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On November 20, 2016, f_08 commented on Spoiler Alert: At the End, Technology Defeats Food Waste :

Fascinating post! This is a great example of how technology can disrupt the status quo and lead to positive social implications. I completely agree that Spoiler Alert should play a role on the logistics end to increase its impact. However this would involve significant capital expenditures and logistics might not be their core competency. Do you think a partnership with non-profit organizations such as the Gates Foundation would work? Also I wonder if Spoiler Alert is mostly used for food donations or for discount sales. If the latter, is Spoiler Alert less incentivized to devise ways to deliver food efficiently to those in need?

Do you think the rise of marketplace lending will cause underwriting standards to deteriorate? One of the main issues that came to light during the financial crisis was mortgage securitization, which allowed mortgages brokers to offload borrower risk to investors and thus led to a deterioration of diligence standards. I’m concerned that marketplace lending appears to be following the same model. Marcus employees will be incentivized to increase loan volumes and, since the bank is not bearing any credit risk, they may be less concerned about borrower quality. FICO scores are helpful but there are many other factors that determine borrower riskiness. What are the steps Marcus can take to ensure we don’t have another financial crisis brewing?

On November 18, 2016, f_08 commented on Macy’s in the Digital Age :

Great article! Do you think Macy’s should also explore smart fitting rooms? Smart fitting rooms are fitted with technology that automatically records the items a customer is trying on. A touchscreen in the fitting room can be used to suggest complementary goods and also allows customers to request items in alternate size/colors. I believe Nordstrom and Ralph Lauren have already explored this technology. Do you think Macy’s should also consider it or is their market segment too different? Would smart fitting rooms make lines even longer or would it help make the shopping experience more efficient?

On November 18, 2016, f_08 commented on Digital banking leader for 25 years :

Great post! I’ll be curious to hear your views on market size – did the rapid adoption of technology lead to a positive perception and a wider customer base? Or did it just help ensure that they captured the more affluent segment of the population? If the latter, do you have any concerns with growth as the affluent segment is likely to be limited? On a separate point, Bankinter seems to be moving into the mobile money platform (similar to venmo). Do you think there are opportunities for growth in that segment or have the US apps already cornered the market?

On November 18, 2016, f_08 commented on Is the Pen So Mighty After All? :

Interesting post! Do you think that the entrance of Apple into the digital pencil world will increase overall adoption rates? Microsoft introduced the Surface Pen in 2012 but the technology has been plagued with issues, which limited its popularity. Given Apple’s somewhat cult status, will customers be more inclined to try the new technology? The technology still seems somewhat clunky so I’m hesitant to believe that the traditional pen/paper method will become obsolete anytime soon.

On November 7, 2016, f_08 commented on Learning from Disaster: NYC After Hurricane Sandy :

Really interesting post! One thing that surprised me during Sandy was the MTA’s inability to respond adequately to the crisis. I believe their losses resulting from equipment failures, station damages, etc. amounted to over $5 billion. The MTA commissioned an after-impact report post Sandy but I’m not aware of any concrete steps that have been taken in response to the threat of global warming. Obviously any infrastructural improvements to minimize the impact of storm surges would entail significant capital expenditures. How do you think the MTA should determine if and how much of an investment they should make to prepare and protect the city?

Great post! I wonder if Miami should consider long-term solutions to the issue of sea level increases? Some countries have installed levees and seawalls to protect low-lying areas from flooding and storm surges. This obviously implies large capital expenditures as well as the need to continually maintain structural solutions which would place a huge financial burden on the government. Another option might be to increase the height of new structural developments (i.e. structures on stilts in low-lying areas), the cost of which would be borne by developers. How much of a role should government play and should the private sector play a more active role?

On November 7, 2016, f_08 commented on Coca Cola thirst for thriving!! :

Interesting read! I think it’s great that coca cola is actively implementing policies to reduce water waste and reuse, recycle and replenish the water it uses. Do you think they can play a larger role in consumer education and advocacy? One of the biggest issues in the developed world is that consumers haven’t yet experienced water shortages (other than California in recent years). Even if consumers have to pay for water, the cost is relatively low which naturally leads to water being wasted. As a large organization, coca cola has the ability to impact consumer perceptions and I think an educational advertising program would really help increase awareness of this issue. Why not create an advertising campaign on Water Conservation that highlights the many ways people can contribute to the solution?

Great post! Solar City’s dependence on government regulations is certainly one of the many issues facing the industry today. Although solar tax credits help reduce customer costs, I wonder if the existence of credits meant that solar companies were less incentivized to develop cost-effective solar panels. Federal tax credits were originally scheduled to expire in 2016 and were recently extended till 2021. Solar City’s stock prices suffered badly when the market priced in the risk of tax credits expiring (as originally scheduled). Investors appear to believe that solar cannot compete without government help. Did the extension of tax credits till 2021 just delay Solar City’s failure? Did government efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels create an unsustainable solar industry? I believe that solar energy must be commercially competitive to have a long-term positive impact. Your idea of partnering with utilities may be the only solution to this problem.

On November 6, 2016, f_08 commented on The Panama Canal: The “Bottleneck” of Global Shipping? :

Great post Dori! I didn’t know that climate change could end up creating a bottleneck at the Panama canal and essentially disrupt worldwide shipping lines. Given the importance of the canal to the country’s economy, I’m somewhat surprised that the government hasn’t made more of an effort to combat climate change. Ships are responsible for 2-3% of the heat-trapping carbon dioxide released each year and their emissions may grow by 50%-250% percent by 2050 [1]. I wonder if the Panamanian government can institute certain limitations on ships that pass through the canal – e.g. a law that states that ships have to comply with certain fuel standards and cannot discharge garbage into the ocean. I assume this would be difficult to implement though so perhaps the government could consider coordinating with other countries and establishing new standards to combat the polluting impacts of ships.

[1] http://grist.org/climate-energy/shipping-industry-climate-change-whats-the-big-rush/