CK – Very engaging post. Thank you.
I agree that safety and actual delivery will be two critical challenges that Amazon has to figure out. I would add that drone deliveries in populated areas with apartment dwellers can be extremely challenging, especially when there is no appropriate space for a drone to land such as a front or back yard. Hence, one solution that Amazon sees at this point in time for this type of areas is to grow their network of package pickup way-stations where customers will go and pick up their goods. I would argue that it is important for the company to continue to invest in this infrastructure going forward as it will facilitate deliveries in populated areas. Please see below relevant article.
Thank you for this article. Privacy of digital information is indeed becoming a major issue / concern not only for the entertainment industry but also for the business world as a whole. My main concern with your proposed steps going forward is with regards to your suggestion for companies to implement a policy whereby they will have to delete their emails once a predetermined period lapses (such as 90 days). Although this could protect a lot of sensitive data, I think that practically it is very challenging to implement it, especially for a publicly listed company, because audit firms require email communication to audit their clients since emails have become the main written channel of communication in the business world.
AR/VR is indeed expected to change our gaming experience going forward. However, major AR/VR companies are still operating in uncharted waters and there is no consensus on which technology (ies) is/are going to dominate the market in the future. Hence, I would argue that in the short-term Blizzard needs to hold back on any investments in the AR/VR space because firstly they do not have expertise in this area and secondly any early investment may prove to be unfruitful given the uncertainty that exists in the space. I am adding two articles that I think you will find interesting. They indicate that at least in the short-run gaming companies are adopting a wait-and-see approach.
Nice post T.S. I agree with you that the company cannot just kill the Nook. I would go even further and argue that despite the fact that the company has been losing money on its e-reader device, turning around the Nook is critical to the company’s survival and has to be a main part of the company’s strategy. They need to focus on manufacturing an e-reader device that will be at least at par with the competitors’ products because for may customers it seems that e-books is the new standard. From the last Investor Day presentation, I gathered that the company will continue to work with Samsung and they expect to produce a new version of the device in 2017. It will be interesting to see how successful this device will be.
Great post Hunter. Thank you. Indeed, China’s plan is for natural gas to represent 10% of the country’s energy mix by 2020. I think that although shale gas will play a major role in reaching this target, I view LNG imports as the second major source of natural gas. That said, an additional Step for the Future could be for the country to ensure that it has the LNG regasification capacity, either through regasification plants or FSRUs (Floating Storage and Regasification Units), in place. Regasification capacity has been considered by many the bottleneck in China when it comes to LNG. Please see below an article that I think you will find interesting.
T.S – this is a great article. Indeed, the shipping industry is moving to cleaner propulsion systems. LNG vessels for example are now equipped with DFDE (dual fuel diesel electric) propulsion systems, which offer the ability to burn both HFO and LNG. This offers a lot of flexibility to operators as they can switch to the most cheap fuel. Cruise ship operators will also benefit from this optionality. The only major concern I see going forward, which you slightly touched on, is the fact that there is no port infrastructure yet in place to support LNG powered cruise ships. It will be interesting to see what part of this cost will be assumed by the operators, since they may end up having to significantly increase their CapEx, which could in turn increase trip prices, leading to reduced demand for cruises.
Finally, I also want to add that cruise ships that have propulsion systems capable of burning gas have an advantage over LNG carriers because cruise ships are not in the business of transporting LNG. Operators of LNG carriers on the other hand need to make trade-offs on a daily basis between the amount of LNG that they will burn for propulsion and the amount of LNG that they will deliver to their clients.
Thank you for a very interesting post. In my view, it would be very useful to examine historical data, if this data is publicly available, in order to determine whether the amount of actual donations to the Red Cross tends to decrease, increase, or remain neutral during periods characterized by a relatively increased number of disasters and see whether a trend can be deduced from such observations.
AR – Very interesting article. It would have been very useful to see some details on the actual actions that Coca Cola plans to take in order to go water neutral. For example, you mentioned that one of the ways they plan to do so is by raising awareness. I would be very interested to see how the company is planing to measure the effects of raising awareness on water replenishment. Is there a tangible metric that can be used to accurately measure the effects of increased awareness?
I really enjoyed reading your post. I’d like to add some value by giving my perspective on the first proposed strategy. I believe that volatility in oil supply, which will indeed lead to volatility in oil prices may end up being a good thing for substitutes. Let’s look at LNG for example. Natural gas prices have always been indexed to oil prices, which means that if the prices of oil are low then natural gas prices will also be low. As a result, this closes the arbitrage window from West to East, significantly reducing the spread between US, European, and Asian natural gas prices. Hence liquefaction facilities in the US, such as Sabine Pass, may struggle to make a profit when selling LNG because when they take into account the cost of production and the cost of shipping LNG to Asia, their profit margin is minimized. This is what happened in 2014 in the LNG industry causing many liquefaction projects to get delayed. However, this was due to a prolonged period of low oil prices. If you add volatility though, then I would expect the dynamics to start changing. Liquefaction facilities have the ability to secure long-term contracts with LNG buyers when oil and hence NG prices are high, hence they are more likely to go ahead with the project. Furthermore, volatility always attracts commodity traders in the game who could be willing to enter into contracts with LNG liquefaction facilities at prices that make sense for these facilities in the hope to benefit from price volatility.