Carlos Ludowieg

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Very interesting post, Kaitlyn! This AI-powered tool can clearly empower homeowners to optimize utilization and revenues when renting their properties on Airbnb. I think one way they can pitch their value-add relative to pricing suggested by Airbnb is that Airdna is truly independent and charges a flat subscription fee. Arguable, Airbnb is incentivised to recommend below-market rates as they have a strong incentive to get properties booked (and only marginally incentivised to optimize for the highest rate). Airdna should position itself as a truly independent tool that improves decision making for short term renters.

On November 30, 2022, Carlos Ludowieg commented on All the Ways Salesforce’s Einstein Creates Unexpected Value for CRM Clients :

Thanks for the very interesting post Jonathan!

Einstein tool can clearly create a ton of value for companies and sales teams. I find particularly interesting how this kind of tool can fundamentally change the skillset required for account managers and sales persons. Instead of having to hire data scientists who may not be as familiar with sales processes or customer relationships to analyze sales and customer data, Einstein empowers account managers to derive insights and optimize their customer relationships and improve key metrics such as churn rates and customer satisfaction.

On November 30, 2022, Carlos Ludowieg commented on Gong: artificial intelligence for a non-artificial revenue lift :

Very interesting post Steph, thank you!

Gong’s AI-powered software can clearly create a ton of value for companies trying to manage their sales process and sales teams. This kind of tool can also be very powerful to A/B test different sales scripts and approaches, systematically recording data about the sales process and outcomes. I can see this being helpful not only for SaaS companies or start-ups, but also for any established company looking to optimize their go-to-market strategy.

I wonder if this kind of tool also changes the competencies that you would look for in a sales team. My impression of a good traditional salesperson is someone who comingles prediction and judgement and is able to tailor their sales approach in real time based on how the conversation with a customer evolves (i.e. a highly empathetic person). However, the sales people that can make the most out of Gong are probably those who are believers in technology, are comfortable with incorporating input from AI bots during their interactions with customers, and are flexible in their sales approach.

On November 15, 2022, Carlos Ludowieg commented on What’s Your Dream Vacation? :

Super interesting Isa! I thought this type of AI would help us be creative and think outside of the box, but your results perhaps suggest that the outputs are actually biased by what’s most popular. Maybe this is not the best tool to think outside the box or to get imaginative about vacation ideas!

On November 15, 2022, Carlos Ludowieg commented on My Career Options According to Craiyon: Not So Hot :

Super interesting Louis! Wonder if at some point AI will be able to prompt the user to provide further input to produce more meaningful outputs. I like that the tool generates at least some output with little instruction, but perhaps in certain applications it would be helpful if it would prompt the user with questions such as “do you see yourself working in an office or outdoors?” and in this way refine its output!

On November 15, 2022, Carlos Ludowieg commented on Religious AI :

Very interesting post Manuel. Your point showcases the fact that these tools are not refined enough to operate without human input and validation. For now, I believe AI still needs to be complemented by human judgement and intervention rather than operating in an autonomous way.

On November 3, 2022, Carlos Ludowieg commented on ProtonMail, Apple, and the Battle to Build a “Privacy Ecosystem” :

Very interesting post Joseph, thank you! Apple has certainly created a powerful ecosystem with high switching costs for its users, and this has placed the company in a strong position when negotiating with App developers.

It is interesting that Apple has become increasingly stringent on their policies and raised commissions over time. The more apps and users on the Appstore, the higher the switching costs and the more power Apple has over app developers. Ideal for them as they are in a position where it’s very hard for developers to disintermediate the platform. Elon Musk compared the Appstore’s commissions to a “30% tax on the internet” in a recent tweet.

Some hugely popular applications seem to have gotten away with circumventing commissions my charging customers for subscriptions outside of the Appstore. Spotify, for example, forces users to subscribe for its Premium subscription on its website and you can’t do it through your iphone anymore. I don’t think that they are facing the same pressures as Protonmail from Apple. Perhaps it has to do with the scale that Spotify has achieved and that Apple knows that they would receive huge backlash from its iphone users if Spotify was “deplatormed” from the Apple ecosystem.

