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Great article! I tend to agree with James that the EU will aim to make an example out of the UK likely resulting in a hard Brexit outcome. If this was the case, it’s interesting to consider how a move of banking to Frankfurt would effect the fintech innovation. Bankers may be unwilling – or depending on the deal outcome, unable – to relocate for their work, and numerous key players have already stated intentions to relocate headquarters. With the UK having one of the most innovative regulatory environments globally, the transition of financial players to new markets may slow the rate of innovation in fintech globally. I’ll be curious to see if other countries respond with changes to their regulatory framework to attract financial players looking for a new home.

On November 30, 2017, Elle commented on Does a Trump presidency mean fewer free t-shirts? :

Great article, Brian! I particularly liked your point around staying close to the NAFTA negotiations. While this is absolutely a threat they need to take on aggressively, I do also worry about over-reacting and investing in U.S. manufacturing at great cost before there is sufficient likelihood of a change in NAFTA that would drastically affect their business. Using decision trees and other scenario planning techniques could be particularly useful for Gildan as they weigh the probabilities and costs of different outcomes.

On November 30, 2017, Elle commented on REI: A Beacon for Sustainable Business :

Enjoyed this article! As @lwang’s comment referenced as well, it struck me as I read this that this prioritization of sustainability is a unique luxury of a privately held company. And that once a company goes public, they can only pursue social aims through CSR or to the degree that those aims also drive business outcomes. This constraint makes me wonder about the degree to which the private sector will be able to contribute to addressing climate change. In the longer term, virtually every company will be affected by climate change, but in the near term many will not. The pressures of short-termism fueled by quarterly reporting and high near term executive compensation may prevent huge portions of private sector players from acting on climate change until their is an immediate, apparent threat to their bottom line.

On November 30, 2017, Elle commented on The New Netflix Challenge :

Thinking about Netflix’s content creation approach reminds me a bit of learnings from design thinking. Creating content is a form of innovation, a combination of art and science that produces a creative output that is new for the consumer. In the same way that you can explicitly design for innovation, you cannot explicitly design for creativity. However, as we saw with IDEO, you can create an approach and process that increases the odds of finding breakthroughs. As Netflix seeks to continue to win in the content creation game, it will be critical that they continue to refine their process to create an environment that fosters new, creative content. The ability to foster creativity is not typically thought of as a supply chain differentiator, but for Netflix I believe it will be.

On November 30, 2017, Elle commented on Can a digital life translate to digitizing Life (Insurance)? :

Really enjoyed this, Mayra! One question I have with these sorts of programs is: Is this just a disguised form of “skimming” healthier customers? Or is there real value being created? Regarding “skimming,” you can imagine an offering where customers who participate in the program and report healthy outcomes are provided substantial discounts, while prices are maintained or increased on unhealthy customers or those unwilling to participate. These discounts and programming targeted are used to attract and retain healthy participants, driving down the company’s cost of claims given their lower risk profile. On the other hand, you can imagine a program that is successful at motivating customers to live healthier lives through rewards, gym discounts, gamification of healthy behavior, etc. This model would drive down claim cost by creating healthier customers, not just attracting them. Given public and regulator’s uncertainty around this sort of data collection, I think proving the latter is happening (creation not just skimming of healthy customers) will be critical to winning acceptance from society and preventing regulatory barriers.

Enjoyed this take! I’m interested how climate change will affect the very high end of the market as well. For example, Blue Bottle’s $16 cup of coffee (!) is sourced from Yemen, one country whose coffee production is expected to drastically impacted by climate change. The high price today is driven in part because of the difficulty of sourcing the beans given the internal political conflict and poor infrastructure. When we add climate change to the mix as well, sourcing will only become more difficult, likely driving up the cost of goods and by extension price even further. If the impact of climate change is drastic enough, in Yemen and elsewhere, these sourcing challenges will become widespread and coffee could become a exclusively a luxury good that only some can afford. Starbucks would need to drastically change their customer promise and experience to respond to this new reality.