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On November 23, 2015, NoMoreOrders commented on Mint: aggregating personal financial data with ease :

Thank you for posting. I am a HEAVY mint user, I have used it for over 7 years now and I am completely dependent on it. I think it has great applications and a fantastic interface. I have always wondered on the stats for their “ways to save” credit card offerings, I doubt that a big percentage of people using the application/website actually sign up for a credit card. Instead, in order to capture value, given the amount of information they have on a person’s spending patterns, they should focus on targeted advertising the way Facebook does. For example, if I purchase at X grocery store, they can send me coupons for a different store…

I really hope they don’t actually do this since I like the relatively ad-free interface but I wonder to what extent they are ripping the profits they really deserve based on the amount of data they collect.

On November 23, 2015, NoMoreOrders commented on Monsanto & Climate Corp: Big Data Transforming the Agriculture Industry :

Thank you for posting. This is very interesting. Regarding the last point you made about what happens to small farmers with the development of big data in agriculture, I am actually less concerned and think this could be a great opportunity for them too. With the proliferation of data on what makes for better crops and more efficient farming techniques, I believe big data could bring in more competition from smaller farmers that before weren’t profitable.

It sort of reminds me of the case of AeroFarms, a company that is innovating using big data to increase vertical farming in cities. They use significantly less resources (especially water) and with the help of big data are able to optimize for light and crops.

On November 1, 2015, NoMoreOrders commented on Debt crowdfunding in Chile :

Great post Gonzalo. Since the era of Yunus and his nobel-prize winning microfinance Grameen Bank, people in the developing world have been trying to come up with ideas to bridge the gap between exorbitantly high interest rates and people needing financing. This is yet another way of doing so, the best part about crowdsourcing loans is what the finance world has been doing with loans for more than a decade: securitize, divvy up the tranches and sell to the highest bidder. I think the next step for Cumplo would be to divide the loans into “high-yield” vs. “highly-secured” that way people (like businesses) can take advantage of different interest rates for different levels of risk.

Great post, thank you for the data analytics, I think we have all started to become ever more skeptical with Yelp reviews.

Aside from the clustering effect of ratings, another problem with Yelp reviews is the circularity of it all, a good restaurant gets good reviews people go to the restaurant, have a good time, great review etc. As more people rely on Yelp reviews to find restaurants, it makes it hard for newer, harder to find restaurants to get in the picture. This happened to me in New York a lot, generally a greatly reviewed place would be packed with people and because of this review-frenzy one would feel uneasy going to an under-reviewed (and potentially vacant) new place. I wonder if Yelp could do something to mitigate this so as to help foodies like me discover new and exciting places.

On November 1, 2015, NoMoreOrders commented on GLG: Crowdsourcing Expertise :

Thank you for posting! I have always wondered how GLG was going to evolve. I used it for my work in consulting and the network was powerful and quite useful. However, I have come across several hedge fund and other buy side analysts that use their services as well, hiding through “mosaic theory” to interview several people in the same company and ask non-material, non-public information that they can put bind together to get relevant important non-public information. I wonder to what extent, as banks and buy side investors become more regulated, so will GLG and at that point, how worth it is it to pay $1,000 per hour?

On September 14, 2015, NoMoreOrders commented on Adios, Therese – the death of the retail travel agent :

Thanks for posting! I agree with you that on the surface travel agents might be going out of business, but I wonder if there’s still a place for them in some niche markets. After all, the reason most of us are cutting the middle-man is to save on costs. What about those people that either a) have no problem spending more money for someone else to arrange their travel? or b) are not tech savvy enough to book all these things for themselves? As you mentioned, your dad uses you to book his travel (my parents do this too btw!), what if he didn’t have you to do this, would he still resort to a travel agent? I think if this business is to remain afloat they need to strike deals with airlines in order to obtain favorite pricing, that way they would really be generating value for their customers.

On September 14, 2015, NoMoreOrders commented on Give Me $3000 to List Your Apartment on Craigslist :

I agree that to some extent rental brokers have now a harder time proving to people their true value, but don’t be fooled, I think brokers are here to stay. Mainly I see them remaining relevant in two aspects: 1) Relocations: Brokers add value in clustered markets where the client is not paying for a the broker’s fee and they need to find a place quickly (think of your visiting professors, company relocations, etc) 2) They provide invaluable value to the people hiring them in the first place, as a house owner wanting to look for a renter I have great incentives to list through a broker, eventhough I might get less exposure to my listing, I wont waste my time with disqualified applicants if a broker can filter them for me, also, I only need to find one tenant so in that send “the more the merrier” doesnt really apply, combine that to the fact that I (as a landlord) am not paying for the broker’s fee and BOOM! there you have it, the reason why these guys are still around.

On September 14, 2015, NoMoreOrders commented on Google and Its Chromecast :

Great post, this is definitely an interesting space. I was just looking at how Amazon is trying to compete with the Fire Stick, it offers the same capabilities as google chrome-cast except it is the only one of this “cheap solutions” that is compatible with Sling TV. Sling TV is the only streaming provider that is competing head to head with cable when it comes to sports live TV (a huge reason why most people are still paying for cable). Sling TV is offering ESPN watch allowing you to stream live games, I wonder given this, how many people going forward will chose to pay for the Fire Stick rather than chromecast.