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On November 20, 2016, J2G18 commented on Wellntel: Smart water for the masses :

Thanks for the interesting article Rebecca. I wanted to expand on Jose’s points regarding cost, because the amount of capital required to establish the correct infrastructure base could pose a significant barrier. Updating this technology would also be necessary on a consistent basis since either repairs or upgrades will occur frequently. Potential solutions would include partnering with other private or public sources of capital which would provide the base necessary for future growth. Additionally, innovation on the technology side could lower costs, but again this innovation could only take costs so low.

Thanks again for the interesting read!

I wonder if Panera will be able to differentiate its digital system from other competitors by making it a more personal experience, for example keeping track of consumers’ previous orders and integrating in suggestions for future combinations using deep machine learning data mining. As glempres mentions, continued investment is also very important and necessary in order for them to keep up with the competition, and without this increased level of innovation, it will be challenging for the company to defend its market share 5, 10 years down the road.

Very interesting an useful app! As mentioned by both Orianne and Jose, the cost of implementing some of these suggestions can run quite high and prevent users from fully benefiting from the experience. As mentioned in other TOM classes, some very successful companies are actually disguised as completely different types of firms. Might houzz actually benefit from being a supply chain app than a design tool for apartments? If clients had an easy way to match up furniture and instantaneously have it in their home, like the Casper mattresses, this could be a significant strength for the company.

On November 20, 2016, J2G18 commented on Waze: Changing the Face of Digital Navigation :

I completely agree with CMH regarding the police’s concerns about crowdsourced information regarding the speed traps. The act of using crowdsourced information to map police locations treads the line of legality, however at the end of the day there isn’t much that they can do.

One other point that makes Waze unique in the above article is its user interface. It’s fun to interact with, and its relatively easy to understand. While Google’s functionality is powerful and supported by the depth of its mapping system, Waze has a unique advantage as it comes up with additional mapping solutions for drivers that were previously uncovered.

On November 20, 2016, J2G18 commented on How is big data changing GE’s oil and gas business? :

Security concerns for big data surprised me as well. I think in the future, more complex cyber threats could possibly be launched by individual groups or even competitors to corrupt the data being collected by GE. It is much harder to perform patchwork repairs on a cyber security system than it is to property build it from the ground up, so their concern is certainly warranted.

On November 6, 2016, J2G18 commented on Chevron: From Fossil Fuels to a Low-Carbon Future :

This is a well written piece that identifies the key areas where Chevron will have to evolve within the fossil fuels space. Specifically, leveraging influence within the legislative space will be a key driver for the firms’ progress in reducing carbon emissions due to the nature of the problem. The problem is that no single country is necessarily responsible for carbon emissions, so an enforcement mechanism (new legislative regulations) will have to take effect. Chevron can be at the forefront of this process. The blog also proposes solutions related to renewable technologies and carbon capture and storage (CCS). I find CCS to be a compelling solution, provided that the capability is functional. Only time will tell if it can execute in practice, and until then, Chevron along with other oil and gas firms will continue to undergo significant scrutiny.

Mr. Fujii makes a great point about the limitations of electric vehicles versus fuel cell vehicles, in that they require too much time to charge when consumers may need them most. Instead of waiting for their Tesla to charge, a consumer may instead choose a car sharing service in order to get to their destination. I certainly understand the challenges of providing infrastructure; while Tesla can install supercharging stations anywhere that has a consistent amount of sunlight, fuel cell charging stations are limited by the access to underground lines that provide the fuel needed for these specific types of cars. I saw fuel cell stations for the first time while living in Irvine, California, and they were few and far in between. It may take an entire generation to make this transition to FCEVs, but at the same time there is a significant demand for them. With the right partnerships and implementation, the future of FCEVs may be here before we know it.

On November 6, 2016, J2G18 commented on What can Nigeria learn from Olam’s climate change program? :

This article highlights the key issues regarding Olam’s climate change program, in that agriculture must reduce its impact on greenhouse gas emissions. While it is questionable as to whether Nigeria and others who submitted a pledge to the Paris Climate Summit will reduce emissions by 45 percent in 2030, it does bring up the issue of who will enforce such a change and how it will actually be implemented. Ultimately, a market mechanism must be used to incentivize firms to reduce. Instead of taking a “social responsibility tax” from corporations to aid in reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, issuing tax credits may provide enough incentive for firms and countries to come up with innovation solutions, since the credit can be applied across organizations and has an immediate impact on the bottom line.

On November 6, 2016, J2G18 commented on Allstate on the Front Line: Insuring Against Climate Change :

Removing a portion of the business whose revenue stream has an outsized amount of variability is a wise decision on Allstate’s end. As stated in the article, Allstate’s biggest challenge will be to balance the use of reinsurance while shifting the business to other sectors with more stable cash flows. Because Allstate is moving out of areas such as the Gulf region, it creates an opportunity for other private insurers to move into the market and take on more risk. If technology improves over time such that it becomes easier to forecast future weather patterns, these new competitors will already have a foothold in this market. It is thus important for Allstate gradually make changes to its business model instead of knee-jerk reactions otherwise it will risk losing significant market share in the longer term.

On November 6, 2016, J2G18 commented on Oysters: Climate Change Served Raw :

As an oyster enthusiast, this presents some concern to me. I wasn’t aware that the impending threat of air pollution was so direct in harming oyster shells. Based on the solutions identified by this article, my question focuses on where the additional funding would come from to do selective breeding. I agree that selective breeding is an effective method since it simply speeds up the natural selection process, but wonder if some of the funding could be government sponsored. Oysters serve as a natural water filter in the ocean, and are a necessary component of the ecosystem. Allocating some public or even private funding to this endeavor could speed up the process and counteract the current threats from acidic upwelling and C02.