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On November 20, 2016, Francisco commented on Idolizing nerds: Putting the “e” in sports :

Sylvia, I find this amazing! The first time I heard there are professional video game players I couldn’t believe it, and even now I’m still surprised every time I have talked about it. I understand this is very big in Japan and Korea, do you see it coming over to the “western world” as successfully? Also, I am very interested to know who pays these players… are there professional teams that pay salaries, the video game companies?
On the monetization, I would think advertisement should be the way just like in regular sports. Do you see that as a real possibility??

On November 20, 2016, Francisco commented on Moving away from the local grocer :

Interesting post Bruna, really enjoyed it. Would you happen to know what percentage of grocery shopping is done online versus in-store? I would think that in-store is considerably bigger, and that online is done more for small orders in particular situations rather than for the normal purchases. If so, how do you see H-E-B and Instacart move in a direction to increase those sales, but at the same time lower costs for consumers? Although I like Instacart for its convenience, I see their prices as the number one barrier for getting more people in. Do you think partnerships to get the products at lower prices from the grocers is possible?

Interesting post Majken. I really liked the fact that the company is trying to sell directly to consumers, as they can get more detailed info on what their customers want. Also by cutting the distributors, I imagine they can lower prices to try and increase consumption. However, as many of the other comments, I have concerns on how Harper Collins will differentiate itself from companies like Amazon. Maybe reducing prices? Also, do you think its better to have separate pages for authors or books instead of one centralized store?
In addition, I also wonder how does e-reading (Kindle or others) affect revenues of companies like these given that prices for e-books are much lower than for printed ones?

On November 20, 2016, Francisco commented on The Times are Changing… :

Agree that newspapers are facing a great problem with digitalization, and changes are needed fast if they want to stay alive. This makes me think of a newspaper in Chile that has a similar audience to the NYT, and as so the percentage of the population that read it was very small. However they were fast to launch a website that not only has news but also allows readers to post and comment, and it’s now the most visited website in the country!
The Chilean newspaper gets revenue 100% from advertisements. I like your proposal to find other sources of income to have some diversification, but do you see having paid subscribers something that will last in the long term if there are other websites that will give the same news for free? I think it’s an interesting challenge to find something other than news that is “proprietary” to the NYT to give paid subscribers something than noone else does and make payment sustainable in the long term.

Great post Zach, very interesting. In line with what CJ said, do you think the people that dropped ESPN could be the ones that moved to 100% online, and watch sports through ESPN Live or similar pages?
I really liked your recommendation to partner with more leagues and teams. Do you think that can help ESPN in their long term sustainability as they aren’t the producers of the content they show? Also a way to maintain revenues as more and more online options for watching sports appear, and are directly competing with ESPN. However, you also recommended that ESPN transform into a digital company, but you mentioned also that monetization is difficult in the mobile world. How would you suggest they transform without leaving money on the table by not being able to monetize their products?

On November 7, 2016, Francisco commented on Landfills: Just Another Smelly Hill? :


Great post, and I relate very much to it having work in a waste-to-energy project.

Although very interesting, I don’t think that companies like WM can benefit from consumers being more conscious about their waste. Not considering companies integrated with collection that Sebastien already mentioned, companies whose business is only landfill and waste management get most of their benefits from the charge to users (generally municipalities or local governments in charge of waste recollection) of using the landfill to dispose their waste, and from energy generation. Income from recycling is the third part of their total revenues.
The path I would follow is implementing practices that are currently being used in Europe (world’s leader in WTE), where landfills play a very small role in the waste management industry, and they have been replaced by incineration plants (the other part is recycled) (1). Although incineration sounds bad at first, this is a special and controlled kind of incineration that is done without oxygen in order to avoid toxic emissions. This process has almost a 100% effectiveness, non-organic materials as separated to recycle (just like in landfills), the heat from the processes is used for electricity generation and the ashes that come out can be used in processes such as cement production. All of these is done in a controlled environment that has very low land utilization (just what is needed to fit the plant) compared to landfills that grow year by year, and that despite all measures taken such as impermeable geo-fabrics make that piece land unfit for future use.



