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On November 13, 2018, A1 commented on Nike’s Stance on 3D Printing: Just Do It :

Great article on how Nike is utilizing 3D printing — well done! In response to your question regarding how 3D printing will contribute towards Nike’s third goal of 2x direct, as you suggest, I feel that this technology is core to that goal and will enable Nike to develop highly customized shoes at a great scale. In an ideal world, as the costs of 3D printing continue to decrease, the ability to simply tweak a software or input a customers’ desired size & color combination, rather than retooling an entire machine, will eventually enable Nike to react quickly to customer orders and delight customers at a speedy product turn-around. This level of speedy customization would be truly incredible, thrilling Nike fans around the world!

On November 13, 2018, A1 commented on When Chanel trades sewing machines for 3D printers :

Fascinating article on how 3D printing is transforming Chanel’s business — well done! The article sparked my thinking as to how the use of this new technology would significantly shift the necessary skills that Chanel will need to recruit. Rather than focusing solely on fashion designers with impeccable taste and avant-garde designs, Chanel will also have to hire team members with the technical skills to capitalize on this innovative technology. Forbes also published about how “3-D Printing Poised To Revolutionize The Fashion Industry,” in which author Tracey Welson-Rossman writes, “Wiker says one of the biggest misconceptions about her job is that it exists in a vacuum. She says that being a really good 3D modeler requires an understanding of fabrication, manufacturing and engineering so that you can turn a hand sketch or 2-D illustration into a 3-D model. In fact, one of her team’s biggest contributions during this engineering process is to find and resolve conflicts between the intended design aesthetic and the functional requirements of the end product. They can even anticipate the challenges that factories will have when sampling the part and can work closely with design partners to create a finalized 3D model that is manufacturable and still achieves the original design intent” [see source below]. It’s clear that the skills required to complete this role are more expansive than more traditional fashion design, and it will be fascinating to see how fashion houses like Chanel adapt to both changing technological innovations, as well as changing required skills among their team members. Managing technical innovation — especially in a highly creative field — will certainly be a challenge!

Source: Welson-Rossman, Tracey, “3-D Printing Poised To Revolutionize The Fashion Industry.” Forbes, February 7, 2018. https://www.forbes.com/sites/traceywelsonrossman/2018/02/07/3-d-printing-poised-to-revolutionize-the-fashion-industry/#dcb1fb1170f2, accessed November 2018.

On November 13, 2018, A1 commented on Open Innovation for League of Legends :

Very well written — I enjoyed learning about how Riot Games is utilizing open innovation to develop it’s game ecosystem. I very much agree with your future-looking suggestions that Riot should also capitalize on open innovation to improve the games themselves — through contests among users to generate & vote on new ideas. This reminds me of the HBS case on Valve Software, in which Valve hired two hackers that had developed a new version of Half-Life, in which multiple players compete in the same arena. Valve saw this as a great source of innovation and brought the two developers in-house, rather than pursuing a legal challenge. This tactic has proven successful for Valve, and I agree it could work very well for Riot Games as well.

Source: Bernstein, Ethan, Francesca Gino, Bradley Stats, “Opening the Valve: From Hardware to Software (A).” HBS No. 9-415-015. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing, 2015.

Great article & fascinating to learn more about the details of how Airbnb fosts open innovation, as a company & among it’s customers (both guests & hosts). From my own research on Airbnb’s use of machine learning, I was struck by how forthcoming the company is about it’s own developments. They have an entire website/blog, hosted through Medium.com (https://medium.com/airbnb-engineering) through which they share articles on recent developments & the many ways in which they are using data & machine learning to improve their platform, including detailed papers on their most recent search algorithms. The company clearly exemplifies open innovation — truly impressive!

Very well written — I loved learning about the many ways in which Sidewalk Labs is utilizing data to improve cities! One additional article on Sidewalk Labs’ blog was particularly interesting because it highlighted how useful it can be to use data to impact policy makers. “Models provide the opportunity to create a dispassionate venue in which ideas can be explored and tested by anyone interested in the topic at hand. To achieve this goal we must first build models that resonate with decision-makers and the public as credible, legible, realistic, and compelling. We must then allow anyone the ability to create their own solutions, and investigate and explore solutions created by others” [see source below]. Given the heated political environment, and as you aptly stated, the rapid growth rates of many urban centers, using data-driven models to highlight issues, develop potential solutions, and drive alignment between many stakeholders — from residents to government workers — provides a refreshing alternative to heated political debates.

Source reference: Nick Chim and David Ory, “A key to democratizing urban solutions is building better models,” Sidewalk Labs (blog), April 24, 2017. https://www.sidewalklabs.com/blog/a-key-to-democratizing-urban-solutions-is-building-better-models/, accessed November 2018.

On November 13, 2018, A1 commented on AI Comes to the Magic Kingdom :

Very interesting essay — It’s fascinating to learn how Disney, the king of creativity, has embraced the use of AI in its development process! You mentioned the necessary shift to hire more engineers & data scientists, and I’m intrigued to learn more about how specifically Disney incorporates data into the creative process, a topic that I imagine the company holds close to the chest. In the 2008 Harvard Business Review piece titled, “How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity,” the Disney Pixar president Ed Catmull refers to data, but primarily including “the rates at which things happen, how often something has to be reworked, whether a piece of work was completely finished or not when it was sent to another department, and so on” [see source reference below]. It’s likely that artificial intelligence was not a large component of Disney/Pixar’s process back in 2008, but the specific process of collaborating between data scientists & wildly creative idea generators seems like it could be a managerial challenge.

Furthermore, I appreciated your point on the need to balance customization with personal intrusion. I’m curious if the Disney park ‘Fast Access’ wristbands will be eventually linked to a consumer’s Disney+ account, or if that connection between in-home and out-of-home data would be viewed as too intrusive.

Source for HBR article: Ed Catmull, “How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity,” Harvard Business Review, September 2008. https://hbr.org/2008/09/how-pixar-fosters-collective-creativity, accessed November 2018.