Amber James

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On December 14, 2015, Amber James commented on Soylent – Winning your heart with your stomach :

Thanks for sharing! I had never heard of Soylent before, really interesting concept. I’m curious about the decision for the product to be settle for “not repulsive” rather than objectively tasty. I imagine Soylent will be competing in the general meal supplement and substitute space – green juices, protein bars, etc – and I question whether they’ll really be able to compete effectively if the taste is just meh.

On December 14, 2015, Amber James commented on Somebody Hates Amazon and Has Something Else to Offer :

Thanks for sharing! I’m curious about how sustainable Jet’s discounts are in such a competitively priced industry. Perhaps Jet is making price sacrifices in the short term in order to build customer loyalty, but once it has established a customer base, if Jet hikes prices up again what will make customers stay with Jet over Amazon? Are the savings generated from batched customer orders really enough to maintain the lowest prices in the market over the long term?

On December 14, 2015, Amber James commented on Bolt Bus – Disrupting the Urban Transit Market :

Thanks for sharing this! I’ve used Bolt Bus a ton, especially in college. I have noticed a distinct increase in prices over the years, though. As their new luxury fleet continues to age, what will Bolt do to command a price premium? Particularly as the other new companies you mentioned enter the market at lower prices and even more convenient locations (Go Bus service to Cambridge, for example), what innovations will Bolt make to it’s service to fend off the competition?

I’ve also noticed that Bolt services is concentrated on the Northeast Corridor, providing a great alternative for expensive train tickets. I’d be curious to see Bolt expand service to other parts of the country where transportation options are fewer. This could allow the company to take market share from short haul flights without cannibalizing existing bus route sales from parent co’s Greyhound and Peter Pan.

On December 14, 2015, Amber James commented on Wikipedia: Here for now :

Thanks for sharing this! It seems like several of the you articulated around quality control and diversification of contributors relate to how Wikipedia creates value. It makes sense that the site won’t be worthwhile for readers unless the content is useful. I’m also interested in considering how Wikipedia is doing on the Value Capture side of its model. Running purely on donations seems in line with the mission of free, open, unbiased information, but also puts the organization in a precarious financial position. As a user, I don’t think banner ads from companies at the top of the page would be any more annoying that the pleas for donations. As long as companies paying for advertising have no control over the content that’s being shared, I think it makes sense to try to supplement some of the organization’s income with advertising. Having a stronger financial base would also allow Wikipedia to start thinking about how to better compensate staff and figure out a compensation mechanism for contributors to ensure the site can maintain the highest quality content.

On December 14, 2015, Amber James commented on Aravind Eye-Care System – McDonaldization of Eye-Care :

Thanks for sharing this Aravind! I was excited to see Dr. Shetty’s low cost, high quality care model be replicated for eye care. I have a few follow-up questions:

1) What is unique about India that makes the country so well suited to these types of models? Is it just having a large population of impoverished people? I’m wondering what conditions need to be in place for this model to work in other countries.
2) How do paying customers feel, knowing that they are subsidizing care for people getting the same service for free? What metrics does the hospital have for assessing “willingness to pay” and capturing the maximum customer value possible?
3) How well is the company doing financially? Is Dr. V as much of a profit businessman as Dr. Shetty, or is he more focused on maximizing the social benefit Aravind provides?
4) Do you have ideas for other surgeries for which the Dr. V/Dr. Shetty model would be conducive?