I really enjoyed your post as mine is very similar, basically the same for a Chilean corporation.

I found your analysis very interesting. However I have two questions regarding this article:

1. The graph above shows the mix of technology by capacity and by generation. In the first case Nuclear power is 18% and Renewables are 7% But in the second graph, Nuclear goes up to 34% while Renewables go down to 1%. On the other hand Coal remains stable. That, along with the comment that comes right after the graphs that says that Duke has been forced to increase its utilization, makes me wonder if the company is voluntarily under utilizing its renewable sources in exchange for more profitable but less sustainable sources such as coal.

2. While the article talks about pushing for development of renewable energy, your final proposal for Duke doesn’t consider this option but alternative situations in which the only one related to sustainability is decommissioning coal plants, but nothing related to increasing sustainability directly by the company. Did I misinterpret your post or is there some reason in particular why you didn’t consider NCRE as your options for sustainability?

On November 7, 2016, Francisco commented on Autonomous Taxis to Join the Fight Against Global Warming :


I found very interesting and surprising the fact that says basically making cars driving closer to each other can reduce carbon emissions by 25%!!! I couldn’t really understand how having driverless cars could impact global warming, but with this piece of information there’s no argument against it.
My only consideration as this moves into the future would be what will happen with all the current workers in the taxi industry? Singapore is a great testing place given its limited workforce, as you mentioned. But I see a challenge implementing this in other major and more populated cities where the number of taxi drivers could be significant.

On November 7, 2016, Francisco commented on Traveling to Iceland? Perhaps think twice. :


Very interesting article. I liked a lot the part that you relate how global warming can potentially increase the tourism industry in Iceland by an increase in natural disasters, and how this could eventually backfire for Icelandair. As you mentioned in the article, this gives the airline a double incentive to address the issues of their emissions, something I found your point of view fascinating as many companies sometimes struggle to see a relation between the initial investment in sustainability and positive impact in its revenues.
However I am having trouble understanding how limiting flights that aren’t full to Iceland could be beneficial to anyone. If the company decides to make that flight, it is most likely because they are making a profit with it, however small it may be. On the other hand, airline companies try to maximize flying time of their aircrafts so if that flight were to be cancelled the company will probably reschedule it to fly somewhere else, and the emissions will exist anyways. This last point then only has a negative impact on the country, who is missing out on tourist spending.
But, despite my last point I like the idea in general and how the airline sees the future negative impact not only for them but also for the country, and the fact that they are trying to address this issue. I also like the potential cooperation between the airline and the government to try and maintain the tourism industry relevant for the country.

On November 7, 2016, Francisco commented on Trouble at Mitsubishi (Transforming Power Plant Business Portfolio) :

Satoshi, really enjoyed reading your post as it is very related to mine. To quickly answer your questions on my post, Colbún currently does not have its NCRE investments in a separate entity, although they do go through a separate evaluation process compared to conventional energy projects. I very much agree that the company, as you propose for Mitsubishi as well, should move onto separating this two lines of businesses as they have very different risk profiles and expected returns. However, I think this depends on 2 factors:

1.- The company (be it Colbún or Mitsubishi) should have a considerable portfolio of NCRE investments so they can run in their on parallel vehicle and not be dependent of the parent company, which at least Colbún is not quite there yet, and would like to know where Mitsubishi stands.

2. How does the company see its investments in NCRE in relation to the entire generation portfolio? Colbún sees this kind of power generation as a complement to conventional generation, given the unstable pattern of NCRE sources. In this regard, having a separate entity doesn’t make sense. However, the company is aware that this will change in the future, so that is why it continues to invest in this types of technology with the plan to eventually have them go on their own in the future. What is Mitsubishi’s point of view in this area?

Despite my last point, I do agree that in the long term and with enough critical mass having a separate entity makes sense, as we can it with Enel (Italian conglomerate and one of the biggest generators in the world) with its parallel vehicle Enel Green Power for their renewable projects. However, they have had some “bad looks” from the market by raising capital at the conventional power level to later invest in the NCRE projects, so I think that is something to consider in the future as Mitsubishi moves down that path.