Billy Clarke

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On November 20, 2016, Billy Clarke commented on No Personal Trainer? No Problem! :

Thank you for the great article!
It seems that Equinox is heading the correct direction, yet I would doubt the actual benefits for the gym per se. Although the application might actually make working out more interesting, I doubt that it will inspire new customers to subscribe to the gym (applications and free exercise usually is not part of Equinox users’ routine). On the contrary, it might fill the gym up and reduce the level of service.

However, Equinox could potentially leverage its position and provide videotaped classes available on the mobile device, through the application, on a subscription or pay-as-you-go fee (further discounts could be provided to members). This will generate additional revenue streams without hampering the quality of the gym, by “virtually” increasing the available seats of each class to -technically- unlimited.

On November 20, 2016, Billy Clarke commented on The Garden of Edyn :

This is very interesting, thank you!
A few concerns on scalability and maintenance: How affordable are these products? How durable are they and how often do they need maintenance/replacement? Although this might indeed shape the future, a high upfront price (esp. for large fields that require many devices) and increased maintenance costs will probably hamper the expansion and potentially threaten the viability of this proposal.

A few thoughts on additional opportunities: this device could also include additional compartments for fertilizers or pesticides and can even spray when required (or at the user’s command). This will make agriculture an even easier job and reduce labor requirements.

On November 20, 2016, Billy Clarke commented on Wayfair: Way Far Ahead in Digital Transformation? :

Great post and great idea!
Although this will for sure differentiate Wayfair, I am a bit skeptical on a few topics:
– Competitive advantage: how easy is it to copy the idea? How far are competitors (e.g. IKEA) from implementing the idea, given cost and resource constraints? Haw Wayfair thought of patenting the idea?
– Errors: How certain will the application be in determining the size of the customer’s room (i.e. what is the mistake probability in calculating the dimensions?) and placing the products in the room? If this is high at the moment of launch, I can imagine an increased amount of returns and, thus, costs. How is Wayfair accounting for this?

On November 20, 2016, Billy Clarke commented on Streetlights. People. Living Just to Find Transformation. :

Great post, thank you!
Although this seems as an exciting new product, I am skeptical, apart from the aforementioned privacy concern, on two elements: scalability, maintenance
1. Scalability: given the increased price, municipalities (esp. outside the US) are highly unlikely to adopt the measure – at least without trialability or financial support (from GE, government, etc.). Has GE accounted for this element and if yes, how?
2. Maintenance: Given the high cost of the product, how often do we need to replace? Does this make sense compared to the current bulb prices? Additionally, how durable is it?

On November 20, 2016, Billy Clarke commented on UberMOTO: A Challenge to Bangkok’s Motorcycle Taxis Business Model :

Very interesting, thank you!
A few consideration concerning Uber as a business, drivers and passengers.
– It seems like Uber is charging low fees for the UberMOTO; how is the company thinking to ensure a profitable business, when pushing this alternative (given the great losses incurred for the consecutive past years)?
– Does UberMOTO take advantage of the underpaid/cheap Thai labor to operate this model? How does uber contribute to the society?
– Safety: it is obvious that an application interaction during driving is dangerous, especially on a motorbike. This risks not only the driver’s but also the passengers health and physical integrity (despite providing helmets). Has Uber thought of any means to increase safety? (e.g. adding speakerphones to verbally notify or nudge the driver to inform of route changes)

On November 6, 2016, Billy Clarke commented on Is UberPool ridesharing solution a huge step towards sustainability? :

Thank you for this, great food for further thought.
I would be skeptical in linking Uber’s UberPOOL directly with the decrease of emissions in cities. I am actually inclined to believe the opposite. To illustrate, the attractive price of UberPOOL (e.g. marginally more expensive than the Boston “T” for the round-trip of Cambridge-Boston) provides an incentive for riders to use this instead of public transport/walking. I believe this might actually increase emissions.

On the contrary, Uber has the power to incentivize users to decrease their environmental footprint. For example Uber could introduce a new metric (e.g. CO2 produced from my rides) and increase riders consciousness on their true impact. Additionally, Uber could establish a “bike-to-go” model, or even introduce small vehicles without engines, but bicycles instead (e.g. Uber Pakistan uses touk-touks).
Has Uber thought of any such solution (even though it might jeopardize profits…)?

On November 6, 2016, Billy Clarke commented on Whole Foods – Natural & Organic. Sustainable? :

Interesting article, thank you. It is great to see how WFM has strived to decrease its store network environmental footprint.
Although I agree with the climate change impact raised, I am skeptical about how WFM is positioning itself against these risks. More precisely, it seems that WFM would have to incur higher costs to source raw material, as global warming is decreasing yields (esp. organic ones) and more and more farmers resort to pesticides to fight increasingly prevalent diseases. Is WFM helping/training farmers to use sustainable techniques? Is WFM investing in building required infrastructure and/or systems to enhance farming of organic products? These are potential areas that might be worth further investigation.

On November 6, 2016, Billy Clarke commented on Is Chipotle facing a guacapocalypse? :

Great article, thanks!
A few concerns on vertical integration: does Chipotle have the expertise (I guess not) or the leverage to add a new business branch? It seems that Chipotle is greatly focused on expanding coverage and entering new markets, which will potentially interfere with trying to buy, own and operate farms (they might risk having too many balls in the air). Such a multitasking model might result in poor execution across areas.
Additionally, as Chipotle is expanding, they could potentially evaluate sourcing avocados from new locations (e.g. Latin America, Asia) and compensate for the lower price (I assume this will be a fact) with investing more the educate farmers on sustainable practices. This will hopefully increase the avocado supply for Chipotle and help them establish their image as sustainable. Any thoughts from the company on these points?

Great insights. I fully agree that Nike is in the beginning of the sustainability trail and has to invest time and money to become even “greener”. More precisely, Nike can focus on making some of its products or product elements fully recyclable; carton boxes for shoes, plastic bags offered at checkout, balls and plastic packaging are only a few examples. By using recycled materials to make the products and by, in-turn, ensuring that the rest is also recyclable, Nike can greatly assist decreasing the overall trash volume and, consequently, help preserve the environment.
Additionally, further work could be done to make production processes even more “eco-friendly”. To illustrate, the immense Nike production facilities could be equipped with solar panels, aiming to reduce the energy requirements and, eventually, make the factories self-sustainable.

On November 6, 2016, Billy Clarke commented on Chocolate Endangered :

Cocoa and thus chocolate are indeed threatened by the climate change. I agree with the points above, yet I feel the urge to raise doubt on the solutions proposed and add a few proposals.
More precisely, although it is great for Lindt & Sprüngli to set guidelines, it is questionable whether Ghana farmers will be able to adapt. As the temperature rises, COGS (e.g. water, pesticides costs) will increase and farmers will most probably not be in place to sustain their yields. Lindt & Sprüngli should establish monitoring mechanisms, trainings and directly invest to ensure that the farmers get machinery/systems required.
Additionally, as the world is becoming hotter, Lindt & Sprüngli should either purchase land and operate their own farms (could be even used as beacons to demonstrate best practice to farmers) to ensure quality and quantity of raw materials or explore new areas that are now (or will soon become) suitable for cocoa cultivation.