Thanks for sharing Manuel, and I totally agree with your recommendation to dispose of the Nook. Hardware engineering is simply too difficult a segment for a book retailer to compete in, as evidenced by Barnes and Noble’s financial results. The comparison to Blockbuster is interesting and, to your point, I think an incorrect analogy. Netflix and Blockbuster offer the exact same product – watching a production on your TV. Conversely, a hard book and an e-reader still are significantly different experiences; holding a hard cover book is a very different reading experience than flipping through an iPad. I believe the former experience will be more immune to disruption than Blockbuster due to the product differentiation.
Thanks for sharing Greg. I wrote a post about Boeing’s digital innovation, and it’s encouraging to see how JetBlue is also utilizing Boeing’s digital technology to create value. I wonder how JetBlue weighs the tradeoffs between different vendors of these technologies. For example, JetBlue used Boeing to replace tedious paperwork on flights, but chose to use Oracle / Cintra for predictive maintenance. Boeing has a similar predictive maintenance platform / offering, but JetBlue chose not to use Boeing in this instance. I wonder if the airline is concerned about how to service its non-Boeing aircrafts, and thus chose a neutral platform? Regardless, it’s encouraging to see multiple players across the value chain sharing the benefits of such innovation.
Very interesting post. I have some experience with GE’s investment in digital infrastructure through the Digital Manufacturing Design and Innovation Institute (DMDII – http://dmdii.uilabs.org/). GE is essentially leading a consortium of academics and industry leaders to research and develop state of the art advanced manufacturing technology, similar to the tech. you’ve described here. One major concern that these organizations have is cybersecurity. For example, if my large industrial machines (e.g., wind turbine) are now connected to the internet, that makes them incredibly vulnerable to cyber attacks, which could have seriously expensive / harmful consequences. As GE advances its digital organization, Predix, etc., I hope they will also take a leadership role in defining the cybersecurity standards and requirements necessary to facilitate the “Industrial Internet of Things”.
Very interesting post Tiana, and raises the question of just how valuable is face-to-face interaction? For example, there have been multiple studies that have shown that a good teacher can actually raise the median income-level of a class. Will a teacher have this profound of an effect in a virtual environment? How well can a virtual environment actually replicate the mentorship and social institutions that come with face-to-face interaction? Time will tell, but I am a strong believer that the value of a brick and mortar institution like HBS, and the associated idea exchange / interaction that comes with being in person, will be incredibly difficult to replicate virtually.
Thanks for the post Brad. It’s interesting to me that there are such accessible short-term options for Starbucks, just through financial engineering.
I wonder – how do you think the capital markets would respond if Starbucks emphasized more diversification as part of its strategy to fight climate change? For example, what if Starbucks accepted that coffee prices are going to rise, and so instead decided to invest more in tea, food, etc.?
Very interesting post! The internal tax credit Ben & Jerry’s instituted really resonated with me. Do you think this is a model that could be transferred to other industries? For example, I would think that McDonald’s could institute a similar program and encourage internal competition to reduce emissions. At McDonald’s scale, the impact of a program like this could be huge!
Thanks for sharing Ann! It’s great to see that Jetblue is taking the initiative to upgrade its Airbus aircrafts to make them more fuel efficient. Do you know if any similar initiatives exist with Boeing? When I researched Boeing, the research showed that Boeing is struggling to convince airlines to upgrade to their latest, most fuel efficient models due to cheap oil. I wonder if this is the case for Jetblue as well?
Great post Jaime. It’s interesting to see the different methods both Boeing and Airbus are using to improve fuel efficiency / lower emissions. It would be great to see the two companies work together to leverage best practices. For example, if the best engineers from Boeing and Airbus worked together to make a step-change in fuel efficiency, composite materials, etc., I would expect the benefits could be huge. Maybe this is too aspirational and the companies would never do this due to risk of losing competitive advantage, but similar consortia have emerged in response to government funding (e.g., the Network for National Manufacturing Innovation – https://www.manufacturing.gov/nnmi/).
Interesting post Serrena. I wonder – do you think menu changes could also have a role in mitigating the effects of climate change on McDonald’s business? For example, processed burgers like the Big Mac are much less popular among younger generations in the U.S. than they used to be. Could McDonald’s both generate demand and mitigate climate change by 1) updating their menu / supply chain with healthier options to appeal to a younger demographic and 2) ensuring that those options are more sustainable to produce (e.g., local fruits / vegetables as compared to beef and pork)?