• Alumni

Activity Feed

Great idea in terms of coordinating with other sports. I think the difficulty for Firewire is in maintaining its branding as a surf company. Firewire would want to be careful not to harm their brand by associating too much with other sports. One thing to consider would be first attacking the stand up paddle board market, which is very closely related and growing in popularity.

This is a great idea, Bahia. I would say that the only thing that worries me on the 3D printing front is losing the craftsmanship of surfboard manufacturing. Perhaps, 3D printing could be used only for the already automated parts of the production process.

In terms of performance, there seems to be a perception in the market that Firewire boards do not offer a high enough level of performance to professional surfers, many of whom still use the poly boards. I think there is a fear among professionals that performance will be sacrificed for the good of having an environmentally friendly board, providing a difficult decision matrix given their livelihood is related, in part, to the performance of their surfboard in competition. This is important for the amateur surfers because their perception of quality is affected by professional surfers, who help dictate what is cutting edge by what they use in competition. For amateurs, there is also the issue of higher price. Today, these boards cost more to manufacture because they are environmentally friendly. For example, the packaging Firewire uses is ~5x more expensive than using bubble pack and cardboard as they did before [7].

I agree that targeting adventure tourism is key here. I believe Firewire cares about their competitive advantage, but I tend to think they care more about the impact of the industry on climate change. As such, I think they can continue to take a leadership position, which should in turn help their business as well by keeping their name at the forefront of this movement.

On December 1, 2017, Jack commented on The End of Consulting as We Know It? :

I think IDEO is right to grapple with and plan for the issues raised around digitization. I agree that many of the functions of traditional consulting can be done at lower price via firms like Catalant and, further in the future, increasingly through artificial intelligence. I do, however, think that IDEO is on the right track by embracing this disruption and combating it from within. I think OpenIDEO, IDEO U, and IDEO Futures ought to be at the forefront of IDEO’s business. The way to add value going forward as IDEO is to leverage the improving technology to do their job even better. The reason they will be able to add value is that they have the ability to have a nuanced perspective. The key to have that perspective is being the agent that leverages the improving technology, not the technology itself. Clients can still see value in IDEO because IDEO will have the perspective of seeing what is going on in the market via OpenIDEO, IDEO U, and IDEO Futures. Further, I think IDEO has the ability to add value to their networks by bringing relevant parties together to solve difficult issues and leverage improving technology together. Through their IDEO CoLab offering, IDEO leverages its network to bring organizations together to address specific, pressing issues [1]. Instead of waiting for a client to come to IDEO, IDEO can go to clients to proactively seek out solutions to difficult problems. In doing so, IDEO only further enhances its value as a connector of organizations, but also as an incubator and thought leader on solutions to difficult problems.

[1] IDEO CoLab, “The CoLab is IDEO’s R&D Network.,” http://www.ideocolab.com/, accessed December 2017.

I agree with the analysis around executing against public concerns raised in Israel and think that the last question is the key to this issue. I do think that a public utility is capable of successfully leading a digital transformation precisely because it is public, and I would take it a step further to say that in order for this transformation to take place in the social context described it is important to have commitment from the bottom up, rather than the top down. As such, if the project is done in coordination with the government, it has the stamp of approval of the state, which has the power to align with the people and to influence the social perception of the digital transformation. The key to social change in these situations is the coordination between the public and private sectors. Finally, this project will inevitably be more difficult than the next large scale digital initiative in Israel. As technology progresses at an exponential pace, a project like this could provide a way to begin the conversation around the role digital will play in the lives of Israel’s people in 5 years, in 10 years, in 50 years, and beyond. This problem is not specific to Israel, of course, and provides a lens through which we can engage with how technology impacts our lives, our religious practices, our family dynamics and requires everyone to assess their own lives and their views of what is important and how technology interacts with those things.

On November 30, 2017, Jack commented on Associated British Foods: Mmmmm…Brexit :

I agree that Primark is an important piece of the puzzle here given it is more insulated than the rest of the business from Brexit uncertainty. Rather than simply increasing its focus on Primark, I wonder if ABF should take it a step further and spin-off the business altogether. Given all of the uncertainty around ABF as a result of Brexit, I would want to know if Primark’s potential and true value is being hidden or dragged down by its parent. According to BBC, Primark is the fastest growing top 10 clothing player in the past five years [1]. I wonder if investors are artificially undervaluing Primark based on legitimate concerns around the rest of ABF’s business as it relates to Brexit. Spinning Primark off could be a way to combat the impact of isolationist policies on the value of ABF’s business.

[1] “Primark owner Associated British Foods sees profits jump,” November 7, 2017, BBC, http://www.bbc.com/news/business-41898276, accessed November 2017.

On November 30, 2017, Jack commented on United Launch Alliance: Rocket Without an Engine :

While I agree that the ULA will need to lower costs to keep up with SpaceX, I wonder what is more valuable: healthy competition between two worthy rivals or coordination between all parties? Is there a possibility that SpaceX could collaborate with the ULA to reach an even better outcome than any one party can reach on their own? According to Fortune, ULA has said that it is cost-cutting to keep up, noting that it would eliminate approximately 25% of its workforce [1]. Is this healthy for ULA? Will this cause better outcomes in the future? While I understand the concern that a lone incumbent can become complacent, I challenge that the stakes are high in this industry and that the government should want to ensure the best possible outcome from a quality perspective, not just a price perspective.

[1] David Z. Morris, “Is SpaceX Undercutting the Competition Even More Than Anyone Thought?,” Fortune, June 17, 2017, http://fortune.com/2017/06/17/spacex-launch-cost-competition/, accessed November 2017.

On November 30, 2017, Jack commented on The automotive industry – the usual suspect! :

I agree that Ford needs to continue to establish itself versus competitors that have a reputation for environmental friendliness, but I wonder if they should focus where they are strongest already. According to Business Insider, the Ford F-Series is the number 1 selling car or truck in America [1]. This suggests that Ford may have loyal customers in the pickup truck space that Tesla will have to convert. Thus, Ford may have its greatest chance at making a difference in terms of environmental impact by continuing to improve the truck models that are so popular in the United States.

[1] Benjamin Zhang, “These are the 20 best-selling cars and trucks in America,” Business Insider, July 10, 2017, http://www.businessinsider.com/best-selling-cars-pickup-trucks-vehicle-america-2016-2017-7/#20-hyundai-elantra-208319-sold-during-2016-138-over-2015-1, accessed November 2017.

On November 30, 2017, Jack commented on Climate Change and H&M: Is Sustainability the Answer? :

I totally agree with your solution of attempting to educate consumers and convince them to participate in H&M’s combating of climate change. Given the nature of H&M’s business as a fast fashion business, however, it is difficult to reconcile their goal to sell more product and their environmental impact on each new product sold. I wonder if they could take their stance a step further and follow Patagonia’s lead by targeting the explicitly consumer-oriented traditions, like Black Friday, to establish their opposition to excessive consumerism [1]. By taking a stand during times where their competitors are fiercely chasing consumer attention, H&M may be able to further differentiate and draw attention to the brand and the initiatives they are running to be better environmental citizens.

[1] Patagonia, “Don’t Buy This Jacket, Black Friday and the New York Times,” https://www.patagonia.com/blog/2011/11/dont-buy-this-jacket-black-friday-and-the-new-york-times/, accessed November 2017.