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On November 21, 2016, D commented on Supporting the Good You Do. Online. :

All hail Cersei!

At the risk of being blown up by Wildfire I must say that I am quite wary of donation aggregation capacity being concentrated into the hands of a lesser number of players. One of the most important metrics of the efficacy of a donation is the percentage of it that actually makes it to the final recipient. If you have a very sophisticated collection intermediary I would imagine that it will add substantially to the operating margin that gets cut out of the donation amount. As it is most charitable organizations (especially ones like the Red Cross and UNICEF) have outrageous expense fees which often makes a donation meaningless. Why would you want to add more cost to it?

Additionally I am also of the opinion that though someone like frontstream may allow customer targeting, I do not believe that it will increase the total amount of money that society donates. It may concentrate the donation streams to those bodies that are rich enough and large enough to be able to afford frontstream. What about the smaller charitable organizations that typically operate under the radar?

This is my left leaning two cents.

On November 21, 2016, D commented on Coursera – Quality Education for All :

Hi Mary. Thanks for the though provoking post. I must admit that I am a skeptic of the MOOC model. Everywhere I see, I observe companies making hiring decisions on the basis of the pedigree of a student’s degree. I don’t know if a coursera degree would ever carry the same weight. Like many other digital businesses that seek to democratize learning and resources, the ease of access to the service automatically decreases the value of the service. Because millions of people can get the same coursera degree I would imagine that the degree is of lesser and lesser value.

Instead of partnering with educational institutions there is perhaps more value in partnering with an employer or a company which provides this education and certification. That degree will have more value in the job market.

TPA. Interesting article for me. I recently worked on a project in India where we were setting up a new rural bank and were considering the operational challenges of an all-digital service. What we saw was that rural customers still feel the need to interact with a human being when i comes to matters of money. They are loathe to trust their money to a ‘screen’. A half-way solution for this which ensures financial inclusion is to take the bank to the rural customers. One form of this is ‘banking correspondents’ who are authorized by banks to carry devices (such as the i-pad) mentioned in you post to customers in rural areas that are underserved by traditional bank branches.

On November 21, 2016, D commented on Garmin: Lost in an Interconnected World :

Garmin’s position leads me to think if its perhaps a conscious choice to stay out of the less ‘professional’ markets of recreational athletes’ fitness tracking, or casual navigation? If so, it just represents how drastic the effects of opening up information and data to the rest of the world can be. With GPS information and satellites open to the rest of the market, Garmin’s value proposition has gone down. Since this is happening in every industry, is there even space for specialist digital/technology players to operate in the market? Is the market for technology going to be dominated by one-stop-shops such as apple or google?

On November 21, 2016, D commented on Omada: preventing diabetes through digital therapeutics :

Nice post. A question that comes up is around how to go about detecting pre-diabetes? I think that is an important step in increasing the number of people that Omada can sign up for its services. Maybe it should think about backward integrating into diagnostics. Also, I would be curious to know how it reinforces good habits and keeps a check on people?

On November 7, 2016, DM commented on Is Coca Cola staying ahead of Climate Change? :

Hey Nikhil. I think you have brought out the issue really well. Particularly striking was how Coca Cola was replenishing aquifers that were not even serving the local population. Just like there are strict domestic regulations in the US and the UK around foreign corrupt practices done by US and UK companies abroad, I think it is high time that there are regulations that govern the environmental practices of these companies. Penalizing them for not doing right by local communities is important especially when local governance mechanisms may not be adequately strong.

On November 7, 2016, DM commented on Changing Climate’s Challenges to TATA Tea :

Great post AVP. This post shows how economic activity that is still dependent on primary agriculture is at great risk of climate disruption. Makes me wonder how this can be avoided – its not as if there is boundless land available for tea to be grown in. How can Tata Tea think about controlling the environment that its tea is grown in?

Sharpie! Boa noite.
In many ways being number 3 after two gigantic, and slow moving competitors is a good thing. Embraer can be nimble about positioning itself as an eco-conscious supplier. Increasingly there is going to be a demand from customers for their airline to be low on carbon emissions. However, it is equally likely that this concern never materialized because the world is able to get its act together and control global warming. It would be interesting to know what the management thinks about their research and development efforts and how they want to hedge excess invesmtnet in being efficient.

Thanks for the post Alex. Though unfortunate, climate change can be a big business opportunity. I imagine in a few decades specialized organizations who carry out sea-borne rescues – maybe with vessels always in water to respond to flooding or coastal evacuation needs across the world. Companies that create gigantic biospheres that house entire cities when the weather becomes erratic. I imagine there will be soon venture and PE investment into these sort of companies.

Do you think sometime in the future, climate change will lead to a re-drawing of national boundaries? Europe is struggling to cope with the displacement from a single company, how about when entire continents start emptying out…

Really interesting choice of company and industry. In some ways, insurance is at the forefront of bearing losses from negative climate change events along with its customers. Given that insurance companies are huge investors in publicly traded companies, I wonder if it is possible to create a model wherein the government/citizens of countries buy insurance against climate change. It may create an incentive for insurance companies (as major shareholders) to pressure companies to become more sustainable through investor activism.