Good post Will on a very large issue in the pipeline industry. In my time at Alyeska Pipeline, one issue that we struggled to address, even with improvements in pigging technology, is dead end piping. These are areas of the pipeline where pigs cannot travel, and areas that are very prone to corrosion or debris buildup. Several technologies have evolved over the past several years, such as ultrasonic testing, though none as accurate as these advanced pigs. I expect this will be the next big advance in pipeline monitoring.
Very interesting – one of my biggest concerns though is you mention their goal is to create a community. I’ve heard wework is appealing to two types of consumers: large companies and small companies. For large companies, it’s appealing for temporary space. By nature, they would occupy this space only temporarily, thus making it difficult for them to become part of a “community”. Small companies occupy this space because they cannot afford a space of their own. Naturally, a lot of these small companies fail, thus do not remain part of the “community”. If they’re successful, they can afford their own space and move out. As such, I don’t see this model building a “community”.
Interesting article, though I don’t necessarily agree that hotels have to adapt. In fact, I think Airbnb may be at a peak in terms of popularity because of many of the reasons you suggested. Consistency of quality is of huge importance. I have stayed at several airbnb’s over the past year and had very mixed experience, and the few bad experiences have led me to seek hotels first. I also think the regulatory restraints, such as charging a bed tax for Airbnb, are catching up very quickly and are already in effect in some states. For a hotel to change their model is an extremely capital intensive move, and they will alienate existing loyal customers. Additionally, the sharing economy only accounts for 10% of overnight stays currently and may diminish in the near future as the fad dies, as regulatory pressures increase, as people are detracted from inconsistency, etc. For these reasons, I don’t see this model likely to change in the near future, or at least until Airbnb gains further significance.
Shezzad – great post! The freight industry is clearly a very large industry that is prone to disruption from self-driving vehicles, but I still wonder if Otto is going to be the one to do it. I get that they are focusing on a very niche part of the self-driving technology, i.e. driving on highways. However, it seems like the more advanced self-driving technology that others are developing (Google, Tesla, GM, Uber, etc) can be easily adapted to service this market as well.
Similar to the comments above – very interesting post! I also think that BroadwayHD can increase the love for an appreciation for Broadway theater by increasing the “trial-ability”. I thought I’d hate broadway, but watched Le Miserable and really enjoyed it. That experience drove me to purchase a lion king broadway ticket to go with my girlfriend. I don’t think this story is unique – the more people can “try” broadway, especially at a lower cost, the more people will be into it. And for those already going to Broadway shows, I think they mostly go for the experience, so having BroadwayHD available is not necessarily an “alternative”. As such, I think BroadwayHD will help rather than hurt Broadway.
Great post Barbara! One big question I have after reading this is that, as an avid banana consumer, all of these risks and disruptions do not seem to have had much of an impact on banana prices. I’ve been going to Trader Joe’s for year’s, and bananas are something like $0.10 each. It seems odd to me that with all these challenges facing bananas, the price hasn’t increased further. I don’t see bananas as a very elastic product – I’d certainly be willing to spend double the current $0.10 to buy a banana.
I’d be curious what the cost implications are to Coors for reducing their water to beer ratio. The beer industry is still a competitive industry, and arguably becoming more so with so many new craft breweries. If is costs more money to undertake these sustainable initiatives, there is dis-incentive to be the first mover here. For example, if Coors must increase prices by undertaking sustainable initiatives, it makes competitors products more appealing. I’d be curious to see what incentives there are for Coors to make this change, and what cost implications it has.
Yuk! Great post, and there’s no doubt that our growing demand for meat has an immense impact on our environment, but I think consumer preference is a huge problem here that will not change any time in the near future. To be completely honest, I would not eat this, and I doubt many Americans would eat this over their beloved cheese burgers. For that reason, I don’t see this business diminishing demand for beef, nor the amount of GHG that comes from producing our food.
Agreed with many of the comments above – fascinating post and fascinating topic. Indeed, if we can harness fusion, it will change our world forever. Fusion has received a lot of press recently due to how revolutionary it could be. As pointed out, however, there are numerous challenges facing fusion, and at this point it appears to remain largely hypothetical. As such, it’s hard to believe the 6 year estimate. With climate change such an immediate problem, and this remaining a far fetched solution, it’s hard to see it becoming a focus for energy solutions.
This blog post seems to suggest that farmed fishing needs to change in order to stay profitable. However, in many ways, it appears global warming is making farmed fishing more profitable. First off, as you point out, the feed conversion ratios for salmon are lower than any other form of meat. As it becomes increasingly difficult to produce other forms of protein, fish will become relatively more cost effective. Furthermore, global warming and the increasing affects of el nino are leading to more unstable wild fish stocks, making farmed salmon even more appealing. While aquaponics may make sense, I do not see there being enough pressure on farmed fishermen to change their practice drastically.