Congratulations on the engagement!
I wonder if the annoyance your fiancee felt with multiple choice questions had been one of the influences behind going towards the chat bots.
Im sure your concerns do exist. Creating new language lessons is one of their big investments. The chatbot is lemonade is easier because it is designed to be knowledgable about one particular narrow area and is the mover in most conversations. For general conversations, the difficulty would be higher. However, it would not be as high as starting from scratch. It is interesting to see ideas- like chatbots- creating value across industries in different ways.
Duolingo is a language learning platform but I can see it becoming a learning platform in the long run. The question is really to explore or exploit. They have room for growth in either direction.
Duolingo has already started to replace standardized english language proficiency tests like IELTS and TOEFL. These are mandatory for international students for admission and super expensive (~250$ each). They are disrupting this space with their own alternative (for 49$) which is presently accepted at over 300 schools across USA- like NYU and Yale.
Given this move, I wouldnt it put it beyond the space!
You are at upGrad in India ?! So cool ! I am a graduating student from the Ed school doing my masters in EdTech so upGrad has been in my radar ! Would love to talk to you about it !
Me neither! I was really impressed by how they are focused on making things better for their users.
Indeed! I think it really adds a unique value but I can see it being copied by competitors. However, unless the competition has great differentiators, I suspect people will stick around purely out of inertia and brand recognition.
Loved reading about BetterUp. I had the good fortune of meeting the founder of the company in one of my classes at the EdSchool. May I share this with the class?
A great read! I had no idea Sephora was so innovative!
I felt the same concerns Eve did. To me, every retailer’s biggest competition is Amazon and I wonder how Sephora plans to take on the online shoppers. I am wondering whether most people prefer to buy makeup online or in store. If the trend is moving to the latter, then Sephora would need to have clear answer to why their app. Also, I wonder if it better to open so many physical store or push people to buy online and economize on the infrastructure? Of course that would be letting go off their present advantageous differentiator.
Evidently, a very thought provoking read!
Paytm had 2 factors come together to offer a competitive edge (from my perspective)- they were a popular, established brand in the fintech space and they were also the first to hit the field!
I agree the Paytm is now trying to play itself as a one stop shop for all things to pay for.
Thanks Sneha. I was actually taking a slice of the time to illustrate my narrative but seems I really cant get away with such tactics with HBS folks !
Google Pay is in the lead as of 2019. It has 59.75% of all UPI transactions in August 2019. Flipkart-owned PhonePe is at 24.91% and Paytm’s 5.93%.
Paytm has gotten some good investments and has made promises. Still waiting to see if it can turn things around.