Graham Sinars

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Fantastic piece, David. While there are certainly macro-externalities at play in the fierce competition with the ME3, I don’t think we can undersell the complete lack of apparent interest that the US3 have shown in maintaining and growing there market share in terms of customer service/promise. It doesn’t take a Nobel Prize winner to understand that if your business model is “service quality down, prices up”, you are in trouble. While the US3 have spent time and money lobbying for “help”, they have failed to do anything to entice passengers to choose them over the ME3, who have put an incredible focus on top-of-the-line customer service, superior equipment and marketing, and best-in-class safety performance. I used to fly on ME3 planes on a weekly basis, and they are still the airlines to which I compare US3 performance. I am consistently disappointed.

Excellent essay and analysis. In addition to the points you’ve made about Prophet’s power on the demand forecasting front, I wonder how this type of software might be applied on the purchasing side of organizations to drive procurement efficiencies and buying power through better understanding of how externalities work together to affect market prices. Said another way, could companies leverage the speed and power of this software to analyze historical price fluctuations correlated with a multitude of market events to determine the optimal time to purchase inputs for their supply chains, as well as the optimal quantities?

The financial burden of capital improvements will surely be a challenge, but hopefully New Orleans can get it right and serve as a model for other port cities likely to face the same situation. In addition to the sea wall, it would be interesting to investigate what role dredging and land reclamation might play in counteracting coastal recession and hedging against extreme weather. Land reclamation has been widely used for other purposes across the globe (Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, etc) but there may be potential for its use in environmental protection. Perhaps “reclaimed” land could even be used from construction and development projects in other parts of the country as part of a sustainable re-use program.

On November 26, 2017, Graham Sinars commented on Siemens’ choice on Brexit Island :

This will certainly not be the last of this type of situation. While organizations facing such uncertainly must engage in early-stage scenario planning as a responsibility to stakeholders, I don’t think Siemens has any choice but to “wait and see” in this case. The Brexit negotiations are unprecedented, and making any wide-scale changes to Siemens’ supply chain prior to gaining a better understanding of the separation’s outcome could be dangerous and perhaps unnecessary. Even under a hard Brexit, there is no guarantee that individual agreements cannot be brokered between the UK and Germany, for instance, that would allow the Siemens supply chain to survive. Of course, the worst case is also possible, and one can only hope that the boards of these firms are taking the risks seriously.

Excellent post, Azeez. While I agree that today’s education system should be reimagined in order to survive (and leverage) the relentless march of technology, we should be cautious in what we propose to fully replace. As more integral elements of elementary education are replaced with digitized technology, I am concerned about the social trade-offs we might make as a collective society. Literacy and the ability to continue one’s learning are the hallmarks of a sufficient education, but there are many other benefits that children redeem through a social, physical school environment. This is where children learn social norms, how to interact with others, how to deal with the adversity of the real social world, and how they fit into their own culture. Perhaps an integrated model that combines both digital learning with in-classroom social skills development is the answer. In any case, it’s about time we took another look at a centuries-old model of education, both in India and here in the United States.

Interesting angle on the risk to Exxon’s physical assets due to climate change. I’d be curious to know how Exxon could capture synergies in its (hopefully future) attempts to locate its physical infrastructure out of “harm’s way”. The low price environment we’ve seen in the last 3 years is leading to a shift in drilling and production infrastructure back onshore, as offshore mega-projects are proving to be uneconomical. Perhaps Exxon can combine this business-driven shift in focus with hedging efforts to pull back its infrastructure from at-risk environments over the coming decades. I also think that regulation will play a much larger role, much sooner, as public opinion appears to be driving global climate policy to a greater and greater extent.