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On November 23, 2015, Ola commented on Zopaf: Stop Leaving Money on the Negotiating Table :

Great post, thank you for sharing. This is a field where we need more data analytics. Do you think it’s the winner takes all market? I would assume there would be multiple firms in the future that deal with certain types of contracts. Being first mover certainly brings advantages. One thing I as worrying about is data privacy. Would many users be willing to give up sensitive details? Would non-disclosure clauses include services like this one?

On November 23, 2015, Ola commented on Flo Is Hungry for Your Driving Data :

Very interesting, thank you for sharing. Grace brings up an interesting point on selection bias. I do think people who are generally safer divers will opt-in for programs like that. One way to overcome it would be to avoid reporting on metrics that are incriminating such as the seep limit. Instead, they could avoid speed at all or maybe an average for every trip? In the end it will depend what data Progressive will need to make better and more informed decisions.
There is also room to cooperate with the public sector here. If Progressive gets a lot of data on how people are driving in a particular city, they will be extremely valuable to transpiration officials and could inform how the traffic can be managed in a better way to avoid accidents.

On November 23, 2015, Ola commented on Netflix : Leveraging the Power of Analytics :

Netflix is an interesting example of data analytics, thanks for sharing. So far algorithms, like the ones used by Netflix, are key to suggest the right content for a particular consumer, based on previous watching patterns. I am curious how successful data can be in predicting hits in creative content. When it comes to bidding on shows, in entertainment it often proves more prudent to bet on best-in-class talent pool. What would have happened if the data suggested betting on House of Cards even if Kevin Spacey and Fincher were not in the mix? Netflix would probably not bet because Hollywood is increasingly dependent on stars, both for talent acquisition and promotion. Names like Fincher bring groups of talented professionals with them and open many doors. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if more content distributors decide to be guided by data analytics when making bets on content.

On November 1, 2015, Ola commented on Pandering to Beauty Junkies :

Very interesting post, thank you for sharing. I agree with Nazli that products coming out of the IdeaLab might be to niche to gain traction. Mavens are a great source of testing and improvement on existing products, but I am not sure if they can be a source of the next big thing in beauty. Julep would still need to think about big inventions and breakthrough formulas, especially when creating beauty products requires an extensive knowledge of chemistry and biology. Finally, it would be interesting if Julep could turn IdeaLab to engage chemists and experienced beauty professionals to brainstorm new products and formulas. Successful ventures could be later vetted by Mavens and some of them would become a commercial success.

On November 1, 2015, Ola commented on Crowdsourcing At The U.S. Army :

Very interesting post, thank you for sharing. It is great that the army is experimenting with technology and tries to tap into recent trends. Completely agree with the previous comment that security and maintenance would eliminate any crowd sourcing elements from army proprietary technology. Given the importance of technology army will have to develop in-house capabilities to leverage existing solutions and brainstorm new ones. However, the second avenue of simplifying already existing SOPs sounds promising. To engage the public, the army could not only have the most crucial information simplified, there is also room to create apps that would aid when a disaster happens. For instance, when a hurricane hits a city, it would be great if an army-enabled app would serve as a platform for citizens to report losses, emergencies and state of their neighborhoods. That way using crowds army could get an accurate picture of the situation.

On November 1, 2015, Ola commented on TapTape – When artists make money, fans make money :

Very interesting concept, thank you for sharing! As music industry is reinventing itself, it is so encouraging to see new start ups breaking the status quo. I agree with the previous comment that having a big upside in gift cards might not be promising enough to get fans engaged. I was also thinking about when an artist would use such a platform? An established artist has no incentive to go with the platform because they will have several music label lined up offering beyond money relationships with retailers, advertisers etc. And those are the artists that have a huge following that would engage individuals with TapTape. For a new artist TapTape might be a compelling proposition and it would come with direct competition with existing platforms such as Kickstarter. But how will an unknown band engage users? What is stopping Kickstarter from offering its own currency as well? Looking forward to see how TapTape will go forward!

On October 6, 2015, Ola commented on CoachUp: Developing Athletes of Tomorrow :

Great post and a very interesting company. I think Elizabeth brings up a very good point, moving off-platform is quite a danger in this model. Although I might not care if the same uber driver picks me up, I would want to see the same coach for tennis to make sure I go up my learning curve. High-end option that Elizabeth brought up is definitely a viable solution. One other alternative is that CoachUp would be a craiglist for coaches and athletes to find each other, rather than a service where you book each class. The demand can still be high, especially in the US where people move quite a lot. One other potential I see is to connect with communities of athletes interested in a particular sport (or apps, software dedicated to a particular sport) and collect revenues based on those connections. Maybe CoachUp can advise users who became fans of running to download “Strava”?

