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Thank you for this very interesting article! I would like to address the first and second questions that you posed above. I do believe that in the short term, the Speedfactory is a clever marketing ploy that could attract a number of customers who are interested in the latest design and technology of footwear. In fact the limited run of Futurecraft 4D shoes that you mentioned in your article was sold out within a short amount of time. That being said, in my opinion Adidas is playing the long game with this technology. There is indeed a path for commercial viability as the technology matures and efficiency increases with experience. Another potential impact that I could see is that this could be a driver to help bring back manufacturing back to western countries, as the process is highly automated. This would provide job opportunities to high skilled operators and engineers.

On November 15, 2018, AY2020 commented on Using 3D Printing to Break the Iron Triangle :

Thanks for the article Mark. Very interesting read. Although I am a great believer in 3D printing and it’s potential to revolutionize the construction industry, I have some doubts as to whether 3D printing could really help remove the “iron triangle” and improve project schedules in the short to medium term. Project schedule is typically defined by the project’s critical path, and for a mega-project such as Shell Stone or Shell Prelude, the critical path is defined by the procurement long lead item delivery. In the case of Shell Prelude and other Floating LNG projects, the long lead item for the whole project is the gas turbine generators (around 20-24 months). Therefore, unless the equipment suppliers commit to a significantly faster delivery schedule, significant improvements in project schedule will be tough to achieve. One could argue that perhaps 3D printing will be adopted by equipment OEM as well, thereby improving delivery times. This of course could be true, and I certainly hope that this will happen. In conclusion, I believe that in order for schedule optimization to be realized via introduction of 3D printing technology in large capital projects in the O&G industry, the project management value chain will have to improve its schedule performance. Congratulations on your very well written article!

I believe one of the biggest challenges that Takeda will face as it changes its R&D model to focus on open innovation is managing cultural change. To build a robust open innovation capability, Takeda would have to change the organizational mindset. Current R&D staff would have be open to collaborations to external solutions providers, where previously they did not have to. The internal R&D staff would also need to be more open and accepting of others. They have to be comfortable with the fact that going forward, they might not be creating solutions from scratch as it was before. Rather, they would have to be collaborators and coaches who are agnostic as to to the origin of the solution, as long as it fulls a need or resolves a problem. Although this may seem simple, I believe changing mindset of these R&D personnel (and management) will be difficult for a pharma company based in a deeply conservative and hierarchical country such as Japan.

On November 15, 2018, AY2020 commented on Betabrand: Wearing Product Development on its Sleeve :

I agree with you that in order to scale, Betabrand will need to be strategic in its method of distribution. On this point, I would argue that although physical distribution reduces speed of bringing a product to market, there are a number of advantages that has to be considered. Physical stores help increase brand awareness, and lend a certain credibility to the brand. It would also lower the barrier to purchase in terms of increasing product observability and triability.

As Betabrand continue to expand to more and more countries, I would also suggest that they tailor their product offering based on region specific preferences. They are receiving clothing design and consumer data from all around the world, and they should leverage this databank going forward.

Thank you for this very interesting article. Being in the oil and gas industry for 8 years now, I never knew that there was a company that could utilize machine learning to develop customized specialty chemical chemicals for fracking. That being said, I understand how difficult it is to scale a breakthrough technology in a relatively conservative industry. Based on my own experience in commercializing technologies, I would recommend Flotek to partner up with several large oil and gas companies that are well known in hydraulic fracturing. These partners would receive a discounted price for products. In return, Flotek would receive access to a larger number of fields, which would help them mature their technology faster. Furthermore, having a well known partner would help Flotek build brand equity and credibility in the industry, which would be beneficial for future sales prospects.

On November 15, 2018, AY2020 commented on Verizon: Battling crime through Machine Learning :

Thank you for the interesting article. This technology reminds me of Tom Cruise’s 2004 film, “Minority Report”, where the police is able to predict and prevent violent crime from happening. I have two comments that I would like to pose:
a) In regards to your second question, in my opinion customers should be reimbursed for providing Verizon their personal data. Even now, data is a valuable commodity, and this should be recognized. Furthermore, by reimbursing customers, this would incentivize adoption. However, given the social benefit of this product, I would recommend Verizon appeal for financial benefits from the government, such as tax breaks.
b) I would also argue that a strong data governance model is required for this technology. Verizon would be receiving a lot of personal data from customers, and it would be prudent that a certain processes are put in place to regulate its use and to prevent abuse.

Thank you very much for this article. I enjoyed it very much. Your question regarding Suncor’s ability to maintain its social license to was especially interesting. Sustaining the social license to operate is imperative and should be a key priority for Suncor as it moves to commercialize and deploy their AHS technology. My experience in the oil and gas industry, specifically my experience in managing governmental stakeholders has thought me a few lessons that I would like to share:
a) Identify key stakeholders that might influence (or become roadblocks) Suncor’s social license to operate. This would include government officials, community leaders, and the press
b) Educate key stakeholders early regarding the development of this disruptive technology and how it may impact them, both positively and negatively.
c) Have a transition plan in place, with emphasis on re-skilling workforce that might be affected by the introduction of this technology. This plan must be executed well in advance of the transition
d) Build goodwill with the local community through Corporate Social Investment programs

Thank you for the very interesting essay.I share your concern in regards to the potential of cyber attacks that could potentially threaten the security of these smart energy grids. However, I would like to share that the US Department of Energy and a group of energy companies are collaborating to manage cyber security risks. Among the current interesting areas of development are [1]:
a) Designing and embedding cyber security into smart grid at its foundation, with $ 3.4 billion of federal funding allocated to 99 smart grid projects to achieve this goal
b) Monitoring: Installation of phasor measurement units to bring wide area visibility of grid operations
c) Outage recovery measures, including advanced metering infrastructure and automated back-up storage

[1] Hawk C., Kaushiva A., Cybersecurity and the Smarter Grid, The Electricity Journal, Volume 27 Issue 8 (pp 84-95), October 2014