Great post. Combining cheap satellites that gather massive amounts of data, with machine-learning tools that can analyze this data and provide insights has the potential to change many industries. To add to the industries already mentioned in the post, agriculture can be dramatically changed using this method. Analysis of crop field photographs taken by satellites is actually already taking place by Descartes Labs (http://www.descarteslabs.com/). The company claims to forecast global commodity crop production more accurately than the best government or commercial sources. If indeed the forecasts are better, the implications are huge: from estimating future commodity prices, supply & demand, to changing irrigation methods and improving yields using this data.
Great post. I think Fujifilm is a great example of the risk as well as the opportunity in the digital revolution. Traditional businesses can lose their competitive advantage because of technological innovations and new emerging digital business models. However, these traditional businesses also hold a significant knowledge base and expertise that can be leveraged and utilized in other industries. Flexibility and adaptability to industry-wide changing conditions are the key factors that allowed Fujifilm to survive. Diversifying a company to new business fields and products can be complicated and require substantial investment, but it also reduces risks (much like diversifying a portfolio of stocks), and creates new opportunities for growth.
Very interesting posts. I certainly support subsidizing products such as Amazon Dash and Alexa. The future prospects from these products are much higher than the profit Amazon can create from selling them at a premium. Amazon needs to capture and maintain the biggest market share possible, and locking customers to its services using such products is a unique advantage. As we learned in several of the cases this week (Uber, Watson), moving fast and being aggressive is a must in the digital world. Lagging behind on Alexa sales will pave the way for competitors (Google Home was mentioned in a previous comment as a potential threat. A comparison between these products can be found here – WSJ: http://www.wsj.com/articles/google-home-vs-amazon-echo-which-robot-do-you-let-into-your-life-1478544438).
Great post AJ.
This post raises an interesting challenge regarding IoT and digital devices in general. Companies constantly increase the flow of information of connected devices in order to improve functionality and ease of use. However, doing so also substantially increases user privacy threats and cyber-security threats. It is much easier hacking into a wireless system compared with a closed-loop, wired one. Personally, I think a more conservative approach is needed when dealing with security and safety systems. Stand-alone systems are less convenient, but are safest in terms of cyber-security because to hack them you need to approach them physically. In this case, I am not sure about the suggestion to design future hardware to allow wireless software updates. I think it will provide another “entry point” for hackers with fake updates to bypass the SimpliSafe system.
Thanks for the comment Kelly! Regarding reliability – I think it is a matter of time until ALIS stabilizes. With more flight hours accumulated and constant testing of the system, reliability will improve significantly. The project overcame a lot of challenges in the development process that seem much more complicated (ejection seat problems, flight control problems, software delays and many more). The F-35 is the one of the most complex technological projects of our time, and as such it is natural that development issues appear.
Regarding the cyber-security threat – I do not see a comprehensive solution, at least not in the short-term. Until proper measures are taken, I believe that sensitive activities will result in getting the system offline or partially offline in order to avoid data from leaking. One limited solution is to allow data to flow only in some segments of the system. Sharing the information internally within a country reduces much of the risk while still utilizing most of the system’s benefits.
Very interesting! The entertainment media has a lot to offer and raising awareness of climate change can drive an environmental friendly behavior of consumers and corporates alike.
I would complement the “what if” of sci-fi movies with documentaries that show what is going on right now – there are many interesting movies that are extremely effective in convincing those who are still in denial of humanity’s impact on the environment. Movies such as “Chasing Ice” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1579361/) offer strong visual evidence for the consequences of our irresponsible behavior.
Great post! Package delivery service providers are indeed one of the largest contributors to global warming – and therefore have the most potential to drive significant change in their business. From transportation costs to packaging sizes and usage of recycled materials, I can think of few businesses that affect the environment that much.
I agree to the claim that UPS is moving in the right direction – but it does not do enough. Increasing customer awareness about how their behavior using UPS’s services affect the environment does not seem to be one of the company’s main priorities. This is especially evident when observing the UPS Next Day Air service on UPS’s official website (https://www.ups.com). While all benefits of next day service are clearly presented, the fact that those create a higher GHG footprint is nowhere to be found, and there are no significant pricing incentives to move away from this option.
Educating customers will reduce emissions but decrease profitability, and it seems UPS is just not willing to fully commit to this move.
Great article! This post shows how climate change can create some unique new opportunities for businesses to grow, and how global warming can shift weather dependent businesses to northern locations.
However, climate change does not only create an increase in global temperatures, it also creates great instability and variability in weather trends. Most problems for Champagne region in recent years derived from increasing temperatures. But surprisingly, last years’ crop output dropped significantly due to frost and hailstorms (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-22/france-wine-out-drops-as-hail-frost-hit-champagne-burgundy).
Unfortunately, this instability can signal that moving Champagne production to UK is only a temporary solution with a limited lifetime. Adapting to weather changes and variability can prove more effective in the long run, and can be done by advanced fertilizers and pesticides, bio-engineering, advanced irrigation, and more.
I totally agree that educating consumers and raising awareness to sustainability and climate change is the most important tool to fight global warming and GHG emissions. Consumer demand changes the economic landscape and the motivations of companies. Today, most consumers are aware of the issue mostly in the context of the large industry sectors that are actively creating emissions – transportation, energy, oil & gas etc. There lies a strong need to educate the consumers of how other industries are related to global warming, directly or indirectly. I was actually quite surprised when reading this article, as I have never thought about hang tags as a contributor to global warming.
In this light, my only concern is why should Avery Dennison have the motivation to take this step and educate the consumer? Doing so, creates bad publicity for the company and essentially raises awareness to a problem that most consumers didn’t even notice.
This post raises an interesting weakness point in innovative plans to mitigate climate change without a very decisive supporting regulation – unless proper incentives are set, it will take many years to implement any plan, and we might be too late.
The average car age in the US is constantly increasing. In fact, a typical car in the US is 11.5 years old, and 14 million cars on US roads are more than 25 years old. With improvements in car quality and reliability, consumers are expected to hold their vehicles even longer. Under these circumstances, even the most amazing green technologies will take years to create a substantial decrease in GHG emissions.
Strong governmental regulations that force getting old cars off the road are the only way to create a real change sooner rather than later.
(See Bureau of Transportation: Average Age of Automobiles and Trucks in Operation in the United States http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_01_26.html_mfd)