Raphael, you are the only HBS student who could mention 4chan twice in a submission for class. I’m impressed. I’m also with Emma on that I think there are a lot of these internet companies that will never be profitable. You mentioned reddit, for example. According to this article, reddit benefited greatly from Digg’s attempt at monetization (http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/07/04/allergic-to-change-and-profit-reddit-risks-eating-itself/#50958df51720). Furthermore, from then on, everytime reddit has tried to pull levers to monetize their 7 billion page views a month, the community has kicked and screamed and threatened to leave. Although I much prefer reddit to buzzfeed, as an investor, I would take buzzfeed over reddit. Buzzfeed users don’t seem to mind the blatant monetization. I’m not sure that when you acquire communities like these, you will ever be able to monetize it if you did not make your userbase accustomed to that from the start.
Satoshi! Arlington Texas is right where I grew up. They also just invested tons of money in infrastructure in the area as the Dallas Cowboys gigantic new stadium was just built there a few years ago. I couldn’t find anywhere that specified the cost of the new system. The city of Arlington’s website was conspicuously silent(http://www.arlington-tx.gov/news/2015/07/16/arlington-and-nec-partner-to-conduct-water-leak-detection-trial/). Do you have any idea what the cost might be? I am curious if the system is affordable enough that areas which do not have water conservation issues would be interested. It is routine in Texas that you are not allowed to water your yard or run a hose during daylight hours due to water conservation efforts. This is a huge inconvenience for the residents of these areas and many yards end up brown and dead.
Also, the link Emily posted(http://www.nec.com/en/global/solutions/waterloss-management/) implies that it is a fairly non-intrusive process to install the sensors if there is a manhole. Do you have any notion of how much of existing water infrastructure is readily accessible in such a manner?
Arthur, this was incredibly interesting. I had no idea interest rates were that high for credit cards in Brazil. Are default rates really so high to justify such an APR? In the US, these sort of rates are typically only seen on payday loans and only taken by people ignorant of the costs. It’s somewhat seen as an immoral business model. Often payday loan shops and car dealerships that finance at high APRs will pop-up outside military bases and try to lure young enlisted people to take loans or buy cars at interest rates about 50%. For the interest rates you mentioned in Brazil, this article lays out your monthly payments if you carried a thousand dollar balance(http://time.com/money/4094286/brazil-credit-card-rates/). It says basically your monthly payment would be $355 a month. At rates that high, doesn’t it make it more likely someone would rather default than pay it off thereby making this already bad cycle worse?
I think it’s very interesting and wise that Kuka is also pursuing cobots to address the issue of human displacement by automation. In this article(http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/collaborative-robots-innovation-growth-driver), they claim that currently cobots only make up 5% of the total robot workforce, but that at BMW(another German engineering giant), they were able to reduce worker idle times by 85% through the use of cobots. I’m curious as technology advances if cobots could be a viable solution to worker displacement.
There are actually a lot of companies trying to break into or expand into this space. As Driver Safety said, there were 4067 fatalities involving large trucks. Each of these fatalities can cost a trucking company about 3 million USD. As you can see, trucking companies are very incentivized to minimize the risk of such collisions, both from a financial and moral standpoint. Besides Lytx both large existing companies such as Cat and small start-ups like comma.ai are trying to break into this space. Some are even trying to use smart phones for fatigue detection(i.e. can you detect when a driver nods off at the wheel). Their biggest obstacle right now is the drivers themselves. Truck drivers do not like the notion of having their every move tracked and watched. Many large transportation companies have issues with drivers unplugging the ADAS and then when the company stops receiving data, claiming the system broke.
Sharp Boy! (Arthur?) Didn’t realize Embraer was Brazilian. It seems like an underdog should spend more on R&D as a percentage of income than the big companies. I’m also why they would partner with Boeing unless they think Boeing is going to come up with something they can’t. Do you know what the terms of that agreement were with regard to ownership of the IP?
Jodie, great article. Do you know how much re-engineering it requires to substitute the new environmentally friendly refrigerants in existing systems? The biggest obstacles I see to implementing these changes it the cost of acquiring new equipment in industrial refrigeration environments. For example, replacing the air conditioning plant on a submarine would require the hull be cut open if you can’t just change out the refrigerant.
It’s interesting how well intentioned efforts often have unintended consequences. When LUS introduced the wire fee for NEM consumers, did it alter it’s pricing position for all consumers? For exmaple, are variable rates now lower or back to normal given the NEM fee? I wonder if they evaluated subsidizing solar for low income families. Probably not economically viable I’d guess…
Levi! This was incredible. I can’t believe that “reducing aerodynamic pressure by making cars moving closely to each other, can reduce global carbon emission up 23 and 25 percent respectively.” I realized that drag obviously contributed significantly to the force required to move a car, but I had no idea that moving them closer together made such a significant fuel savings. I suppose this is why you always see 18 wheelers on a highway following each other uncomfortable close.
Zach, this was super interesting. You usually see Monsanto vilified by the anti-GMO crowd. It’s interesting seeing them taking measures to combat climate change and develop sustainable food practices. At the same time, you mentioned that the majority of their emissions come from their Agricultural Productivity line which, I think, is a euphemism for pesticides and herbicides. Have they committed any R&D to developing more environmentally friendly agricultural chemicals as you suggest?
I’m also curious how Exalmar accounts and plan for the possibility of a complete fishing season being lost. It seems like they would have to maintain large cash reserves or be able to take loans. I wonder if them being downgraded to B- is going to ultimately effect their liquidity and thus their viability. I also think Zach’s idea about fish farms is really interesting. Can anchovies be farmed?
It’s interesting that it seems the incentives of building owners and tenants are aligned. If tenants don’t reduce carbon emissions, costs will be passed to them. I wonder if this is deliberate and I also wonder what the cost of all these proposed programs are.
Interesting. I’m also curious how they propose to enforce closing the high seas. The UN Convention on Law of the seas gives a country 12NM of territorial waters and then 200NM of Exclusive Economic Zone(EEZ) after that 12NM. It would require a lot of coordination to enforce a measure to close the high seas to fishing. I’m not sure it can be done with the limited resource and other priorities that most nation’s Navies face today. Furthermore, if a single nation refused to to enforce this, it would give them a competitive advantage and basically unlimited resources. Do you think it could actually be done?
I’m curious what categories the refrigerants I’m used to fall into. Do you know which of the types R-134 and R-114 are? I think these are the two that are primarily used in industrial environments. I know they are heavier than air, but do they still give off ozone depleting gases?
I tried to find that reduction, but couldn’t. I’m guessing because it’s not that impressive. I think they would advertise it more if it was something impressive.
I actually really wanted to discuss this in my article, but just didn’t have room. The problem with Navy nuclear is they’re all pressurized water reactors. They’re inherently safe, but incredibly expensive. There are a number of new technologies that are also passively safe, but don’t require the expensive materials to maintain high pressure. The problem there is the extremely long lead times for regulatory approval. I actually think clean nuclear is the future. It’s too bad there’s so much political stigma associated with it.