Thanks for the post, Paulina! I like the scope growth of Mercado Libre, leveraging data and its loyal customer base to broaden its offering in a synergistic way. As large global marketplaces such as Amazon or Alibaba continue to pursue growth out its core markets (perhaps into Latam next), I believe Mercado Libre needs to focus on continuing to increase value for users on both sides of the platform to create higher switching costs. Mercado Pago and and Mercado Credit are examples of these where the platform is also able to increase its revenues.

Expanding outside Latin America is an option, but I believe these marketplaces benefit hugely from first-mover advantage given the strong network effects, and so I don’t think they should pursue growth in geographies where there are large incumbents already such as North America, Europe or Asia. Instead, I believe they should continue to focus on the digitalization of the Latin American economies and increased penetration of e-commerce.

Super interesting post, thank you Katy. As many startups, easycancha started with a simple service of matching spots courts with users interested in playing sports, which added value on both sides of the platform. I love how they’ve broadened their scope over time to include relevant advertising, matching different players and offering a membership that provides access to ancillary services.

I wonder if the platform gets disintermediated at some point once users become familiar with the courts they like to book and if they can circumvent the booking fee. There is an element of convenience of going through the platform, but as courts digitalize their own booking and payment systems I think there is a risk that at least some of its users start circumventing the platform. The best strategy the platform can use in my view is to continue to create differentiated value through its membership program to increase subscription revenue and increase switching/disintermediation costs for its users.

Thank you for the post Paulina, super interesting!

In this case, Kavak leverages data analytics to improve the customer value proposition to both sellers and buyers of used cars: the seller gets a quote and paid much faster (usually selling because of liquidity needs or to buy a new car) and the buyer gets a guaranteed purchase backed by Kavak’s technology.

The ability to underwrite credit and provide financing is also an interesting angle, particularly in emerging markets with large informal sectors where credit data and history is scarce for a large portion of the population. As these are asset-backed loans, they can be a good way for consumers to build a credit score/history with relatively low cost of debt (i.e. relative to credit cards) that can help them access other types of financing in the future.

On October 5, 2022, Carlos Ludowieg commented on Spotify – Your Personal DJ Committed to Curating Your Music Experience :

Thanks a lot for the post Sultana!

I’m a heavy user of Spotify’s “radio” feature that you mention and it keeps me engaged with Spotify (i.e. a more loyal customer). It helps me discover new music and reduces the hassle of having to prepare a playlist or queue songs when you’re playing music at a dinner or party. I think what makes Spotify’s data analytics so powerful is the “Reinforcement Learning” that you mention: the more a user uses the app and radio, like, skip features, the better the algorithms become and the more likely the user is to keep using the app. This positive flywheel powered by data keeps me engaged with the app and increases my switching costs to other streaming providers.

On October 5, 2022, Carlos Ludowieg commented on Mercedes Benz: A Race of Data and Machine Learning :

Hi Kate,

Thank you for your post, super interesting.

I agree that traditional automakers are behind the curve on changing customers’ expectations for automobiles: infotainment and software being key examples. As you say, Mercedes must make these features a core element of their cars development and leverage data analytics if they want to compete with Tesla and provide best-in-class customer experience.

The issue with automobile OEMs is that for a long time they’ve outsourced development of software, chips and other major components to tier-1 suppliers as these capabilities were seen as “non-core”. The automotive supply chain became modularized and cars didn’t change much year over year (they were “good enough”) and operating margins continued to decline. But now with the rise of EVs and autonomous driving, automobile architecture and consumer expectations are changing significantly and autos are becoming de-commoditized. I believe that if traditional OEMs want to compete with Tesla they must become more integrated and build best-in-class software and data-analytics capabilities internally, as these capabilities will become increasingly important for differentiation in the industry.

– Carlos Ludowieg