Jaiye B. Falusi
I find the home/life automation topic to be very fascinating. It is great the steps Samsung is taking to sync all facets of everyday life, and the push towards a fully integrated car system would be great as well. All of this connectivity makes me wonder about the safety of such ventures though. Given that much of your data is already tracked, I could see problems with one being able to track the location of say their car, on an appliance that is in the consumers house. It could pose a security risk. As we move towards a more connected world the benefits are definitely clear, but I wonder how we well we have assessed the risks of always being connected.
Betterment has a rather interesting value proposition. It is great that they simplify investing and I think for younger less sophisticated clients that works. The question is then, do those clients have enough money to invest, and over what time horizon. I imagine that by the time such investors become higher net worth clients they will want to have a human adviser. I think the robo-adviser model works for people who are rather unsophisticated investors but I would imagine that as one has more money to invest they would move away from such a model. At best I see Betterment as a tool which works for the younger generation, but expect that they would turnover clients at a high level.
I agree that it is very difficult for Nike to differentiate themselves on a digital spectrum. I think their current approach is smart in that they leverage the size and popularity of the company by partnering with brands like apple. I think at one point the Nike fitness app came pre-installed on iPhones. It seems Nike is still doing a lot to figure this out, they recently merged their running app and their other fitness apps into one which indicates that they are constantly experimenting on this front. I think overall Nike just has to continue to rely on its name and product team to produce better apps, that are potentially compatible with only Nike wearable products like shoes, and dri-fit clothing to solidify itself in the digital arena.
I find ZocDoc to be a tremendous idea but feel as though in certain markets they do not do the best job actually delivering on their own customer promise. For example, I have had several ZocDoc appointments canceled on by the physicians. Furthermore, it is not always clear which doctor you will actually be seeing so the rating system then becomes a rather moot point. Additionally, I think sometimes enabling patients to have such freedom over the doctors that they pick leads to incongruities in the service provided, and also at times can lead to wasted time due to a reliance on “self-diagnosis”. So while ZocDoc is a tremendous idea and I continue to use it, there are several key issues it should resolve before addressing any further issues.
It is very interesting to learn about the problems that faced India’s rail transit system in the past few years. I was unaware of how seemingly chaotic the system was before the introduction of the IRCTC application. It will be interesting to see how the future of the app plays out. I would expect the app to eventually become very useful, but wonder how scale-able it will be. Assuming a large population of train riders in India have access to smartphones the app should be the primary ticketing system. If this is not the case I imagine the app would have trouble scaling to the mass population.
Packaging is an extremely important way in which companies can go green. I think reducing solid waste is hugely important and I wonder why not all companies have moved toward such packaging. It seems that it might be the case that using packaging such as what tetra employs might be more expensive and as a result it is not as mainstream. This posts demonstrates the issues with going green extremely well, not only do corporations need to be responsible, the consumer must also be responsible because they must at the end of the day recycle the renewable package. Overall everyone has a role to play in working towards sustainability, and often we place the onus on corporations to lead this charge. I think this article does a great job highlighting the fact that everyone must play a role.
I find the climate change debate to be an interesting one and the nuances surrounding the debate are perhaps best demonstrated by this article. The link between insurance companies and climate change presented here is extremely interesting. I find the proposal to provide discounts to customers who “go green” to be something that is actually very smart and should be considered. In reality, insurers have a vested interest in seeing a greener planet as it would save them billions in disaster claims. I understand that this could become a political issue, but such a long term investment may be worth it for insurance companies as it could save money and the planet in the long term.
This is a very ironic circumstance that Tesla is in. By simply trying to build low emissions vehicles and better the climate, Tesla has actually opened the door for old competitors to drag their feet in doing the same. The net result actually slows the transition to zero emission vehicles in the auto industry. I find it to be strange that regulators would allow automakers to simply buy ZEV credits when they have not satisfied their development requirement. I think Tesla is simply running smart business in this regard, but it is actually critical that regulators find better ways to align incentives of automakers and their own. As it stands, automakers are effectively getting away with simply buying credits, which does not really incentivize them to build greener vehicles.
I find the real estate industry reaction to climate change to be fascinating. I am interested to know how developers such as Lend Lease plan to protect their coastal portfolios. It seems like it is a good idea for them to take on preventative measures such as seawalls. Additionally, it is a good idea for them to reduce their carbon footprint. But as sea levels rise I wonder if there is anyway to actually save a coastal city, or if there will be a massive trend toward inland building. The real estate industries’ reaction to the larger climate change debate is going to be an interesting one to see play out, as developers are at a crisis point. Should they build in the coastal areas that people love in order to maximize profit, or should they build in less attractive areas in order to invest in building sustainable cities. Lend Lease and many other developers will face this very problem and I am interested to see how they plan to navigate it further into the future.
I am interested to learn more about the waste to energy movement. My initial question when I read this was: is producing energy from waste a clean way to produce energy? Overall, it seems that it could be a risky endeavor to utilize waste to produce energy as it could result in an even higher level of pollution per unit of energy produced. I would be interested to learn more about exactly how the WTE processes function and exactly how much valuable energy the system can produce. If the system actually does produce energy in a clean manner it would be interesting to see how many current landfills could be dug up to create more energy using the WTE system.