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On December 4, 2023, RuruH commented on Autodesk AI: Assistant for Architects :

This is an interesting case of a company that has been around for a long time even before the AI revolution (I remember my uncle — a facade architect — telling me about this when I was a kid!), and I remember there was a lot of resistance still to computer-aided design, let alone generative AI in design. Do we think that Autodesk is well positioned to make use of the potential of AI and improve their existing product(s), or do they face tough competition from newer kids on the block?

This is super cool Aliza! But also reading some of these chats are a bit terrifying and remind me of the GenZ affliction of “therapy speak” – do we think Woebot can actually improve mental health or nudge people into healthier patterns of thinking or do we think that this is potentially empty and might not resolve underlying issues? Or worse, could dependence on an AIbot make things worse in the long term?

Cool topic! I’ve been wondering about how AI-driven productivity tools maintain a competitive moat since they seem to be cropping up everywhere + it seems like marketing would be super important to drive growth (if I’m trying to save time by using one of these tools, I don’t want to invest time in figuring out which would be best). This seems to extend to all sorts of products (e.g., no code app design like Bubble, etc.) I also wonder about the open source model (back in the day when I started my first blog on WordPress, open sourced templates were a huge plus!!)

On November 7, 2023, RuruH commented on Fiverr: Scaling Productized Services :

This is super cool Sreeni! What do you think differentiates Fiverr from other gig work platforms? Is the key thing that suppliers post tasks they can do, and then customers buy them (as opposed to having customers post their needs and then having people apply/agree to do those jobs). Why is that more appealing to customers, or perhaps it isn’t (and why demand ends up being their constraint)? It seems like on platforms that do the flip side getting a supply of workers that can do a customer-driven task in a timely manner is the difficulty.

Thanks Carmen! I have a similar question to David – it perplexes me how Turo can charge so many add-on fees. I can see how maybe they are able to price match traditional car rentals but retain a higher margin than them, since they don’t bear the costs of owning the car assets. But why have other peer to peer rental companies not been able to compete? What is it about Turo’s platform (ease of it, reviews, insurance provisions, or the fact that they were a first mover?) that other companies weren’t able to replicate? Are the network effects so strong that new entrants are bound to fail?

On November 7, 2023, RuruH commented on Trading for the People: Robinhood’s Market Revolution :

Thanks Wabantu – great post! I have a similar comment to some above – though Robinhood has democratised access it has also led to risky and uninformed trading. They were fined by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in 2021 for misleading customers over how to trade on the margin/ with borrowed money, and for unreliable system outages that caused many investors to lose money during market swings. Should Robinhood bear the responsibility of educating customers, or adding other frictions (that aren’t a commission) to reduce risky behaviour whilst still increasing access?

On October 17, 2023, RuruH commented on Carnival Corporation: MagicBand 2.0? :

Cool stuff Sreeni! I like how this post interacts with Eleanor’s one on Disney wearable bands. Like in the Disney case, I wonder why Carnival didn’t consider doing this through an app in the first place, since wearable technology is expensive and the app could probably do all the things a wristband could do. Moreover, given the customers’ unease over being tracked, I think an app on their phone would be less salient than having a wristband on them always. Do you have a sense of why they decided to go through a wearable IOT device?

On October 15, 2023, RuruH commented on Ford’s Bets on Big Data :

This is very interesting – also cool post because my own submission is about using telematics in auto insurance, and I didn’t know companies like Ford were selling data to insurance companies!

In trying to think through whether there would be demand from insurance companies from such data, I think it would probably depend on whether they can get the data from elsewhere. For example, many telematics companies (e.g., are now linking up to apps on driver’s phones for comprehensive geolocation, acceleration, velocity, etc. data — where do connected vehicles come into play, and what is the additional value of the vehicle data to an insurance provider? Would love to discuss!

On October 15, 2023, RuruH commented on Disney’s Magical Big Data Transformation :

Cool example Eleanor — I had no idea this was a thing which I suppose dates me (was a big Disney fanatic as a child but could never get my parents to purchase Fastpass…!)

Given what you mentioned about Apple Watch at the end, I wonder why Disney didn’t consider doing this through an app (smartphone penetration should’ve been pretty high in 2012, right?) in the first place, since wearable technology is expensive and the app could probably do all the things a wristband could do. Is the wristband appealing in itself for children and parents because the physical product makes it seem “exclusive”? Would they be willing to pay for an app subscription that would unlock their rooms, check in for attractions, and pay for items, and give all these personalised benefits, etc.?

Or, given that these benefits seem to mostly accrue to Disney being able to better manage crowds, should Disney be offering an app like this for free to customers? That way it can get more people to enroll in it and can better target personalised offers and crowd control.