Alex Rosenblit

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On November 13, 2018, Alex Rosenblit commented on The Rise of 3D Manufacturing in Footwear: What it Means for Nike :

I agree with you that Nike is making a mistake slow playing their 3D printing operations. I am trying to understand why Nike would choose this strategy as their doesn’t seem to be many downsides associated with 3D printing shoes. In fact, based on your post it seems like great operational efficiencies can be gained from the process. Additionally, Nike has always prided themselves on their ability to customize. What better way to customize then taking customer preferences/dimensions in the store and creating a shoe on the spot? Does Nike view the 3D printing technology as inferior to their normal shoe making process? Outside of performance/product development, the only other reason I can see for Nike choosing this strategy is a fear of weakening their brand. Perhaps Nike has determined that their consumers associate a negative connotation with 3D printing and do not want to risk hurting their brand equity.

On November 13, 2018, Alex Rosenblit commented on Open Innovation in the NFL: Player Safety :

Football by design is a very violent sport. There will always be unavoidable head to head contact, making it imperative for the NFL to find a solution to the concussion issue. I agree that continuous improvements to rule changes will be critical to this effort; however, I think even more important is the improvement to equipment. Two numbers in your post really stuck out to me. $600 million and $1.3 million. The NFL has paid out a $600 million settlement to former victims, yet has only paid $1.3 million in awards for helmet innovations. Physical/mental health aside, that just seems like bad business. Without further improvements to equipment another lawsuit (and massive settlement) is inevitable for the NFL. With these risks looming, I think the NFL should spend a lot more than $1.3 million on equipment innovation to avoid these financial penalties. Maybe they would even want to do it for their players safety…..

You bring up an excellent point around the one off nature of these challenges and the need to bring it into day-to-day culture. In just two days, these three winning ideas and many others were developed in an attempt to combat one of the biggest public health crises in the U.S. By bringing together this diverse group of people, this crowd sourced challenge was able to create tangible actions to help solve this deadly problem. But why does this type of success have to happen so infrequently? Can we not change this model to focus on continuous process improvement? Instead of implementing deadlines and announcing winners, why not focus on providing incentives for all ideas judged worthy of being pursued? A sliding incentive scale can be implemented based on the quality of idea. People could also contribute by building off previous “winners” in attempt to further improve those ideas.

CMS actually uses a continuous crowd sourced approach for healthcare innovation (although I don’t think they’ve been very successful). I don’t think the CMS innovation center provides incentives but they allow anyone to submit their ideas for how to improve the health care system on a continuous basis. Maybe through combining some of these methods we can see some progress on these issues.

On November 13, 2018, Alex Rosenblit commented on Machine Learning in the Video Game Industry :

There definitely seems to be a wide array of possibilities for AI in video games. After reading your post, I immediately thought of the HBO show Westworld. There are many open world games out now such a Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, Skyrim that give the user a large amount of agency over how the game is played. I think the industry will work to combine the concept of AI with these style of games. First, because the players of such games have displayed a desire to play games that can stray from a designed story line. Second, because these types of games, similar to the Westworld concept, provide a difficult proving ground for AI’s ability to adapt due to the many paths players can pursue. On a smaller scale, I would welcome the improvement to the CPU bots I play against in sports games as many times there moves are far too predictable.

On November 13, 2018, Alex Rosenblit commented on China’s Take on 3D Printing in Healthcare :

For the reasons you mentioned, I agree that 3D printing has the potential to revolutionize medical transplants in China and across the globe. However, you bring up a very important question surrounding patient outcomes in the long term. How can we continue to push this revolutionary technology forward when the stakes are so high? When a patient has few remaining choices it may be easier to make the decision to pursue this option, but in other circumstances who would be willing to risk the long term outcomes? I would be interested to see if 3D printing will eventually be used for non-vital organs (such as bringing back someones second kidney) or if the invasive nature of the procedures will keep the technology as a last resort? Either way, the continued pursuit of success in this space will hopefully result in great cost savings and thousands of saved lives.

On November 13, 2018, Alex Rosenblit commented on Machine learning ruined baseball. Machine learning will save baseball. :

Billy Beane was a pioneer in this space but even though he found divisional success, he never won a World Series (as a GM). One thing that makes sports so great is that imperfect human interaction is involved in every aspect of the game. No matter how much data we get through machine learning, there will always be a human element making it so anything can happen.

Criticizing Billy Beane for not winning a World Series is not necessarily fair as other teams quickly began copying his approach. In professional sports, just like capital markets, when you find a data driven edge it will quickly be competed away. The goal of a manager is to win but the goal of the MLB is to create entertainment. I am all for managers continuing to improve the chess match that is baseball, but lets make sure to do so without hurting the consumer. That is where the MLB must step in with reactive measures. As long as those reactive approaches are timely, I do not see the need to buck the trend and stifle competitive innovation.