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Michelle – This is super interesting. Art is one of those industries that is so opaque in terms of pricing and general information availability so I love that they are looking to ‘map’ the art world. I also find it very impressive that they have been able to find ways to monetize this so quickly. Their value proposition will grow exponentially as they continue to build out their database. It will be interesting to see what further avenues for monetization will open as their dataset grows.

On December 14, 2015, JW commented on BaubleBar: Redefining How Women Shop for Fashion Jewelry :

Great post Steph. I had never heard of Bauble Bar before this and am somewhat blown away by some of the numbers ($75m in sales!). Whilst I agree that omnichannel is very important in consumer retail these days, I wonder whether the opening of physical stores for this business takes away somewhat from the current alignment of business and operating model. As you say, one of their current advantages is the ability to offer a higher quality product at a lower price point due to their lack of overheads. Also, I think that the data analytics piece becomes somewhat harder to manage when you are talking about sales from physical stores…but then again, Zara seems to do a good job of this and stay on top of consumer trends so hopefully it works for Bauble Bar too

On December 14, 2015, JW commented on Domino’s Pizza: Bites through Bytes :

Thanks for the interesting post! I had no idea that Domino’s had such a focus on innovation. I agree that focusing on operational improvements (vs. cost reductions) makes much more sense for Domino’s given the structure of the industry they are in. I would be interested in your thoughts on what impact you think a new service like Uber EATs will have on the competitive advantage that Domino’s currently has (with Domino’s tracker) over competitors in this space?

On December 14, 2015, JW commented on Hello Alfred: Giving you the luxury of time :

Thanks for the comment Marcus. I believe the scope of tasks which an Alfred can do for their client is fairly open-ended but the general premise is that they are like the invisible butler so tasks such as cooking for you or baby sitting is not necessarily something Alfred would do directly for you. However, you can ask your Alfred to arrange these services for you – e.g. they can call around and find a babysitter or dog walker for you. I think part of the core value proposition of this company is that it does offer a ‘one stop’ solution and so I think maintaining a certain level of flexibility in the services they are able to offer is necessary. However, I do agree with you that this lack of focus may become a somewhat of a challenge for them. I think the way that they have decided to approach this problem is by saying that their core competency is not necessarily offering these services themselves but in organising it for you and so in this way I think this lack of focus problem becomes somewhat less pressing.

On December 14, 2015, JW commented on Hello Alfred: Giving you the luxury of time :

Marco, thanks for the comment. I completely agree that scaling is going to be a massive issue for Hello Alfred. At this stage, it appears that their ability to scale is directly correlated to their ability to hire more employees. They are probably already doing this in some form but it seems to me that they need to find a way to leverage (or improve) their technology to optimize the back-end of their process so that adding new customers does not necessarily require adding an equal (or almost equal) number of new employees. I believe they are already looking into things such as finding standardized routes for doing tasks but I think they also need to look at ways to optimally allocate tasks between the different Alfreds or alternatively have dedicated teams that just do certain tasks in order to improve productivity.