Nate Maslak

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On December 14, 2015, Nate Maslak commented on BlackBerry: Down But Not Out? :

Excellent post – fascinating to read about the birth, life, and slow march to death of a formerly innovative company. Found your operating model analysis to be spot on – my question focuses on how (or if) BlackBerry should go about fixing these deficiencies. Some thoughts:
1) Insufficient research & development: This seems like an area that can be fixed by budgeting more financial and human resources at the problem. Why wouldn’t BlackBerry raise outside funding and throw more money at the problem?
2) Lack of innovative culture: This seems particularly difficult to fix. Many CEOs have failed to turn around companies because they could not fix their culture (e.g., Mayer at Yahoo). Do you see an opportunity at BlackBerry or is it hopeless at this point?
3) Failure to focus on user experience / Restricted scope: Could not agree with you more – the user experience is atrocious. Worse than just isolating users, I believe it’s the user experience that led to developers not wanting to develop for BlackBerry, thus causing a worse user experience, isolating more users, and beginning the death spiral. At this point, I can’t see a world where BlackBerry can get users engaged with their interface.

Your recommendation and analysis of BlackBerry future leaves some room for optimism. However, why do you believe Google and Apple, with better strategic positioning and stronger operating models and cultures, would allow this to happen?

On December 14, 2015, Nate Maslak commented on Let’s Get It On(line): Tawkify Dating Concierge :

Interesting concept to help provide a touch of class and personalization to the depersonalized model of currently online dating (e.g., Tinder). I have some concerns with Tawkify’s positioning in the market. Namely:

1) How does this company scale? They seem to be positioning themselves as a technology company, but their high-touch and customized operating model inherently prevents them from using technology to scale their business in the traditional way (e.g., one-time infrastructure fixed cost led by pure margin revenue from new users)

2) What is this company’s strategic positioning? Are they the cheapest matchmaking service, or are they the highest quality online dating service? Right now, seems like they’re stuck in the middle — a dangerous place to be in a highly competitive industry with low barriers to entry.