Jon Malankar

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On November 24, 2015, Jon Malankar commented on Big data to transform agriculture :

Cool post. As GA mentioned, I’m wondering what they are doing to reduce costs. I also just went to a session yesterday on GMO foods, which sparked another question regarding this company. To what extend are consumers comfortable with their food coming from non-traditional farms? I’m sure those at the bottom of the pyramid would just want food period, but higher income consumers will likely push back. Given the costs to set these farms up, I would imagine them being popular in the developed world before they enter the emerging world, no?

On November 22, 2015, Jon Malankar commented on Catapult Sports: Preventing Sports Injuries Before They Happen :

Very interesting read, Faisal! I wrote about NBA and STATS SportVU so cool to see this side of it as well. Apologies if I missed it in your post, but how exactly is Catapult predicting someone is close to injuring themselves? Do they compare the athlete’s history to overall averages of when people start to get hurt? I’m wondering how they account for body chemistry and folks that are injury prone vs. iron men. Another thought that comes to mind is what if players start gaming the system somehow. Perhaps it’s not possible but you can imagine less motivated players trying to get more rest time during the regular season when they might not actually need it. Just a couple of thoughts but this is definitely interesting technology that should do a lot of good.

On November 22, 2015, Jon Malankar commented on San Antonio Spurs’ Data-Driven Approach to Win Games :

Cool post! I wrote about the NBA broadly introducing data. Interesting to see a post on how a specific team is leveraging it as well. I’m curious if there are any examples of traditionally less successful teams using data to get better though. The Spurs have been awesome for almost 20 years so seems less surprising or causal that they keep doing well. Do we know of any teams that haven’t done well for a while but are seeing improvement?

On October 5, 2015, Jon Malankar commented on PlayStation: How Sony came to dominate the gaming industry :

Great points made but what about the direct network effects on the consumer side? My family owned a PS1 and PS2. I remember often being frustrated with the inability to have more than two players. N64 changed the norms when the base console came with four controller ports versus two for every other past console (Dreamcast was there but does it really count?). XBox was arguably ahead of the curve when it came to online connectivity through XBox Live. Would you say Sony has continued to win the network effects game? Or have they been winning based on product quality and leveraging the rest of the Sony empire?

Building on SDS’s comment, shouldn’t Eventbrite just partner with an existing entity to achieve this discovery element? I would think that the core competencies of being a world-class ticket seller are quite different from being a world-class discovery, social media player. If I was leading Eventbrite, I would have thought long and hard about selling to Facebook or someone else similar who clearly has the discovery part figured out and might be looking for a plug and play partner to complete transactions.

On October 5, 2015, Jon Malankar commented on Groupon – Will Weak Network Effects Be Its Downfall? :

We recently covered Groupon in Digital Marketing Strategy so cool to see it pop up in your post. I agree that the influx of copycats made life tougher for Groupon but what about the fundamental business model? In many cases, you have small / medium businesses giving away $100 coupons and only seeing $25 (after Groupon took its $25). This led to price sensitive customers looting them in droves and then never returning (once prices went back up). I wonder if Groupon could have done anything to enhance the direct network effects and help out those merchants.

On September 15, 2015, Jon Malankar commented on Polaroid: Instant Photography King No More :

Love the Polaroid example! The issue you call out here is very applicable to a lot of disruption stories over the years. It’s tough to tell your board that you’re going to go compete with that scrappy new competitor that’s making 5% margins when your whole company is used to printing money at 30% margins. Even if you’re convinced of your vision, what if your employees only half-heartedly go after it?

Your decoupling suggestion is interesting but I’m skeptical that when times get tough and investment capital is scarce, the cash cow will get all the funding.

As an alternative, what about M&A? Let that scrappy player develop the technology and gleefully overpay for it when it’s just about at scale and the technology is proven. Maybe the first disruptor won’t sell but surely one of them will. This seems like a far more plausible approach versus trying to disrupt your own established company based on a bet.

On September 15, 2015, Jon Malankar commented on Instacart: Shopping for groceries has never been more fun :

I’m more skeptical on Instacart not because of its impressive progress up until now but how the future might turn out. If I look forward to a world where Instacart (or something like it done by Google and others) is being used by the majority of shoppers, retail stores are going to be quite upset. A significant portion of grocery sales come from “impulse” purchases. Basically that bag of chips you would never put on your Instacart shopping list but you can’t resist when you see it at the end of the aisle. CPG players pay a ton in trade investment to make this happen as well, which means even more money lost for retailers. With a pre-populated list, impulse effectively goes away. I’m not saying this is game over but it will definitely require some reaction from all players involved. Retailers and CPG will try to find ways to recreate impulse online but they will also try to block Instacart and give shoppers reasons to come into the store as well. I’m curious to see how Instacart will handle this.

On September 15, 2015, Jon Malankar commented on LinkedIn: Changing the Professional Recruitment Landscape :

Very interesting point by the previous person. True that every so often you hear about some senior person who has falsified qualifications. It would be worth LinkedIn’s time to pay for access to certain data sets to verify qualifications.

I picked up on your point about being able to post your resume and “look for a job” without declaring that to your current employer. I wonder what impact this has on the labor fluidity in the market. I know I’ve had cases where recruiters reach out while I’m perfectly happy at a firm. I respectfully turn them away but I wonder if you have more people hopping around because they have access to more opportunities. What impact does this have on company productivity since the companies have to retrain people. This situation could be compared to the national divorce rate going up with the growing popularity of online dating. I don’t mean this as a big knock against LinkedIn. More of an observation.