Jack Livingston

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On November 15, 2018, Jack Livingston commented on Future of Footwear? Additive Manufacturing at Adidas :

I loved this article. It is so cool to see 3D printing in products used every day. I am not sure if I have come across someone wearing a 3D printed shoe but I will definitely now be on the look out.

I appreciated how the author eloquently elucidated how 3D printing impacts the whole supply chain, not just the manufacturing process (including distribution costs, cost of resources, etc.). Certainly, 3D printing can change the whole cost structure of the industry. As such, is this just a race to the bottom with Nike, New Balance, and others? Will 3D printing drive down costs and thus prices for sneakers, reducing margins for the whole industry? It is interesting to think that such an innovation can actually reduce profitability in the long run as it becomes more commoditized. I like how the author recognized that Adidas needs to figure out how to create a sustainable competitive advantage.

My last thought is: how does a 3D printed shoe perform? Is it comparable to a shoe that is manufactured normally? Ultimately, performance is key and I wonder whether there is a discernible difference (or advantage) to 3D printed shoes.

On November 15, 2018, Jack Livingston commented on Betabrand: Too Much Open Innovation? :

I loved this article. Betabrand is a unique company and I loved learning about the open innovation strategy that it uses. I appreciated the way the author highlighted the risks of this strategy. I agree with these risks and also wonder whether Betabrand will be able to create a consistent brand image through its outsourcing of innovation? Does this create inconsistent brand identity? Ultimately, barriers to entry in the clothing industry are low (especially with open innovation!) and brand loyalty is probably the only real sustainable competitive advantage. I can see band loyalty coming from quality but also from brand image and style. Is Betabrand handicapping itself through its open innovation? Does it have a unique style? Does it create brand loyalty? They will always be connected to the latest fad which is certainly an advantage but can a company survive on the cutting edge (reliant on outsourced innovation) without a stable business to provide cushion? Maybe this is possible but it seems risky. I am excited to follow Betabrand and see how this goes.

On November 15, 2018, Jack Livingston commented on SpaceX – Surviving Enrico’s Paradox :

I loved this piece and I am fascinated by Enrico’s Paradox. Based on limited expertise (that expertise being that I have read “The Remembrance of Earth’s Past” by Liu Cixin), I believe one of the biggest impediments to human’s becoming an inter-planetary species is the potential speed of our ships. Does 3-D printing have any benefit with regards to increasing speed or reducing energy required to maintain sufficient velocity? Does the potential speed we need our ships to go create too much heat for a 3-D printed engine (will it melt?)? Regardless, 3-D printing makes so much sense for Space-X in their manufacturing process in its ability to reduce the cost, increase the precision, and increase the throughput time of the manufactured parts. Do you think Space-X will eventually 3-D print whole ships? I am excited to follow this company and see how it continues to utilize 3-D printing, among other innovations, to alter the future of our species.

I loved this article. I have never heard of a public agency like the MBTA utilizing open innovation to “crowd source” ideas for its more difficult operational issues. Though low yield thus far, I think that efforts like this will give the MBTA credit in the court of public opinion. Unlike New York City where the status quo seems to be accepted, Boston and the MBTA are so smart to be leveraging all the great institutions in this city to try to come up with potential solutions to vexing problems.

I think the author does a great job laying out his or her concerns about the program. Though alluded to, I think the biggest challenge for the MBTA is maintaining enthusiasm amongst its constituents to submit innovative ideas. How can the MBTA incentivize those non-profits and academic institutions that are as cash/time/labor strapped as they are to submit proposal that have a small chance of being accepted? More transparency would be helpful but some type of financial incentive or sharing in total cost reduction / savings could encourage these non-commercial organizations to get involved. I also worry about some key-man risk. Is the organization still committed to this with Shortsleeve no longer involved?

On November 15, 2018, Jack Livingston commented on Walking on the Sidewalk: Building the future of cities in Toronto :

I loved this article. Sidewalk Labs’ redevelopment of Quayside in Toronto is the latest iteration of the “Smart City” a la Epcot and the designs of Lewis Mumford. Many attempts of building the first practical smart city have failed. Why do we think Sidewalk Labs’ effort in Toronto is any different? Alluded to by the author, I think Sidewalk Labs is fundamentally reimagining the urban experience versus trying to create a more modern and techified urban experience. From the design of the modular street tiles to the use of data to limit resource consumption, Sidewalk Labs is focused more on creating a city that is “smart” across all dimensions, not just those that impact the daily experience of the city dweller. Data collection and use (via machine learning) is obviously essential in creating components that can operate automatically and intelligently behind the scenes.

I think the author hit the nail on the head with his or her concerns about data privacy. I would imagine, living in Sidewalk Toronto would require a willingness to give up the right to data privacy (even if it is de-identified). This might be a tough sell to most people and I hope they can create some assurance around data privacy. Machine learning and creating a new urban experience is great, but only if people want to live there. Sidewalk Labs seems to be going into this with its eyes wide open so I am encouraged by this attempt of reimagining the modern city.

I loved this article and feel motivated that the Partners, the gold standard in the healthcare industry, is being so forward leaning with regards to utilizing healthcare data, machine learning technology, and innovation collaboration. Hopefully other hospital systems will follow suit. I would be excited to see if they are considering partnering with payor entities to add claims data to their treasure trove of images, patient notes, and other data contained within the EHR. I wonder if this is the key to empowering healthcare providers to truly leverage machine learning to begin to diagnose, risk stratify, and even predict potential healthcare outcomes before they even happen. Is actual progress limited by the lack of inter-operability amidst EHRs and healthcare data sources more broadly? What does it say about our healthcare system that it is faster to print out a patient’s file and walk it across the street to a neighboring hospital than to try to send it electronically?

Like the author, I am excited to see that Partners is starting somewhere with regards to taking advantage of “their savings under the bed” and I think that progress, even if initially limited to the field radiology and the evaluation of x-rays, is a much needed win for high tech within the US healthcare system.