• Alumni

Activity Feed

On November 20, 2016, AR commented on Transforming the life cycle of education :

very informative article. However, I was wondering about whether they are utilizing their tech infrastructure properly. With resources such as Khan Academy and Coursera, this company can take utilize their tablets and computers to train their teachers in delivering quality education. Moreover, literacy problem in several developing countries comprise people having graduated from schools without developing basic numeracy and verbal skills. For instance, literacy rate in India is at 74%, but it counts everyone who can just read and write sentences. UNESCO, on the other hand, defines it as

“ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society.”

Therefore, this company can have a real impact in its student’s lives if it leverages its IT network not just to monitor teachers’ attendance but also train them so that they deliver superior learning experience for their students.

Taking’s point forward, the two key areas to capture audience in future are podcasts and messaging apps. Share of internet connected new cars sold is projected to increase to 100% from current 20% in just 9 years. With this will come the death of FM radio as we know it. Currently, an average american spends around 2 hours a day listening to radio in their car. “Automotive is our fastest-growing listening category,” says Geoff Snyder, Pandora’s VP of Business Development. Similarly, in 2015, messaging apps (Messenger, Whatsapp, LINE etc.) surpassed big4 social networking sites in monthly active users. Therefore, content publishers like NYT, who are currently partnering with social networks (for example instant articles for facebook), will soon find themselves on a slowing ship.

In my opinion, NYT should leverage its credibility and content (biggest weakness of social networks / messaging apps) to get a greater presence in online podcast and messaging markets. is right in saying that people are moving away from reading written workds 🙂

For further reading on trends mentioned above:

On November 20, 2016, AR commented on Bringing New York’s Fifth Avenue to China :

Thanks Priscilla for starting the discussion. The challenge for online shoppers these days are conversion rates. That’s one thing in which brick and mortar stores still beat online retailers by a big margin (2% to 4% for online retailers and 20% to 40% for brick-and-mortars) (see link). The main reason for the difference being experience and trialability. VR and AR technologies are changing the landscape in a way that will enable online retailers to overcome this weakness. However, the only dimension VR provides is “see”, still leaving out “touch” and “feel” needed for articles such as apparel, make-up and jewelry. Therefore, you are right in identify potential in these technologies, however, I believe it will be restricted to areas heavily depended on “seeing” in context, such as IKEA furniture or home decorations etc. as opposed to clothes and wearables.

On November 20, 2016, AR commented on How to Train Your Driverless-car :

It is definitely a clever approach, on Tesla’s part, to gather driving data from actual consumers for research and development purposes. However, I see two key challenges with this. First, training data may not be an ideal data-set for training the algorithm. If the goal is to achieve 10x higher safety, it would be hard to achieve by training the software to match current driving patterns (which it hopes to beat). A workaround may be to carefully select drivers who have the best safety records to serve as “benchmarks” for generating the training set.

Secondly, customers can restrict Tesla’s ability to collect this data, through legal action or their own tinkering with data collection mechanism, due to concerns about privacy and data protection. In the worst case scenario, it may lead to a PR disaster for Tesla for collecting detailed driving information without buyer’s consent.

On November 7, 2016, AR commented on Sysco: Squeezed by a Changing Climate in Consumer Demand :

great article. I just wanted to build upon shivika’s point above that Sysco should also prepare for the actual effects of climate change, in addition to just responding to consumer perceptions. It can partner with local farmers on better farming practices such as drip irrigation or laser land leveling that reduce the farm footprint on natural resources. This way, it will be able to market local products as more environment friendly and will actually manage its supply chain risk in the face of climate change

Great post!! Appeal for their new “insulating” concrete in developed markets is obvious. However, they can also sell it in lower income countries where power availability is unreliable so people can utilize this material to get the most out of their heating and cooling equipment

On November 7, 2016, AR commented on Coal Power vs. Climate Change :

Coal and other fossil fuels are still supposed to deliver majority of world’s energy in the coming years. Part of the reason is lower cost and higher, consistent asset utilization in generating electricity versus renewables. So, coal fired plants don’t have to be that worried about hostilities emerging against them. However, the recent decline in crude prices may shift the balance within fossil fuels from coal to gas fired plants (which are much cleaner than coal).

Regardless, all fossil fuels power plants produce tons of CO2 in the production process. In my opinion, these businesses will do a great favor to themselves by investing in some sort of carbon capture projects that trap carbon emissions from the atmosphere for functional benefits. One such company is claiming to produce diamonds from carbon captured from atmosphere. It will help them gain goodwill in public vis a vis other renewable generators.

A very interesting read on how climate change efforts have two way implications, not always necessarily negative. I would like to point out two things here

1. On a micro level, once the wild salmon supplies diminish even further due to climate change, this industry will see its revenues and profits rise. However, given there is no “brand” for salmon and there is no reason for consumers to differentiate farmed salmon from farm to farm, MH won’t have the competitive advantages you assume

2. On a macro level, MH is not safe from climate change efforts. It may be forced to use genetic engineering to develop new species that are able to be farmed in warmer waters (the Egg seems to be the beginning). However, this can introduce the same consumer perception issues in seafood proteins that currently affect pork and beef (steriods, growth hormones, antibiotics, GMOs). Therefore, it is in MH best interest to protect the natural habitats because they provide a natural marketing vehicle for its product.

On November 7, 2016, AR commented on Stella McCartney: Making faux leather a luxury :

People generally consider leather as a by-product of meat production and discount the environmental implications that animal farming and leather tanneries produce. Given the fact that leather tanneries are one the most polluting industry, it was a relief to read this article that alternative materials are being marketed not under some “eco-” label but purely on the basis of design and fashion value.

The next questions I would be curious about is how to scale it up for more general use, by increasing durability and color / texture options? Innovation in marketing? Increasing quality and similarity to real leather?