Gwen James

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On November 15, 2018, Gwen James commented on Open Innovation in L’Oreal :

Great article Ariel! Really enjoyed reading about the internal and external efforts L’Oreal is undergoing to ensure innovation that captures interest and engagement.

I think you’ve highlighted really well the tensions between having internal and external parties both working towards a common goal with varying expertise and misalignments. However, as you mentioned, allowing for open innovation is one of the smartest things a large company like L’Oreal can do to leverage beauty startups that can bypass bureaucracy and engage in closer discussions with the consumer to create more agile innovation that is faster and gains the first to market advantage. To your question, I think it is important to empower the internal stakeholders to feel that through their challenges they too can be part of a faster, more cutting edge innovation cycle that is more start-up like in nature then what they are traditionally used to.

On November 15, 2018, Gwen James commented on Nike’s Stance on 3D Printing: Just Do It :

Super fascinating article, Melcolm! Really enjoyed reading about Nike’s move toward 3D printing to boost recent stagnation in innovations and revenues.

I think your recommendations are absolutely right for the direction Nike should go. They have been one of the world’s most iconic brands for partnering with legends across sports and showcasing a marriage between high performance and quality products and authentic stories regarding aspiring to greatness and enjoyment through sport. To leverage 3D printing for innovations, it is key that they partner with elite athletes and promote their stories and experiences with said innovations. Kipchoge’s win is an incredible story to tell with that! Additionally, to have a consumer base of 95% looking forward to innovations such as this, they should push this story. That said, your concerns would be mine as well regarding the possibility to scale. Would 3D printing be able to satisfy consumer demand? And if a shoe is marketed as being a 3D print production but really was just prototyped through it, would that erode a customer’s trust? Really interesting article!

Thanks for the article Sara! Really enjoyed reading about the intersection of fashion, technology, and additive manufacturing.

I think all the reasons you mentioned for Luxottica to shift towards additive manufacturing are extremely relevant, with customization and creativity being particularly relevant to consumers. To your question on whether it will just be a fad, I think the market for frames may see declines, but will not shrink that rapidly and will never be nonexistent. I do think the high price point continues to be a pain point and an important reason for Warby Parker’s rise. I’m curious if additive manufacturing could help lower costs to combat this price point issue in a way that Luxottica could leverage?

On November 15, 2018, Gwen James commented on AI Comes to the Magic Kingdom :

This was a really great article, Kabir! Really enjoyed reading about Disney (of course, lifelong fan of all things Disney and Pixar!) and about their future.

While tremendous amount of data and AI enable Disney to create curated content that is extremely personalized for a larger audience to create worlds that can mean something to so many people, I think you bring up several good questions regarding the trade offs. Disney is in a unique position to obtain data on several touch points – whether it’s film, TV, theme parks, etc. But what is the line between leveraging data to create better innovation and invading the privacy of your customers? Being viewed as a primarily children-driven brand, Disney could face massive ramifications were a breach to happen. Most importantly, on an actual content level, will AI really still be able to look at the past and generate content that organically connects? As you mentioned, if the culture shifts more towards data scientists and engineers, do they move away from the creatives who might create a concept that no historical data supports but could strike a cord with the audience? The past is not always the best indicator of the future and our data may not always reflect what will connect – we can’t crave what we haven’t seen. Super interesting article!

On November 15, 2018, Gwen James commented on The government wants you…to hack it? :

This is such an fascinating article, thank you for sharing! Really enjoyed learning about this topic.

Your question about the security risks with the transparencies associated with these bounties is particularly interesting. As I read your article, I wondered what are the political and international ramifications of openly having contests that highlight flaws within our system? This would be counteracted if the 136 solutions have truly been viable and transformational and there hasn’t been a rise in later breaches related to understanding of systems through such contests. Your question had me thinking about your recommendations as well – I completely see why every department with a digital presence should consider having such contests, but I am loathe to unleash open innovation on the software building site. Giving that type of control of the building of systems and not just focusing on prevention through these contests worries me. The open innovation would be sourced by non-government workers and it may not behoove the government to have intellectual property like this be created by a public that they can access.

On November 15, 2018, Gwen James commented on Smarter Eating, Smarter Fitness: AI supports your goals :

Thank you for the article – it was extremely well written and really interesting to learn about how machine learning is being leveraged by MyFitnessPal.

Your question regarding a tremendous amount of user data is a very relevant one given recent topical scandals with Facebook, Macy’s, LinkedIn, etc. My initial thought was regarding what type of data breach would affect the users. If this was a breach of their payment details for premium users, that would of course be detrimental, however, a breach of a user’s eating and exercise habits may not seem as harmful as that of other companies leaking information that can cause immediate issues to the user. That said, ruminating on your question, I do think they should prioritize protecting users information if the data can link to food purchases and or exercise equipment usage that can lead to unsolicited marketing or promotion from companies in the space.