Customer Service wins again

Old post here about customer service :: https://seedvc.blog/2013/10/07/a-startups-secret-weapon-customer-service/

I am reminded of this due to a tweet I saw today:

Bottom line is that performing amazing customer service is the best form of marketing ever.

You will retain customers which is cheaper than buying new ones and word of mouth will bring you new ones.

Plus you and your employees will feel better about what they do.

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How to be a VC and not act like an entitled douchebag – gumi Cryptos Blog

I know Miko, we go way back to the days when Java was invented and we could hang with James Gosling. Yeah – I’m old.

Anyway – this is good. I know what he means – how can we be good, normal humans and still be a successful VC.

I’m still working on it.

It’s why I started this, but it needs more work :: https://seedvc.blog/code-of-conduct-sea-style/

How to be a VC and not act like an entitled douchebag – gumi Cryptos Blog
— Read on blog.gumi-cryptos.com/2019/04/11/our-pledge/

Functionality Vs Content – AVC

Functionality Vs Content – AVC

The crux of this post is this part right here:

And most importantly, it is the frustrations of the prior model, as I mentioned above, that creates the opening for the new model.

So if you are working on a new model, for anything (it could be crypto, health care, education, finance, etc, etc), you should look very closely at what are the most annoying and frustrating aspects of the current model and focus on leading with features that remove them.

 

Mostly very real but sometimes I see people working on something because they discovered an annoyance but the market isn’t big enough, or there is not a willingness to pay. I want to caveat that part – the annoying better cross with some revenue potential. That being said I agree that there are things to fix in the world that people will pay for.

On to the streaming part, I admit that the announcement of a service I am even closely tempted to pay for without batting an eye is a Disney streaming service. I have kids, so it is a no brainer. All the back catalog Disney content is the best, and if you add in Star Wars, Marvel and anything else they have that is safe family content then for sure this is a must-have.

I defer on the tech and user experience till we can use it, but I doubt it functions as well as Netflix. I still find HBO lame as an app, and in Singapore, with the excellent internet it still sucks where Netflix is a flawless experience day in and day out. I mention HBO since it is built on Bamtech which is the company Disney mostly owns that started as MLB Tech. I want to guess that Warner sucks in building stuff so hopefully, Disney can do a better job, but all of them have a long ways to go tech wise to catch up to Netflix.

The other piece of this to watch is how this plays out globally, Netflix lite up the whole globe and that means you can get it practically anywhere and I am hoping Disney does the same. I wonder where these leaves the HOOQs, iFlixs, and Hotstars of the world over time. I think it comes down to Netflix, Prime Video and Disney forming the global lion’s share but will be interesting to watch how India fairs. China is China and all walled off so hard to say, but I bet Disney goes hard on it.

 

Montage Sequence #2 – bubbles, loonshots and the OA

Some great stuff in this issue.

This I think about a lot especially in the context of SEAsia:

4/ Finally, I was struck by how all the companies mentioned in the “bubble” pieces – often in reaction to the sticker shock of what seemed like a large valuation back then – went on to bigger and bigger valuations as time went on, often many times over. Which leads me to wonder:
a) why did so many commentators miss the growth that was going to happen to these companies?
b) is the same mistake being made now in the narrative around valuations?

Now I want this book :: Loonshots.

I am still struggling to like OA. 😉

Montage Sequence #2 – bubbles, loonshots and the OA

Grab Touting Masa’s Backing Amps Up Southeast Asia Taxi Wars – Bloomberg

Grab Touting Masa’s Backing Amps Up Southeast Asia Taxi Wars – Bloomberg

I really like Tim for bucking the trend of most reporters and questioning all of this. I met Tim once in Singapore and we shared a meal and chatted. Really enjoyed it and I love that he is accessible and talks via Twitter.

He is willing to kind of say what most won’t:

What Grab failed to do, however, is show how having large tanks of kerosene to burn begets a sustainable business. That makes this bluster look a lot like Asia’s bike-rental wars, and we all know that didn’t turn out well. We shouldn’t be surprised that it’s Masa once again feeding the frenzy given his reputation as a big-stack bully.

No one knows where all of this will land. If the race is about raising piles of cash then I guess Grab is winning.

Obviously I like talking about this subject :: https://seedvc.blog/2019/03/22/my-take-grab-vs-go-jek-inside-asias-battle-of-the-super-apps-fortune/

However I am not sure that means they ultimately win – my issue is that both Grab and Go-Jek seem to think ridesharing forms the basis of a super-app. I am not sure I agree:

 

Scaling A Company While Controlling Costs – AVC

Scaling A Company While Controlling Costs – AVC

Interesting that Fred is suggesting companies reduce engineering costs by outsourcing to China.

I think this works for Zoom cause the CEO came from China and knows how to do it. My guess is most companies find the appeal attractive but will not have much success. You would need a solid executive lead in the company who can manage China and fold the results into the overall framework. I think few will be able to pull this off unless they have a Chinese exec on their team.

However I don’t think China is the only option but what is increasingly happening is the competition for these bodies is growing both from local companies and from regional startups. You see this very clearly in Indonesia with even the large players like GoJek having to do engineering abroad to compete.

As the entire startup ecosystem grows around Asia the local companies will probably be able to hire and manage better but I think the culture of working for an overseas company could also be attractive.

As tech goes global this pull for talent is only gonna increase and I am not sure the USA startup ecosystem will have the leg up for much longer. Since the rise of Asia is unstoppable at this point: