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Great post, Elise. When the deal was announced, I had read a bit about it and found the Moody’s review (–PR_356948) pretty interesting. One piece that stood out to me was that despite all the benefits of AT&T’s recent acquisitions (DirecTV and now Time Warner) that you also enumerated, it is buying businesses that are being threatened by disruptors like Netflix and Amazon Video who are also producing their own content, which makes me question whether AT&T believes they can move into that space and compete against the online streaming services as well as the traditional cable content providers.

On November 20, 2016, ashkad commented on Teladoc: Saving Lives or Just a Dime? :

Thanks for writing about this! I wrote briefly about telemedicine in relation to One Medical and how they have added such features to their services. However, adding to Saurav’s skepticism above, I’m not sure if this can help ballooning healthcare costs, especially with the lack of continuity of care since patients cannot choose their doctors. I think there are opportunities to combine telemedicine with primary care services in the ways that One Medical is doing. Perhaps Teladoc should actually expand and have regular primary care centers to compete with a company like One Medical.

Roberto – Thanks so much for your post. I had read recently that government agencies like the FDA are actually getting better at tracking food and this is one of the reasons we see a rise in reporting of food-related illnesses (not necessarily because there are more of them). What I had never thought of is how they are able to do this and it’s possible that they use similar technology as Barilla does now! And if they don’t, this would be a great idea for more companies to implement. Do you know if there are other companies doing something similar?

On November 20, 2016, ashkad commented on Turning the public into ‘citizen epidemiologists’ :

I had no idea this existed – what a powerful tool! I’m interested to see whether this tool can be expanded to possibly add an interactive feature or communication tool between public health workers and infected patients so that they can access care more quickly. What do you think?

On November 20, 2016, ashkad commented on Digitization in Oil & Gas – is Shell a Leader or a Laggard? :

Deviyani – Thanks for bringing to light what large oil companies are doing and can do to improve using technology. I was particularly fascinated by how they are using sensors to find oil and shale and how they are using big data. I never knew they were employing such methods and I thought the former was particularly good because then oil companies do not have to spend extra capital drilling before knowing for sure that they’ll find oil. Look forward to hearing about what oil companies do going forward as they look to move from laggards to leaders!

On November 7, 2016, ashkad commented on Nike: Swooshing to Tackle Climate Change :

Kenny – Thanks for helping us understand the impact that the clothing and footwear industry has on climate change. I found the diagrams particularly useful as it is often hard to understand the impact when just stating large emissions or oil/gas numbers. I agree with @apedrajo above and think that Nike has created a loyal base of customers who would be excited that Nike is changing its product lines to be more sustainable. Nike has always innovated and this is a great next step. They could even do some great social media advertising on this front with their 66 million Instagram followers! I think this article [1] had a lot of great points about what Nike is doing and how consumers are more likely to welcome sustainable products.


Elise – Thanks for writing about nuclear energy! I think this is a fascinating topic and one that has fallen off many people’s radars given the public perception issue nuclear faces, as you mentioned above. In my last job, my boss was moderating a panel on the future of nuclear energy and as part of my research, the use of thorium came up. Thorium is difficult to weaponize and is also 3-4x more abundant than uranium [1]. The article cited is a couple years old, but I thought it provided a good, quick glance at a possible new source. While I admit I don’t understand the physics behind it, I thought it could be a possible avenue to pursue that could alleviate any security concerns around nuclear, help revitalize public perception and partially address potential supply issues. I’d be interested to hear what you think!


On November 7, 2016, ashkad commented on Christmas without Christmas trees? :

What a unique article, Gorick! I had no idea that plastic Christmas trees have a 60% larger carbon footprint than real trees. As many others I’m sure believe, I thought plastic trees for better for the environment, but that real trees were more authentic or beloved (as they are for me). As Jessie mentioned above on the recycling aspect, one of the things New York City has done (and I’ve participated in) is Christmas tree pick up during the first two weeks of January. The trees are chipped and mixed to be made into compost NYC parks and gardens. [1] Hopefully programs like these can be implemented in more cities along with the educational campaigns you highlighted!


Denzil – thank you for sharing your perspective on Tesla and Solar City. I just sent a link to my family over the weekend showing them how solar panel roofs are now a lot more aesthetically pleasing [1] (having just replaced our roof this year, it was top of mind)! I think this is a great step in increasing customer adoption. However, given that Tesla showed its first profitable quarter in three years [2], it may be a concern that a solar roof would be something consumers only look into building/replacing once every few years. Do you think this is a concern for Tesla on the recurring revenue stream front? While it may be great for the fight against climate change, I’m not positive it is a profitable business for Tesla.


On November 7, 2016, ashkad commented on The Home Depot Owning the DIY Approach to Climate Change :

Thanks for bringing to light The Home Depot’s efforts to combat climate change. When thinking about the products they sell, it reminded me of the IKEA case and sourcing sustainable wood since THD is one of the world’s largest lumber purchasers. A point that could be interesting to include in support of what THD has done is their commitment to buying and selling FSC-certified lumber. They were the first to carry FSC-certified wood in 1994 [1] and I was surprised to learn that they sell more sustainable wood than any other retailer in the US [2]. Given their scale it is impressive how much influence this can continue to have.