Such a cool concept! Thank you for writing about this topic, Dave. While I love this innovation, I am concerned about its scalability and in particular whether as Eduard suggests it could be adopted in developing countries. The model appears to require high capital investments that would be difficult to justify in many of those markets. In addition, existing farms are not likely to want to transition or add vertical farms to their property since it would render existing agricultural machinery for the most part useless and require new training of workers.
Great analysis of the situation. I agree that natural gas companies are relatively less at risk from any changes to NAFTA given the Trump’s administration affinity towards the energy industry as reflected in their support for the keystone pipeline, for example, and strong support base in “energy” states, such as Texas. Given this situation, I am surprised, however, that they have not hurried to provide further reassurances to the sector. I assume that since Trump is a great negotiator (he wrote the ‘Art of the Deal’ after all), he simply doesn’t want to give away this bargaining chip too soon. But I assume both Canada and Mexico will call his bluff once negotiations on new terms progress.
Very interesting read. In addition to the long term plans you have listed, I think it would also be interesting to consider whether companies such as ABI, which are large consumers of scarce public goods, should play a more integral role in developing public infrastructure. For example, ABI could build and own water treatment facilities, and in doing so reduce the development burden on public utility companies that might lack the capital for new investments.
Thank you for the great analysis, Amanda! I also agree with your point that Ford should focus on long-term strategy to avoid being influenced by short-term agendas of alternating administrations. In this context, it’s interesting to see how Ford appears to have succumbed to the Trump administration in cancelling its Mexico factory development on the one hand, but on the other has taken a strong stance against the administration in matters related to climate change . As you alluded to this might suggest that Ford views the need for domestic manufacturing as driven by a broader public trend.
Accidentally posted before adding source for reference above: Champaign Williams, “Future Of Retail: Drones To Play A Big Role In The Next 10 To 20 Years,” Forbes, July 6, 2017. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bisnow/2017/07/06/future-of-retail-drones-to-play-a-big-role-in-the-next-10-to-20-years/
I might just be too spoiled, but I tend to disagree with Sarina — I think consumer’s do need instantaneous delivery. This need is most relevant for the supplies of grocery and food products. Amazon could really win big with its acquisition of Whole Foods and with Amazon Fresh if it is able to expedite its delivery time. In addition, Amazon’s impact on the regulatory landscape and investment in improving drone technology, could also enable drones to enter the food delivery space for services such as UberEats and Seamless.
Some experts seem to estimate that it will take up to 20 years until we see drones truly adopted by retailers. And I also think that given the safety and air traffic complexity, this technology will not be utilized in high-density urban areas in the near-term future. But if Amazon makes the right technological advances within five years I could see drones adding incredible value to retail delivery in rural or more spread-out suburban areas.
Awesome post! I think another important technological trend to consider in this context is how VR will transform the shopping experience. As we discussed on one of our marketing cases, people still appreciate the experience of walking through a store and seeing different items. By fulfilling aspects of this desired customer experience, VR could steer many away from certain types of retail stores. According to a recent L.E.K. Consulting study, for example, 70% of those surveyed indicted strong interest in VR shopping . Ultimately, Amazon might prefer in focus its effort on creating superior VR retail platforms rather than engage in the the continuous and intensive capital investments that B&M stores would require.
To Julio’s point about consumer concern over privacy — I think that by the point this technology is developed enough, the notion of concern over privacy will be completely lost among consumers and won’t hinder the adoption of the technology. There’s already a significant generational shift in willingness to share personal information. Children today don’t know a reality in which there every move is not tracked by the GPS in their phones or digital watches.
To Ginny’s point on how this technology might impact impulse buying — That’s a fascinating consideration! For me though it highlighted a certain positive for retailers – it makes it easier in a way to be an impulse buyer. Consumers will be able to mindlessly grab a chocolate bar on their way out of the store without having to feel guilt involved in an actual physical financial transaction.
 Kimberly Cooper, “VR will be an essential part of retail’s future,” Venture Beat, September 8, 2017, https://venturebeat.com/2017/09/08/vr-will-be-an-essential-part-of-the-future-of-retail/