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On April 30, 2020, vertigo commented on Airbnb: To be, or not to be :

I absolutely agree with your thoughts. It is very important to manage both sides of the platform. Airbnb can actively provide information, customer trends, community network, and even basic tools for cleaning, maintenance, and PPE for hosts to use.

Very interesting post. Thanks!

I agree with your recommendations and those look effective. In addition, I wonder the company can form a partnership with Zillow and provide a kind of community activity score that can show the neighborhood is safe and friendly. The score would be useful both for someone, like me, who is looking for new property and for the homeowners who might benefit from the price increase if the neighborhood is proven to be safe and therefore becomes popular.

Very interesting post. Thank you!

It is very intriguing to see how the company adopted and changed rapidly. However, VR is quite premature technology yet; many people would feel dizzy and can’t wear it more than 30 minutes due to the low resolution of the screen. It is not going to be easy for people to wear one pound gear and attend one hour-long conference. And, what would be the point of having Zoom meeting if you can’t see the face of others and you only see someone wearing blocked goggles? I appreciate the company’s quick adoption and innovation, but I vote for staying in the theme park business.

On April 30, 2020, vertigo commented on The Mickey in the Digital Middle :

Very interesting post. Thanks!

I agree that going for digital streaming was an incredibly timely winner move in hindsight. In that sense, though, I think they priced the service too low at the half of Netflix’s subscription fee. It was essential to set the price low to acquire customers early on, but now it seems that they are leaving money on the table. As you said, they should find some other ways to monetize the surging number of subscribers to supplement loss of theme parks.

On April 21, 2020, vertigo commented on Hello Barbie – AI Making Children’s Dreams Come True :

Very interesting article. Thank you, Loti!

I never played with the Barbie doll so I don’t know if I ever want to talk with her. But I definitely want her to be present in front of Zoom camera and make a comment during the class instead of me.

It raises a question about posing some sort of biases for children. Your Barbie now has a voice that is preset with particular tone, accent, and vocabularies which ultimately indicate particular ethnicity, nationality, and so on. My children, hypothetically, would want to mimic the voice and way of speaking of the Barbie. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? If I purchased an African American type Barbie and the doll spoke in “typical-media-reinforced” Black Vernacular English, is this good for my children? is there any source of biases?
Turning fantasy into real-life sounds great, but sometimes fantasy should stay only in dreams.

Great posting. Thanks!

I do see the value of education piece because, I think, the solution is affordable and convenient for individuals. Alternatives for this service would be personal coaching or self-researching which are expensive in terms of cost and time.
However, as you mentioned, assessing and selecting candidates seem alarming. As input might be biased and have only a limited number of best practices, the result would be fueled by biases. There is no clear cut in why some people “perceived” as good communicators. If the perception is influenced by gender, race, and appearances, I don’t think we can trust the algorithm to replace human judgment.

On April 21, 2020, vertigo commented on Use Me if You Dare, Hack Me if You Can :

Very interesting article. Thanks!
I am intrigued by this “hacking” effort. Since the algorithm, I presume, is evolving constantly using machine learning technology, no one can tell how exactly the algorithm decides and recommends in real-time, not even by Tiktok itself. It is virtually impossible for a human to decipher AI’s decision process. What Tiktok can do is that sets some initial parameters and add more inputs to influence the decisions. In other words, Tiktok cannot directly control the output. In this sense, hacking and predicting recommendation algorithms sound more of a marketing scheme rather than science.

On March 23, 2020, vertigo commented on OpenTable: Restaurant Reservations Made-Easy :

Thanks for the interesting article. What do you think about the impact of free cancelation or no show to the restaurants? Although Open Table enables more customers to book the spot online, it is also easier to cancel or even not to show up since there is no personal contact with the restaurant. I think a small deposit to the restaurant (fully refundable when a customer cancels, let’s say, 24 hours before) might encourage customers to behave more appropriately. At the same time, however, the deposit may reduce retention rate and growth.

On March 23, 2020, vertigo commented on WeddingWire: with you till you say I do! :

Thanks for the interesting article! I think a transaction-based commission to the vendor sounds “fair” for customers. The current subscription model incentivizes vendors to spend more money on advertising which eventually will be passed over to customers by raising the price. Unsophisticated customers might only look at the top list and pay more without noticing it. I don’t think disintermediation is a big issue here because, as you mentioned, the nature of one-time transaction of the business.

On March 23, 2020, vertigo commented on Gojek – A Motortaxi for Every Need :

Thanks for the very interesting article. Did “Ojek” operate within the boundary of regulation before Gojek launched? If so (or not), how did the relationship with the traditional Ojek industry and government change after Gojek? I am curious whether Gojek or government regulations provide social/job security for the drivers since it is contentious issue of gig economy.

On February 10, 2020, vertigo commented on Mattress Firm: Losing by betting on bricks in the age of clicks :

Great article! It is interesting that massive retailers failed to follow “changing customers”, not to mention new entrants. The omni-channel strategy sounds interesting, but it might not be easy to execute. Even Walmart and Bestbuy had hard time to build the channel and still struggle to optimize both offline and online channels. After all, Mattress Firm sells “mattresses.” Brands or manufacturers can make own online channels or work with Amazon instead of waiting for Mattress Firm to build DTC capability.
My biggest question, though, is who earns money in this industry? As far as I know, Casper is losing tons of money. Mattress Firm went bankrupt. Manufacturers maybe? The industry might not be a good place for innovators… or for anyone.

On February 10, 2020, vertigo commented on Garmin – Getting lost in the changing navigation maze :

Great article! It is very interesting to see how “smartphone” changed not only the cellphone industry but also adjacent ones. I think Garmin is clearly a victim of the rapid innovation of smartphone which was hard to imagine back in late ’00s. I wonder, however, Garmin would have ever become a winner in the revolution even if they have the right leadership and willingness to change. I think Garmin made great success in niche market as a small player. Its coming back strategy also focuses on niche markets as a small player. For some companies, scaling or revolutionizing might not fit after all, I guess.

Great article! As we learned for Havas case, the innovation can happen much faster and smoother on the clean slate rather than the existing platform. In that sense, the incumbents will have some difficult time to come up with solutions which might match up with Monzo’s. I strongly agree with customer experience improvement that led Monzo’s success. Every organization says “customer-centric” strategy, but, in reality, rarely executes it.
One concern for Monzo would be the scale. Because it leverages technology and mobile, Monzo might struggle to expand its customer base through older (and richer) generation who might not savvy enough and have little credibility on mobile-solution. (I don’t have data, but) On top of that, Monzo might not have advantages in loan service, which is important revenue source for banks, given the scale. As long as incumbents hold strong positions in the mortgage market, Monzo’s growth in the US market will be limited.