• Alumni

Activity Feed

On November 20, 2016, Daniel commented on If the couch don’t fit, you don’t have to commit :

Interesting post Mike! As a Wayfair customer, I’m surprised I hadn’t heard about any of these options. To that end, I agree with your recommendation that Wayfair should try to increase awareness and adoption of these features as soon as possible. For me, the greatest part of the value proposition is assessing whether the furniture can actually fit in the room instead of using the app to determine if the fabric or design matches the aesthetic of the room. One consideration I have is whether this puts any burden on Wayfair’s retail partners or whether Wayfair alone is taking on all the heavy lifting of ensuring the products featured on the site can be deployed in this application.

On November 20, 2016, Daniel commented on Rebecca Minkoff and the Digital Store :

Thanks for the post. I agree with the prior blog response which raises the view that the true purpose for these in-store technological developments is likely to (1) create buzz and PR for the brand, (2) deliver an exceptional in-store experience, and (3) ensure an omni-channel strategy that compliments the brand’s digital strategy. I’m curious how much these innovations cost the store and what the payback period / ROI entails. One last consideration is that while technology is important in-store, retailers must still focus on engaging with the customer and delivering exceptional customer service from its sales people (human to human). I would make sure that in-store technology isn’t used as a crutch, but rather a supplement for sales people to be more helpful and knowledgeable.

On November 20, 2016, Daniel commented on The startup trying to save a media dinosaur :

Thanks Rob. I agree with the concerns listed above – specifically, the risk that implementing this model for each media site can expedite the speed at which consumers switch from subscription to a la carte and therefore lower total revenues. One other consideration is that Blendel’s model could encourage readers to only focus on the articles / topics that they specifically seek out. The risk is that readers are less willing to consider a different perspective or explore a new topic. While the rise of micro-blogging and social media have encouraged this echo-chamber effect, Blendel’s model may further contribute to it.

Thanks Eric. I agree with Cristina’s reaction that many of these changes seem to address pain points for adults rather than children. One additional thought is that most of these changes affect the way visitors experience the park during their actual visit. There must be additional digital innovations that can be launched post-visit to encourage loyalty, return visits, and spreading awareness with others. A few examples that come to mind:
+ An application that can be downloaded to “re-live the magic” whereby guests can review photos from their visit and gain access to unique content like personalized videos from their favorite Disney characters
+ The creation of a digital post card where visitors can send post card emails to friends and family in an interactive photo booth from the park; Friends and families can be kept in the loop about their visit and also be reminded of planning their own visits to the park.

Ideas like these are relatively inexpensive and may be more effective at driving traffic to the park.

On November 20, 2016, Daniel commented on Starbucks: A Technology Pioneer :

Great post. I’m completely shocked that 25% of all sales were completed using Mobile Pay. That is an incredibly meaningful shift for the company’s operations and consumer experience. You mentioned that these were not rolled out at all stores, so I imagine Starbucks decided to pilot this application at certain locations only. While you call out the benefits very clearly in the post, one question I have is whether or not SBUX faces extra strain on its resources due to increased demand for the app. I imagine that before the app, many consumers would simply not wait in line if the wait time was too long. With the improved ease of ordering from the app, I suspect each store faced increased demand. I’d be interested to know whether SBUX took other operational changes (increased labor staffing, etc) to attempt to mitigate this.

On November 7, 2016, Daniel C commented on Autonomous Taxis to Join the Fight Against Global Warming :

Great post Levi. I actually recently read about NuTonomy Inc. in a Bloomberg article. Apparently the company is currently exploring the possibility of raising a new round of funding to fuel its future growth in advance of a commercial launch in 2018. This news raises an important reminder for NuTonomy to consider picking partners that will have an aligned vision with the company as well as with its other stakeholders, the Singapore government. I look forward to hearing the news and re-assessing how this partner will contribute to the company’s ambitious, yet laudable, goals of using software logic of autonomy cars to “drive” sustainability for our environment. One question I have is whether the company explicitly states that one of its primary goals is to reduce the environmental impacts of transportation by making transportation more efficient or whether you are making that case for them. If it’s not stated explicitly, are you worried that the company may instead choose to optimize routes for other goals such as profit and safety?

On November 7, 2016, Daniel C commented on A spoonful of climate change? :

I found the discussion about the sustainability complications the Pringles acquisition delivered to be interesting. Neil mentioned a potential solution where a target company is asked to address its sustainability gaps before being acquired. A challenge with that is the sustainability issues facing many companies often span a longer horizon. If a company seeks to pursue an acquisition for a strategic reason, it may not have the time to wait for such measures to be implemented. However, there have been interesting solutions published whereby companies are incorporating sustainability metrics into their deal due diligence, discounting the valuation of the target company on the basis of its sustainability efforts. Deloitte mentioned this in their report “How Green is the Deal?” (see below). If this became common place, more companies would feel the pressure to comply with the targets they set forth.

“Begin to incorporate CR&S metrics, goals, and targets into the deal valuation process. Along with the pure economics of the deal,
evaluate potential acquisition targets in terms of energy and water consumption, carbon footprint, solid waste and wastewater disposal, and other environmental concerns. Know and understand the potential costs associated with these factors”


On November 7, 2016, Daniel C commented on Regulation on the Film Industry :

Great post Neil. A few of the responses here mentioned the potential to use carrots as highlighted by users “crox111” and “amals”. An idea that came to mind is whether there is an opportunity to communicate the sustainability standards to the audience during the opening credits. Is there some non-profit focused on this initiative that can create a logo/seal, monitor the compliance of movie sets, and then allow production companies to include the seal in the opening / closing credits as well as in trailers on TV / online to signal to consumers that a given movie was made in accordance with certain sustainability standards? I’m curious if such a non-profit exists and whether this initiative has been tested.

On November 7, 2016, Daniel C commented on Reformation: Making Sustainability Trendy :

Thanks for the post Tracy. Your post caught my attention after reviewing Priya’s post on sustainability issues caused by fast fashion retailers – Reformation is seeking to challenge the fast fashion model in many ways. You really highlight the core issue with Reformation’s positioning, though, which is its higher pricepoint and its positioning in the affordable luxury space. In order for Reformation to fulfill its sustainability promise to the consumer, it requires a high price point to fund its business model. For those who call on Zara and H&M to change their business models, how do we weigh the trade off between improved sustainability for our planet against asking consumers to spend an ever increasing portion of their income on clothing they may not be able to afford at a higher price point? What if it means forgoing other important basic necessities like food or health spending? Each of these decisions come with difficult trade-offs.

On November 7, 2016, Daniel C commented on The Unforeseen Cost of Fast Fashion :

Thanks for the interesting case Priya. Many of the posts above highlight the clothing recycling problem as an important step in the right direction, but I echo Kelly’s sentiment. Consumer behavior really needs to shift massively in order for the fast fashion retailers to truly make any step-change differences in their business model. H&M may source more organic cotton or even reduce its reliance on synthetic materials, but it’s ultimately the fundamental business model that creates tension with sustainability. Livia Firth of Eco Age argued that if fast fashion retailers still produce “in such volumes and at such ridiculous prices, their sustainability efforts – no matter how genuine – are a form of greenwashing.” One complicating factor this introduces, though, is whether you can effectively place blame on consumer segments that are ultimately very price sensitive and may not be able to afford sustainable clothing at a premium price.