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On December 1, 2017, Bettina commented on After Brexit, Barclays Should Exit :

I am slightly less pessimistic as the article and the previous comments. I do not believe the the current British government would allow the financial industry to suffer in the extent outlined above. Barclays alone has ca. 40,000 employees in the UK ( and there is a total of 1 million people in financial services, with half of the world’s banks having their headquarters in London ( This demonstrates both the interest the government should have in the sector, as well as the combined power of all these financial institutions and the impact of their possible struggles on the world economy. Due to these factors I believe that a compromise with the European Union will be found, that will not leave the banks as well off as before, but does not warrant a scenario as drastic as described either.

On December 1, 2017, Bettina commented on Holy Guacamole! Your Super-Bowl snack is about to get pricey. :

I do not really agree with the recommendation you made about looking for customers in other countries. Firstly, there will be an increased transportation cost (probably even higher than for other goods due to what Shalei mentioned about shelf life), which will either be passed on to the consumer (possibly ending in a similar situation like the +20% due to NAFTA) or be absorbed by the company (and if that is the case, why can the producer not absorb the +20% NAFTA premimum?). Secondly, other countries, notably the EU have strict import regulations and it may therefore take some effort to get access to that market. Finally, going away from an existing market with loyal customers to a market that may be notably different (e.g. China) with completely new customers and competitors poses a big risk and may require a completely new approach, e.g. to marketing.

The article left me wondering if maybe the future of wine making simply does not lie in India. With the effects of climate change expected to become worse over time, the current situation of grape supply will probably get even worse. I agree with you on the point that the company should try to diversify and maybe even shift its attention to other countries. Like French manufacturers have, it could start growing crops in other climates and then import its own “house brand” as part of the portfolio of international companies, taking advantage of the image its brand has in India while ensuring grape quality through international sourcing.

While the proposed measures sound valuable, I believe they will only cause incremental improvements and will not be able to avoid a complete disruption of the coffee industry. The fact is that a decline of supply (in terms of suitable land) of 50% is expected in the future (as mentioned above), therefore even if harvest technologies are improved the coffee supply in the future will probably not be sufficient to satisfy demand. Therefore, I believe Starbucks should consider a strategic shift, which in my opinion could go in three directions. One, where it diversifies its drinks base further and moves away from a dependence on coffee. Two, where Starbucks competes for coffee beans on price (against other competitors) and sells coffee at a high premium, thus becoming a luxury brand. Three, it could investigate alternative ways of creating coffee beans, e.g. genetic modification to adjust coffee plants to new climate conditions. While there are benefits and drawbacks for all options, I see the value in pursuing any of them – but this does not seem to be the case currently.

On December 1, 2017, Bettina commented on Digitalization – Shake Shack’s Secret Sauce for Growth :

While I agree that getting customer data through a mobile application may be worthwhile for general transparency, I am not convinced that a mobile application adds a lot of value for supply chain optimization. The app is just replacing the current order process (of getting food in the moment) without giving a reliable idea of future demand. Extrapolating future trends from current consumption may not be accurate. Furthermore, this level of data could be achieved through other means (and is probably already available), e.g. a customer loyalty card or accounting statistics on cashier throughput.

Thanks Alvaro! This concept is very interesting, but I see two main challenges that may inhibit the use of 3D printing for defense applications. Firstly, 3D printing may represent a security concern, which could be more relevant than flexible demand considering the industry we are in. In order to print parts the digital designs need to be accessed (or more likely stored) locally. These design often include very relevant trade secrets which could pose a competitive advantage in a confrontation. The risk of someone accessing the local hardware in a region of conflict seems to be quite high. Therefore, the IT security in place should be sufficiently sophisticated before attempting 3D printing.
Secondly, supply chain challenges still exist even with 3D printing. Additive manufacturing allows customized production of varying designs, but the input of raw materials is similar to other forms of manufacturing. Thus, the timely supply and appropriate storage of raw materials still needs to be managed