Hi SD – I love this article! Such a cool concept to 3D print houses, and I love the social enterprise spin. I watched some YouTube videos about them being built and it’s amazing. For your question, I think that partnering with for-profit corporations in order to improve the home building process isn’t necessarily a bad thing – there are companies that already have expertise in these realms that can assist, and I would imagine a lot of companies may be willing to donate consulting hours and the like for a tax break. There may be great opportunities here. Love this concept!
Thanks for writing, Carlos! I think that competition is a huge player in driving how GE Aviation works on product development. Specifically, it’ll increase the time horizon on improving their process for additive manufacturing – they obviously need to figure out how to produce these parts faster and cheaper in order to compete, preferably faster than Pratt & Whitney and Rolls. I’m wondering even that’s even feasible given the scale of this operation. This is growing space that will definitely continue to explore other application of rapid-prototyping methods to manufacturing.
Hi Oliver – great article. Valve is such an interesting company and I think has really transformed the video-gaming space with Steam and it’s open platform. I completely agree with Haerim’s point about the hesitation of the masses to pay for mods when they are already used to having them for free – you risk backlash and potential loss of many customers this way. I’m not sure if there’s a nice solution, but I do think the practice of hiring extremely popular/talented mod developers is an option – this might be useful and be ‘crowd’ acceptable. Just a thought!
Very interesting article – I’m a big fan of Glossier but had no idea about their crowd sourcing of product innovation! To answer your first question, I think that Glossier does have a unique advantage over competition because of it’s “born on the web” status. Glossier has an extreme following on social media that gives it direct access to millions of it’s consumers. With the highly engaged audience, they can really capitalize on crowd sourcing. This does lead into your second question, as heavy users of social media definitely screws their data toward young women – but, maybe that’s okay. They can choose their target market and pursue accordingly.
Thanks PM for the post – I’m very interested in the relationship of consumer behavior and data, so this was really exciting to read. I think there is an interesting line that American Express has to watch with customized recommendations. Eventually these recommendations will transition from being perceived as helpful to being perceived as “creepy”, and I’m curious to see when (or if) that happens. The public has become so accustomed to extremely targeted ads and perhaps this will just be another example of that. How can you ensure this doesn’t happen? Some randomness in the targeting might help, or simply training your audience about how you decide what to show them. It’s an interesting problem to explore.
I really enjoyed this article, Sam! I’ve been thinking about your second question, about the implications of grocery shopping shift to online from brick-and-mortar, and think this is an interesting thought experiment. As most HBS students are high-earning millennials, we are predisposed to online shopping having been ‘raised online’, but I wonder if older generations will ever adopt this. I also think this is a very city-centric concept – is it even feasible for grocery delivery to happen in the rural community? Amazon Go in general seems like an infeasible concept to expand rurally just because of the sheer amount of infrastructure required, as you noted. It’s possible that this will be a short lived concept store.