Barbara Obregon

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On November 20, 2016, Barbara Obregon commented on Ocado – Changing Grocery Shopping in the UK :

Great post Anca! I think this is the future of grocery stores and I personally don’t know that I’ll ever go back to stepping foot inside a grocery store unless absolutely necessary (Avid user of Amazon Fresh here). I think the threat of competitors is real since there is nothing seemingly proprietary that can’t be replicated by another grocery provider. I think they can find ways to differentiate themselves by engaging in strategic partnerships. For instance, if they were able to partner with the equivalent of a Trader Joes I would be 100% loyal to Ocado. The assortment of products that TJs offers is so unique, reasonably priced, and most importantly beloved by millenial consumers.

On November 20, 2016, Barbara Obregon commented on Lights, Camera, Cannibalization? The NetFlix-ication of Broadway :

Great post Raphael! It boggles my mind how this product has taken so long to officially enter the market. I think there is so much money being left on the table and although there would be some minor cannibalization the upside is just infinitely more lucrative. As a Broadway lover, I too often felt restricted from watching shows due to availability & access (read: Hamilton). The nature of Broadway is witnessing the live performance but in being so restrictive I think there is a massive opportunity missed with geographies that don’t have Broadway present or in international markets. I think the hardest part will be what you mentioned regarding the politics of determining cost-sharing agreements and getting the industry on the same page as a whole.

On November 20, 2016, Barbara Obregon commented on A Monk in Your Pocket: The Digitization of Mindfulness :

Hey Sarah! Great post. I’ve used Headspace before and really loved it, but ultimately did not stick around as a customer. I think there’s some opportunity to make the app “stickier” as you mentioned. I think it is critical they go beyond sending push notifications and really find creative ways to engage the customer (Youtube, Social Media, using web-enabled devices since its currently only available via phone app). I dropped off because I didn’t incorporate the app into my daily routine so I just forgot about it. Even more than just linking it to a wearable device, I think Headspace should link to the user’s calendar and block off time so that the user knows that time is off-bounds.

On November 20, 2016, Barbara Obregon commented on An MBA for $22,000 from your bedroom? :

Such an interesting topic. Have a couple of thoughts on online learning courses. HBx made me a believer in online learning. The classes were interactive, challenging and robust. I learned a lot but I think the basic element of the MBA is lost with just focusing on the knowledge component of it. So much of the educational experience is driven by the other elements: relationships with peers & faculty, extra-curricular activities, attending other lectures, etc. I think that online courses also run the small but real risk that the student might circumvent the system and cheat. Finally, the perception aspect is real. I think that online programs will continue to grow, but will never truly substitute the real-class learning experience.

Great post! Though admittedly the first reaction when I had reading this was, this would never work in Latin America! I think there are several operational components that are key to the success of bike-sharing in China:
1) The trust factor. I would be curious to know what percentage of bikes are stolen and or damaged. Both bike companies could hedge against this by charging a contingent deposit (similar to a hotel) in the event the bike disappears. This would also be another potential revenue stream (charging a premium on insurance for the bike).
2) Online Payment Integration. Linking it directly to customer’s wallets removes any of the hassles that arise with paying on the spot. The issue with new markets is there is a significant portion of the population that remains underbanked.
3) Managing the inventory and flow of bikes. Similar to what Lisa mentioned above I’m curious about the way this is managed by Mobike and Ofo.

On November 6, 2016, Barbara Obregon commented on Would you pay for the environmental impact of your jeans? :

Great post Claire! I had head about Everlane before and I think their mission and business strategy is refreshing and potentially disruptive. I would love to see other companies follow suit. This reminds me of when restaurants show the caloric intake of a particular menu item, once you put it there in flashing lights some people are dissuaded from ordering a 2000 calorie item.

On another note, I don’t know however how you make this particular business strategy of internalizing the costs of negative externalities and passing them to your customer, a mass market idea. For now Everlane seems too niche, too expensive, and the people who buy here are already considering labor practices and negative environmental impacts into their purchase decisions (preaching to the choir much?).

On November 6, 2016, Barbara Obregon commented on Where did my Bananas go? :

Happy to answer Andrew! Although banana output has been steadily decreasing, the end consumer hasn’t seen any major changes in price..yet. Banana prices fluctuate from the first semester to the second. If the shortage of banana occurs during the first semester, then the impact on price is high. The second half of the year the price goes down because other fruits are in season and compete in the market. Any shortages in banana wouldn’t have an impact on price ( I can illustrate in person with Supply and demand curves lol). Also, even though the production cycle of the banana is on average about 9-12 months, because it’s planted in continuous phases any drought or pest that affects one production cycle, can be replenished in the next period (within 6 months). Overall I don’t think it’s sustainable but for now it’s not affecting the end consumer.

On November 6, 2016, Barbara Obregon commented on Fish Out of Water? :

This is scary, and furthermore reiterates that all climate change issues ultimately stem back to water access and availability. I think that as consumers of food we are going to have to get comfortable with unconventional food sourcing and production methods. (ie. GMO’s are highly controversial, but in the next fifty years they are here to stay if we are concerned about feeding 7 billion people). I’d be down for fish that’s never been in the ocean. We have to adapt don’t we?

On November 6, 2016, Barbara Obregon commented on From Chocolate Ice Cream to Deforestation in Borneo :

Thanks for bringing awareness to this issue Van! I wasn’t aware how many products I use that contain palm oil. Rude awakening.
Are there regulators here? I know for a fact that there are NGOs that can provide metrics and/or a stamp of approval to Wilmar’s sustainability practices. My dad is a banana producer and has to be compliant with practices set forth by the Rainforest Alliance because Chiquita (his main customer) requires him to; it would seem that the Rainforest alliance could also have a critical role in regulating the palm oil industry. Check out their site!

On November 6, 2016, Barbara Obregon commented on How is H&M delivering sustainable fast fashion? :

Completely agree with Mariana’s point above. Fast fashion is SO wasteful. My concerns about climate change (along with the privilege of being able to shop at better quality, more expensive retailers) is ultimately why I stopped shopping at places like H&M, Forever 21,etc. I think their goal should really be to offset their global warming footprint and come out at a net 0.

A couple of years ago I read an article about how the poor quality clothing made by these retailers eventually finds its way to Africa and Latin America after it’s been rejected by the Salvation army and other second hand stores. The way we segment the clothes and the impact this has in global economies really shocked me and made think twice about what happens to the clothes I donate. I can’t find the original article but I’ve included a link highlighting the issue:

On November 6, 2016, Barbara Obregon commented on How almond milk was supposed to save the world but might suck California dry :

Great post Bhargav! I found it interesting that there were some commonalities between almond milk with my own findings about the banana industry. Water access/utilization seems to be a common pain point across food/beverage/agriculture industry. The other observation was that geographic diversity is a key risk item for these companies.

I also found it interesting WhiteWave is donating 2% of their pre-tax profits to organizations focusing on sustainability. This reminded me of IKEA, who is trying to overhaul its supply chain practices and align itself with sustainable organizations, but ultimately the organization in and of itself is not sustainable.