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On December 1, 2017, Belle commented on Breaking the walls with 3D printing :

This is very insightful Caue! Free enterprise creates a social benefit of job creation, but that job creation is not mandated by the government. I don’t think the government will impact the expansion of this technology because free enterprise encourages the innovation 3D printing enables. However, governments could enter trade agreements on shared export rights since GE’s designs would be American-made, but parts would be manufactured abroad.

GE is definitely making strategic moves to better position themselves to compete globally without huge increase in operating expenses due to logistics of suppling engines all over the world. In the future, I think more companies will evolve their operating model to reach more customers in the most efficient manner possible as GE has.

Also, governments are generally reactive towards regulating free enterprise, but there are two additional questions I would pose. Do you think GE will continue to “fly under the radar” until government proposes a new regulation on manufacturing IP? Will GE deploy lobbyist to get in front of this issue and influence the policy making?

On December 1, 2017, Belle commented on Mars Worries M&M’s May Actually Melt in Your Hand :

Mars is facing the issue of climate change head on in the same manner as larger multinational organizations like Walmart and Coca Cola. I think their initiatives are viable even the highly ambitions goal to have all their manufacturing facilities being powered by renewable energy, but I’m skeptical about whether $1B of capital will be deployed to achieve it. In the future, there may be regulations for industrial companies to measure and track their carbon footprint, but it’s not necessary for those companies to reveal the costs of making those investments especially if there are no shareholders to report to. Ultimate, Mars would see their return on investment as a reduction in operating expenses due to more sustainable changes within their value chain. Lastly, partnering with NGOs as you mentioned is another measure by which Mars can be held accountable for their commitment.

You can refer to my essay on Coca Cola’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for some additional insight on how other industry giants are approaching this issue.

On December 1, 2017, C. Beall commented on Impact of News Digitalization on Democracies :

This is an interesting topic. With regards to the question of free speech, I don’t think the censoring activities media platforms inhibits free speech. YouTube does provide an avenue voices from all over the world to be heard, but having your video removed from YouTube because of derogatory content is not a violation of an individual’s constitutional right. Whatever opinion you have you are free to voice it, but I think YouTube’s stance is that you won’t tarnish their brand in the process. I believe YouTube’s position on democratic social media is respect for all people and it is YouTube’s right to stand up for what they believe is morally right.

Interesting article Anna! Vail is already doing a great job of hedging their snow supply, which will inevitably continue to decrease over time due to climate change. Since Vail is adjusting their operating model to create more value for customers year-around, I would consider holding off on new development. Vail must first determine how effective the new resort features are at increasing customer satisfaction and improving their top and bottom line before scaling those season-dependent activities out to all their resorts.

If you ignore the financial risks of expanding more offerings to their customers and the brand risks of counterfeit snow, acquisition and/or new development would allow Vail to be continue being competitive in the growing ski & snowboard market. Per Figure 3, Vail doesn’t have a strong presence in the northeast or Canada, which consistently gets more snow than the 4-corner states. Vail should consider new development in the northeastern states where there is plenty of access to ocean water for their artificial snow making.

Elevated temperatures due to climate change is making winters milder and the polar caps melt, but we still have a few centennials before we dry out the ocean.

This is a great article Justin! I read almost every label of items that I pick up in the grocery store. The nutrition metrics like calorie count, fat content, sugars, sodium, etc. is typically the type of information average consumers what to know about. The health conscious consumer base is growing rapidly and I agree with you that consumer are starting to care more about the how their products are made and with what ingredients. Despite the health craze, over 60% of food purchases in America is processed, so I don’t think most Americans are going to do the in-depth research or alter their purchasing patterns based the information transparency the blockchain will provide.

The other thing to consider is will the average consumer even understand the various elements for commodity processing to make an informed purchasing decision about whether the food meets their health standards. I think the blockchain data will matter less for consumers and more for different owners in the supply chain, so that accountability can be determined when there is a bacterial food outbreak or health scare as you mention. To your point about trust, consumers are likely to stay brand loyal when they know companies are being more diligent about process controls to ensure that outbreaks are detected early and corrected swiftly. Chipotle is great counter argument to that because people still eat Chipotle even though there has been a second E.Coli outbreak, which is an indicator that availability of food supply chain information may not matter to consumers.

On December 1, 2017, Fozzie commented on “A-Tesla”, Can Elon Musk Revolutionize The Auto Industry? :

Great article Henri! Telsa’s approach to centralize the supply chain for one of the most critical components of their vehicles is great strategy to make their cars more affordable. You raised some really great concerns Tesla should be worried about, but continued engineering support and product evolution for battery design is one factor that may determine whether Tesla will every be a real threat to traditional auto manufacturers in the long run.

Since Tesla is severing the R&D partnership with Panasonic it may indicate that Tesla doesn’t plan to iterate the battery design as they iterate the car models. Battery performance could decline as Tesla enhances the capabilities and computing power of their vehicles. Also, there is still opportunity in the Li-ion battery market to reduce size, weight and costs all of which are critically important in highway and off-road automotive equipment. Tesla may also miss out on the decreasing cost trend that Li-ion batteries have exhibited over the past few years depending the price negotiation was determined.

OEM and supplier collaboration throughout product development life cycle could be a huge competitive advantage for Tesla as more automakers transition towards electric vehicles.