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On May 6, 2017, opheliac commented on Broadway Enters the ‘Big Data’ Era :

Interesting post! I’ve also recently heard of these guys. How bullish are you about their value proposition and capture potential? I agree that arts organizations are far behind the curve on using data and updating their marketing and customer retention efforts, but I’m not convinced that the product that Arts & Analytics is offering will bring them into the data-age. It feels to me more like taking advantage of a segment that doesn’t really understand data and selling them the idea of it (proprietary algorithms, black box). Additionally, I think the offering is much more helpful to nonprofit arts organizations rather than Broadway, which they are branding for. It is unclear how they will deliver on providing more leads on ticket buyers (rather than subscriber management), which is important to Broadway.

Really interesting! Glad that Disney is testing these new technologies to optimize their customers’ Park experiences. Do you know how the Universal virtual line test worked out? That definitely seems like a better option for customers, but perhaps reduces the park capacity for Universal (because lines are where lots of people are packed close together)? Do you think they will keep investing in the RFID technology, or switch to something like NFC on cellphones?

On May 5, 2017, opheliac commented on Penrose Studios: The Pixar of VR? :

Great post and interesting how Penrose has decided to approach the VR market. It definitely seems like more of a passion project for the founder given his background. Building out the content creation tools for VR creators is important and I agree that they should look to monetize that part of their business. Further, do you know if they have plans on creating curated or customized content for brands and other VR companies, and being the high-end VR bespoke creators?

On May 4, 2017, opheliac commented on Big Data for Music Festivals :

I believe Coachella and other large US festival producers are also experimenting with new technologies that help collect data for their festivals. There are RFID wristbands and other wearables that some of these festivals were trying out. This can help the flow of traffic (operational ease), but also help producers track traffic and improve on festival design. I believe the Roskilde festival study has been the most in depth so far, partly because it was an academically driven study, and the only one with the explicit interest in sustainability efforts. Hopefully other festival producers will also pick up on this and challenge their current way of operating!

On May 4, 2017, opheliac commented on Facebook mind reading: the ultimate VR/AR interface :

Really interesting but frightful information! It’s interesting that Facebook would be the company working on commercializing brain machine interfaces. Facebook doesn’t have a strong history of hardware development and commercializing science. Just also curious whether Facebook is trying to solve the mass market adoption of HMD as well, as Mindreader really hinges on users having hardware in their homes / on the go. Perhaps this is their foray into trying to leapfrog and get involved as a module of AR, because it seems like they have been too focused (but not successful) into VR space with Occulus.

On May 4, 2017, opheliac commented on Augmented Reality Is Here To Save Your Job! :

Really interesting perspective on ScopeAR! I think there are a whole bunch companies trying to use AR/VR to approach skills training and they have chosen to focus and are differentiated by industry or application. It seems like the base technical functionality is what’s being built out now, but this is probably quite similar across these skills training companies. I wonder how this competitive dynamic might change into future, and what competitive advantages the winners in this space will develop, seems like it might be a land grab for customers, applications and perhaps proprietary content for specific customers.

On March 22, 2017, opheliac commented on CrowdMed: Solving medical puzzles :

I believe that CrowdMed designed this as a monthly subscription to allow the patient and the medical community to self-regulate. The length of time a case is active is determined by the patient (opening and closing) — except a 60-day minimum set by CrowdMed. CrowdMed doesn’t opine on how complex a case is, it just allows the community to gather intelligence and the patient to further incentivize the community by increasing cash reward and choosing when to close the case (either when they have enough solutions or if they don’t feel it’s helpful). Although I don’t think the detectives are motivated solely by money, I think there is a certain minimum compensation threshold they need to provide their time. I see the payment mainly as compensating for the physician’s time and energy researching these cases. For a lot of these patients, they have spent tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars going through the medical system with no avail. I think this option just opens up possibilities for them as almost a last chance hope sometimes, which is hard to place a price tag on. For folks that can’t afford the subscription fee, CrowdMed actually does have a fund to help pay for these patients.

On March 22, 2017, opheliac commented on CrowdMed: Solving medical puzzles :

With regard to the pricing tiers, I don’t have the breakdown between each tier, but if I had to guess, I think they would want more patients in the lower price tiers so that more collaboration and communication happens on the platform (the $749/month subscription only allows the top 1% of medical detectives to fully participate without case moderator approval — aiming to have a gate on quality). I think their service is particularly suited for individual who have sought physicians advice and diagnoses, likely multiple physicians, and still do not have an answer or solution to their situation. Typically complex or rare cases that are chronic and require multiple specialties to work together to solves the problem (current medical environment is not particularly conducive to this). I also agree that this method likely could help reduce healthcare costs in the long run, I hope that they gain traction with Medicare/Medicaid in the future. I think the path to that is proving efficacy of their results — which is challenging as they don’t currently track outcomes from their process — they still recommend patients see their physician after to discuss the solutions generated from CrowdMed before choosing a path forward.

On March 22, 2017, opheliac commented on CrowdMed: Solving medical puzzles :

Thanks for your comments Sonali!
With regard to the numbers, the minimum case length CrowdMed requires is 60 days, which means it requires patients to wait at least 2 months to gather sufficient suggestions from the community. The math then works out to CrowdMed’s favour.
Yes, I agree that the $749/month is a high number. The difference between the packages are mainly the number of expected medical detective participants for their case and the quality of these detectives. I think the reason for a subscription model is to give patients the choice of when to terminate the service. Once they feel like they have gathered enough thoughts from the community, they can close the case which ends their subscription. This way, CrowdMed is not placing their opinions about the complexity of the case — they are allowing the patient and the medical detective community decide that themselves.

