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Thoughts on Jet.com and E-commerce

              Everybody loves a good deal. The Internet is all about shopping around to find the best price. That is clear. Jet.com is positioning itself as a Costco of the Internet, the Amazon.com with better pricing. Thats an ambitious plan but its hard to understand the investors who have given it a $600m valuation over $140m in capital invested. With the chatter of frothy valuations, Jet.com, embodies a true irrational exhuberance for tech investing. An Amazon Prime customer pays $99 a year. Amazon may not always provide the best pricing, but it does provide a marketplace platform and more often than not, customers would be getting a good deal in the least. There are stories of customers paying above retail and Amazon using tactics to push users into higher price points, but overall Amazon customers are shopping smart. Then you have all the perks that come with being a Prime member such as free access to entertainment etc..   Jet is charging 49.99 for the membership. Its mission of always getting better price (which it is then filling from 3rd party sellers) and taking losses makes no sense. Its interesting how this will play out but I would proceed as an investor with huge caution.   https://hbr.org/2015/07/the-problems-with-jet-coms-pricing-model...
The Case for $TWTR

The Case for $TWTR

Twitter is an amazing product/service. When used correctly, it provides direct communication to otherwise unreachable people. It facilitates communication in a clear, concise and direct channel. Twitter gives the power to the masses to both give and receive to the community. Some excellent applications is getting direct, unfiltered news both from news organizations and individuals who are on the scene. Another is the ability to join a conversation with sophisticated thought leaders on current topics. Why is $TWTR having so many problems as a company? With earnings this week, many analysts will be paying attention to┬ávarious engagement metrics. In contrast, $FB, who also reports this week is expected to blow out expectations by correctly tackling mobile advertising. My user experience on $FB is that its a great way to get some bite sized news from various content channels and maybe catch a few personal updates from my social network. On the other hand, $TWTR is a completely different experience giving me first hand thoughts, ideas, news sometimes directly from the source. The level of conversation is much higher and the interaction is much more intimate. Besides for finding a full time CEO, $TWTR should take the time to focus on educating the masses on how to setup and correctly use the service. With power also comes the ability to make mistakes. With many high profile “mistake tweets” causing embarrasment or financial loss, it may be prudent to altogether skip it. It all comes back to education. With some good video campaigns on various use cases and an easy guided setup, Twitter may be more embraced by the masses. It...
App Installs and the Real World

App Installs and the Real World

App installs ads have been a valuable source of monetization for social media platforms. Recently spotted in the wild have been a media blitz by Yahoo on outdoor media in the South Florida area. I dont have data on costs and offline to online conversions but it makes alot of sense to take advantage of the underutilized outdoor media network for app’s to onboard users. Many of these apps serve specific purposes and provide utility for a user who is physically in need of that service, right time, right place. At a bus stop? Install Yahoo Mobile for bus times, weather, news. Makes...
Thoughts on Banking, circa 2015

Thoughts on Banking, circa 2015

It goes without saying, that startups have disrupted many industries just in the past few years alone. From Uber to Airbnb, the previous incumbents were hit so hard and fast, they seem stunned. Part of the tension between the old way and new way is the heavy anchor of regulation. For Uber, they have and continue to fight their way into markets and break through this protective barrier. Even Tesla has to fight resistence of so called, Regulation, in their ability to sell direct to consumers. Whats clear though is that the massive power of the consumer, specifically the consumer labelled “millenials” will ultimately break through this wall and create new, previously unseen business models. I wanted to focus specifically on banking for a minute. There is so much disruption in this business that startups are slowly creeping into every crevice almost as if watching an alien invasion on a radar chart. From payments to loans, new entrants are testing and tweaking ideas and models to adequatly serve their customers.   What is odd is that it seems the slow moving incumbents are simply watching themselves being consumed almost as a paralyzed insect in the cross hairs of its predator. Companies who do understand this are already tapping into successful methods used in other businesses, to reach and convert consumers (see example of SoFi using GiltGroup to acquire student loan consumers).   Ultimately, it will be those who move now and innovate and engage correctly who will be the leaders of the next generation. At Call2ActionMedia, we are working on testing concepts that resonate with millenial consumers with...
Business, culture and character.

Business, culture and character.

The tech world is known for its intense competition and its dog eat dog culture. By its nature, if IP isnt protected its useless. Relationships and switching costs may mitigate some of that but the end result is an extremely competitive landscape. That is what makes Tech exciting and Silicon Valley the epicenter of this excitement. Its important and probably challenging to remain cutthroat and remain a good natured person. Most people probably can’t seperate the two. An┬áperson who seemed to have lived this dichotomy was recently taken way too early from the world, Mr. Dave Goldberg (The Ultimate Mensch). By the massive outpouring of grief, it is evident that many people were touched by and benefited from him. That aspect of a person, the ability to spread goodness, is whats most important as evidenced by ones legacy. By contrast, Steve Jobs left the world with great technology but as a person his memory is tarred by his ruthlessness. Another example, in my opinion, of a world class example of positivity was the signing of the multi-billion dollar deal papers at the Welfare office by former recipient Jan Koum. My interpretation of this is firstly a clear message to people that the American Dream is alive and well. More importantly it shows a deep level of gratitude. When Mr. Koum was in this country as an immigrant, the United States government provided him with basic neccessaties and provided basic levels of care to him and his family as he got on his feet, something not forgotten. His success shines bright when put into perspective of the obstacles he overcame....