B6 crewmember

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On November 20, 2016, B6 crewmember commented on H&R Block: A Taxing Fall from Grace :

Like other posters (and probably many of our generation), I use TurboTax as well because of its convenience and price. That said, I have wondered if walking in to a brick and mortar H&RB, speaking with a human there, and using their services would be more beneficial. Ultimately, I decided to stay with TurboTax. While the brick and mortar stores are expensive and likely eat into the firm’s margins, the physical presence not only serves many customers who prefer it, but also serves as year-round marketing vehicles. Turbo-tax on the other hand pushes marketing only around tax season.

If H&RB wants to capture market share from TurboTax with its Saas model, I challenge it to develop tools that are substantially better than Turbo-Tax and directly market against them.

On November 20, 2016, B6 crewmember commented on Sephora: Who wants a virtual makeover? :

I want to try it!

I hate buying makeup and honestly, have only been an a Sephora once or twice since I am a big believer in drug store makeup being just as good. That said, I understand the Sephora value prop and understand why the company has seen tremendous success. As an established brand, it is even more admirable that Sephora continues to take risks and embrace technology. Considering the physical products themselves.. I wonder if there a “smart” product idea out there in this space. Say a brush that indicates when it needs to be cleaned? It may seem far-retched, but as this kind of technology becomes cheaper and “smart” products become the norm, customers may expect further innovation from Sephora.

On November 20, 2016, B6 crewmember commented on USPS – The Government Agency that Innovates :

USPS gets a lot of flack from the general population and has become somewhat of a scapegoat. I appreciate your shedding light on what the agency has done through technology. An additional way USPS has leveraged the Internet of Things is through its online tracking platform. I have had great success in using the website and have heard first-hand about what it took to create it. A friend of mine at Accenture worked on the project and shared some of its complexities.

I also agree that returns is an area ripe for improvement. I love shopping online, yet still view returns as a hassle. I understand why retailers may want to add friction to the process, but from USPS’s viewpoint, creating an easy process should be the goal. User jcbedi’s idea of using images is a very interesting approach!!

On November 20, 2016, B6 crewmember commented on Your Toaster Has Been Hacked :

I think I’ll stick with my conventional toaster-oven for now! As a generally trusting person, thank you for reminding me of the vulnerability of the our increasing use of the Internet of Things. I could definitely benefit from changing a few of my passwords. On that note, I have a single app that stores all of my passwords… thinking this might be a mistake.

In any event, I agree that many manufacturers will be able to benefit from Icon Labs and other firms like it. You mentioned that it appears the manufacturers will be held responsible for maintaining the security of connected devices. I would be curious to see how that burden shifts once a manufacturer utilizes the service provided by Icon Labs. I suspect Icon Labs would have to bear some of it on behalf of the manufacturer?

I appreciate the thoughtful explanation of how Miniluxe uses data to optimize their operating model. I particularly like the ideas for how they can further improve and believe it is critical that they do. As is, I am not sold on the Miniluxe model. Other nail saloons are utilizing online booking and the “insight” about rain and weather does not strike me as revolutionary.

I am not sure what the Miniluxe interface looks like, but I am familiar with MindBody and envision a similar software could work well at Miniluxe. From the employee perspective, I can imagine it being very beneficial – tracking your schedule, checking your ratings (in an uber-like fashion), communicating with clients, etc.

I hope Miniluxe does well, but as it stands today, I am not convinced.

Thank you for this post – I had no idea the BRRI existed, but can see why it is critical that it does!

The work BRRI has done appears to be on the forefront of this issue. In line with your recommendations, I question how much of their R&D has translated into actual crops. I specifically like your 3rd idea of the BRRI sharing their information globally so that other regions may adopt some of these ideas. The more others are willing to test out some of the BRRI’s technologies, the more likely it may be that BRRI can get stakeholders in Bangladesh on board.

They truly seem to be the pioneers in this area and should receive recognition as such. I think it could go a long way to helping them see some of their ideas play out in practice.

On November 7, 2016, B6 crewmember commented on Blue Apron: Delivering an efficient tomorrow :

Thanks for the post Aakash! I am an a former Blue Apron customer. My boyfriend and I loved it because the meals were easy (for him to make and for me to drink wine) and we felt like we were not “wasting” food that we would have if we had purchased it ourselves from the grocery store. We often found ourselves buying produce only to see it go bad over the course of a week or two.

That said, as pointed out by some posters above, I felt guilty each time I received one of their boxes. I thought about the emissions from the trucks required for delivery and the wast of the packaging – (for example, a tiny portion of soy sauce in a pastic bottle). I tried to look in to it myself and was not able to find any evidence that Blue Apron uses recycled plastic. The only glimmer of hope is the “How do I recycle my Blue Apron packaging?” note on their website (https://support.blueapron.com/hc/en-us/articles/202510818-How-do-I-recycle-my-Blue-Apron-packaging-). That said, the author of this buzzfeed article found the note less than useful (https://www.buzzfeed.com/ellencushing/these-are-the-trashy-consequences-of-blue-apron-delivery?utm_term=.wkJeW7Gj#.brAnwZq0)

Great post! Nike is a really good example of a company that made a huge turnaround regarding sustainability. you posed the question, “… can the company use this newfound status to convince others to walk the sustainability talk and Just Do It?”

I think the answer is a confident “yes.” Adidas in particular has really stepped up its move toward sustainable practices. Without any actual evidence, I suspect that this move was in large part due to Nike taking the lead. Only a couple of days ago, Business Insider wrote an article on Adidas new shoes that are made from ocean waste as part of its ultimate goal to eliminate virgin plastic from its supply chain. Sustainability is hot right now and can lead to great PR as we have seen with Nike. Its no surprise Adidas followed their lead and landed an enthusiastic article in BI. http://www.businessinsider.com/adidas-shoe-from-plastic-ocean-waste-2016-11/#-1

On November 6, 2016, B6 crewmember commented on IT’S TIME TO PLAY BY THE RULES :

What a disappointment!! The facts and information at the beginning of the blog were very hopeful, but it looks as though Mattel has not executed in actually improving its sustainability. Why have emissions and waste gone up instead of down? I wonder if Mattel has disclosed the reasons behind these charts.

Additionally, I question why Mattel has not addressed the third goal. From a PR perspective, the third goal would be highly beneficial to the company’s reputation. It also provides an avenue for Mattel to connect with customers and get the dialogue going. Like some other posters here, I would encourage them to pursue this third avenue more aggressively.

On November 6, 2016, B6 crewmember commented on Nestlé keeps climate change cool :

As an influential international corporation, it sounds like Nestlé might need to step up their game. From this post, it does not sound like Nestlé is at the forefront of the industry when it comes to addressing climate change. I too hope they realize the position they are in to serve as leaders in the industry and take that responsibility more seriously. I did appreciate, however, that Nestlé outlined some specific measurable goals regarding GHG emissions. This is at least a start. The issue of refrigerants is interesting and I hope Nestlé’s transition to natural refrigerants influences others to follow suit.