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I agree that Ford should take a long-term perspective, and not react to some of the rhetoric coming out of the current administration around potential isolationist policies. It is also surprising to me that Trump and isolationism has been credited with pressuring Ford to create jobs in the U.S. In reality, Ford’s announcement of the new plant in Detroit was the result of forces that were in place long before the current administration. It seems that Ford has been investing for a while in manufacturing it’s larger car models here in the States, and this move was a continued part of that strategy. [1]

I’d also be curious to get your perspective on the risks involved with investing in electric and autonomous vehicles for the company. While I agree it’s probably the right idea to think ahead about some of these forward-looking trends, there may be some downside to blindly investing in these waves without careful consideration around Ford’s competitive advantage relative to other firms that are moving this way.

[1] http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_juice/2017/01/ford_isn_t_adding_u_s_jobs_because_of_donald_trump.html

I tend to agree with the sentiments above that the impact on the natural gas industry due to issues with NAFTA will likely be mitigated by additional bi-lateral trade agreements or other measures that will benefit the American natural gas industry. It is also worth noting some of the close ties between natural gas oil executives and policymakers who can influence this issue. According to the (failing) NY Times, “With American gas exports to Mexico expected to double by 2019, most gas will come from Texas, a vital Republican stronghold that is the home state of both Mr. Perry and Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson.” [1]

If I were to dig into this question further, however, it would be interesting to see how short-term stock prices and other economic factors have been influenced simply by some of the rhetoric coming out of this administration.

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/26/world/americas/rick-perry-mexico-gas-energy-industry-electricity-natural-gas.html

Prior to reading this article I wasn’t aware at some of the major problems Pixel had in forecasting demand. I’m curious – what specific digitization efforts do you think Google should prioritize in order to address some of these issues down the line? While I agree better demand forecasting would be ideal, I’m unclear on what specific digitization efforts you foresee Google adopting to better predict these trends.

Additionally, do you think it was a smart move for Google to “own” the production of Pixel by purchasing HTC? While I agree this move gave them greater control and flexibility with their production processes, I wonder over the long-term whether it puts too much burden on Google to keep pace with modernizing their supply chain, especially relative to competitors like Apple.

On December 1, 2017, Evan commented on Can an Artificial Intelligence Deliver Real Results? :

This is a very interesting topic. One question I had in reading is whether this AI technology is yet cost effective, and if not when (and via what levers) we can expect it to be so? One area I’m more familiar with in this space is predictive radiology, which companies like Zebra [1] and other imaging technologies are starting to take to market. These companies claim that by using their technology, physicians can get to much quicker (and cheaper) diagnostics. However, my understanding of these technologies is they are only being utilized by large, research hospitals because the ROI is not there yet for mass market adoption. In other words, the implementation and utilization costs do not yet make up for any gained productivity, and as a result only hospitals with deep pockets that are excited about the innovation potential and are willing to sacrifice on the bottom line to utilize these products. Additionally, I think there are questions over who will be able to create a large enough data set to have an effective AI machine over time? Do you expect we will see more collaboration between hospitals to get this data set, as no one hospital will produce enough data to make the algorithms and predictive technology work? What are some of the barriers to hospital collaboration?

[1] https://www.zebra-med.com/

One additional aspect to consider here is what interim technologies can JBH take advantage of as it considers investing in autonomous trucking over the long run. For example, there are several new technology and software companies that are making shipment tracking, route optimization, and analytics possible to create more efficient use of trucks today. [1] I think there’s a strong case to be made that some of these applications could help JBH lower their carbon footprint on a more near-term basis than some of the longer-term solutions proposed here.

[1] https://agfundernews.com/convoy-aims-revolutionize-trucking-industry.html

This is a very interesting case study of how one organization is grappling with such a complex, global issue. While some of the tactics you mentioned (e.g., committing to zero footprint by 2030) are likely more of a PR play than anything that will have substantial impact on the problem, I do think some of their diversification and efforts to engage on the topic at a global level through partnerships may have higher ROI against addressing this problem. It would be interesting to further examine not just diversification of location, but also diversification of different types of resorts that are less prone to climate change. In addition, it would be interesting to see what type of tax credits and other policy incentives Vail can capture (or lobby for) as it continues to “go green” over the coming years, which could have a direct impact on Vail’s bottom line.