Thanks for the post. I am a frequent user of ZocDoc and I love the ease of discovering a new physician in a new city and scheduling my appointments through the system. However, as a few people have mentioned, I believe that ZocDoc can be much more proactive in their relationship with physicians. Though I have my patient information stored on the ZocDoc site, there have been numerous instances in which I am required to fill out the same information again once I arrive at the physician’s office. This, in addition to a lack of coordination regarding medical records across different physician offices, often adds unnecessary time to each appointment and further decreases the efficiency that physicians are able to reach in a given day.
This post also inspired some thoughts about how ZocDoc could expand the reach of its business. While it currently focuses on connecting people with physicians, ZocDoc may also want to look into providing services for licensed alternative medicine practitioners (e.g., reflexologists etc.). There is not a centralized resource that currently supports those practitioners.
This is a very intriguing topic to me. Between this technology and what the NBA and FIFA is able to do with the SportVU cameras, I am consistently amazed by how technology is changing how we are able to analyze what we see on the field.
Part of my interest into this topic comes from the idea that it could impact the worth of coaches and the amount of value they have on the field. Theoretically, as more teams gain the ability to intelligently analyze what their players are doing on the field, it could level the playing field for coaching and lower the barriers to entry for the profession. It will also likely result in a shift from coaches that make their decisions based on “feel for the game” to those that have the ability to analyze the data they receive and make strategic adjustments based on what the numbers tell them.
On a completely different note, this article also made me a bit concerned regarding the application of this technology in other areas. If the cost of inserting this type of technology is fairly low and it is something that can be completed fairly easily at scale, one could feasibly start to put sensors in the clothes of normal people. While I assume there are a number of privacy laws that would prevent this from happening, even the prospect is enough to spark a little concern from me.
Great article! I love the comparative use of the diagrams and it seems to have inspired a lively conversation in the comments.
Like Sarah mentioned, this company seems like the Uber of consulting so I wonder how it deals with many of the same problems that face the car company namely quality and the sustainability of their position in the future. The mechanism of only requiring payment when the customer is satisfied after the engagement is helpful in ensuring the customer’s experience but it seems to lack actionable guidance that could help to prevent that dissatisfaction in the future. This may also hurt their ability to attract top talent as the consultant is not provided with a mechanism to deal with a particularly bad client. In contrast, Uber is able to achieve this through their two-way feedback system. Finally, I am skeptical of their ability to grow in the future. Like Uber, it seems like this model could easily be copied, particularly by one of the larger, more established firms. As a result of low barriers of entry, I doubt their ability to truly threaten the traditional model.
I’m incredibly interested in the MagicBand system so I’m glad someone wrote about this topic. From a data standpoint, they are an incredible asset for Disney both for real-time adjustments in the park and for long-term planning for the Parks. I like the idea above for using this technology in stadiums though I wonder how cost-effective it would work out to be since spectators spend most of their time sitting in one spot.
There was also some interesting recent news pertaining to this topic: Disney has just come out with a second version of the MagicBands that will include a “core” that can be removed from the band and placed into other types of wearable items like necklaces or keychains. This should represent significant additional revenue for Disney as people purchase a wider range of accessories to be used with the MagicBand system in order to customize their look.
Thanks for the insightful post Catherine. I agree with the previous two comments. If Nestle truly wants to shift away from its practices that contribute to climate change, there needs to be a major shift in how they view their core business.
I like your suggestion of developing new material to replace the plastic used in producing the bottles but I would like to take the idea a step further. I think Nestle should shift from producing single serving bottles to either developing filters that can be used to convert salt, fresh and tap water into drinkable water or produce a re-usable bottle to further reduce the need for bottled water. While I recognize that both of those avenues represent an uphill battle with established competitors such as Brita and Swell respectively, I believe this is the most effective way Nestle can make an impact against climate change.
Unfortunately, it seems like Nestle has one foot in and one foot out of this fight. They have recently established a program called ReadyRefresh that will deliver packages of 24 plastic water bottles to people’s homes. While I understand the need to continue to generate revenue for the company, this appears in direct opposition to their “sustainable mission”. Instead of delivering all of these individually sized waters, they could just as easily provide 2-3 larger sized containers to mitigate the environmental impact. This practice truly calls into question where Nestle’s motivations lie.
Thanks for the post but let’s hope the answer to this question is no! As you mentioned in the beginning of your post, cocoa can only be grown in specific regions so this is not only a problem for local communities. Mars must increase awareness around the issue of climate change to make it a global issue. While chocolate is not particularly the platform people would expect to fight this epidemic from, I believe every large organization with the reach of a company like Mars is responsible for ensuring the proliferation of sustainable efforts across the world.
While I remain concerned about the supply of chocolate moving forward, I am most worried about the effect this could have on the farmers that depend on this crop as one of their only sources of revenue. Luckily, it appears that the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has provided funding for research about how to diversify their crops into more heat-resistant plants like oranges and how to grow cocoa more effectively through better shading and various types of seeds to increase the resilience of the crops.(1) Hopefully this will help these farmers to mitigate some of the impact of climate change on their livelihoods.
