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On December 13, 2015, KathyChoi commented on Slacking Off to Get More Done :

We also tried using Slack, but unlike some of the success stories, our Slack adoption failed because there was so little company training/incentive to use it amidst all of our other collaboration tools.

Do you think Slack has lasting power beyond the small pockets of tech-savvy Millennials, and do you think they can afford to not invest in more intensive training/support mechanisms for less-savvy users?

Also, do you think that they potential for long-term success? I just remember looking at my Microsoft Link Exchange tools and thinking how outdated it looks and feels, even though it has been around for less than two decades. Can it survive the changing whims of us flighty Millennials?

On December 13, 2015, KathyChoi commented on Tableau: Managing the data explosion :

Thanks Sagar!

We actually used Tableau in my last job at the edtech startup, and we actually had terrible experiences with them and ended up cutting our contract. Specifically, we found their data visualization tools to be insufficient for our more custom needs (not unexpected), and their customer support was lacking (should not have been the issue).

In a world where data tools have to become increasingly sophisticated, and the question of interoperability becomes more core to the usage of any tool, what do you think is going to be Tableau’s remaining competitive advantage? More and more tools that are similar (and cheaper!) are hitting the market, and I was curious to know what you thought about their future “edge”.

On December 13, 2015, KathyChoi commented on SoulCycle: Spinning towards Success :

Awesome, Bridget!

I think I mentioned that I saw their CMO speak at the HBS Marketing conference. What do you think about their lasting power in the long run? I think their current business/operational model make them king in the fitness space, but do you think you (and others!) will be SoulCycle fans in 10 years? 15 years?

My biggest question for them is whether or not they’ve truly tapped into a phenomenon that’s not a “fashion” fitness trend. I worry that in a few years something new will pop up and unseat their place at the top. How many fitness trends are still around today – we don’t see much of aerobics these days right? What do you think?

On December 13, 2015, KathyChoi commented on Munchery – Delicious, delivered :

Hi Libby,

Thanks for commenting. I think you’re totally on point in terms of the key questions of saturation and growth. I don’t know their stats on saturation (definitely not public info at this stage), but anecdotally I feel like the number of mentions of Munchery I heard in my SF group exponentially grew these past two years. I personally believe that they can move fast, particularly in comparison with their most direct competitors, and they already have zoomed into LA, Seattle, and NY (as a comparison point Sprig and SpoonRocket are only in the Bay Area at the moment). They’ve been moving into the “ready to cook” market, so I think Blue Apron and Plated will definitely be on their radar more frequently in coming months.

Of all of their challenges, I think the quality of their food and customer experience will set them apart – and will ultimately be their downfall if they can’t keep it up. Their reason for hiring Pascal Rigo was precisely to make the customer experience portion a centerpiece of their service, whether it is the branding of their plastic ware, the messaging on the website, the featured chef stories, all of it is done in a cohesive way to codify an identify for the brand in a way that you don’t get with their competitors. I think they are enormously good at this and have a creative eye to boot, and I’m excited to see how their scaling experiments evolve.

On December 13, 2015, KathyChoi commented on Munchery – Delicious, delivered :

Thanks Tara!

I am actually not sure if they’re profitable just yet (you know how these Silicon Valley startups go), but their current growth is explosive, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were profitable very soon. I can’t remember where I read it but their per-meal costs (at least for the food) is actually quite low, particularly in comparison to restaurants, but I don’t know how much their labor costs factor in.

I truly believe they can be sustainable long term if they focus on a) scaling well and b) establish themselves as the dominant food delivery player in each region they enter. Competition is driving down prices of some of their other competitors, but their price point has been pretty steady as they’re trying to be the “gourmet” brand.