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Thanks everyone for your comments! For the sake of clarity, just wanted to mention that the actual PandaCam page does have a small “Support our cubs” button further down the page, but it’s nowhere near the level of funding / sponsorship used for other PandaCams. And the YouTube videos have no links to support the zoo, which still boggles my mind.

Speaking of which, for the sake of more on-topic cute animal videos: shows the link between porcupines and the potential to raise support for a zoo.

This was so interesting, thanks for sharing! I have to admit, I’m really curious…and reasonably skeptical…about how more unusual metrics such as battery levels could tie into credit worthiness. Without a longstanding base of past performance of using these metrics as indicators, how was the company able to develop their algorithm’s predicative power? I’m curious whether the users that were initial granted loans using a LenddoScore were just more likely to be well-connected, tech-savvy users that would be more likely to repay a loan anyway than an average citizen in the region. Likewise, are those who are willing to give so much access to their social media profiles and online accounts for some reason naturally higher-quality clients (perhaps because they know they have less to hide?). Not to say that these questions undermine the value of the offering — even if only higher-quality, self-selected populations choose to seek credit under a Lenddo approach, it would still be widening the potential for credit among a traditionally underbanked population.

Another takeaway that I had from this post was that the business model of using a “trusted network” seems very smart. As we learned in the stickK case, accountability to friends / family certainly encourages individuals to stick to their personal intentions. It seems to make a great deal of sense that accountability would also incentivize people to repay their debts.

Great post, thanks! One question I’m asking myself after reading it is whether WW really was just “too late”, or if they would have lost out to free/freemium models even if they had pursued a digital strategy early on. I know that WW used to tout that research indicates their in-person group support was a key driver of their participants’ success[1]. As a result, I imagine that failing to immediately go online wasn’t just a failed operational decision, but rather a strategic attempt to avoid suggesting that one could achieve results without attending meetings. Would there have been a way for them to successfully pursue an early full-efforts digital strategy without cannibalizing their core business? I’m not convinced that there would have been. Even if they had instituted an advanced digital subscription business with numerous social features early on, free alternatives still would have arisen and presumably taken customers away from their in-person meetings. Perhaps the in-person WW model was just destined to become obsolete in the digital age.


On November 19, 2016, Alucido commented on Will your next running shoe be 3D-printed? :

Such a cool article; thanks for writing! One question I have after reading it is how the competitive landscape is likely to change when 3D printing becomes more prevalent in the footwear industry. While Under Armour has built their brand on a perception of high quality, performance grade wear [1], I wonder whether consumers actually care about having a custom Under Armour shoe vs. a no-name custom shoe in the future. Will providing the raw materials for such shoes become a more differentiated industry than the actual manufacturing of the shoe once 3D printing is a commoditized process?

[1] Horne, L. New Product Development in Textiles: Innovation and Production. 24:24, 2012. Google Books. Web.

On November 19, 2016, Alucido commented on Airbnb: how the sharing economy is disrupting the travel industry :

For me, there is an interesting contrast between the impact of regulation on Airbnb and on Uber. While both have generally moved faster than the regulations (“easier to ask forgiveness than permission” applies here), I think Uber has much more leverage in disagreements with the regulators than Airbnb does. The vast majority of a politician’s constituents would support Uber (or at least have no opinion on it), with the only real pushback coming from taxi drivers. For Airbnb, on the other hand, there are many people who object to Airbnbs in their neighborhood due to the disruption to residential neighborhoods and the potential impact on rents. As a result, I think Airbnb will have a much harder time politically defending their business model in general. Interestingly, this becomes more of a problem as the company scales (more community pushback), so I do wonder if there is any way for the business to be sustainable in the long-run.

On November 19, 2016, Alucido commented on Slacking – A new way to win? :

I’d be curious to learn more about the data security aspect of Slack. At my prior job, we had an impossibly slow, largely internally-controlled VPN in large part due to data security concerns. While it was effective at keeping data internal (well, usually, anyway:, it was so difficult to work with that I hated teleworking.

Based on our section experience with Slack, I imagine the corporate version of the platform is also very speedy and simpler to work with than my prior teleworking service. Yet I wonder whether all major companies are comfortable working with a 3rd party provider for these services given the data sensitivity? Have there been any hacks or leaks historically? Is it just a matter of time?

On November 7, 2016, Alucido commented on Gundersen Under the Sun :

Great post! Hadn’t ever thought about the climate impacts of the health care industry, but it makes sense that they would be heavy energy users. One big question that this post raised for me was how replicable Gunderson’s initiatives would be in other markets. I’m not convinced that all of what works in Wisconsin translates to big urban hospitals (dairy manure digesters seem a little less successful here). However, I do think some of the initiatives around managing waste and reusing equipment could be applied across geographies. I also wonder if all the simplest fixes have already been addressed or not — for instance, are hospitals today all running with more efficient lighting systems (such as LED) rather than traditional flourescents?

I really liked your specific list of actions that hotels could take. I think the hotel industry is an interesting one, as some of the efforts that they could take to completely minimize water usage would conflict with goals of maximizing customer satisfaction. Low-flow showers are a key example here: while they certainly could reduce water usage, complaints about water pressure are common ( As a result, I thought that your emphasis on incentivizing customer behavior on measures that pose less inconvenience (such as reusing towels) and saving water in back-of-house initiatives was smart.

On November 7, 2016, Alucido commented on Another red bus goes green for London :

Really enjoyed this post! Having lived in London for a year, I recall that the public transit was generally very reliable / efficient, but that there also were occasionally signal issues or similar that would disrupt the tube (especially the Northern Line, which once trapped me in an non-A/C car in a tunnel for 30 min on a 90 degree day…). I wonder, what impact do upgrades such as regenerative braking have on reliability? Similarly, I recall that certain public transit lines would become very crowded during peak hours, such as the Jubilee line. How will the city be able to balance growing use of public transit due to sustainability initiatives with capacity on those routes?

On November 7, 2016, Alucido commented on When Climate Bites | Controlling the Spread of Dengue Fever :

Thanks for the interesting, user-friendly post for those of us without a healthcare background! What was interesting to me is that one could argue this company (at least for this drug) is actually benefiting from climate change in terms of profit potential. They’re able to receive more governmental support for the development (fast-track process) and a larger potential base of consumers given climate change. I wonder if there is reduced demand for other drugs as a result of climate change? If not, is Sanofi’s “environmental commitment” ( inspired purely by the values of a healthcare company?

On November 7, 2016, Alucido commented on Winning the Beer Game :

Interesting post! It definitely sounds like AnBev is on the right track towards mitigating production issues caused by climate change. As a consumer of beer, though, I have to admit that I’m also worried about the potential quality issues due to climate change that you touched on! Apparently, the concentration of a particular acid in a hop used in some Czech lagers is declining due to climate change and driving lower quality ( I wonder if this is an issue with other hops varieties as well?