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On November 20, 2016, AVV commented on How Beijing Utilizes Big Data & IoT Manage Air Pollution :

I remember the news stories of the pollution issues and China’s action plan during the Beijing Olympics, and it appears that they have come a long way since then in terms of taking a more analytical and surgical approach to reducing pollution when needed. Are there ways that they can work to make this a constant effort as opposed as just a bandaid for high profile events? I also wonder what other uses the technology could have – would there be a way to use it to improve traffic flow as opposed to just restrict cars from the road?

On November 20, 2016, AVV commented on GS Bank: Goldman Sachs’ Online Retail Banking Business :

I had never heard of GS Bank up until now – it seems like great in concept to expand their product offering and start moving into the consumer space. At least for me, in order to adapt the service and move away from a Bank of America or a Fidelity would be the ATM access. The higher interest rate does not negate the lack of access to the money in the account. I wonder if they would consider partnering with an established ATM network and issuing a debit card that could be used on it?

This seems like it would be a great value add to any manufacturing environment – one additional thought for expansion or growth would be to see what data tracking or analysis other than electricity could they incorporate into the device? There is often limited space on manufacturing equipment to mount items, and if Fluke was able to have a mounted screen that not only worked on the electrical and preventative maintenance front, but also helped track other items such as maybe water or chemical usage, waste, or temperature it could provided even more value to the plant operations.

On November 20, 2016, AVV commented on Digitization at Walmart :

It appears that Walmart has been investing heavily in both growing its online presence as well as upgrading its actual storefronts. At the end of the post, you reference future ideas for potential implementation at the retail store level – how do you think a company like Walmart (or any other retailer) balance their capex dollars for improving their online presence and supporting logistics as opposed to investing in products that improve the physical store locations?

On November 20, 2016, AVV commented on Streetlights. People. Living Just to Find Transformation. :

Really interesting topic – given that street lights are everywhere in cities, it would make sure to use them as a dynamic beacon as opposed to just providing light. Another use that I thought of was to build wifi service or increased cellular signal capabilities for cities to provide extra connectivity to their citizens.

My biggest concern is what impact does artificial snow or “skiing in the summer” have on the overall consumer experience at these resorts as compared to the “traditional ski experience?” While the revenues/guest seem to be rising in the short term, I wonder if there is an approaching tipping point at while the “new” experience will drive families to more just pay more for traditional mountains or away from a ski vacation all together. Perhaps, these new hybrid resorts will no longer be competing with the traditional ski mountains and instead will move towards a more Disneyland like offering where “skiing” is just one of the experiences offered as opposed to the main revenue driver of the mountain. The ski industry (and all winter actives resorts) will certainly continue to feel the pressures of climate change over the coming years, so it will be interesting to see the strategic responses.

On November 7, 2016, AVV commented on GoGreen DHL! :

I agree with you 100% that the “Last Mile” will be the biggest challenge for DHL as it strives to reduce its GHG/package because of the rapid loss of economies of scale. In addition to your drones suggestions, what are your thoughts on them partnering with a 3rd party company (ex. Uber or Lyft) that would handle the last mile on their behalf? The other idea I had would be a joint venture with other large logistics companies (UPS, FedEx) that handled the last mile for all of the major package delivery services in order to build some economies of scale back into the system.

Much like the wood supplies of Ikea felt the pressures to become more sustainable, International Paper has been feeling the same pressures from its end customers over the past decade. As the everyday consumer has started to demand increased sustainability in the products they support, these manufacturers (Pepsi, P&G, etc) have put increased pressures on their supply chain to increase their own sustainability initiatives. The unique challenge that International Paper faces is that due to its vertical integration (IP owns the forests, mills, and converting plants) it can not simply just turn around and pass increased sustainability regulations on to its own suppliers, rather IP is forced to turn internally to make these changes.

On November 7, 2016, AVV commented on Change the game :

Love the idea Coach, and agree that Nike has been a leader at pushing for sustainability in their products and business over the past years. I think the biggest hurdle for them is going to be getting a major sponsored athlete to join them in the campaign. For example if you had Lebron James version of the Flyknit or Jordan brand released a special “sustainable” edition of a retro shoe – these would be great ways for immediate public awareness of the new initiatives and start driving sales towards more sustainable products. As we have seen with the recent election coverage, these athletes are not afraid to go out and make a public stand on a social issue (ex. Lebron was at a Hillary rally in Cleveland over this past weekend), so it is just a matter of getting them to buy into the mission.

Very interesting application that Google has developed that fits well into our discussion of corporate responsibility (being such a high energy user, does Google have a social obligation to continue to reduce its energy consumption) and company profitability (this clearly represents a massive cost savings and operational improvement for not only Google, but also the industry as a whole. I wonder how their acquisition of Nest in 2014 fits into this strategy on a consumer level? Nest is similar in that it learns your home heating/cooling preferences and works behind the scenes to effectively monitor and maintain your home temperature based on when you will be in the house. Could they expand Nest to look at not only temperature, but also overall energy usage at a consumer level.