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On April 22, 2021, jtan commented on ThyssenKrup – Steelmaker Transforms Elevators using AI :

I thought this was really interesting. I understand that elevators have a long shelf life and buildings do not upgrade or change elevators that frequently. I think a cloud-based maintenance solution like this allows them to up-sell their services to clients and increase stickiness to their brand. I also like how they’ve extended its application to traffic control. I wonder if this is a solution that could be applied to traffic control in emerging markets.

On April 22, 2021, jtan commented on Stitch Fix: Personalized Style With ML :

Hey Shekeyla, thanks for this post. I love the idea that an algorithm is able to gauge my style from a couple of questions and recommend a whole host of clothing I might like. I think one of the biggest problem today with clothes shopping these days is having too many choices. More importantly, Stitch Fix just makes the whole retail experience more focused for people like myself who do not want to spend too much time browsing. I understand that there are currently two options for users. I wonder if, with enough data from its users, Stitch Fix will be able to be fully powered by the algorithm, i.e. an algorithm that has mastered style.

Thanks for this interesting post. I thought Rolando had an interesting point on worker pushback on being recorded. I can imagine it being like a “big brother” scenario, where workers would be so afraid to speak to each other as they know they being recorded. Horror!

I thought you made a really interesting point on how Drishti was built on the assumption that human operators would be involved in most part of the manufacturing process. I wonder if Drishti could go into other non-manufacturing areas where it could add significant value. I can see this being used in education and medical surgery.


I absolutely agree with Bruno. It sounds amazing that you had the chance to worked on this.

I’d love to hear more about how it was like innovating in a larger, more traditional banking institution. I understand that there are many regulations around bank data. I’d love to learn about the challenges you faced in running the new data team, in particular, what did you do in order to set you and your team up for success.

On March 24, 2021, jtan commented on Symrise: AI to create new perfumes :

Hey Kanako, I found this so interesting. Reading this, I couldn’t help but drawing parallels to how Netflix used big data to identify to create TV shows like “House of Card”. I definitely believe that there’s room for disruption as an algorithm like this is able to tease out the preferences of masses. It’s like using wisdom of the crowd to define what sells best. However, I wonder if this would ever replace perfumers in high-end fashion houses. I think a lot of the value of high-end fashion and fragrances comes from the process – a well-trained perfumer goes through the elaborate process of testing and iterating different fragrance notes to get to the perfect one. I think shoppers like the idea that their perfume did not come by easily. I’d be curious to see what the future holds for this algorithm.

On March 24, 2021, jtan commented on ASOS: Meeting Your Fashion Needs with Data :

Thanks for this article, Surahbi. I love how mentioned the change in organization structure to accommodate data culture. I know from my own experiences that many companies tend to think that just because they’ve created a separate data science team, they can sit back and enjoy the fruits of a big data culture. But good data cultures requires a top down approach and good execution throughout the entire organization.

After the simulation exercise on network effects, I’m convinced that Mercadolibre’s first mover advantage will play to its strength. While I think there will be many competitors looking to replicate their business model, Mercadolibre’s brand name, the ease of use, the time Mercadolibre has had to thoroughly understand its consumers give it an upper-hand in this race. I’d love to hear more about what the different marketplace are doing to stand out and own parts of this marketshare.

On February 11, 2021, jtan commented on Udemy: Heading Towards the Perfect Storm :

Hey Max, thanks for writing this article. I enjoyed this read. I wanted to build on Karl’s point on how many of their packages are discounted and how only a fraction of students actually complete their courses online. I think solo learning does have its drawbacks, but I do think this can combatted by charging more. I think if students had to pay more, they are more likely to complete the course because of a much higher opportunity cost. Just like Jibran, I’m not particularly optimistic about online learning’s outlook, they were after all struggling to make a profit pre-covid, pointing to a flawed business model. I wonder if COVID has given them a false sense of confidence due to the shift in user behavior. I also unsure this behavior will be permanent going forward.

On February 11, 2021, jtan commented on Harvard Business School – Remains Open :

Hey Pranav, I enjoyed this post. I absolutely agree that HBS has done a fantastic job in creating the best possible experience for students in the pandemic. I think the general consensus for online learning is that it doesn’t work or it’s extremely challenging for most students. I think HBS has invested a lot in this. However, I do feel that a big part of why this has worked has to do with the student body itself. HBS students are a self-selective segment of students who have paid $200K to take two years out of their lives to return to school. I’m sure the one who decided not to defer have a lot incentive to make sure they get the most of their learning experience despite the pandemic. I wonder if we would get the same response from students had this been implemented in a different setting.

On a different point, HBS’s model has been well-touted by other schools within and outside of Harvard. I do wonder if the model is truly replicable especially since it requires a lot of financial resources.

On February 11, 2021, jtan commented on Headspace: staying grounded during the Pandemic :

Hey Tomas, thanks for this article. I like how you talked about the initiatives Netflix took in order to expand their business model. I think what stands out for me is the sense of community that Headspace has managed to build with its app. I think this need for community has become even more important due to the uncertainty of the pandemic. Just like you, I wonder if Headspace will be able to gain the same traction after the pandemic, especially when we can return to becoming part of physical communities.