Andy, thanks for the post. I’ve never taken the time to think about how climate change would affect sports particularly those played in the summer months like baseball. I am in agreement with your suggestion to reduce the number of games played in order to mitigate some of the risks highlighted in your post. I think we are trending toward a place where certain days in the summer may have conditions that cannot be played in with regard to the heat. By reducing the length of the season, you can spread the games out more to mitigate this potential occurrence without necessitating a shift to more night games. I doubt that MLB would go for this, however, due to the effect on the league’s revenue.
On a different note, as is unfortunately becoming common with some of my posts, I want to play devil’s advocate and highlight some ways baseball may be benefitting from global warning:
– Warmer weather is correlated with more home runs (which leads to more scoring and more “exciting” games)(1)
– Warmer weather can also lead to drier fields which in turn makes fielding more difficult on grass fields (potentially leading toward more scoring and more “exciting” games)(1)
– And finally, climate change could shorten the winter seasons in the northern parts of the U.S. allowing more schools to begin spring training earlier and potentially widening the talent pool(1)
Of course, none of these benefits to the game of baseball is worth the negative impacts that occur as a result of climate change but given that many of changes the MLB could make to help combat global warning could negatively impact their bottomline, one may want to make sure they don’t consider “throwing the game”.
Alex, thanks for writing such a compelling article. The statistics in the beginning were particularly jarring and ensured my interest for the rest of the post. I also appreciated the 4 proposals you listed at the end.
While it has been brought up a few times, I’d like to look at your fourth suggestion from a slightly different angle. I wonder whether Levi’s would be willing to create jeans that would increase the durability per pair and potentially suppress consumer need for additional pairs of jeans in the future. While I recognize that the style argument can be made as a potential catalyst for people to buy new jeans, I would assume that more people buy jeans based on the wear and tear of everyday life (including cleaning). Moreover, if Levi’s were fully invested in making significant contributions to climate change, they could encourage people to buy used pairs of Levi’s jeans. This would mean that Levi’s revenues may again be affected. Unfortunately, it seems like the largest impacts in the fight against climate change may require consumers to negatively impact the Levi’s bottomline.
In doing a search regarding this topic, I also found an interesting article about “Odorless Jeans”. These jeans that supposedly wash themselves and are generally stain-resistant leading, presumably, to less rounds in the washing machine(1). While this notion would be interesting for a large company like Levi’s to try, again I wonder how much they are willing to sacrifice with regard to additional jean sales. Would they be ok with people buying a couple pair of jeans to last them for a decade?
Sairah, thanks for sharing your perspectives on Delta and the airline industry at large. I was not aware of the severe impact global warming was having on Delta and other airlines on an operational level. Your post inspired additional curiosity within me regarding this phenomenon and it appears that climate change is also negatively affecting the airline industry by way of an increase in jet stream wind speed. As a result, transatlantic flights are being delayed from Europe to the U.S. thus potentially adding thousands of hours per year to travel times and millions to airline fuel bills.(1)
Separately, due to my own research on the effects of climate change on tourism, I wonder whether the airline industry will also see some benefits as a result of global warming. Because of the higher global temperatures, it is possible that certain locations in the northern hemisphere would enjoy longer tourist seasons. If Delta could adjust the deployment of its planes to harness this effect, I wonder if they could capture some of the revenue it loses to the other effects of climate change.
Addendum to the above article:
(1)Carnival Corporation & plc Website, “Corportate Information”, http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=200767&p=irol-prlanding. Accessed November 2016.
(2)Oliver J.A. Howitt, Vincent G.N. Revol, Inga J. Smith, Craig J. Rodger, Carbon emissions from international cruise ship passengers’ travel to and from New Zealand, Energy Policy, Volume 38, Issue 5, May 2010, Pages 2552-2560, ISSN 0301-4215, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2009.12.050.
(http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421510000066). Accessed November 2016.
(3)Carnival Corporation & plc, “CDP Recognizes Carnival Corporation for Climate Change Transparency”, PRNewswire, 2015. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cdp-recognizes-carnival-corporation-for-climate-change-transparency-300178819.html. Accessed November 2016.
(4) Dowling, R.K. (2006) Cruise Ship Tourism. CABI Publishing, Oxford, UK.
(5)Dennis, Brady and Chris Mooney, “A luxury cruise ship sets sail for the Arctic, thanks to climate change” , Washington Post, 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/08/16/a-luxury-cruise-ship-sets-sail-for-the-arctic-thanks-to-climate-change/. Accessed November 2016.
(6) O’Connor, Mary Catherine, “Cruise Ship Industry’s Environmental Record: Not Triumphant”, Outside Magazine, 2013. https://www.outsideonline.com/1915601/cruise-ship-industrys-environmental-record-not-triumphant. Accessed November 2016.
(7)Becken, Susanne and John Hay (2007). Tourism and Climate Change: Risks and Opportunities, Clivedon. Channel View.