• Alumni

Activity Feed

On November 28, 2017, ES commented on Breaking the walls with 3D printing :

Wow, there’s something counter-intuitive to me about 3D printing parts for an airplane that will be flying hundreds of thousands of miles, but your explanation makes a lot of sense! However, I was wondering do you see a risk in having these factories in other countries as well? I agree with you that it makes sense to physically get a footing in as many places as possible while also vertically integrating. However, wouldn’t GE’s factories around the world be subject to similar taxation (import/export) and regulatory issues as a different company GE might purchase from?

I like the idea of having the 3D printing machines as close to the customer as possible to minimize transportation costs as I see this being the biggest issue for trade barriers – and a huge value-add for customers! 3D printing is particularly interesting for prototyping which could offer GE another competitive advantage. GE reports it’s using rapid prototyping for its appliances division [1], but I’m not sure why they couldn’t apply the same thinking to airplane manufacturing.


I find it very interesting that Tesco pushed back against suppliers to the point of stock-outs. In the retail business, stock-outs are often considered the absolute last option and great pains are taken to prevent them. However, I agree with Tesco’s approach to leverage its negotiating power to ensure its supply chain remains relatively stable. I wonder if other grocery chains will start to have the same issues and that rising prices in general will have to ultimately be passed onto the consumer. Although this could cause some short-term pains, it may be inevitable as Brexit takes its course and this phenomenon will ultimately be less painful if Tesco’s competition suffers the same fate.

While I am excited about the prospect of increased local sourcing, I worry that the infrastructure just isn’t there yet and won’t be for quite some time. I found an interesting article that says grocers are trying to secure alternative sourcing means for goods that could face the biggest tariffs, but suggests the rush to secure supplies could push up costs [1]. Grocers will need to invest in their sourcing teams and perhaps even invest directly in local farmers (much like Chipotle has done) to ensure their supplies can meet demand.


Real time data in food is becoming so important now! It is very hard to track back a lot of food products to their original source. This can open companies up to huge amounts of risk in a food safety crisis, such as a recall. I see this technology having big implications for that. I think if you could do a cost benefit analysis and show that the long-run risks mitigated (food safety concerns and food waste) through RFID are worth more financially than the upfront investment, then you could get more customers on board. Perhaps there could be some sort of price sharing agreement between companies where you can discount the upfront cost, but take a portion of the long-term “savings” – this might show good faith on behalf of the companies selling this technology.

This makes so much sense! Patients are notoriously not great at giving an accurate picture of their symptoms – some people like to tough it out, while others may say they feel much worse than they actually are. I found an interesting article about how cancer researchers are using data from patients’ fitbits to assess their physical state when their mental state might be foggy due to side effects of treatment [1]. I agree with you that the main concern is privacy and I worry that pharmaceutical companies may not be equipped to handle such data on a mass scale. I would be very surprised if HIPPA standards were relaxed for digitization purposes. I wonder if companies like Epic that are focused on electronic medical records and integration of hospital systems will see this as a new business opportunity (since they have the secure infrastructure) or if this deviates too greatly from their current business model.


Well, this is frightening news! I agree with you that it is inevitable that Vail resorts will need to rely more and more on artificial snow making. I found an interesting article that says most resorts consider snowmaking as officially “non-consumptive” since it doesn’t divert or deplete water supply in the same manner as farming; eventually, the snow will melt back down into the ground [1]. This seems slightly promising since even if Vail is forced to rely on snow production, it may not be additionally exposed to water issues as well. However, as temperatures rise, like you said, it will take many more machines and much more energy per machine to get adequate snow coverage – so it’s great to see Vail taking a proactive stance on ensuring the machines don’t have a worsening effect on climate change.

I think you make a really good point about working with what you’ve got by trying to maximize customer revenue during typically snow heavy times. Lastly, I am partial to saying Vail is best suited to acquire resorts as opposed to new development so long as there are resorts in a variety of places to ensure diversification.


Very interesting post, thanks for sharing! I agree with you that indoor farming has a lot to offer in terms of mitigating the risks associated with climate change. However, I am concerned about price and was curious about your thoughts on it. While you mention that upfront investment is a pain point and that (very) fortunately Plenty has Jeff Bezos to deal with that, I have seen first-hand that prices of the products themselves can be much more costly than conventional or even organically grown products. Therefore, I worry about accessibility and large-scale demand and wonder how Plenty is planning to deal with this in both the short and long term. To your point about accelerating expansion, I would only do so if they can get the prices of their crops somewhere in the competitive ball park of outdoor grown food (assuming Plenty’s prices are similar to other indoor farming organizations) – or decide if there is a big enough target market who will pay premium price.