wondering how much of their success can be attributed to their digital savviness vs. sheer brand equity. Would love to hear your thoughts!