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Really great read. I’d been exposed to forms of data localization requirements in my previous life for countries such as China but did not realize so many other countries had similar regulations. Also, never thought of the impact of trade agreements on data flow, so I really learned a lot here.

Partly based on my ignorance to this topic before reading your piece, I would recommend Microsoft and other tech firms to do even more lobbying and public relations efforts to increase awareness. These efforts should be two-fold. One they should be here in the States so that trade agreements remain intact or form anew. Second, they should go to the markets with the requirements and educate the citizens there on the benefits they are missing out on due to these regulations.

On December 1, 2017, Everett commented on All Digital at ALDI: Fast Times in Supermarket Tech :

Excellent article! It does sound like ALDI is facing competitive pressures from multiple fronts and needs to do something to ensure they can continue to win due to price. I agree with your assessment that digitization is a way they can accomplish this, especially if they begin focusing on supply chain. Fundamentally, I think ALDI can initiate a shift to a more digital supply chain. Since they are the “end of the line” it is on them to gather consumer purchasing data and provide that data back in the chain. Then they’ll need to partner with their suppliers to apply the machine learning and data science solutions. I foresee some push back from historical suppliers, so they may need to be open to switching. Personally, I’m rooting for a classic grocer like ALDI over big, bad Amazon.

I agree with you about how management needs to make more aggressive investment in the complete supply chain of their EVs. I also believe that they should revisit their decision to outsource battery manufacturing since this is arguably the most important part of an EV since it directly impacts performance and cost. I think the battery piece goes a long way in addressing your question about moving down market and producing at scale and cost. If they can produce batteries for other energy storage applications that could help speed up the innovation and cost reduction cycles for the batteries destined for their cars. Very interesting article, thanks for sharing!

On November 29, 2017, Everett commented on The Future of adidas :

Very interesting article on how adidas is using digitization coupled with robotics to revolutionize their supply chain. I, too, wonder how can they integrate this innovation into other products and use it for mass production. This type of technology is great for rapid prototyping, but not as much for mass production. To me it seems they will use digitization to improve design, then use robotics to improve the cycle time of prototypes, but then still may need to resort to classic methods for mass production.

On November 29, 2017, Everett commented on Walmart: Save Money. Live Better. Go Green? :

Really interesting piece. The kind of impact a major retailer such as Walmart, with such an extensive supply chain, can have is truly remarkable. While the previous comment did a great job explaining why/how investors may be willing to tolerate lower returns, I’ll assume they will not, thus causing Walmart to pass on the cost increases to customers. How will customers react?

A study by McKinsey found that, as expected, the number of customers willing to pay a premium for a similarly performing green product decreased as that premium increased. For all categories considered, automotive, building, electronics, furniture, and packaging, over 70% of consumers said they would pay a 5% premium but less than 10% of consumers would pay a 25% premium [1]. Interesting to consider if/how much economic factors or the typical Walmart customer could impact these results.

[1] https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability-and-resource-productivity/our-insights/how-much-will-consumers-pay-to-go-green

On November 29, 2017, Everett commented on Dark days ahead — SolarCity vs Protectionism :

It appears the prospect of a “bottleneck of tariff free production”, as you so eloquently put it, still rests in President Trump’s hands. Interesting about the timing of the tariff as it may hurt SolarCity in the short term but help them in the long term since they appear best positioned having gotten the wheels turning on their own factory.

To address your first two questions, I agree with the previous comment. Having a parent company that investors just love to throw cash at should help SolarCity weather the storm. If they slow down operation they could encourage orders for their new solar roofs instead.