SUCH A COOL CONCEPT!
Your analysis of the deficiencies of the business plan are certainly accurate – pairing with an NGO or international organization could certainly yield some much-needed leadership and capital infusion. I think there is room here to integrate this as an initial portion of the structure. Instead of building the whole house from mud products, can it just do structural components? I think a more sellable concept is one where that integrates the insulating mud as a structural component but is eventually covered by recycled materials with a high-end appearance.
Can this product additionally utilize shredded garbage/recycled products? Instead of harvesting local grasses, can shredded plastics be used to create a carbon fiber-esque material?
Loved the article – being a bike nerd myself. By the way, I feel that I am increasingly encountering a breed of cyclist who just buys a bike so he can hang out in lycra shorts and sip coffee… more to follow.
I thought the ‘try it out’ problem was going to be more significant that it appears to be. The use of brand ambassadors – current pro cyclists – is certainly a compelling value prop for the businesses. Have you seen any type of return policy, or try-it-out model a-la Casper matresses? Another key service that the bike shops provide – albeit with dubious accuracy – is recommendations. Many new entrants to the sport start doing research only to find that they’re overwhelmed by the tremendous variety and wholly unknown vernacular of the sport. LBS’s serve to educate and assist (and upsell – lets be honest) the new customer and I feel that Canyon is missing this entire segment. Any thoughts on how they’ll get around that?
In the meantime, I’ll continue servicing my own bikes at my house – where I serve high-end scotch as well!
I was hoping for so much when I saw this headline – and google is trying to deliver! Its a great concept and certainly a good first swing at the problem set. Have there been any proofs of concept put into trial yet? I’d be interested to see how this is being used in practical application by real, stressed-out, parents.
I agree – the price point may very well be prohibitive. That’s not to say that this won’t find a market – gadgets like this always find markets, especially around Silicon Valley moms…hehe. I’d be interested to see what this system could do when moved beyond the ‘soothing’ problems. Can it monitor the ambient temperature and the baby’s temperature to see if the child is running a fever? Could it be preloaded with diapers/wipes and make refill purchases on Amazon Mom when supplies run low? I bet weight sensors could be added to monitor food intake and alert for other health issues – even SIDS! Certainly nothing will replace a caring, alert parent – but this can help.
Great article regarding retail industry response to the rise of eCommerce! Macy’s has a great starting point for this, given that each of their stores averages well over 150k sq ft (1). Much of that space can be partitioned and used to store high-demand items in addition to the existing fulfillment centers.
What do you think Macy’s is doing that differentiates it from other retailers in this space who are simultaneously making ‘digital additions’? Do you think the rise in sales is simply keeping pace with the average consumer’s switch or has Macy’s found something in their value prop that is striking more often?
Great post Will!
I’ll be interested to see where this discussion goes in the next 10-15 years. Global consumption for rare earth minerals is certainly going to accelerate as LiON battery technology proliferates further and the global population grows. Do you think Tesla – and Musk – is prepared to take up the mantle as a global leader in sustainable mining practices? Or, as in the case of Ikea, should they look at supporting globally recognized standards?
Alternatively, can Tesla take a position as a developer of sustainable mining and enriching practices since its consumption of rare earth minerals is so large?
Joanna – great post! It seems that, given the highly disaggregated nature of tofu manufacturing (84K producers), a major fuel producer can step in to provide the nation-wide infrastructure required to take this to the next step. I agree that it looks highly promising in terms of providing an alternative fuel source with the bonus of being produced from an existing waste product. It will be great to track this and see where the movement goes in the next couple years!
Brad – great post. As I sit here with my cup of coffee reading it, a couple thoughts have occurred: Shade-grown plants grow slower, by how much? Given that Starbucks consumes coffee beans on a MASSIVE scale, how much additional crop land needs to be converted to support the growing consumption of an even faster growing global population? Is it a sustainable solution to move in a direction that actually requires putting more land under active cultivation?
What other options are available for Starbucks – in terms of moving to additional custom beverage and food products?
Also, you need to explain that last paragraph to me…haha
Great article Ann. It seems to me that moving to biofuels/renewable fuels is one of the most effective ways to hedge against both climate change and fluctuating fuels stocks and sources. What is the current status of implementing alternative fuels for these engines?
As I understand it, these engines are HIGHLY tuned to optimize for the burn rates of the fuels for which they are designed. Is this problem as easy as putting new gas in the tank or does JetBlue need to buy new engines? Are there other companies/research organizations which are tackling this issue?
*thanks to my PC for publishing before I was ready*
more and more other businesses – quite likely restaurants – will invest in charging infrastructure to ‘refuel’ vehicles. But will petroleum ever go away? Will it continue to be the fuel of choice for long-haul trucking since current battery technology currently isn’t to the point of effectively working for semis?
Great article Garet. I’d be interested to see the impact of transforming all of those gas pumps into EV charging stations.
Do you think that the modern gas station – as it currently exists – will ever be fully removed? You paint a compelling picture that as the population shifts to EV, more and more other businesses –