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On November 20, 2016, Gonzalo commented on Getaround: Using Digital Technology to Maximize Car Utilization :

Thanks for this interesting post!
The business model is attractive, but I am skeptical on the scalability of the business for 3 reasons:
1. I guess regulation on insurance is different across different cities. How is Getaround dealing with the insurance issue? Are renters covered with the insurance of the carholder?
2. Having a GPS system that locates the car at all times adds a privacy issue, since I can imagine many carholders hesitant to share their location at all times with Getaround. Do you think Getaround could limit this problem by enabling carholders to “turn off” the GPS when they are driving?
3. As you mentioned in the post, the fact of having to install the device by Getaround’s technicians limits the growth potential and growth speed of the company.

Thanks for the post Maria, I found it very interesting!
I completely agree that FFL would be better off by being a pioneer in embracing distributed generation. However, I do understand that this 2-way electricity flow is a disruption to the utilities’ current operating model. In several EU countries like Spain, regulation has been recently modified to limit distributed generation, while smart meter deployment is mandatory and all the old meters should be substituted by 2018. Utilities argue that the reliability of their service could be reduced by the introduction of mass-distributed generation. However, I believe that they fear being disintermediated. A report from the Edison Electric Institute entitled “Disruptive Challenges” foresees “a day when battery storage technology or micro turbines could allow customers to be electric grid independent.” [1]
Hence, it is difficult that utilities embrace a change that may leave them out of business.

[1] http://www.eei.org/ourissues/finance/Documents/disruptivechallenges.pdf

On November 20, 2016, Gonzalo commented on Filld: fueled by on-demand consumerism :

Thank you for the post, it was very interesting!
I would add one additional challenge that Filld faces: the irruption of electrical and autonomous vehicles. It is something that will take several years, but I believe that autonomous vehicles will be able to self-drive to a gas/electrical station to be refuelled/recharged.

One additional drawback of Filld operating model is the inconvenience of having to open the car when the gas-truck arrives. Other competitors like WeFuel have implemented a system to open the car without the car owner having to be present. In my opinion, Filld should implement a similar system or they would go out of business.

Therefore, I am very skeptical not only with the short term challenges that Gustavo and you outlined, but also with the long-term viability of the business model.

On November 20, 2016, Gonzalo commented on Automating Technical Hiring :

Thanks for the post Sujay, it is clear that you have a deep understanding of the industry and the company.
In my opinion digital tools will eventually replace many of the tasks currently done by recruiters, such as scanning through CVs (as we saw on the Accenture case), or even assessing the strengths and drawbacks of a candidate using public online data.
Marley Dominguez, CEO of Haystack Job Search, said in an interview for Business News Daily that “We expect that the next trend will be not just sourcing social and mobile recruiting data, but actually applying intelligence to summarizing the important information.” [1]
Does HIRED incorporate advanced analytics to assess candidate information?

[1] http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6975-future-of-recruiting.html

Thanks for the post Robby.
I found it very interesting that BWC diversified into the nuclear industry instead of exploring the natural gas-fired boilers that were emerging in those years (1950s [1]) for two reasons:
– The technology used to generate electricity from burning natural gas is very similar to that of coal-boilers, so BWC could have leveraged on its technical and operational knowhow.
– The natural gas is perceived as a much cleaner source of energy than nuclear and coal, emitting only 50% of the CO2 coal emits when burned. [2]

Going forward, I think that BWC could take advantage of the shale gas boom and expand its business into the combined-cycle generation plants, which burn natural gas. By doing so BWC would be diversifying its business portfolio while betting for a clean and reliable energy.

[1] http://www.power-eng.com/articles/print/volume-119/issue-2/departments/gas-generation/a-short-history-of-the-evolving-uses-of-natural-gas.html
[2] http://www.igu.org/natural-gas-cleanest-fossil-fuel

Thank you Jessie for the great post, very interesting!

As a beef-consumer, I was unaware of the enormous impact that beef production has on climate change. I believe that awareness needs to be built in relation to this topic. However, I am skeptical that JBS would be willing to build this consumer awareness, since there is a clear conflict of interests in demoting beef consumption. This is why I think JBS and the consumers should focus on an efficient use of resources. 10 million tons of food are wasted each year by UK households, according to WRAP [1]. Educating consumers to better use meat can help reduce the production needed to satisfy demand.
In line with reducing waste, JBS could invest in increasing the durability and freshness of its products, so that they don’t perish in such a short period of time.

[1] http://www.wrap.org.uk/food-waste-reduction

On November 7, 2016, Gabo commented on El niño se convierte en hombre (The boy becomes a man) :

Thanks for the post Mace!

The dependancy that mines have on water is certainly an increasing concern for most mineral-dependant economies, such as Chile. In the Chilean case, mining companies operate mostly in the Atacama dessert. In order to ensure water supply without having to rely on rains or compromise the water available to the population, several mines are developing desalination plants. I believe desalination plants are an environmentally friendly solution to the water dependancy, do you think Amplats could also explore this solution?

I would also like to comment on the electricity supply for the mine. I like your proposal to install solar panels, but I believe it will be insufficient to power the plant, specially since mines usually operate on a 24 hour shift, and during the night solar panels will not be able to supply the necessary electricity to power the operation. Hence, I believe that Amplats should diversify its generation source, and invest on a Natural-Gas fired plant or on wind turbines.

On November 6, 2016, Gabo commented on Turbulence ahead :

Thanks for the post Vicente.
I think that the steps IAG is taking to reduce its environmental footprint are the correct ones. However, I think IAG should explore additional green initiatives, especially regarding IAG’s ground operations. The equipment used in the terminal could be upgraded and adapted to reduce its CO2 emissions. For example, the buses used to transport passengers from the terminal to the airplane, or the vehicles used to carry catering services and luggage could function with electrical engines.
I believe there is also room for improvement in the emissions of aircrafts while they are on the ground, by optimising the gate assignment and ground itinerary a plane must follow before takeoff or after landing. This type of initiative should be promoted in partnership with the airport authorities, like London’s Heathrow airport has done [1].

[1] http://www.heathrow.com/company/community-and-environment/responsible-heathrow/case-studies/reducing-co2-from-aircraft-on-the-ground

On November 6, 2016, Gabo commented on Let’s Go Fly a Kite – SkySails and Climate Change :

Hi Deviyani,

Thank you for such a great post! I found the idea very inspiring and innovative, but I have to disagree on the efficacy that kite-sailing may have in fighting climate change.

As pointed out by industry experts, kites are actually used as an extra source of power to increase the vessel speed, rather than to substitute conventional engines. SkySails also recommends this option. [1].

I am also concerned with the adoption of the kite-sailing technology by the shipping industry for the following reasons:
– Kite sailing efficacy relies on the wind speed and direction, which makes kite-sailing an unreliable source of energy for vessels, and the shipping industry is a low margin industry that needs accurate information of costs.
– With decreasing oil prices, a 10-15% savings in fuel might not be worth the $0.5 – 3 million investment.
– There is a misalignment of incentives that will make the adoption more difficult: the decision maker (vessel owner) is not responsible of paying the fuel costs, and therefore is not incentivized to invest in kite-sailing technology.

I believe that SkySails should explore expanding its business to equip ships with other renewable energy sources (like solar panels, wave energy or liquid natural gas) and to get rid of the diesel engine completely, like the Australian player OCIUS is doing [2].

[1] Kris De Decker, The revival of the sailing ship, Low Tech Magazine. Link: http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2007/09/sailing-ship-re.html (accessed October 6)
[2] OCIUS web page: http://ocius.com.au/