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On November 20, 2016, EAP commented on Digital News and The Washington Post :

Terrific topic as I am faced with the decision to renew annual subscriptions each year at Christmas! I am fascinated by the $250 mil valuation that Bezos paid for the WP – what were his assumptions and considerations regarding cash flows for the news industry. At one point, I thought that talent might be a real big consideration for any newspaper. To retain the finest editors and established columnists, you would have to pay them well, as popular journalists help retain paying costumers. I wonder whether talent was a consideration for Bezos and the future of the WP. Ultimately though, it was fascinating to read the perspective that Bezos could be applying an Amazon Prime model to newspapers, and it will be interesting to see the evolution of the news industry in the upcoming years.

On November 20, 2016, EAP commented on No More Dashing Out To The Store :

The article and comments identified are fascinating. The Dash Button, when first introduced, was revolutionary and had consumers concerned that Amazon buttons were going to be speckled all over your house, like tacky stickers next to your washing machine. Though this has not happened yet, as MB mentioned, the Button can serve as the first step towards integrating product consumption and re-purchases. Many concerns have been highlighted above, notably the availability of sales and substitute products, and I have no doubt that Amazon will continue to refine the access that these Buttons provide. Rather than a Button, I wonder whether the future might be in the smart refrigerator space as was mentioned above, where SKUs and decreasing product weight signal a request for repurchase. This same principle could be applied to laundry detergent on a small Amazon scale – more aesthetically pleasing than an Amazon Button – where under a certain weight, an alert can be triggered for repurchase on the app. The idea that purchasing products through Amazon, independent of an app or computer, is certainly gaining momentum though.

On November 20, 2016, EAP commented on Start your engines… via your smart phone. :

Ty, real interesting find here! I am concerned about Lynk’s “edge”, as we say in FIN1. If I were to speculate on current car consumers’ preferences these days, I would guess that fuel economy maybe the top priority, followed by safety, and then perhaps performance specifications. I am wondering whether Lynk, and its value proposition, has the strength in these categories to compete. As mentioned, Lynk is seeking a niche market, and perhaps could be wonderful for the right buyer. Additionally, the technological proposals that you addressed could also be revolutionary in terms of driving and connected experience, and even improved utilization if people adopt the car sharing idea. These features alone might be enough to grab a percentage of the new car market. I am wondering too if the first generation 01 model might be disruptive in the market, and follow on models 02 and 03 could have increased success. Excited to find out.

On November 20, 2016, EAP commented on Starbucks, mobile payments underdog, takes gold :

Fantastic technology topic. Starbucks again got this one right. As you mentioned, the timing of this introduction was advantageous for Starbucks, but even further, as we discussed briefly in marketing, this app complimented the Starbucks clientele nicely too. Effortlessly integrating the rewards points with the in-house payment app enhanced Starbucks consumer loyalty and economic moat, ensuring the Starbucks faithful have another reason to return. Even within this app too, the operational game-changer is the mobile order and pickup, all while paying through the app. The improved efficiency, again for a Starbucks consumer who loves efficiency, combined with the easy payment system will continue to reap benefits for the firm.

On November 20, 2016, EAP commented on Will Telemedicine Re-shape Our Healthcare Industry? :

Very interesting article and responses. There certainly is a lot of good discussion here regarding the future of telemedicine. Between your article and the comments, many of telemedicine’s strengths and weaknesses have been identified, however, I think that there is a very bright future for telemedicine, as it drastically improves the allocation of medical intelligence and resources. The entire medical industry and education is shifting away from MDs making each decision to enabling Nurse Practitioners to assume a much greater roll within outpatient care clinics. If we begin to use our human capital efficiently, i.e. for nurse practitioners who don’t demand as high a salary as MDs, to work within their training umbrella, including in most states, prescribing medication, and reserving the MDs for more serious surgeries and diagnoses, the assets within the medical field will be more effectively distributed. This is where telemedicine comes in to – providing an additional tool to NPs or MDs for diagnosis without the burden of a hospital experience. Using the lessons from ABC accounting, this would reduce the costs on many doctor visits, increasing social welfare, by allowing the diagnoses to occur at the most cost efficient level.

On November 7, 2016, EAP commented on Something Fishy is Going On :

This is such a difficult job for Mares and they cannot combat the effect climate change has on reefs alone. Education is one element to the solution, perhaps with regard to ocean boating safety and pollution, but the larger issue of raising sea temperatures is a global climate change problem. The destruction of coral reefs should be a topic of discussion at the climate change conferences and considered in the same conversation as shrinking rain forests and ozone layers.

This post clearly resonates with a lot of people. Too often families schedule ski trips out West (or to the Alps) only to find poor snow conditions. I am curious as to how the numbers look regarding further investment in snow producing machines, with the hopes that that will continue to attract skiers who will pay the hefty lift ticket prices. The problem is with the all season activities, they just don’t charge the premium that a weekend one day lift ticket charges, and that really hurts the revenues for the mountains. I have no doubt that a lot of research is being conducted to improve snow making technology for these mountains, but you’re right, with warming winters, or winters that get colder in Jan-Mar vice December when schools are out for the holidays, the ski industry will continue to face hurdles.

On November 7, 2016, EAP commented on Coca-Cola – Refreshing the World? :

The water ratio is a very interesting sustainability initiative. I found their reduction captivating and the reduction from 2:1 ratio to low 1s:1 very impressive. I had also never considered the impact on hybrid vehicles for delivery? Are these changes to hybrid vehicles subsidized in anyway? You provide interesting recommendations for the future of Coke’s sustainability effort too? As Coke continues to worry about its future in consumer’s preferences, and shrinking consumption patters and margins, I wonder how expensive some of your proposed improvements efforts may be for Coke and whether that will deter Coke from further pursuing these efforts.

On November 7, 2016, EAP commented on … Still Got Milk? :

Fascinating read. I am curious regarding how much of India’s milk production is exported, if any? If their production is so high without exports, their consumption must be very high too, which intrigues me. I am also interested in the best investments for these firms regarding milk processing and extended shelf life. Perhaps it’s improved pasteurization techniques, but as you mention, it could be treatment of the cows and milk’s inputs. My guess would be that the farmers would appreciate more research on the different techniques to improve shelf life before ultimately making a large investment decision.

Great post Zach. This trend in decreased rainfall will certainly be difficult to reverse. Those improvements in irrigation make a lot of sense, and hopefully the investment will be sufficient to more than make up for the reduction in rain. I hope too that agriculture techniques, and chemical methods may be of use, similar to what we read about in the Indigo case.