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On November 20, 2016, Cyou commented on Sony’s struggle with Music :

Interesting article! I wonder where Sony is going to focus on going forward, now given that large of of their business (the hardware) has been disintermediated by digital music platforms. Rather than thinking of new ways to provide value for consumers, I wonder if Sony should focus on providing more value for its “suppliers”, or the music makers in the industry. Because advanced recording equipment and software have made it possible for many music amateurs to produce music, I think there is a lot that Sony can do to capitalize on this market. For example, they could make it easier for these new artists to distribute its music online through its established network of music distributors, or creating online platforms that makes it easier for artists to produce or collaborate with others.

Great post! I definitely agree on a lot of what was already mentioned – that Yahoo failed to compete on its mobile, social, and search platform. We have worked with Yahoo in the past for some of our clients interested in paid search. Unlike Google, which continues to create new paid search products and analytics capabilities, Yahoo’s search engine has remained relatively stagnant. I think another contribution to Yahoo’s slow decline is its ineffective leadership. In the past 10 years, they have recycled through 6 CEOs, which negatively affected their company morale and culture (reminds me a bit of the JCPenny case where some CEOs were not given enough time to turnaround the company). So perhaps the lack of cohesive strategic vision, excessive control from the founder, and general low morale also contributed to Yahoo’s failure.

On November 20, 2016, Cyou commented on Online Brokers and Robinhood :

Also as a brief user of Robinhood, I agree that the value prop needs some fine-tuning, especially with their premium Gold tier. Furthermore, it costs Robinhood extra money to input each trade, so the company is bleeding cash right now unless they figure out a way to monetize their platform. One added-value I can see is perhaps moving toward a robo-advisor type model much like Wealthfront, which is an online management service that provides users investment advise using algorithmic models and financial data based on that person’s risk appetite.

On November 20, 2016, Cyou commented on Netflix and Chill? The Rise of a Tech Media Powerhouse :

I definitely agree that there is a lot more that we can do with the data that Netflix has collected. What worries me is Netflix potentially selling some of its data to 3rd party companies. This could be a huge opportunity for advertisers, as they will have a deeper understanding of consumers’ preferences and interests on a personalized level. Another area of concern is the potential loss in quality due to increasing activities in online streaming. According to an article, 70% of broadband traffic comes from internet video streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon [1], which reduces consumers’ overall buffer time and video quality. So as Netflix increases its platform, it is important for the company to consider potential ways to partner with private broadband services like Google Fiber in order to accommodate for its growing user base.


On November 20, 2016, Cyou commented on Anova – The Precision Cooker :

As an owner of Anova, I think it’s amazing that this company is able to make this technology more accessible for the masses. Polyscience is a company that has been producing innovative cooking technology and sous vide machines for years before Anova. But their main target audience are high-end restaurants and professional chefs, and products sell in the range of over a thousand dollars. Anova is able to focus their cost on just the aspect of the controlled-temperature water circulator, which is the most important feature of a sous vide cooker. The consumer has the flexibility of cooking their food in any vessel as long as the compact machine is attached and connected to the water.

One area of improvement I can see for Anova is perhaps expanding into food refrigeration. Ideally, a user could store the food in cold temperature and be able to choose when to turn on the cooker remotely without worrying about food spoilage. Mellow [1] is actually experimenting with this idea, and has a lot more sophisticated mobile app than Anova’s (but also selling at twice the cost).


On November 7, 2016, Cyou commented on SwissRe: Banking on Climate Change :

Very informative article! Climate change has definitely been difficult for insurance and re-insurance companies. I agree that taking on long-term contracts is a good solution, but I wonder how difficult it would be for the company to assess the underlying risk of these contracts (especially as climate change has made many historical data irrelevant in catastrophe prediction models). I also think it’s a good idea for SwissRe to work with companies and countries in building resiliency against severe weather conditions. Perhaps the company could even create an incentive for its clients, such as setting specific standards and building codes so that they can be better prepared for catastrophic events. As a reward for following these standards, SwissRe could potentially offer a rebate or reduction in its insurance premiums.

On November 7, 2016, Cyou commented on Preparing for Climate Extremes at PotashCorp :

Very interesting subject! I agree with the comment above that tailing ponds seems to be an effective solution to manage excess water. To better prepare for severe weather conditions, the company could also invest in sophisticated predictive tools to estimate the amount of water required in the tailing ponds. You also mentioned that Western Potash signed a contract to purchase wastewater from the City of Regina as a hedge against drought, I wonder if PotashCorp could also hedge for climate change risk. For example, the Company could perhaps invest in research for alternative potassium fertilizer, where geographic area is not as important. This may mitigate the risk of an extreme weather event because PotashCorp would still be able to produce potash in another area [1].


I also wonder why majority of the nation’s hops are produced in Yakima Valley, Washington. Are there beer producers that have started to invest in other geographic areas conducive for growing hops, perhaps those in a cooler climate? I really like your idea of adopting an eco-label. While I agree with Anja A. that this pay not make a huge difference in consumers’ purchase decisions, but this can gain some positive publicity for the Company while putting pressure on its competitors. On the topic of accountability, is there also a way for the company to work with regulators on setting a specific environmental standards for breweries in US?

On November 7, 2016, Cyou commented on Who Insures the Insurers? Hopefully, Themselves. :

Very informative! I agree with you that simply raising insurance premiums is not going to help combat the future risks. I’m interested to learn more about how AIG is helping the exposed areas -such as those in the Gulf Coast – build more resiliency and protection against severe weather events. Should it be the AIG’s or the government’s responsibility to help these areas that are at “high risk”? Or both? Also, I agree with you that investing in derivatives is a great way for insurance companies to hedge its underwriting risks [1]. One thing that is no mentioned here is AIG’s potential financial exposure to companies that are at high-risk of climate change, such as Oil and Gas industries or large producers of industrial carbon emissions. As most insurances companies invest their premiums from clients back into the market, one way for AIG to diversify its risk is to reallocate its investments into green-tech or alternative energy companies.


On November 7, 2016, Cyou commented on In Vino Veritas? :

Interesting article! Do you foresee a geographic shift in the future, where “Washington or British Columbia will become the new Napa and Central China the new Chile” [1]? Or will consumers simply change their preferences for other grape varieties? I’m also interested to know how the “old world” vineyards are preparing for the risks of climate change. The affluent Chinese consumers and investors are one of the major buyers of Bordeaux wines like Lafite and Margaux, and Latour – driving up the prices for these wines year over year [2]. So with an increasing foreign consumer demand for these old world wines combined with the risk of global warming, will this push the prices and values of French wines even higher? Or will the Chinese consumers and investors revert their attention back to their own vineyards for the hope of cultivating them into the next Bordeaux?