Brett Cantrell's Profile
Very interesting post! This seems to be an excellent application of machine learning that is already delivering value to its customers. KAYAK’s point on the importance of their relationships with suppliers and OTAs is critical for their machine learning programs to continue to function successfully into the future. As we have learned, machine learning is only effective when there is access to good data, so KAYAK should in the short and long term work to maintain these relationships with these suppliers to ensure that all parties continue to get value from their services. In response to your questions, I do think KAYAK needs to continue to devote a significant amount of its resources to the airline predictions so that they maintain a competitive edge over others. It would also seem very natural for them to be able to impose a similar model on the hotels and rental car services, provided that they have the same access to good data.
The medical field is certainly one of the most exciting spaces for AM to really take hold, especially because of the reason mentioned by both you (Jeffrey J Jefferson) and Howard Hughes in that AM parts can be customized for the anatomy of any individual patient. I do not think that rapid prototyping dilutes the quality of ideas that are prototyped, because it is very common already for many R&D ideas to fail. Rather, I believe AM allows ideas to be more rapidly implemented and tested, providing a larger opportunity for great ideas to come to fruition faster. I am very interested in the application of printing tissue or entire new organs. There are large waiting lists of patients seeking an organ donor, so I believe that this is an incredible, but challenging application that Medtronic should pursue to revolutionize how patients are treated.
I wholeheartedly agree with JK Rowling’s assessment that GE needs to develop applications of AM for its various business lines in-house to take advantage of manufacturing efficiencies. I believe its acquisition of two AM companies was in the spirit of vertical integration to increase efficiencies and reduce the number of parts required from others to reap the benefits that it has seen in its Aviation division. I am a bit concerned with Immelt’s estimation of only 10% of long term sales going to GE internally, because GE has received a lot of criticism recently for diversifying too far beyond its base business, which has resulted in their recent financial trouble. GE should lock down its application within its core business first before expanding to external clients. If they are not doing so already, I would actively advertise internally the success of Aviation to other business lines, especially oil and gas (including Baker Hughes), transportation, power, and renewable energy that likely have potential uses within their manufacturing processes. If they are at the cutting edge of these technologies, this could be a huge competitive advantage compared to their peers that can steer the corporation back in the right direction.
UNHCR Ideas seems like a great way to get the conversation going on an issue that is becoming increasingly challenging. I agree with Sal Paradise that there are several key stakeholders at play, and hopefully some thoughtful ideas can be generated to help all of the parties involved, especially with the rise of xenophobia as refugee numbers increase. Awareness of the platform and providing connectivity to the refugees seems like an important first step, both to get them involved in the conversation and also to provide a first step towards building new happy lives. There will certainly be very different issues between different refugee groups and host countries, so it will be important to see what common issues exist across several country and community lines that may be able to be addressed holistically, hopefully leveraging unified fronts such as the European Union to tackle these issues. I see funding and alignment of all the key stakeholders as the largest barriers to overcome in the long-term for this to be successful.
Natasha Romanoff – LEGO’s open source innovation is an appropriate and well-timed movement to try and get the consumer involved with their product development to ensure that their toys stay relevant. I especially like the point that you made around bringing in adult hobbyists with items such as the LEGO FORMA Moving Koi Fish Skins, because this may not be a product that would traditionally be bought by young children. In essence, I think this does a great job of expanding their reach to a wider variety of clients.
However, one potential barrier to its success could be reaching the youngest children who are a key and large part of their market segment. I think LEGO should work to engage parents to ask their children about what toys they want LEGO to produce, and get the parents to either get their children to respond or respond themselves on behalf of their children to communicate this back to LEGO. Otherwise, I think it would be challenging to get children to respond to this on their own. This could be a key step in getting the small-scale ideas to reach their widest customer base (children), rather than a lot of these open source innovation products remaining in somewhat niche markets.