Super interesting essay—I’d never heard of vTaiwan prior to reading it. It definitely seems like a powerful platform, and I agree with a lot of the issues raised in the comments above (particularly Joe’s). Another concern I have in terms of vTaiwan’s applications is that referenda, much more so than general elections, are particularly vulnerable to information manipulation. One particularly egregious example in recent years was Nigel Farage’s promise that “the £350m that was sent to the EU [weekly] would go the NHS”  following Brexit, a claim he reversed one hour (!!!) after the vote took place. How will vTaiwan ensure fair and balanced access to information ahead of a vote?
 McCann, K. and Morgan, T. (2018). Nigel Farage: £350 million pledge to fund the NHS was ‘a mistake’. [online] The Telegraph. Available at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/24/nigel-farage-350-million-pledge-to-fund-the-nhs-was-a-mistake/ [Accessed 15 Nov. 2018].
Dominic – top shelf work here. One question I’m grappling with is whether limited rollouts (similar to Uber) could be used as market tests to gauge user reactions to the services you described above. While beta tests and focus groups are very effective for many industries (Cineplanet), the issue I see here is that the “tail risk” is still catastrophic. Even if 99.999% of users have positive experiences as a result of this personalization, one negative experience (such as when Target inadvertently revealed a teen girl was pregnant before her family was aware) could lead to a massive loss in users.
AP – love the title of your piece. Something I find interesting about this is that the quality of Spotify’s recommendations directly impacts their bottom line. The record labels charge Spotify on a per-stream basis, meaning that Spotify wants to deliver quality recommendations on its Discover playlists rather than have users listen to multiple songs for 10 seconds each and skip them before finding something they want to listen to.
Super interesting – I agree with the author’s position that additive manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize auto manufacturing, particularly in the prototyping phase. However, to the author’s point about AD machines’ cycle times, I have a tough time imagining that AD will be used for mass production in the near term. AD machines strike me as being similar to workers in a job shop—it’s an expensive machine that can handle a wide degree of customization. Auto manufacturing—characterized by mass production—lends itself to a connected flow process. Do you think this will ever change?
TomTom – thank you for sharing. One question I have in addition to those you raised is the value of 3D-printing in gaining a competitive advantage over Adidas’s competitors. The running shoe industry is highly competitive, and you wrote that Nike, New Balance, and Under Armor (a recent entrant into the space) are all using 3D printing in some capacity already. Will Adidas be able to develop an edge or will all shoe companies offer a similar set of customization options?