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On November 19, 2016, HBS2018 commented on Can Pearson shape the future of Education? :

Since Pearson is focusing more on education, they appear to focusing heavily outside of the United States. According to Fortune, Pearson has spent $2 billion on international adult education since 2010, “The purchases include a 75% stake in CTI, a chain of computer-training schools in South Africa; Wall Street English, an English-language school business in China; and, a Multi chain of English-language schools in Brazil, for $721 million” [1] Do you feel that these investments are going to allow for their digital strategy? To me, these appear to be more of the “legacy model” you reference in your article. Pearson appears internationally at least to be trying to gain a foothold in English speaking schools to continue its old ways.

[1] Jennifer Reingold, “Everybody hates Pearson,” Fortune, January 21, 2015, http://fortune.com/2015/01/21/everybody-hates-pearson/,accessed November 2016.

On November 19, 2016, HBS2018 commented on Is Your Next Burrito an Emoji Away? :

Great article! With current Chipotle stores reaching a mature state and new sales growth only being reached through new store openings, I think Chipotle’s first problem is to win back consumers from the recent outbreaks of E. coli and norovirus scare. I know Chipotle plans to release a 10 episode Snapchat show called “School of Guac” to see if it is worth creating more online content on other digital platforms such as Instagram Stories [1]. My issue with this is that their director-digital marketing Jackson Jeyanayagam has just left to join a startup, Boxed [2]. How does Chipotle look forward to a new digital strategy to have the burrito emoji equate to their burritos when they appear to have internal tension? Do you think the Snapchat show will bring millennials back to Chipotle and to digital ordering platforms to order their burritos?

[1] Yuyu Chen, “’School of Guac’: Chipotle courts millennials with a Snapchat show,” DigiDay, October 13, 2016, http://digiday.com/brands/tune-snapchat-chipotle-courts-millennials-new-tv-segment/,accessed November 2016.

[2] Lindsay Stein, “Chipotle Digital Marketing Lead Jackson Jeyanayagam Joins Boxed as CMO
,” Ad Age, November 02, 2016, http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/chipotle-digital-marketing-Jeyanayagam-lead-joins-boxed-cmo/306571/,accessed November 2016.

On November 19, 2016, HBS2018 commented on Alipay: Wining the Payments Game in China :

Great article! I agree that Alipay’s next step in the United States is to target U.S. merchants who want to reach the Chinese middle class. According to Jingming Li, president of Alipay’s U.S. parent, Ant Financial Americas, Alipay, “represents a great opportunity. In a matter of a year or two, we will have 400 million users. If you have an online presence like Macy’s, it’s really about payments and logistics to be solved, which we help with. There’s no reason why you wouldn’t want to sell to 350 million members, which is bigger than the U.S. population in general” [1]. Alipay brings a mutually beneficial proposition to U.S. merchants who want to increase their customer base while Alipay can start to increase brand recognition against giants (i.e. ApplePay) in the U.S. I am unsure if Alipay in the future will take over ApplePay as U.S. consumers are so entrenched in the Apple brand. Time will tell!

[1] Leena Rao, “Alipay’s US chief talks expansion, Uber China partnership and more,” Fortune, June 19, 2015, http://fortune.com/2015/06/19/alipay-china-uber-alibaba/,accessed November 2016.

On November 19, 2016, HBS2018 commented on Netflix Can’t Chill Anymore :

With the potential intent to vertically integrate into a studio, do you think Netflix compromises itself as a buyer of content from the traditional studios? Would Disney, Comcast, Time Warner be less willing to enter into licensing deals with Netflix as it continues to be the “competition” with their original programming becoming more and more popular (i.e. House of Cards, Orange is the New Black)? Disney doesn’t seem to thinks so as they have given Netflix “streaming rights to all Disney theatrically released films starting in 2016” [1]. Do you think deals such as these are enough to keep subscribers from leaving while gaining new ones as well? Perhaps as a first mover in the streaming service as an original content provider space they can, but I am worried about Hulu, Apple, and Google, are you? Apple is already filming a series with Dr. Dre with another being developed around Will.i.am [2]. These shows could create major buzz and take new customers away from Netflix.

[1] Trefis Team, “Here’s How The Exclusive Partnership With Disney Can Impact Netflix,” Forbes, May 26, 2016, http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2016/05/26/heres-how-the-exclusive-partnership-with-disney-can-impact-netflix/#5fcd0c4c65fe, accessed November 2016.

[2] Matthew Ingram, “Amazon Is Only the Tip of the Iceberg for Netflix When It Comes to Competition,” Fortune, April 19, 2016, http://fortune.com/2016/04/19/netflix-competition/, accessed November 2016.

On November 18, 2016, HBS2018 commented on Airbnb: how the sharing economy is disrupting the travel industry :

While I personally love Airbnb, I am unsure of how much leverage they have over governments to ensure future policies fall in their favor. Many cities are trying to push Airbnb out. For example, the city of Anaheim, California has as a community banned the operation of short-term rentals [1]. In Anaheim, per the Orange County Register, residents say, “that the steady stream of vacationers in their neighborhoods ruined their quality of life” [1]. The 363 registered short-term rentals in the city have 18 months till their operations must reach conclusion. How does Airbnb overcome such hurdles if this trend were to continue?

[5] Joseph Pimentel, “All short-term rentals banned in Anaheim by City Council,” OC Register, June 29, 2016, http://www.ocregister.com/articles/city-721046-term-short.html ,accessed November 2016.