On October 6, 2015, Ola commented on eBay – The Perfect Store(y) of network effects :

Great post! eBay is definitely a classic example of strong network effects. Given the complexity to sell/buy on multiple platforms, for a user already present on eBay the sole incentive to sign up for an additional platform would be if that platform offered access to more users. And since eBay through user subsidization was the first in this space, as you mention, it managed to capitalize on that advantage. Ironically, first-mover advantage is why eBay has not been equally successful with expanding internationally. For instance, in Poland before eBay’s expansion to Eastern Europe, local entrepreneurs launched a similar service called Allegro.pl that in no time became a market leader. When eBay entered Poland, most customers thought Allegro when thinking of online auctions. And despite the renowned brand of eBay and great marketing efforts, the new entrant was never able to steal enough market share from Allegro. This makes me wonder that the only way to disrupt an incumbent in this space is to offer superior technology from buyer-seller matching to additional services that potentially could make switching cost worthwhile.

On October 6, 2015, Ola commented on SpotHero: Making city parking work better for you :

Great post. This is an issue that is a commonplace for some many urban areas, especially in the developing world where rapid increase in ownership of cars has often not been matched with infrastructure development. What I really like about this idea is that it helps cities in becoming more efficient in how private space is used. I thought of it more as air bnb for cars and I would assume consumer would have a much lower reservation to rent their garage in comparison to their home.
Vlad mentioned a potential impact on pricing for the garage providers. I would be curious to see how these capabilities would impact cars of the future. Would car manufacturers consider including software like SpotHero in their models? And going more into the future, would we assume that a google car would be able to give us not only directions, but find the cheapest parking spot close to the location we want to reach?

On September 14, 2015, Ola commented on Burberry: Leader in Retail Tech :

Very interesting post, thanks for sharing. I am particularly impressed with Burberry, given that high fashion brands usually are quite slow in embracing new trends. And that’s natural, as Carina mentioned in her comment, high fashion fears brand dilution more than anything else, that’s the reason they have high margins in the first place. I like the fact that Burberry is moving more to customer experience. The use of social media is a great way to engage. The digital store is the first step to potential virtual changing rooms in the future, where you could see at home how a particular piece of clothing fits using 3D capabilities. Maybe Burberry of the future will let you have your own shade of the Burberry trench that you can directly communicate to the factory making the piece? Nevertheless, I still believe the high fashion brands need to protect their brand equity and experiment with digital in a measured way. Retail start-ups are getting more and more innovative, and the only thing that blocks them from dominating the field is the trust customer’s have with traditional brands from quality of materials to a particular sense of style. Looking forward to seeing what Burberry does next!

On September 14, 2015, Ola commented on FT: Keeping up with the times? :

Really enjoyed reading this post (I am a fan of FT myself). I completely agree that the content FT is providing is quite unique and cannot be fully compared with Skimm or other services. The audience FT is targeting is really specific and their needs for depth and length are quite different. FT seems to have recognized it early on with introduction of paid subscriptions, somehow earlier than its competitors. And the content is definitely there. However, I am wondering if FT has won already. If you look at NYTimes and compare the changes they made to the format, content and presentation, FT seems to be a bit behind. I had the mobile FT app for a while but delete it due to low performance. I hope with recent acquisition of FT by Nikkei will give the company enough breathing room to implement even more changes, especially to format and delivery. Thanks for posting!

On September 14, 2015, Ola commented on Eseye: A Game Changer in the Digital World :

Very interesting! I would be curious to see what is the future for Eseye in the internet of things. Clearly they are in the right place by providing hardware and service that enables devices to connect with each other. A natural extension I would see is data analytics that allow users not only to control, but also provide meaningful insights on the use of the devices. This would be particularly helpful with infrastructure in developing world, where power generators could be shared among villages and communities. Another idea would be that machines would notify users of extra capacity and price could be set based on current demand and supply. Nevertheless, given software requirements needed to make machines smart I would be curious to see what Eseye will choose in the future. I could see three options: 1) stick with hardware and allow other players to provide more sophisticated software 2) focus on software that works with different types of hardware; 3) combine both. There are downsides to all three. If you focus on software you loose high switching cost. If you just do hardware, you might become a commodity. And what if device producers themselves will embed smart chips in all their products? The third sounds great, but actually very difficult to do in real life. Really curious what Eseye will do. Thanks for posting!