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Well-written and engaging post — well done!

I agree with you that youtube was one of the first-movers in the entertainment space to truly leverage the power of the crowd (via a double-sided platform) to its advantage. However, I wonder if YouTube will be required to heavily supplement their user supplied content model if they are ever going to routinely turn a profit? I guess the opportunity that I see for them to truly turn the corner is to add network content to both their current user-supplied content and their proposed original content. Clearly the would have to pay the price for this content (much like Netflix), but they might be able to compete directly, and successfully, with Netflix if they are able to offer crowdsourced content, engaging original content, AND all the current network/studio-based content that Netflix offers. Will definitely be interesting to see where they take YouTube Red next!

On October 31, 2015, KMY commented on DLife: Facilitated Network for Diabetes Patients :

Great post! Thanks for explaining the Dlife business model – seems like an extremely valuable resource for people suffering through the pain and hassle of diabetes, and the subsequent treatment approaches. I wonder, however, if this truly does create value for its users, will a for-profit competitor be able to enter the space? Perhaps building a platform that isn’t just diabetes specific, something more along the lines of a Patientslikeme platform. Regardless, a very interesting crowdsourcing space to watch.

On October 31, 2015, KMY commented on White House Petitions: “We the People” gone wrong :

What a fascinating post. I had NO clue that this type of effort had even been made. Of course, at a high-level this sounds extremely enticing and offers a unique way to actually hear from the average citizen on issues that enough people care about. But, to your point, it wouldn’t have taken much upfront thought to realize how many different avenues would be available to abuse this system.

This reminds me a bit about how legislature is opened up to a period of “public comment”. During this period, anybody can comment on a piece of legislation, and all comments must be responded to. This has a huge time burden associated with it, BUT, it has remained in effect because it is has been deemed a valuable enough process to solicit input and generate buy-in. Or, perhaps, the practice is simply to engrained to actually change at this point…

On October 5, 2015, KMY commented on Flatiron: Fighting Cancer Online :

Great post, and extremely exciting business model! In many technology sectors – but possibly most acutely in digital health – there are more and more platforms emerging that facilitate this type of large scale data collection and data sharing. I don’t think anyone will argue with the intense value that this data represents, but I actually think that the greater value will be realized by the companies that ultimately figure out what to DO with this data. Meaning, the companies that figure out how to write algorithms/build dashboards/develop workflows that drive actionable responses to this data.

The first step is definitely data collection, but I’m even more excited for the days of data driven action against these major diseases!

Well written and great insights. I completely agree with you that PatientsLikeMe has built a powerful network platform based on a surprising amount of trust extended to them from their users. I mean, people are usually rather reluctant to discuss their medical ailments with many people, much less with complete strangers and then allow that data/conversation to be shared with those willing to pay…. but, when these folks buy into the mission of what PatientsLikeMe is built around, the entire paradigm shifts.

Again, I agree that a breach of this trust would be a potential deal breaker for this company. But, I also believe that the more likely disrupter of their business model is a digital chronic (or acute) care management platform that offer medical and clinical support/solutions AND offers the community aspect as a feature of their platform. In this case, there will be an even stronger network effect because there will be multiple entry points to end up on the platform.

Overall, this is an extremely exciting space to watch!

Thank you for providing an insightful analysis of how GE is looking to transform their business model from a physical manufacturer to a digital platform provider. I find it extremely impressive that they have been able to pull off this transformation, and even more impressive that they were able to spot the need to do so before everyone else.

I guess my biggest outstanding question is what they will ultimately do with the data and how they will end up fully monetizing this added differentiator. For example, will customers be able to purchase “unsmart” machines/devices/solutions, or will the digital-enabled be required? It seems a no-brainer to require it, but does that run the risk (at least short-term!) of alienating customers that can’t afford the “upgrade”. It seems like all GE needs to do is show why the additional feature is actually a value-add for the company… which brings me to my second question — what are the doing to build these business success stories with the data they are already collecting. I’ll definitely be watching closely going forward!

On September 13, 2015, KMY commented on TED leads in a winner-take-all world of conferences :

This is fascinating, and a great history on the rise of the TED phenomenon. I agree that they truly were ahead of their time by being willing to put their content online for free in order to drive customer awareness and build what, more-or-less, became a cult following of their various publications. As a non-for-profit, I do wonder if the market incentives are in place for them to remain at the top of this game for the foreseeable future. Again, I completely agree that they have managed to create a ‘luxury good’ when it comes to their conferences, but this seems like an open space that many for-profit companies will attempt to capitalize upon. Only time will tell if they can successfully protect their brand against future incumbents, but they were definitely an early winner in this space.

I completely agree with the sentiments of this post. Zenefits has found a simple way to combine many complicated processes/solutions that all employers have to have in place to onboard employees. I’m also very intrigued by their monetization model — offering their platform for free, but only charging once a health plan is involved appears to be an extremely “sticky” way to attract employers, especially employers of smaller firms.

As I look out into the future, I feel like Zenefits has left themselves open to disruption if they don’t address the healthcare/wellness (post health plan enrollment) side of the life cycle of the members on their platform. Essentially, much like Zenefits has led the way in being the go-to “HR platform” of choice, there is a simultaneous race on the wellness/healthcare side of the equation around who can build a platform that best aggregates all required health plan selection, health plan benefit, price transparency tools, wellness incentives, etc. services that an employee also needs once they have made all their initial HR decisions (Welltok and Rally are two leading contenders in this arena). I think the platform that can combine ALL HR functions – both what is needed at the initial employee sign-in and what is needed ongoing to manage heathcare costs – will be the ultimate winner in this arena. It will be interesting to see if Zenefits rises to this challenge.

I completely agree. Teladoc was genius to IPO when they did because I fully believe that their valuation is going to fall substantially over the next couple of years. You touched on the PMPM vs. pay-as-you-use difference, which I do agree is huge for employers. However, I also think that Teladoc is just a decade behind the new players (Doctor on Demand very much leading the pack) when it comes to the design of their UI and the overall customer experience of their service platform. This is one of the pitfalls of being the first mover in a space that is evolving as rapidly as telemedicine, and really, digital health in general.

Time will tell if the customer-focused models of the new telemedicine companies will be compelling enough to change generations of ingrained patient behavior (i.e. going to see a doc at a brick-and-mortar institution), but I agree with your analysis that Teladoc has already lost the race.