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On December 1, 2017, Badar commented on Isolationism – Where should Samsung Go? :

It is interesting to see the way governments are trying to force the private sector to play their game. The governments may be foregoing taxes or put diplomatic pressure to invite companies to invest in areas where they may not have a natural advantage. This may achieve the objectives of the politicians, however, it does undermine market efficiencies and limits the international economy. Instead, if each market play to its strengths, and encourages international free trade, consumers, traders and suppliers will extract more value.

The author displays how the governments of different nations pull Samsung to invest in areas that may not be optimum for it to invest in a free market. Samsung plays to its advantage in the politicized and polarized world. However, Samsung needs to be very careful to ensure that the majority of the investments it makes are conducted in efficient markets. It also needs to focus on the product mix so that it is less disrupted by regional influences to ensure that it remains sustainable in the long run.

Interesting write up! I can imagine UPS developing a Hub and Spoke model here. If isolationism kills off the hub to hub communication, UPS will have a strong hub – spoke network to keep driving revenues.

Definitely liberating markets and opening up trades make economies interdependent and hence brings people closer together. Market efficiencies are leveraged at international levels leading to international diplomacy. Hence deterring aggression and wars.

In my view isolationism is a transient movement that will die off given that people will smarten up. They will realize that it is just a tool that certain people utilize to further their clout. Spurts of isolationism will come and go but the private sector with strong market forces will always keep it in check.

This article provided an innovative use of the blockchain technology. In verifying and authenticating art technology replaces the experts. The article is pointing at the core question that always props up in projects involving automation: Will the society loose the experts and their trait. The answer is seen as unfortunate to some and valuable to others (valuable in the sense that it is a more robust way of preserving information).

Like all online venture, this also has a catch, what if some hacker gets better at coding than the data scientists who are building the walls?

It is prudent that Sotheby’s doesn’t accept cryptocurrencies due to the current uncertainty in its price and sustainability. However, there may be a day when this technology matures and this new financial currency stabilizes itself as the default mode of payment.

This is an innovative use of digitization to implement predictive maintenance on the medical devices. I can think of a parallel to this approach as we were using a similar technique to monitor the condition of the railway assets to leverage the power of predictive maintenance.

When digitization is applied to medicine and held by 3rd parties an important concept of personal information and security starts emerging. I believe the fields of cyber security will also develop in synchrony to protect the valuable yet personal data that these devices capture.

Additionally, as the medical devices start churning data for analysis, useful insights can be developed not just to advance the field of medicine but also related industries such as insurance will progress.

As information becomes paramount, various industries will move towards value based services, evolving the business models away from the assets and devices that serve them.

On December 1, 2017, Badar commented on This season, LVMH is wearing green :

This is an interesting article on LVMH’s green strategies and promoting an organization culture of preserving the environment. The interesting aspect was that the strategies are targeting multiple fronts of the supply chain from the production, packaging, shipping and onto retail. A very strong push can be made by aligning the brand leadership’s incentives with climate change.

I believe, inherently, the fashion and retail industry is not at odds with climate change. If the regulations tighten and the world joins hands to tackle the climate change issues, environmental initiatives will accelerate in the right direction. However, if that does not happen, the private sector should take actions themselves to make the world a better place to live. This will not just make them look more socially responsible, but may act as an excellent PR and advertising campaign as the average human becomes more aware of these pressing issues. Going green will definitely help strengthen the brand image in the long term.

On December 1, 2017, Badar commented on American Airlines: Grounded by extreme heat :

It is interesting to read the article as it is not normally apparent that a rising temperature will cause the airline operations to become increasingly damaging to the climate. It is good to see that American Airlines is taking the lead in curbing climate change. However, it will be useful to see how they can incentivize the regional partners can also adopt similar policies and participate in adopting green practices. One way to do this is to link perks and benefits of the green initiatives done by the regional partners.

It will be exciting to see if American Airlines starts advertising the green image causing healthy competition in the market for better initiatives.

Getting more stringent specifications for the new airplanes and re-routing the newer fleet on the riskier routes may be a viable short term measure.