David Host

  • Student

Activity Feed

On November 12, 2018, David Host commented on Winsun: Revolutionizing the Construction Industry with 3D Printing :

In response to the first question, I argue that Winsun should educate construction partners by establishing strong relationships with specific field leaders. By forming these connections, workers in the fields of architecture, design, and even government will be less skeptical if they see key opinion leaders promoting the benefits of 3D printing. The advantage to this approach would be that Winsun would not have to invest heavily in educating and changing the attitudes of all ground level workers individually. Instead, by choosing the most prominent leaders across the construction value change, Winsun can create industry-wide respect for its 3D printing approach and more rapidly influence a broader audience within the construction sector to adopt this game-changing technology.

I believe that the trend of less people buying cars will change Volvo’s business model dramatically and move it towards a hospitality model. With car ownership down and self-driving, shared vehicles up via machine learning, the future of Volvo will shift according to how consumers interact and adapt to life within self-driving cars. Right now, Volvo sees four potential uses for self-driving cars including mobile sleep environment, mobile office, mobile living/family room, and entertainment space [1]. This vision suggests that Volvo thinks consumers will spend their time using the space as one would in a physical room. Thus, Volvo will likely focus more on designing and constructing vehicles that will foster the best experience for consumers with that expectation in mind. In this way, Volvo can target consumers who desire a specific travel style wherein consumers can select into shared rides with Volvo’s self-driving vehicles.

[1] Davis, Sam. “Volvo Envisions Autonomous Vehicles as Revolutionizing Travel.” Power Electronics, 17 October 2018, https://www.powerelectronics.com/automotive/volvo-envisions-autonomous-vehicles-revolutionizing-travel.

On November 12, 2018, David Host commented on NYC BigApps: Crowdsourcing Civic Innovation :

Regarding the question raised around increased inequality through civic-hacker innovation, I believe the key to preventing this is to incentivize both problem identification and technical solution towards working on underserved areas. I agree that diversity in early testing is critical to ensuring appropriate representation, but beyond that it is also necessary to guide civic-hacker innovation towards addressing issues in underserved areas that need it the most. While it’s understandable that technical solution providers will likely come from more affluent neighborhoods, I do not believe this has to be a problem. Instead, I see this as an opportunity to connect the supply of these skills with the demand of those neighborhoods with the most complex and severe problems identified. Therefore, New York City’s responsibility should be to properly promote BigApps and incentivize participants according to how teams can best be designed to address the most imperative problems. In this way, underserved areas would be prioritized, the inequality gap would decrease, and BigApps would drive the most social impact.

In response to your question, I believe it is realistic for Unilever to identify promising brands earlier through The Foundry. I agree that it makes more sense for Unilever to approach partnerships with startups this way than to manage its open innovation platform around the idea of startups building technologies specifically for Unilever’s portfolio. In this way, Unilever has a larger addressable market of entrepreneurs to scout. That being said, even with this shift in open innovation I challenge the potential for significant change this would actually have on Unilever’s prospects in competing in the rapidly changing consumer product space. Companies such as General Mills have created similar partnerships through 301inc which have led to minimal impact on the overall prospects of the company. With such fragmentation in the industry, companies like Unilever would have to make a multitude of correct bets in partnering with the right startups early on leading to acquisitions to have the sort of scaled financial impact that Unilever is seeking.

On November 12, 2018, David Host commented on Adidas Speedfactory: Disrupting The Sneaker Manufacturing Process :

To answer your first and second questions, I believe that there is commercial viability in additive manufacturing for companies like Adidas and that this is not just a marketing ploy. Historical challenges in speed and cost are being replaced with faster, more cost effective machines that can produce efficient products using an array of materials [1]. That being said, my question moves to what’s next for companies like Adidas? Once additive manufacturing becomes the new norm, when access to such technology is at an even playing field for all apparel companies, how does a company like Adidas differentiate itself amongst consumers? A future with lower cost customization featuring nimble supply chains is surely a win for consumers, but I struggle to see how Adidas or any apparel company can maintain a competitive edge once additive manufacturing becomes commoditized.

[1] “‘Quietly, people were forging ahead’: the evolution of 3D printing.” The Guardian, 22 October 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/product-innovation-with-henkel/2018/oct/22/evolution-of-3d-printing-adidas-carbon-henkel-renishaw-additive-manufacturing.

While I agree that building trust and transparency are fundamental building blocks in pursuing network effects through machine learning, I would argue that focusing on expanding farmer education and awareness is more critical to FBN’s growth at this point in time. In such a fragmented market, farmer’s are already yearning for a competitive edge in pricing against the big input sellers. However, to realistically go up against the likes of DowDuPont and Monsanto, FBN needs more critical mass to compete and incentivize manufacturers of generic products to switch to FBN (https://www.forbes.com/sites/amyfeldman/2018/06/19/farming-ag-agriculture-farmers-business-network/#7ba563166312). Therefore, FBN should invest more heavily in promoting their mission. While potentially costly as the post alludes to, this marketing will have a bigger impact on their ability to scale effectively through machine learning given the traction FBN has already gained in the market. Thus, the question centers less around maintaining trust with existing farmer members and more around how to accelerate word of mouth amongst new farmers to gain the necessary clientele population to compete.