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Super interesting! Where are they getting their data to get the flywheel going? Something like India Stack’s healthcare vertical seems ideal for this (although I realize that’s not their target market) since it facilitates collection of comprehensive healthcare data across the country. I’m also curious what degree of diverse data one requires for this? Will a certain population show different symptoms compared to others and thereby go undetected? How are they solving for that?

I see B2B SaaS as the closest model for pricing since it also isn’t cost based and has a similar parallel of “each additional task has zero marginal cost”

The topic of creativity and AI always interests me. I love the debate around how much AI takes away from a designers creativity. UI (unfortunately…but different from UX) has lost most of its creativity though – the model has transitioned significantly into “if it works, it works”, especially if there is large amounts of data from other people showing it works. I wonder if similar data driven design verticals should be the first targeted for the integration of AI over fields like animation and architecture, which are still largely creative.

I also wonder how this changes the product development cycle, if UI design is democratized.

Thanks for the awesome post, Aliza! Your point about research showing that from a sample size of 36,070 over a two-week period, that users felt empathetically connected to Woebot within 3 to 5 days is interesting. Typically (ethical) designers attempt to sustain some gap between AI and a real human to prevent users from feeling tricked. This type of tricking would even qualify as a dark pattern. This situation is interesting though – its baked into the value proposition to feel as close to a human as possible to the point of feeling emotionally attached. I wonder how management is proceeding with this – I foresee an onslaught of lawsuits from users getting too attached to the AI.

On November 8, 2023, Sreeni commented on Jumia – Ecommerce in Africa :

Awesome post! How have the differences in consumer behavior between Africa and the US been reflected on the platform? India faced a similar situation a couple of years ago – huge growth in mobile penetration and online payments, but a lot of consumer behavior remained the same and it was difficult to analyze data on why. For instance, a company called Meesho, the Amazon for Tier 2 cities, couldn’t identify why their users were purchasing around 70% of the typical household items from them but not the last 30% (vs what you’d see on Amazon). With some research, they realized two things – first, malls were a big part of going out in India and second, the woman who bought these items for her home didn’t want to give up her “Sunday morning mall time” with her family by buying everything she needed online. This cultural difference changed how Meesho surfaced household items vs Amazon. Are you seeing similar cultural differences in Africa and how have they been reflected on the platform?

On November 8, 2023, Sreeni commented on Weee! The $4B Go-to Ethic E-Glocer :

Great post, Sam! What are their different categories of target consumers – is it international students, immigrant families, immigrant workers? If so, are they building out different value propositions and monetizing strategies for each of these? I see the possibility for a subscription service here for all of these categories to ensure recurring revenues. Also for the student and worker verticals, there might be a possibility for partially cooked meals sold by the week, given their lifestyles. There also might be a possibility to bundle ingredients for meals to easily up sell. Are they thinking of verticals in this way rather than the traditional grocery model?

On November 8, 2023, Sreeni commented on Bumble – More than Just a Dating App :

Great post! I’m curious about Bumble’s decision to pursue different verticals that have a similar “looking to meet X” function vs expanding into and integrating other functions within dating. While they already have the baseline infrastructure to support Meeting individuals, I wonder if their strong branding around relationships deters users from the business or friends verticals. Additionally, is the process of connecting with an individual for work actually similar to meeting someone you want to date or is that assumption Bumble is making here not true?

On October 17, 2023, Sreeni commented on Warner Bros. Discovery: Enhancing Viewer Experience on MAX :

Cool post, Asra! I’m curious about two things. The first is your point about launching an app to collect data insights. I’d love to know more about the technical aspects of that. Does a company not have data visibility attached to user emails without an app or do they specifically need app usage data through their phones? Why can’t they collect this through a browser? My second thought was around how HBO plans to prevent rabbit holes from a single click. As recommendation systems get better, as a user, I often have the issue of clicking on something I don’t like and then being taken to 500 shows I don’t want to watch. While I’m sure this is connected to a “duration watched” metric, I also have a similar issue based on my mood, where I have specific kinds of shows I prefer based on how my day is going. I wonder if HBO can gather data from (somewhere) to run daily sentiment analysis to predict which kind of show I will want to watch on a given day.

This is an awesome article, Ben! I was wondering what your thoughts are on AccuWeathers next move given the change in user behavior with the onset of tools like ChatGPT. For instance, users have become (or are becoming) accustomed to getting exactly the information they need. Does Accuweather need to change its approach to giving people actionable insights rather than just raw data? For example, as a user, the most important information to me is not that the temperature is 32 degrees and about to rain, it’s that I need to wear a sweater and carry an umbrella. How would the product, interface and information architecture need to change? Will the change in product structure attract more customers similar to how ChatGPT has attracted customers who used to go to Google.

This is cool stuff, Aliza! I have two thoughts. The first is your point about the company’s over-reliance on data and algorithms, instead of stylists. It seems like the company’s structure is centered around data – which in turn establishes its resources, processes and priorities, rather than data being added into its processes. I wonder how StitchFix can restructure its RPPs to incorporate a more design-focused process. This brings me to my second point, which you noted when you began your post. It seems like many companies embrace the “Tech company” brand to attract funding opportunities. However, this branding then also seeps into RPPs and company culture. If StitchFix wants to be a tech-enabled clothing company, do they need to separate their external brand from internal processes, organizational culture and reporting structure? Has the tech company brand stopped them from implementing processes better suited to a clothing company?