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On November 20, 2016, BAL commented on The Onslaught of Digital unto Nuclear Dinosaurs :

Interesting read, Jaime. The energy industry as a whole is certainly guilty of relying on obsolete technologies and waiting far too long to upgrade. Look at the fact that many utilities still have manual meter readers driving around to check customers’ monthly energy usage. Given the fact that many operators have been so loathe to update their analog operating systems, has there been any development in digital systems to support nuclear reactors? If so, who is developing and who are the customers who are using these technologies? I don’t know if this would be a potential usage of something like GE’s Predix software, which could likely be customized for the reactor. Any idea on how the new TVA nuclear plant, or the ones being built in Southern Company Territory will incorporate digital monitoring and analytics in these new nukes? I’d think that the ability to generate and analyze data would be a benefit to the permitting process on new plants, but given how long these took to permit and built, I’m not sure if this was the case.

On November 20, 2016, BAL commented on McDigital or McDoomed? :

Interesting read. I wonder to what extent if at all visible digital innovation (e.g. kiosks, tablets) could have potential to drive customers away from the store. The statistic shows come customers reacting favorably to kiosks, but did not include any data on adverse opinions. While I see limited downside form moving forward with analytics and behind the scenes digitization, I could see some segments of customers reacting adversely to McDonald’s become a futuristic digitized customer experience. While being overly reliant on what’s worked in the past can also be a trap, it’s important that McDonald’s not forget it’s identity as America’s oldest and truest chain comfort food.

On November 20, 2016, BAL commented on Distrupting Your High :

TBD, your last paragraph really resonated with me. As I considered Silk Road, what appeared clear to me was the likelihood that it would have a net societal benefit, taking violence and drug dealers off of the streets to be replaced by an online marketplace. This certainly doesn’t remove the danger and violence prevalent in many of the upstream (often foreign) growers/producers. I wonder if the presence of silk road was truly doing anything to proliferate the trade of drugs and other illegal substances, or if buyers and sellers would have found a way to transact anyways, with more risk of violence. If the latter, then it’s interesting to me because governments could find themselves in a moral quandary where shutting down the website would actually increase drug-related violence, whereas turning a blind eye would be the safer decision. Certainly not an easy question to solve.

Good read. One thing not discussed is how the curriculum of the primary HBS MBA program is (or is not) adapting to increased digitization that threatens the traditional teaching model and used for everything from written communication to video conferencing to online courses, as your post suggests. While we have some multi-media cases, these are relatively simple attempts to increase the technological aspects of the curriculum. It’s been stated that HBS does not provide much in the way of technical training, particularly for those interested in roles in technology, and ambitious students have gotten around this by having the student run clubs bring in training. I’d think that as the world becomes more reliant on digital technology, HBS would be forced to increase its training around these areas. Hopefully this does not remain a blind spot for the school moving forward.

On November 20, 2016, BAL commented on 3Derm: A Dermatology Triage System :

Looks like I’m late to the commenting game on this one. Coming from a family of dermatologists, (both my mother and sister are practicing dermatologists), I have seen firsthand some of the 50+ day wait times to get into a dermatologist, when most of the appointments blocking a person from seeking care are routine consults and skin checks. While I agree with NJG on the importance of urging patients to seek care in the first place, I don’t actually see this as a major risk for the majority of skin cancer patients, most of whom have struggled with skin issues preceding the cancer. My concern with 3Derm’s business model is it’s likelihood to succeed in the increasingly competitive telemedicine space, particularly when it is currently a sole use product for dermatology applications. I would think that private practitioners may be attracted to the product since it is customized to their needs, but I’d be concerns about whether larger providers such as hospitals would be likely to enroll given their need for products that work across a range of specialties.

On November 6, 2016, BAL commented on Changing Climate’s Challenges to TATA Tea :

Great post, AVP. Pretty clear that this an organization whose operations are highly at risk. Good to see them taking actions toward planning for the future and cleaning up the emissions of their own operations. However, to me, the 2 million laborers number is particularly striking – very indicative of the population scale differences between the US and India. I’d assume that the majority of these laborers are people who were borned and raised near the farms. I’d wonder what the contingency plans would be for some of these individuals if the changing climate leaves TGB unable or less able to utilize the areas where the farms currently are situated. Your post indicates that Tata is thinking about the community and worker rehabilitiation as well, but I’d like to understand more about the extent of that. I would assume that the way of life of many individuals and families would experience significant upheaval. Definitely presents a saddening example of the human side of climate change.

On November 6, 2016, BAL commented on Underwater Underwriters :

Great post. The economic effects of spiraling increase in insurance premiums due to increasing natural disasters and severe weather events is one of the tangible ways that climate change is going to affect homeowners nationwide. It can be thought of as an Obamacare for homes – as premiums go up, owners of “healthy” homes (ones in geographies less at risk of severe weather) may begin to opt out of insurance, driving premiums even higher. Examples such as these are great examples of the ways that climate change is not just an environmental risk, but a major economic risk.

On November 6, 2016, BAL commented on Global Climate Change: Should we really be “wine”-ing? :

First of all, terrific puns in your intro. Nothing makes a better blog post than a good pun. This post does an excellent job speaking about the effects climate change could have on potential crop yields, and what wineries can do to combat this, but what strikes me about wine in particular is how quality-driven the industry it is. I’d be interested in looking further into how the intensified weather effects of sporadic droughts, rising temperatures, or acidified rainfalls would impact the overall quality of particular wineries and the variability from year to year. While you pointed out some ways wineries can hedge, I’d think that some of the aspects that could impact quality could be very difficult to hedge.

Interesting post, Nik. Frightening to think that the physical manifestations will be so prevalent that endurance events will be dangerous to hold in a majority of cities. Great to see the Rio 2016 Olympics make such a bold statement on climate change, but given that the games are only held for a few weeks every 2 years, then largely fall out of the spotlight, it will likely difficult for the IOC to become a major stakeholder in the global climate change conversation. I would think that another good policy to adopt would be to force future host cities and nations to meet a certain sustainability standard before being considered as a host.

Great post – very in depth description of some of the factors that MH is facing. I wonder what’s been contributing to their vastly higher energy usage versus net production of fish, and if this is a trend that one could expect to continue, as well as what MH plans to do to reverse this trend usage. Also curious on how acidification will affect their own operations in the longer term – as a farmer, they have the benefit of controlling the food, but there could be further impacts, such as changing the oxygen levels in the water or harming the salmon eggs themselves.