Lost Angels

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On November 15, 2018, Lost Angels commented on Open Innovation for League of Legends :

I think e-sports in aggregate has the potential to be larger than most other professional sport leagues in the world. I agree that in order to stay relevant and keep users engaged, Riot needs to enhance its open innovation in regards to League of Legends. As we saw with the Valve case in LEAD, Counter-Strike was essentially created and continuously improved by some of its most active and die-hard players. In the tactical and MMORPG segment, games are experiencing longer shelf lives, but the proliferation of mobile, connectivity, compute technology, and so forth is enabling competition in the space. Riot would be wise to adopt your recommendation.

This was a great post, and previously I had not spent much time researching and analyzing what open innovation is. I loved the idea of allowing externals to come up with the idea selection. There are only so many individuals in the R&D department at Heineken, and most of the time people are afraid to push the boundaries of what they think would be a great new product, design, and so forth given corporate pressures to “stay within the boundaries” in a general sense. Different regions across the world have different preferences in regards to beer. I think Heineken should utilize open innovation to come up with beers that consumers want. While this would be marginally higher in cost vs. a different label or bottle cap, consumers will build an even stronger brand affinity.

On November 15, 2018, Lost Angels commented on The Free Hand of Mickey Mouse & The Hobbyist Printer :

Thank you for the note. I am not sure Disney has a choice in this situation. They need to embrace 3D printing as an emerging and disruptive technology that consumers will quickly adopt. In the ideal environment they would be able to restrict other companies/consumers from 3D printing their consumer products, but this seems like a daunting task given the fact that they would have to go after potentially hundreds of thousands of patent infringement violators. In addition, restricting and/or suing some of your most valuable customers would not bode well for not only the consumer products division but also the studio, parks/resorts, and Disney-specific cable networks.

On November 15, 2018, Lost Angels commented on Adidas in the 3D Printed Race – When Size Does Not Matter :

Great note, thank you for the read. My biggest worry for the clothing industry in regards to 3D printing is the possibility that the barriers to entry in this business collapse. One of the reasons it is so difficult to enter the shoe business for instance is the level of fixed cost needed to invest to produce a X amount of shoes. If I were able to buy a 3D printer (eventually) for a reasonable cost, why would I not try to produce most of my clothing through it? Same for someone who wants to start a shoe business and has limited capital but would like to control the manufacturing, they could acquire a 3D printer. In addition, given the cost to produce (due to time) declines, will pricing decline by the same or even more? These are both worries of mine, but I understand the innovators dilemma.

On November 15, 2018, Lost Angels commented on The Future of Portfolio Returns and Wall Street Traders :

This is a hot topic in the industry. Goldman and J.P. Morgan are the two companies that are heavily investing behind machine learning and open platform technologies. Most of the other banks say they are investing, but they are either too far behind or it’s not necessarily the #1 priority for them. I think the true competitive advantages of Goldman’s trading department is 1) its scale and 2) its ability to manage risk. Goldman is now opening up SecDB to its clients, and believes it can win more business from clients if it opens up its tech platform.

What I disagree with is that I don’t think many of these banks will lose their competitive advantages over the medium-term. Most of the banks make the majority of their money from other business lines including traditional investment banking, asset management, trust, and S&L. Trading is highly asset intensive, given the fact that you have to hold inventory. With Fed and Basel minimum capital requirements, the ROAs of this business had shrunk, and most banks have re-focused their efforts. The true competitive advantage of a bank is its scale, its ability to manage risk, and its brand/relationship with clients and customers.

On November 15, 2018, Lost Angels commented on Pinterest Needs to Improve Revenue Per User Ahead of IPO :

I agree Pinterest should continue to use machine learning to provide its users with better recommendations as well as matching retailers with users that are likely to acquire specific products. But I do not agree that the focus Pinterest should have is growing its revenue per user. While the metric can be additive when looking at businesses for valuation purposes, it does not give us insight into the value that they are delivering and the potential for the business to really scale. Look at Yelp for example. The company has historically struggled to communicate its value proposition, but the revenue per user (in this case, small businesses) is north of $300. I think the #1 focus for Pinterest would be to create an environment that matches (potential) buyers and sellers in the most effective and efficient way.