Chris Li

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On November 15, 2018, Chris Li commented on 3D Hubs – Building a Global 3D Printing Network :

Thanks for sharing! This is certainly an interesting application of the share economy to an emerging technology! My two biggest concerns are addressable market and sustainability. Regarding addressable market, it seems like there is a limited number of people who would need 3D printing technology sporadically and can’t justify the investment cost. I’d be curious to know more about their target customers, as I could be very wrong about this. Are they targeting early start ups, hobbyists, B2B businesses or someone else? Regarding sustainability, you mentioned that the cost of 3D printing will likely continue to decrease, especially as patents expire. This seems like a critical existential threat to this network, as the greater accessibility of printers would decrease the demand for outsourcing.

On November 15, 2018, Chris Li commented on Vojd: filling the Void in Luxury Design with Additive Manufacturing :

Interesting article! The biggest question to me is whether the novelty of Vojd’s 3D printing and designs can overcome the high end metals and gem stones that are typically demanded by customers in the luxury / aspirational jewelry category. Taking a brief spin through the website, it does seem like their products are offered at a range of prices (including as low as $65) which feels more realistic for a piece of jewelry that is mostly plastic. While I don’t think I’d personally care much about whether my jewelry is made via the latest technologies, I may be swayed to know that my jewelry was made locally in the US. Much of the jewelry at this price point is outsourced (e.g., Pandora manufactures in Asia) so that could be an interesting point of differentiation.

On November 15, 2018, Chris Li commented on How crowdsourcing is changing the Waze we drive :

Thanks for sharing! Like a previous commenter, I am curious about how Waze changed pre and post-acquisition by Google and why Google acquired Waze, rather than setting out to create their own crowdsourcing initiative based on their huge user base. I am also curious about how Google, their maps application and company more broadly, use the information that Waze so effectively crowdsources. It seems like Google Maps has incorporated their own traffic signals (mostly via color along the route and rerouting) into their own application, which may cannibalize use and enthusiasm for Waze.

On November 15, 2018, Chris Li commented on Love in a Hopeless Place: Machine Learning at OkCupid :

Thanks for sharing! How do you think the business model for OK Cupid (and Match Group overall) relate to their use of machine learning and algorithms? While these websites/apps want to ultimately match successful couples so they can have positive testimonials etc., aren’t they also incentivized to keep paying customers around for a while? If they’re able to improve their algorithm so significantly that they are able to provide customers a strong match very soon after joining, they’ve only hurt their own business prospects. Are they incentivized to create some “noise” and imperfection in their algorithms?

I was surprised to see that the questionnaire had few questions directly related to fragrance or anything even remotely related. The cynic in me wonders whether they simply use question #4 alone to recommend a related fragrance. Given how personal a decision fragrance can be as you noted, I am curious how successful their hit rate is with customers. You raise an interesting point about using all of the customer data that Estee Lauder should have across its entire brand portfolio. I wonder what the quality and consistency of this data is like, especially as Estee Lauder has grown via M&A, but certainly believe this could be a huge opportunity if they are able to unlock it!

On November 15, 2018, Chris Li commented on Wasabi Ginger Potato Chips- Betcha Can’t Have Just One? :

Thanks for this interesting post. Reading through your post, I wondered whether the crowd sourcing contests were mere marketing gimmicks rather than sustainable sources of revenue and/or growth. For example, are the Cheesy Garlic Bread chips and Wasabi Ginger potato chips still available widely today? Or were they short-term limited releases that satisfied only their most loyal customers who participated in the competition and voting? I also worry about this incremental (vs. radical) nature of their innovation. Is Pepsi missing the better-for-you health consciousness trend by focusing efforts on tweaks (i.e., flavors) to its existing brands? Perhaps the proposed partnerships with startups would overcome this!