Great article – and before even getting to the comments section, I was wondering about the points Austin and Andrew both brought up. Specifically, does a mass movement to these robot managers actually make Fidelity that much more appealing to the savvy investors (and frankly, probably the investors who may be investing more money/generating disproportionate AUM)? By total analogy, if I’m the New York Yankees, am I actually concerned about losing fan revenue if a bunch of subpar teams are injected into the Major Leagues? Or is it, in the long term, actually better off for my interests to have a weak comparison point?
Thanks for the piece, and great way to tie it in with a common reference point (i.e. our previous participation in the beer game)! I agree with most of what you said, but tend to also think Ross’ comment holds some value that might not have been captured in your article, namely, that the breweries themselves could benefit from this. Who is drinking what? And where? How does the behavior of our customers typically correlate with the behavior of customers in other regions of the country? These are all valuable insights that the business savvy brewery owner (maybe you, one day?) might be able to profit from and drive a superior business model to competition.
Totally agree with your assessment about the importance of differentiation, given the relatively low barrier to entry for some of its competitors to replicate this digital effort. That being said – my entry covered IoT onfield in the NFL…strikes me as an incredible market opportunity for Nike to try and enter, edging out Zebra (the company in my piece). The technological capability probably exists in house (far faster impulse times/more sophisticated tracking sensors would be needed than for jogging apps), but it seems like Nike could uniquely profit from increased digital analytic partnering with either the NFL or other pro leagues (i.e. the advertising exposure would well exceed the value of even the substantial revenue that might be generated).
Interesting post – and as you mentioned – an investment very different from most of the products in Bezos’ portfolio. I wonder – does he have some unstated potential synergy between the WP and either Amazon or Blue Origin? Or is the value simply that he has access to phenomenal technologists and saw a ripe opportunity to employ them and have “an edge” on his competition? Whereas it seems Elon Musk’s companies all are linked into a grand strategic design, does Bezos just do what is interesting to him? Or is there a play that isn’t immediately obvious? Either way, thanks for writing!
Izkandar – great example from home, and thoughtful arguments. Although this admittedly beyond the scope of your essay – given the very prominent role the 5-Year Plans play in Malaysian Economic Development, are there state-backed incentives that are currently doled out to engender this sort of behavior? If not, are there plans or avenues for it to be included in the 12th 5-Year Plan?
Very interesting exposure to some efforts being taken in Morocco – love that you tied in an example from home as well. One issue to consider on a broader level – what sort of inefficiencies arise through the state governance of this effort? Would there be a more efficient allocation of effort/environmental reduction if a private player could make a move into this space? Do non-state for-profit efforts exist to this end in Morocco?
Great example of a company involved in the sustainability space, and interesting points about the circular economy. One question to think about – is this scalable? Specifically, is it scalable in the absence of environments where no carbon trade exists? Will there be a decrease in margins for this sort of model if more players enter the space? And if so, where will the supply/demand equilibrium lie? (i.e. will there be overall economic/environmental dead weight losses that occur because of this regulatory enablement?)
Great article by Smithovic, love that you tied in a great example from home! You make a compelling case for Horizon’s continued push to solar – one question that comes to mind is the counterargument to this: if this was such a success on all fronts (i.e. in terms of revenue, sustainability, etc), why hasn’t Horizon made the push to expand on this? Is it just a matter of the project being so new that it hasn’t had a chance to take hold yet? Or something more? Not alluding to anything in specific, just curious.
Strong piece…especially like the Kim reference…it’s almost as if he served as President of the author’s college…
Generally like the thoughtfulness of the article and unique take – one thing worth reflecting on, and something Austin touched on obliquely, was what role financial markets should specifically play in a broader sense for these types of less common objectives. Should they be primary agents of change? Primarily canvases upon which other actors might paint?