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Thanks for sharing this Monica! I have been contemplating using Wealthfront so found this to be an interesting read. Seems like Wealthfront’s success to date is based on a robust platform with an integrated community (via its app and relevant blogs) and a great user interface which reduces the hurdle for millennials to invest.

That said, I’m curious to understand what type of competition Wealthfront faces. I understand that they have a relative advantage relative to financial services via. retail, but what prevents another player from imitating the model Wealthfront has created? Is this a situation where the first one to scale and captures the hearts and minds of consumers wins?

On December 5, 2015, kwatanabe commented on Eat, Shop, and Learn: How Eataly Became a Cash Cow :


I have been to an Eataly a few times and been fascinated by its bustling atmosphere and great food, so was excited to see that you wrote about it. I think you described the ecosystem Eataly has created to create synergies between the eat, shop, learn aspects in order to run an efficient top and bottom line very well. I’d be curious to understand why we have not seen this business model appear in other forms e.g. French / Japanese / Nordic? There must also be something about the simplicity (and sophistication) of Italian ingredients, the way food is prepared, and the way people experience it that has allowed Eataly to scale very quickly in the U.S. and abroad.

On December 5, 2015, kwatanabe commented on The LEGO Success Story: Getting Everything to Awesome! :

Very insightful! I enjoyed learning about Lego’s successes and failures in developing a product portfolio that fits with Lego’s competitive strengths, as well as the innovations they have made in their supply chain and supplier relationships to improve the bottom line.

I’d be interested to learn more about two things – 1. What has been the impact of e-commerce for Lego? For example, for its top-line, has e-commerce made Legos more accessible to consumers, perhaps even broadening the options available to customers due to a long-tail inventory in e-commerce? Has e-commerce allowed Legos to establish more efficient distribution networks? 2. Has the diversification of markets Lego plays in led to any tensions between global / local organizational units? I’d imagine the center of power to shift gradually as emerging markets to be a huge driver of growth for Lego.