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On November 15, 2018, dook commented on Great Scott! What’s next for open innovation at LEGO? :

Thanks for sharing this interesting development at LEGO. As a child, I was always astounded by the creative variety of options that the LEGO playsets offer, and I look forward to how crowdsourcing will continue to expand upon this. But what I thought was very critical and timely was how LEGO can leverage the collective ideas of its customer base to redefine their core product – there will be limitations to be creative in any given category (in this case LEGO playsets) and thus as LEGO strives to survive in a traditionally static industry challenged by new competition in the digital space, open innovation may bring forth new ideas that the company may not have existing competency in. I’m curious about how IP laws play a factor in this process, and whether LEGO can develop a more cost-efficient licensing platform as it continues to implement ideas from public sources.

On November 15, 2018, dook commented on Glossier Beauty: Innovating, Not Inundating :

Thank you for sharing this – I was aware of Glossier’s crowdsourcing efforts as a subscriber of Into the Gloss, and it was really helpful to unpack these efforts in the context of Open Innovation. One additional risk to perhaps consider as Glossier expands is sample selection bias: previously they promoted the opportunity to participate on its Into the Gloss platform. I wonder if the readers of this platform share some common traits (e.g., digitally savvy, already willing to purchase beauty products online, likes to try new things, searching for new brands) that are already prevalent in their existing customer base. As it plans to capture more market share, how will Glossier encourage participation from segments their Into the Gloss platform isn’t serving? Should they advertise through other platforms where they can grab attention of customers previously unaware of Glossier / Into the Gloss? Should they even try to expand their customer base at all?

I enjoyed learning about how additive manufacturing can add to not only the production of a company’s core product (in this case, cars), but also help enhance the process of production (the example of finger stoppers was very interesting and illuminating). Previously I was commenting on what industries could most benefit from the customization feature additive manufacturing can yield, but the second point you raise on process improvement and safety procedures has universal reach across industries.

Thank you for clearly laying out the benefits of additive manufacturing in the areas of optimized inventory management and custom product development. I think where the opportunity lies will depend on the industry. In the case of Luxottica and sunglasses more broadly, I think a lot of purchasing decisions are reactive to a particular product/style. Though I have a sense of what I might want in a product, oftentimes I find myself buying a product outside of my pre-defined range of conditions because the granular product specifications of sunglasses are not something I generally invest time investigating, and I am thus not as informed in product details. I think for industries where customers are more susceptible to trends (e.g. fashion and adjacent industries), and therefore the product informs the purchasing decision, the value may lie in inventory management. On the contrary, where a customer has a clearly defined set of criteria they’re looking for and where there is a wide range of specs to determine, e.g., functional products such as a laptop, value may lie in the ability to customize. I also wonder whether this will take away any window for upselling, as customers are able to dictate exactly what they want – this may result in higher customer satisfaction in the moment but lower margins and lower customer trial of unplanned features/products.

Ad fraud was a concept I had never heard about – I enjoyed learning about how the rise of technology to better serve customers can also give rise to technology with malicious intent. I wonder if there are ways to filter through non-human ad-viewership in the same way websites currently test for bots (e.g., typing out letters from an image, or choosing from different images ones that contain a particular object). Would be interested to understand what kind of efforts are already in place.

On November 15, 2018, dook commented on MACHINE LEARNING IN RETAIL: AN EDITED APPROACH :

I loved learning about EDITED’s business model and how it fits within the retail landscape. Echoing some other comments, I’m also curious about how to address the issue of whether creative directors and their “human” intuition will be necessary in the face of technology being able to make intelligent projections of trends. What really resonated with me was the value it brings in waste reduction – H&M was recently accused of burning 12 tons of excess inventory, and Burberry among other luxury brands have also had a history of selling excess stock to preserve premium pricing and allure. Considering the shift to sustainable businesses, I look forward to seeing how companies leverage machine learning technology to better forecast inventory levels.

I really enjoyed learning about how the beauty industry is integrating AI technology to augment the consumer shopping experience. As you state, the beauty industry has been slow to adopt new technologies, perhaps because of trialability being a critical factor in the purchasing decision (especially for color cosmetics). It’s interesting to see how AI tries to address this issue directly.

Personally, I feel a huge opportunity for such a technology: many times I’ve shopped online on Sephora, but delayed (and soon forgot about) a potential purchase because I couldn’t decide on the right color of foundation/lipstick/eye shadow, even after spending a lot of time researching the brand and product. Yet when brands started offering similar technology (generally through mobile apps), I thought of it as a gimmick, and ended up going to the store when I did make any purchases. I’m curious to learn how companies like Modiface can improve trial of its own product, and build credibility as a first mover in the industry.