This is a great post. I feel as though you are correct that “Current has yet to make any significant headway” towards its goal, but feel that this begs the question of what is the company’s ultimate goal. As a startup within GE, it doesnt need to achieve the same scale as its parent. Rather, I believe, the goal of Current is to prove whether a new commercial model can work within this sector as the larger organization starts to move towards a more entrepreneurial sales approach. In this way, I think of Current as a recon drone, sent ahead of the rest of GE to determine how the market is being shaped by digital transformations.
In order to facilitate the company’s digital transformation, there have been major changes in the human capital strategy. Most notably, in the form of GE’s new ad campaign, aimed at recruiting young software engineers. Furthermore, the company has spent big money on acquiring and recruiting top talent from firms such as Oracle, Cisco, and Google in order to lead the new software division. Competition for talent is another big part of GE’s race to become the world’s best digital industrial company.
This is so cool, really interesting to learn about. While UPS has seen significant savings from this, I wonder how digital technology helps the firm in preparing to deal with new competition. Is the future of delivery in airborne distribution technologies, like those currently being piloted by Amazon, or is there space for UPS to develop driverless cars or is it really necessary for a human to transport the packages from truck to door? I think that the next step should be to build up infrastructure which allows packages to be distributed by driverless cars, since weight restrictions will likely be a bigger competitive advantage over airborne freight.
I’d approach this question in a similar manner to Heather’s post on LendingClub…because the barriers to entry on payment systems are so low, there is little reason to think that VenMo will stay around in the long term. I think that it is a valid point that increasing its user base will prolong VenMo’s competitive position within the market, as users are less inclined to uninstall and sign up for a new application, I’d look more to how the digital transformation of payments affects the regulatory environment. Ultimately, I believe that the biggest players (i.e Financial Institutions) will emerge as winners, as they are able to leverage their scale to satisfy regulatory obligations and address cyber security risks.
Really interesting read. Didn’t know any of this before. One question that comes to mind as big companies attempt to expand their business by creating software that ties in with their traditional product offerings…are they diluting the quality of their earnings? Previously, Under Armour would have fairly reliable sales of its apparel, but now wearable technology is emerging as a new source of revenue. My concerns it that the latter revenue stream is not as solid as the former. Why do I need a shoe that has to be charged, when I can carry my cell-phone while running and collect the same data?
I agree with Emily’s point that the barriers to entry in this market are just too low for LendingClub to focus on repairing its reputation. Lending is a business built on trust and once damaged, it is almost easier to re-enter the market as a new company rather than live in the shadow of a past disgrace. Established banks may find it easier to provide lower cost and higher quality loans using big data analytics, enabled by digital transformations. While peer-to-peer lending was very exciting a few years ago as it first emerged, I’d be concerned that this market becomes eclipsed by larger institutions as they begin to leverage digital technology.
Lee, an interesting perspective on Tesla and clean energy credits. I agree that they solve the initial fixed-point problem of investing in a new capital intensive market but should be phased out as the market comes to maturity. At this point, Tesla has gone beyond proof of concept and become a desirable luxury brand for many around the world. Therefore, the tax credits provided for buying such a product is unneccessary and should be removed as it only benefits the buyer and puts a higher tax burden on lower income families who are already unable to purchase luxury cars. Instead, the government should promote public research that will lessen the time taken to develop competing technologies and thereby promote rapid expansion and competition in this market.
It is great to see all of the ways that H&M is working to pursue sustainability amid the challenges presented by climate change. Apart from promoting apparel made from recycled materials, I think it would be good of them to promote apparel which lasts longer. Much of the materials used by H&M lead to them having a very short useful life. While I understand that the fashion industry typically drives to turnover clothes each season, in an effort to be truly sustainable, H&M could also consider investing in changing this perception and providing clothing that lasts longer than normal.
In addition to pursuing renewable generation strategies, GE is also promoting the use of distributed power technologies which help infrastructure function off of a centralized grid. While this is a slow moving process, the changing geographic landscape and risks presented by increasingly volatile storms create an interesting value proposition for such technology. In the short term, GE is promoting the sale of “aeroderivative” technologies, which are aircraft engines re-purposed as turbines. These will likely give way to more renewable distributed technology as the market adopts them, all functioning on a GE distributed power grid.
Alphabet, nee Google, has served as an example for socially conscious companies in the 21st century. This article highlights the great initiatives that the company has promoted since its inception, however it also raises another important question…is social responsability a luxury for successful companies? Its much more difficult to sustain a CSR organization when a company is primarily concerned with a struggling bottom line. Will Alphabet remained committed to these initiatives if the market turns against them?
I can say “I appreciate Munich RE’s efforts to anticipate climate change” in so far as they have to make such efforts in order to keep up with competitors today. However, I believe that their efforts to establish the CCC are entirely absurd. While we have extraordinary computing powers available to businesses today, which might enable a company to run simulations in millions of scenarios, there is no historical basis on which we can compare and predict how climate change will actually impact such a large scale business. I feel that it would be better to pursue a “survival of the fittest” approach by segmenting their businesses geographically and praying that they are spared as the sea rise and the skies darken. It is futile for them to try and predict the future.
While Aramco is making an effort to remain competitive in a market impacted by climate change by investing in Research & Development, how are they going to differentiate themselves from other competitors who are doing the same? The massive size of Aramco’s core business threatens to constrain it in a post-climate change market. While other competitors in the Oil & Gas space might have the opportunity to leverage research & development in order to pivot its core business out of Oil & Gas and into new markets, MIM’s suggestion for Aramco is to do the same will be exceedingly difficult because of its size.