Smartphone cameras have become so prevalent that I am shocked compact cameras still exist. I think Canon was right in focusing on professional photographers and the higher end of the market. While smartphone camera technology is impressive, there are limits to the quality and customization of a photo due to the size limits of a smartphone. Higher end cameras are able to produce high quality photos due to the size of the lens, aperature, etc – aspects that will not be able to perform as well (or at all) if given size constraints. That being said, I do feel like the value of a photo has shifted from one of quality, to one of being at the right place and capturing the right moment — something smartphone cameras are much better suited for.
One major challenge I see with Walmart is its retail footprint (and associated labor costs) as consumer preferences shift toward e-commerce. I would be curious to see how they deal with their brick and mortar business going forward – a significant challenge Amazon will not be faced with.
Unlike the Atlantic article, I strongly believe this kind of automation makes sense for everyone in the future — particularly because these are very simple and mundane tasks. If I was Whirlpool, I would even consider offering these cloud services for free. I think the data collection component could end up being quite valuable to them in a number of ways – not only to boost performance of their products, but to also become more informed about customer habits and related purchases like dishwasher/laundry detergent, food used on the stovetop, etc.
I would be curious to see how Alibiba executes on this idea. From my knowledge, virtual fitting rooms are extremely difficult to do well. They are very data intensive, where each piece of clothing needs to carry info on its dimensions at every size and overlay that with the dimensions of the individual, on a product that changes seasonally. Dimensions in this scenario are also not limited to bust / waist / hips as body types range much more widely than this, and weight / height can be distributed in a number of different ways. Fit can also be somewhat subjective, depending on how the consumer wants to wear the piece of clothing. All of that is to say, I have doubts around virtual fitting rooms giving consumers actual confidence in buying and being happy with the product. To that end, I would also wonder how Buy+ would handle returns and exchanges in such a global marketplace.
I think this is a great advancement toward detecting cancer early. That being said, I wonder if more can be done to prompt individuals to seek medical attention in the first place. Those interested in using telemedicine are presumably already quite responsible and aware of certain health risks – but I continue to see a strong barrier for individuals who are not as well informed or motivated to seek medical attention.
I’m also a huge fan of the brand! However, I think more can be done to further their mission towards sustainability. I found it surprising that they offered free shipping + returns despite how bad that is for the environment. In addition, while they purchase unused fabrics – it was unclear to me whether these fabrics are easily decomposed or recycled after use. Thanks for the post!
I was surprised to learn that Makers Mark was so distinct in its sustainability practices. It prompted two questions in my mind: why have others not replicated the Makers Mark model, and what motivated Makers Mark to invest in sustainable practices so early, relative to competition. Thank you for the post!
This article really highlighted to me how incredibly inefficient and useless plastic bottles really are. I am hopeful that as more people become educated about the quality of tap water, that consumers will also think twice about purchasing plastic bottles. I also think responsibility should fall on corporations, restaurants, bars, etc to provide convenient ways for people to access tap water. In many instances it is likely more profitable for businesses to try to sell bottled water vs leave their tap water readily available, which is a shame.
I very much admire how Stella McCartney has been so disciplined about sustainability while also maintaining an aspirational luxury brand. I find it interesting that similar to the Nike case, her efforts toward sustainability where very strong but not made into the main marketing message used for the brand. I also think there’s something to be said about starting as a private brand with personal funding. I do wonder if that financial freedom could have contributed to her ability to see more long term as it relates to the cost of her inputs and her commitment to sustainable practices.
I find it very impressive that Starbucks has been so proactive in its sustainability initiatives (since 2004!). While I understand the downside of introducing heated food, I would also be curious to know the relative impacts to both the business and the environment of being exposed to/ reliant on coffee production vs. introduction of heated foods vs. energy efficiencies in-store. Thank you for the post!