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Great post- thanks for sharing! I think it’s impressive that the city of New York is trying to provide free wifi access to its citizens. New York is a global hub for tech and other cities look to New York as the model for city planning. As an example, I recently read that London is also planning to roll out wifi kiosks to its streets starting in 2017.

I do think the requiring users to enter their email address is a privacy concern for many. However, I am more concerned that with unrestricted internet access, some users may try to use the internet to view adult content or use it for other inappropriate content. Regardless of the privacy concerns, I think this is a great idea and am curious to see how popular these kiosks will be!

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/25/linknycs-free-wifi-and-phone-kiosks-hit-london-as-linkuk-in-partnership-with-bt/

On November 20, 2016, DSM commented on Digitization Gets Cooking in the Restaurant Industry :

Great post, Pasha! I did not realize that yelp reviews impact a restaurant’s top line. I agree it’s important for restauranteurs to embrace digitization – there is no escaping it! I do think that a lot of these apps are controlling the way restauranteurs use technology (i.e., they are forced to use the platforms that are already available and are no longer in control of their own advertising). I know that some competitors will hire people to write negative reviews of restaurants so I think Yelp needs to find a way to check who their reviewers are as reviews can affect a business and defamation suits are becoming more common.

In addition to using other apps like venmo or splitwise, I think the more tech saavy restaurants could create their own apps to book reservations, view the daily specials, and place orders in advance.

This was a very interesting piece, Greta! I love the convenience of on-demand grocery delivery platforms such as Instacart. I did not realize Webvan was one of the pioneers in this space! I would agree that the main reason Webvan failed was its large investment in warehouses and other fixed cost investments.

The success of Instacart, on the other hand is because it does not have any warehouses or delivery trucks. Instead, it partners up with existing supermarkets and hires shoppers who use their own cars to deliver grocery items. Customers make orders on instacart’s digital platform and are paired up with a shopper. The customer decides when to schedule the delivery and can typically schedule same day deliveries. Next, shoppers pick up the items and deliver it to the customers using their own cars. The shoppers are paid per hour in addition to the tips they receive from customers. This eliminates most of the high upfront costs that Webvan invested in.

Source: http://nextjuggernaut.com/blog/how-instacart-works-makes-money-revenue-business-model/

On November 20, 2016, DSM commented on Sephora: Who wants a virtual makeover? :

I am a loyal Sephora customer so I was excited to read this! I already use their shopping app but was unaware of the virtual artist and virtual tutorials that they offer – will definitely have to try both!

I think it’s great that beauty companies are embracing technology and I’m excited to see how this will evolve. According to the Euromonitor Beauty Survey, “…the apps landscape is moving toward more personalized, connected and interactive features, measuring results and efficacy.” As an example, OKU skin care coach -launched in 2015- is a digital consultation tool that monitors skin health and provides personalized recommendations, routines and products. Will be monitoring this landscape closley!

Source: http://www.quirks.com/articles/digital-initiatives-key-areas-beauty-companies-need-to-target-in-2016

On November 20, 2016, DSM commented on How Technology is Changing the Treatment of Type-1 Diabetes :

Very intersting post – thanks for sharing your personal experience dealing T1 Diabetes. I hope that you were able to benefit from this technology and am curious to hear your thoughts on its efficacy from personal experience. I think this technology is incredible and is especially useful for kids who are at school most of the day and would find it difficult to have their glucose levels monitored. I wonder if DexCom can apply this technology to other diseases that have to be monitored – to check cholesterol and blood pressure for heart disease.

I agree with Mike and Pete, it will be difficult to get the closed loop system approved by the FDA and other regulatory bodies to provide the correct dosage of insulin for patients with diabetes. It seems like there are other factors that influence insulin dosage levels other than blood glucose so I am skeptical that doctors will feel comfortable completely relying on this.

On November 7, 2016, DSM commented on Impossible Foods: The Intricacies of Farts and Burps :

This is a really interesting company – thanks for sharing! I had no idea that cows produced CO2 emissions from their manure! Similar to the comments above, I am skeptical about the buy in from consumers – especially meat eaters! Although I think the idea of a meat substitute – that tastes like and has texture similar to meat- is very innovative and not only mitigates climate change risk but also promotes healthier eating habits, I think it will be difficult to get consumers to switch from eating meat to a meat substitute. I am skeptical about how successful this company will be in gaining customers.

On November 7, 2016, DSM commented on Barry Callebaut: I’m in love with the cocoa :

Wow! Great read. I did not know about the impact of climate change on the chocolate industry. I wanted to challenge some of the comments above. I think it will be difficult to convince cocoa farmers to adapt to climate change by adopting practices such as planting shade trees and developing heat resistant forms of cocoa. However, as you argued in your recommendations, Barry Callebut will need to educate farmers about the risks of climate change on their business in order to get their support. If the farmers understand how detrimental the effects of climate change will be on their business, they will have to adapt in order to ensure the livelihood of their business in the future. One way Barry Callebut can do this is by showing the farmers in Africa how farmers in Central America are shifting towards more environmentally sustainable practices. Once they see that their competitors are doing this, they will be more inclined to follow.

Awesome piece, Brittany! I did not think that the beer industry is affected by climate change. I found the part about the fluctuation in production of the hops to be particularly interesting and a shortage of hops can clearly affect the taste of the product (for the worse)!
I found your recommendations to be very insightful. I disagree with some of the posts here about the response from consumers about the eco-label. I think Anheuser-Busch has a great opportunity to differentiate itself from its competitors by including their sustainability efforts in their value proposition. As we learned in marketing, both Starbucks and S’well have built socially responsible brands and its branding has appealed to many of its customers. Anheuser-Busch should capitalize on this and be the environmentally friendly beer as a way to appeal to millennials.

Jenn – thanks for sharing! I am actually a huge fan of this brand and was not aware of their sustainability efforts. I also did not realize how much pollution the retail industry was causing! I’ve always viewed the Zara model and its peers favorably in that it makes high-fashion more accessible to the masses but I never realized the downside of their lower prices and lower quality goods.
I hope that Cuyana is able to keep its investors satisfied and agree that this will require investors with similar values. I also hope Cuyana is able to find a business model that allows them to maximize profits as well as work towards sustainability. They should make sure to leverage their sustainability practices in their value proposition. I am not sure customers are aware of this aspect of the company and this could get more people to buy into the brand!

On November 7, 2016, DSM commented on Who Insures the Insurers? Hopefully, Themselves. :

Great post. I also wrote about the effects of climate change on the insurance industry and it seems like AIG is well positioned to tackle the risks associated with climate change. From the articles I’ve read, it seems that the big insurance players are applying the same strategies to address climate change: 1) improve pricing of risk premiums 2) offer products that help mitigate the effects of climate change.
I like your suggestion of diversifying the business geographically (away from US coastal regions and more in Europe and Asia). In fact, according to Swiss Re sigma, 6 of the 10 most costly weather-related catastrophes for the insurance industry occurred over the past two decades. And 5 out of 6 of these events occurred in the US– Hurricanes Katrina, Andrew, Ike and Ivan, and Superstorm Sandy flood – and resulted in $200 billion in insured losses. [1] Diversification of geography is a great way to mitigate these risks!

[1] Ace Group. 2015. ACE Group Environment Report 2015. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.acegroup.com/assets/attachments/ace-group-2015-environmental-report.pdf. [Accessed 2 November 2016].