Rob C.

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On November 22, 2015, Rob C. commented on Catapult Sports: Preventing Sports Injuries Before They Happen :

Nice post Faisal! I think this tech would be really cool to see real time stats of players during games. It is currently banned for players to wear this equipment during games but they should lobby the league!

On November 22, 2015, Rob C. commented on Slice: ‘data exhaust’ and creating value from byproducts :

Great post! I wonder if there are security applications here – tracking metadata on users to find changes in a device’s behavior that may indicate theft or viruses.

On November 22, 2015, Rob C. commented on Bonnaroo, iBeacons, and a better concert experience :

Great post! Love the application but agree value capture is difficult. Beacons could be highly effective at context specific advertising (coupon for Crest when in toothpaste section of grocery store).

On October 29, 2015, Rob C. commented on Amazon Studios: Crowdsourcing Feedback to Produce Content :

Nice post! It’s definitely an innovative way to approach content creation. It would be interesting to see the affects this has on the creative value chain in how shows are written and staffed with actors. One challenge may be the investment required in pilots given their broad viewership – previously pilots could be done as lower budget operations since studio execs could see through low lighting quality, etc. to identify good content. I worry that as consumers, we are used to really high quality production that may stifle early creation of and iteration on content.

On October 29, 2015, Rob C. commented on Thumbtack: Silicon Valley’s latest “unicorn” :

Great post Sherry! I think Thumbtack is a great idea and I like the way they’ve dealt with value capture as a way to mitigate transactions moving off platform. I have two main concerns: first, the amazon problem – providing a consistent user experience across service offerings while allowing each service to showcase the relevant info (for a guitar teacher I may want to see a youtube video, for a plumber I’d want customer referrals, etc.); and second, the barrier to sending bids may discourage new service providers from joining the platform since it will be tough for them to win business with no reputation.

On October 29, 2015, Rob C. commented on How the Crowd Saved LEGO :

Great post! It’s interesting that they’ve been able to mobilize a community of creators who presumably aren’t the same demographic as the users (guessing a 5yr old isn’t posting ideas for the space ship (s)he wants to build). It would be interesting to know how successful the products launched through this pipeline have been and how they segment in terms of creators/voters/customers. Even if it does not provide a compelling ROI justification, it may be valuable in building a community around the product.

On October 4, 2015, Rob C. commented on Tinder: The dark side of network effects :

Nice post Jennifer! I like that you distinguish between Tinder and Hinge/CmB but I would disagree in your assesment of how the network effects impact the quality of the platform. I would argue that the differences you see between the services are not a function of the number of users on the platform but rather of the filtering mechanisms employed to match users. Tinder is just local whereas Hinge is social. While it seems you prefer the Hinge model (as do I), I believe that it is more an expression of product strategy rather than product quality. Tinder is meant for quick hookups; Hinge for dating. The difference drives their decision to provide potential matches for you based on different criteria. Tinder could do the exact same thing as hinge, since you login with facebook and give access to friends but chooses not to because that choice would be misaligned with their strategy. Size of user base does not dilute results on hinge because you are given a subset of users as potential matches based on proximity of friendship.

On October 4, 2015, Rob C. commented on GrubHub: Seamlessly Taking Over Delivery? :

Great post! It’s very smart that GrubHub contractually prevents multi-homing, which appears to be a major threat to the business model – especially given how much they are charging restaurants. However, I wonder if peer-to-peer delivery services will win the day on food delivery given the peakiness in demand and the need for grubhub to support an employee based that is presumably under-utilized most of the day. Here, they will probably end up competing on cost, quality, speed, and ease of ordering, which are much harder to profitably outperform on.

Nice post! I agree that customer reviews have been a key driver in the success of Amazon as both a reseller, and now, platform business. However, I don’t think the reviews really help own the top of the funnel vis. your suggestion that customer reviews are a threat to google. Without expert opinions, the customer reviews are poorly formatted and only sometimes address salient points. They also aren’t weighted by the person’s expertise in the area. Without a better ability to programmatically determine what “the best books on business” are from customer reviews, Amazon will not be a place for search and discovery. People will useGoogle to find expert opinions and then only come to Amazon to execute the purchase. This hurts Amazon’s ability to cross-sell and learn about the user.

On September 13, 2015, Rob C. commented on Get a Slice of This: Domino’s Dominates Pizza through Digital :

I am both a believer in everything you’ve suggested and a beneficiary of the service 🙂

The key question for me is, will dominos be able to amortize the fixed costs over enough volume and efficiently utilize their delivery assets? Platform delivery services are disruptive because deliverypeople can work only when demand is highest – making utilization of those contractors 100%. Dominos needs to believe that the vertical integration can bring down overall costs sufficiently or deliver a premium service that customers will pay for.

Great read!

On September 13, 2015, Rob C. commented on DraftKings – How a fantasy is changing the sports industry :

Bud Selig’s quote begs an interesting question on the value of sports. Should the quality of engagement with fans (i.e. focus on the player’s athleticism and talent) be considered the amount of engagement (dollars spent & time watching)? Either way, I think the leagues and media companies will have to deal with ethical questions and the potential conflict of interests that stem from investments in betting platforms.

Sports betting also makes it really hard to watch games with people who root for both teams because they are only interested in the individuals whom they have bet on..

On September 13, 2015, Rob C. commented on Quip and the end of the paper communication protocol :

I like you’re assertion that Quip and the broader groundswell in digital creation and consumption heralds the death of paper. It intuitively makes sense that the form factor constraints of paper along with the waterfall development process it imposes, make it a poor mechanism for modern communication. However, I think there is an underlying question of how people best create and consume content. Quip is designing an app that allows long form communication on mobile, but norms and the use case of mobile encourages sound-byte, piece-meal opining. I worry that Quip is designing for the devices we use not the ways we communicate.