On November 6, 2016, HBS2018 commented on Challenged Chocolate: The Cocoa Industry and Climate Change :

Great Post! It’s scary to see how climate change may be affecting our chocolate supply! Since most of the supply cocoa (60%) is coming from West Africa, I’m wondering how involved do companies like Hershey get in the supply chain [1]? Do they help farmers with their land or have stakes in the land that grows cocoa? Would Hershey even be interested in buying land in West Africa as they most likely do not want to invest that heavily in a low margin product? However, since cocoa is a complex business, per Cocoa Barometer 2015, famers in West Africa have insufficient infrastructure, uncertain land ownership rights, and no modernization when it comes to farming practices [1]. With these complexities, I wonder how younger generations feel about being cocoa farmers. Hershey seems to be ahead of this issue as they have stated, “we want to take cocoa farming from being a way for farmers to subsist to being an attractive vocation for the next generation” [1]. How does Hershey reconcile these issues and accomplish this task? Do you think Hershey is taking the rest step with incentivizing the younger generation to become cocoa farmers? Will that just help with their future supply issues or will it help with reducing climate change?

[1] Marc Gunther, “Hershey’s uses more certified sustainable cocoa, but farmers may not be seeing the benefits,” The Guardian, July 6, 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jul/06/hersheys-mars-ferrero-cocoa-farming-fair-trade-global-exchange, accessed November 2016.

On November 6, 2016, HBS2018 commented on Coca-Cola: Sugar water and climate change :

Great Post! Coke is taking a step in the right direction! Water supply is an interesting topic considering soda products are “sugar water in a bottle” as Steve Jobs said in your post. It’s interesting to note that Coke seems to be behind Pepsi when it comes to water programming. In 2012, Coke partnered with Deka Research & Development Corporation as they pledged to provide millions of liters of clean drinking water to areas of Africa and Latin America by the end of 2013 [1]. However, in March of 2013 Pepsi announced that it had achieved a similar goal already! It had delivered safe drinking water to 3 million people in rural areas and now wanted to deliver an additional 3 million by 2015 [1]. Do you think these past events affect Coke’s public persona and sales in developing countries for both all brands under the Coke umbrella? What should Coke do in the future to ensure it’s a market leader in all arenas? How does Coke ensure market share in India if they were forced to shut down a plant there for all of its umbrella products?

[1] Jessica Lyons Hardcastle, “Coke, WaterAid Extend African Water PipelinesBy,” Environmental Leader, April 29, 2013, http://www.environmentalleader.com/2013/04/29/coke-wateraid-extend-african-water-pipelines/#ixzz4PHwekRZL, accessed November 2016.

On November 6, 2016, HBS2018 commented on Nike’s Path to Sustainability :

Great Post! It’s great to see Nike taking a stand! I am curious to see your thoughts on Nike taking a strategic stake in DyeCoo Textile Systems (a Netherlands-based company) that has “developed the technology to replace water, normally used for dyeing, with recyclable CO2, reducing energy use and ending the need for added chemicals” [1]. It’s interesting to see Nike looking to take stakes in companies that affect their supply chain as it allows for more control over where the materials for their shoes are coming from. This stake in DyeCoo is expected to have major impact on Asia where much of the demand for dying of textiles occurs [1]. Do you think Nike should continue this strategic behavior to work towards their climate change goals? Should Nike help DyeCoo open more offices to help other companies with their environmental goals?

[1] Kirsten Korosec, “Nike’s Waterless Dye Factory Cuts Energy Use 60%,” Fortune, December 3, 2013, http://www.environmentalleader.com/2013/12/03/nikes-waterless-dye-factory-cuts-energy-use-60/#ixzz4PHrWXa5z, accessed November 2016.

On November 6, 2016, HBS2018 commented on Tesla: Accelerating the Transition to Sustainable Energy :

Great Post! Such an important topic! The one issue I have with electric cars are the infrastructure governments will need to invest in. Different countries around the world have different views. Will consumers buy such a car in a mass market without such an infrastructure to “plug in” their car? Per a EV Charging Infrastructure report by IHS, Japan is leading the way with EV charging stations and in fact they have more EV stations than for petrol [1]. However, in Germany and France the number of EV charging stations is not many when considering the population and size of those countries [1]. In the United States, the infrastructure is particularly complicated considering that the states not the federal government as the ones spending the money to build the EV stations [1]. So, while I love what Mexico is doing with Hoy No Circula, I wonder how can Tesla push countries like Germany, France, the United States towards more environmentally friendly options. In addition, how does Tesla take success stories like in Japan and Mexico and try to adapt those to other countries? Is lobbying enough to get the governments’ attention?

[1] “IHS Automotive forecasts the global EV charging stations installation base to grow to more than 12.7 million in 2020,” press release, May 28, 2015, on IHS Website, http://news.ihsmarkit.com/press-release/automotive/global-ev-charging-stations-skyrocket-2020-ihs-report-says, accessed November 2016.

On November 6, 2016, HBS2018 commented on Shake Shack – Please, give us the burger of the future. :

Great Post! Love this issue as I feel like others said above that it is not discussed as widely as other sources of climate change. However, I am concerned with how much change Shake Shack can bring into the fast food industry into the future. With only 100 restaurants open as of August 2016 and second quarter growth for stores being 4.5% when last year’s was 12.9% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/shake-shacks-growth-plan-gets-mixed-response-from-analysts-2016-08-11), how much change can they initiate in the marketplace? Shake Shack would need to work with other smaller burger joints to enact change, but even then, can this impose a change in practices to influence the big players like MacDonald’s or Burger King that are nationwide? I hope so! I look forward to seeing their progress!