Boaty McBoatface

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With Uber, eBay, and Apple already capitulating to Russia’s demands, it may make it tough for Facebook to resist. But I think Facebook can make a strong case that they are fundamentally different than those firms. Uber, eBay, and Apple are all transactional by nature, so to the extent that there’s concern with the Russian government gaining access to these companies’ data, there’s nothing too sensitive in there (do you really care if they know you thought Airpods were worth $160?). Facebook, on the other hand, is entirely social by nature, and the data Facebook collects reflects much about what’s important to you, your political persuasions, and causes you may be sympathetic to, data that in the wrongs hands could make some users nervous about what they post in Russia. Facebook can only bring people closer together when their is trust in the medium provided to do so, and since Russia’s laws call that trust in to questions, Facebook is justified in resisting the laws.

On November 24, 2017, Boaty McBoatface commented on Impact of Digitalization on Healthcare :

Your article makes it clear that Kaiser is leading the way on the digitization of medical records. The bigger question is what impact can this have on the country as a whole? Kaiser, while relatively ubiquitous in parts of California, is still a small fraction of all the fragmented healthcare providers across the US. Kaiser’s extensive investment in IT will be helpful to it to achieve its goal of providing the best possible patient care, but unfortunately without legislative action, Kaiser will remain a good example to other providers, but not necessarily one that they will need to or be able to follow.

On November 24, 2017, Boaty McBoatface commented on Tabasco Sauce: Can it take the heat of global warming? :

While a Cholula fan myself, any macro factors that pose a threat to the supply of hot sauce are of serious concern to my gastronomic habits. As Tabasco seeks to diversify its chili cultivation, I believe the effect it has on its business has potential to be more impactful from a brand standpoint than a supply chain one. While Avery Island may be unique in its attributes for chilies, it can be reasonably expected that there many other geographies across the globe that will offer very similar, if not identical, conditions for growing chilies (Latin America and Africa, as mentioned). While the distinct flavor of Tabasco may remain with this supply chain change, the distinct brand perception of Tabasco may not. With so many hot sauce alternatives, how much of customer loyalty is felt to the family lore and heritage of the Tabasco brand vs the flavor of the sauce? If it’s important that the sauce be grown from Louisiana chilies by Louisiana families, Tabasco could find itself in a spicy situation, regardless of supply chain changes.

On November 24, 2017, Boaty McBoatface commented on Unlocking Telemedicine: Building a 4th dimension in Care Delivery :

I find the idea of staffing specialists as part of a “mission control”-type team fascinating. Specialists are critical for the operations of and ICU, and are effectively a fixed cost. By allocating these fixed resources across several ICUs, you solve for both the rising cost of healthcare and the looming physician shortage. Given the increasing healthcare costs, I don’t find it realistic that the extra space made available by a lower patient density needed will be given to extra patient space. Except for the hospitals that seek to attract high-acuity, high net worth patients with a high willingness to pay for exceptional care (i.e. The Cleveland Clinic), most hospitals will continue to see higher patient density as a way of improving their reimbursement per square foot.

While Adidas may gradually change how they employ the services of a supplier, they are not under any obligation to relocate jobs disrupted in their supply chain by automation. The suppliers can be viewed as simply vendors, and it is incumbent upon the management of the vendor firm to stay competitive. Much like we saw in Li & Fung, it’s quite possible to survive and thrive as a provider of commoditized services as firms find additional ways to add value. Creating added value never falls to the customer (Adidas), but always to firm serving the consumer.

On November 24, 2017, Boaty McBoatface commented on Jaguar Land Rover’s Billion-Pound Brexit Problem :

Interesting article, and I do not envy being JLR in their current political climate. I think JLR will find it quite hard to negotiate trade deals favorable to their company. Many EU countries feel spurned by the leaving the EU, and would like nothing more than to see them suffer a bit for it. Furthermore, I believe JLR is still a fairly small company relative to some of the European behemoths that caters mostly to the wealthy; I have a hard time believing politicians will score many points by giving luxury car makers a break in their country.

If it allowed them to reduce their tariffs, I would not be shocked to see JLR pursue some type of tax inversion strategy with their HQ. They could keep much of their design and operations in the UK, but be domiciled in an EU country. If it’s the actual shipping of the car to a new country that creates the tariff, I don’t think JLR will have any choice but to shift much of their EU-destined production to the EU itself (but keep much of UK-destined production in the UK).