Ben P

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On December 4, 2023, Ben P commented on Is Savage X Fenty the next Victoria Secret? :

Great post Mellissa! I’m curious, can you elaborate more on how the Fit Match algorithm works? I’ve taken “fit tests” where I entered my size for well known brands like Nike for shoes or Gap for jeans and it benchmarked off those incorporating the “runs big/runs small” feedback from customer reviews. On the more technical end I also used an app that took a scan of my face with my phone camera to figure out what shape of swim goggles I should use. How does this one work?

Awesome post Aliza! This is both fascinating and giving me existential dread at the same time. It makes sense that, for the moment at least, they’re limiting the responses to a pre-approved question bank until they can study if their AI models can be deployed safely. I’m curious, how do you think the should go about running those future tests? I’m not sure if there’s any precedent with how clinical trials are conducted for drug development in phases but as you said the downside could be really bad if they get it wrong.

That said, I love that it responded with a minions meme. Guaranteed to improve someone’s mood.

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

Really cool article! I’ve seen a number of the 3D CAD tools over the years start incorporating AI/ML into their workflows, namely around smart material/weight reduction. I think it’s really interesting the direction they’re headed.

You mentioned being able to estimate wind impacts from early designs rather than needing to build out the full model. Given some architects pride themselves on very eccentric designs, like the MIT’s Stata Center for example, do you think the AI models can provide accurate inputs on buildings that are so far from the conventional shape/structure?

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

Hey Wabantu, really cool stuff! I remember at my last job everyone on my team was constantly talking about their positions in Robinhood and what stocks they were buying/shorting.

I had a similar question to what Eleanor raised about the education piece for responsible investing. When a co-worker was showing me the app I remember he had me log in and immediately took me to the options section and was like “click agree to the waiver so you can start trading options, you need to sign off because you can make a lot more money but you can also lose a ton more as well” without really explaining what that meant. Pre-FIN2 I was definitely too spooked by that interaction to even try trading options. Do you think it would be a good extension of their business model to offer finance classes to demystify the process to make consumer more comfortable? I could see them adding that to the gold premium version, a separate feature they could charge for, or benefit from the increased order flow with more transactions executing.

On November 6, 2023, Ben P commented on Bumble – More than Just a Dating App :

Nice blog post! I’m curious, do you think the expanded services like Bumble Bizz and Bumble BFF are designed to retain users that were already using the app for Bumble Date so that way they don’t churn once they’ve found a match or do you think they are more focused on bringing new people onto the platform that weren’t interested in the dating app?

Hey Carmen, really interesting blog post. I used Turo once for a rental car and like you said it was super easy to find exactly what we needed. I’m curious if you see them expanding into any additional products/offerings to try and create more value for their users and further entrench people on their platform? Since they’re already plugged into the vehicle, I’m wondering if they would add things maintenance monitoring and alerts for owners like oil change reminders or tire rotation notifications. That way you’re always renting a vehicle that’s in good condition to continue to keep trust in the platform high.

On October 16, 2023, Ben P commented on Ford’s Bets on Big Data :

Cool stuff! I’m curious, as we shift to autonomous and electric vehicles, the complexity of the car itself goes down substantially with a lot fewer parts and more emphasis on the interior of the car and the passenger experience. Ford’s partnership with Google makes sense as they want to understand customer needs while within the vehicle but not necessarily driving (more like what a passenger would do) which could include working, shopping, entertainment, browsing social media, etc. Do you think that partnering with a company as opposed to doing it internally gives up most of the value created in this shift and that Ford could be stuck with only the low margin structure of the cars going forward while tech companies like Google get the Lion’s share?

On October 16, 2023, Ben P commented on Driven by Data: HUK-Coburg’s Road to Insurance Success :

Really interesting topic Ruru, nice job! Do you think as insurance companies gather more data around drivers through these opt in telemetric programs, we will likely end up in a situation similar to the lemon market for cars? Essentially, if all good drivers benefit from enrolling and are incentivized to do so through discounts, theoretically, the only ones who don’t enroll will be the bad drivers. So in that case, they don’t need everyone to sign up, just enough to start to draw that conclusion. You alluded to it already with companies using similar demographics to classify/evaluate drivers who aren’t on the program, curious if you think this is a logical end state or if we won’t end up there.

Hey Ankit, great work! I’m curious to get your take on the price/cost benchmarking aspect of the analysis. When I worked with our IT department on procuring software, vendors never charged the list price it was entirely dependent on a negotiated price that factored in account size, license structure (seat/enterprise), how many products we bundled together, etc. Do you think Ramp will be able to develop analytics that are advanced enough to recognize those patterns in the data and suggest deal structures or will it likely only compare direct line item costs and first order groupings like segmenting by company size?

On October 16, 2023, Ben P commented on Disney’s Magical Big Data Transformation :

Great work Eleanor! This is a really cool example, love the level of detail you were able to find on the MagicBands initiative. Admittedly I’ve never been to any of the Disney theme parks so I’ve yet to experience the Magic first-hand.

I thought it was really interesting that they switched from providing the bands complementary to now charging guests for them. Do you know if guests are required to purchase a band to enter the park and it’s now an additional line item in the entrance fee or if they’re optional? If they’re optional, I wonder if that means Disney was able to capture most if not all of the value from that data around balancing park staff and resources and they now have enough historical data to rely solely on predictive models without needing to retrain them. That, or if they’ve found another method of gathering the same info behind the scenes (like scanning your pass on the rides or key cards when you check into your hotel).