On March 22, 2017, opheliac commented on Play to Cure: Crowdsourcing UK Cancer Research Through Gaming :

This is really amazing and incredibly creative way to involve and engage the crowd, getting them to do work for you without even knowing it. I agree with Sonali that the missing piece here is the marketing element to attract user growth. There is obviously tremendous benefit to attracting more users and given it’s mission. The monetization question is challenging as it certainly feels wrong to charge their gamer-users to help them process cancer research, but I could see benefit in funneling the profits back into expanding the user base and/or going towards funding more cancer research. I wonder how public they are about telling their gamer-users that they are actually processing and helping with cancer research data while playing these games.

On March 21, 2017, opheliac commented on SpotAngels – Using crowds to solve the car parking problem. :

Interesting — I also agree with the above comments about parking availability. Additionally, in a world of autonomous vehicles, won’t each vehicle know where the next parking spot they should go to if they can map where all the cars are in the system and optimize for the best outcome? I wonder whether this company will become successful by tapping into a current annoyance, and how long they will last before another platform incorporates some of their features or their value prop proves to be not as attractive.

Great post and sad to see this cool business concept go! The question of art vs. science is an intriguing one. What is the value of data in an art-driven industry and can data be truly helpful? Can crowds and data be leveraged to help mitigate development risk in these types of industries? But do crowds even know what they want? It seems like data isn’t going to influence these chefs / creators, and the most valuable part for them is to be in the same room as those experiencing their cooking and watch their real-time reaction. The job for these creators is to continue to delight and impress, to innovate and give consumers an experience they don’t know exists yet. This is naturally at odds with using data, which is backward-looking, can only explain current preferences, and limited by consumer knowledge

Really interesting post! Seems like Valve really took advantage of the PC platform (instead of having to build and distribute their own consoles at a lost) — was that a strategic choice or did they get lucky from choosing PC as their game distribution platform initially? Valve has certainly managed to dominate in this winner take-all PC game platform market — I wonder if they will be able to remain relevant as distribution platforms change — have they been able to stay relevant in the mobile gaming market? Or will they lag behind as consumers shift to different UIs / platforms?

Interesting analogy to think about, Andrew. I agree with Sijia –in my view, even if Netflix is able to leverage its subscriber patterns to identify what types of content / themes are currently attractive to consumers, I don’t believe the studios will see it as that much of a threat to their content (especially if they also distribute through Netflix). Ultimately, a studio’s brand on a piece of content typically only indicates quality / budget and perhaps the bounds within which it operates (ie. Disney & no swearing), but each new content piece needs to still needs to stand on its own, develop and connect to its own fan base based on its creative, storytelling and production quality. Where I could see the studios getting nervous would be if creatives and actors eventually decided to only work with Netflix and not studios (perhaps because of more attractive deals or larger audience base). This shift might already be starting to happen as the Netflix Originals portfolio is getting much more established and prestigious, and as demonstrated by the announcement of Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film to premiere on Netflix.

On February 28, 2017, opheliac commented on Craigslist: a platform eroded by platforms :

Really interesting post Sonali! Definitely interesting how Craigslist is still very relevant today even with all these other platforms popping up to cater to specific categories. I agree with a lot of the comments above — Craigslist will likely remain a strong brand and platform for users because it caters to absolutely everything and users can easily multi-home across platforms. I wonder if someday they will decide to upgrade and update the user interface of Craigslist to make it more friendly. I don’t think this will happen in response to other platforms coming to market (competition), but rather an internally-driven desire. That would certainly improve the user experience on Craigslist, in addition to providing everything on one platform.

On February 2, 2017, opheliac commented on Nay on Waymo: A Prediction for the Self-Driving Car Race :

Great post, a pleasure to read! (but then again when is your stuff ever not 🙂 )
While I hear many of your points, I come out less negative on this. I think it will still come down to a race to be the first to launch and demonstrate safety with consumers. Given that, it perhaps makes sense that Waymo would prefer to be a supplier to OEMs rather than owning the entire supply chain. That way, they also serve as a platform across any number of different OEM partnerships and thereby potentially increasing their speed of capturing market share. Their marketing efforts are also aligned with capturing consumer market share. I believe hat the early adopters will likely try whichever the first entrant is based on the massive hype that has already been built up, and whichever player is able to jump the chasm and capture the mass consumer market will be the winner in this market. This, of course, all hinges on their ability to produce an entirely safe system and integrate seamlessly with the cars. Therefore ensuring and proving safety will be of utmost importance.

On February 2, 2017, oc commented on Watson – Really Just A Sidekick? :

It’s interesting that IBM decided to go the opposite way and make Watson an open platform. How does IBM Watson plan to monetize their ecosystem in the long run? I wonder if they might lose out in the long run without current monetization pathways to fund further research & development in their technology. They may not be able to sustain their technology advantage and technologies from other more endowed competitors may overtake them in the future?

Great post, really interesting company! The application of AI to automated screening for medical imaging totally makes sense. I believe that a computer algorithm will be able to more accurately and repeatably identify fractures and tumours. I’d be interested in how Enlitic plans to share in their clients’ profits to capture value, will they take a fee for every time their device is used or perhaps try to share in the cost savings or increased revenues. How the value capture model shakes out may also have an implication on legal liability down the line — what happens if the technology produces an incorrect diagnosis and the doctor goes off that recommendation, who is at fault then? Is the company willing to take on these liabilities?