Jake Sloane's Profile
This is an awesome post. I never think about the traditional cruise line industry in terms of being at the forefront of technological innovation but after reading this I understand why technology can will continue to play such a significant role. I wonder if Royal Carribean can continue to invest in these new technologies and find a way to license them to other competitors in the hospitality industry. I would also be curious to understand how technology has played a role from a safety perspective on these large ships and what role if any it can play to reduce the health issues inherent in having so many people in such close proximity. I feel like at least 1x a year I hear about a cruise line having a serious health issue on board and that has always made me hesitant to go on a cruise in the first place.
After reading Spencer’s post on Amazon’s attempt to open physical bookstores, I am more pessimistic on this company’s future. Face with the choice of entering an independent book store, an Amazon book store, or a Barnes & Noble, I will struggle between the first two but certainly forget about B&N. I think the reason for that is that in many ways an independent book store will always have charm but comparing B&N to Amazon is just to easy to see why a consumer would choose B&N. I completely agree with Kenzie that B&N will need to figure out Discovery to have any chance at competing with Amazon but Amazon has such a significant lead in this area that I question B&N’s ability to compete.
I think while you do address several ways the NFL has attempted to address digital issues with its business model, I don’t believe that it has to do with the decline in ratings. I think there are several key reasons causing the decline which don’t have to do with technology. These include the increase in concussions and how the league has attempted to change rules to reduce the risk of concussions, penalties around celebrations which were much more entertaining years ago, oversaturation by introducing games on Thursdays, the way the league has handled off the field controversies (Ray Rice, Josh Brown, Ezekial Elliot, Deflategate… etc) and simply just significant competition from other television content (the presidential election, new shows… etc)
Thanks Spencer. I did not appreciate the fact that the ebook market has hit a plateau but now that you’ve laid out the facts I do understand why this has happened. In my own personal experience I have shifted back and forth from reading on my kindle to reading hard copies and now only read on my kindle if the books is more than 1,000 pages. In addition to the reasons you laid out above, I believe other reasons include the enjoyment people feel from going into book stores and talking to bookshop employees as well as the enjoyment from looking through physical books before purchasing. I think these two reasons are why independent book stores will always exist similarly to why independent pharmacies or cafes continue to exist despite pressures from large consolidators. With this in mind I am not sure that Amazon’s book stores will succeed financially but as you point out regardless of their financial success they may still make sense for other reasons.
After reading this post, it’s clear to me just how significant of a headwind climate change is to the current concept of a “ski resort”. What’s also clear in this case is that Intrawest is in a different position than many of the other companies I have read about in these posts: namely it faces a headwind that could literally eradicate its business model not just force it to change. What is also clear is that Intrawest, with snow-making, is simply trying to prolong its current business model and not come up with any lasting solutions. The business is doing this while actually making things worse for the climate by the excessive use of energy and water required to make man-made snow. It’s not that I disagree with Intrawest’s attempts to slow-down the negative impacts from climate change, it’s that I think it should be investing in novel ways to create man-made snow that may allow it to produce snow faster without expending such a significant amount of energy.
I enjoyed reading this post as I can clearly tell how much Chris loves Patagonia- he may even love the brand and respect the founder so much that I feel that I have to be more skeptical of Patagonia’s story than I otherwise might be! I am not sure when the Company was founded but I do remember that one of my first memories in my life was a moment where I was wearing a Patagonia sweatshirt in the rain. I think Patagonia has become so synonymous with the outdoors that I question whether or not this is done out of “selflessness” as I believe Chris would suggest or simply good business. As a first thought to dig into this, I wonder what margins they earned prior to switching to organic cotton and what margins they earned post switching. The cynic in me can see each one of the decisions that Patagonia has made to address the environment as simply great marketing decisions. These decisions have allowed the brand to maintain a dominant position in the outdoor clothing industry for decades.
I found this post to be very interesting and insightful on the Wine industry. It’s clear the industry is facing significant headwinds but that there are also a number of ways they can mitigate the issues they are facing. It is surprising to me that more of the vineyards aren’t coming to terms with the future headwinds and are still simply maximizing profits during these “good” times. The two suggestions above make sense and I wonder what other technological innovations exist in this industry that would further allow it to combat these headwinds.
Tesla is a great example of a company that would not exist if climate change were not such an important issue facing our society today. I think it’s great when you see the government put practical programs in place to incentivize the private sector to tackle issues that the government alone can not.
I disagree with Jesse’s suggestions though. I think anyone buying a Tesla, i.e. a wealthy individual that can afford a Tesla, is well aware of the negative impact that gasoline vehicles have on society. At the same time, I question whether or not those driving Tesla’s even care about the positive impact that they are having on society. Tesla has become a sign of wealth and I believe the majority of people that drive Tesla’s do so to make a statement. If they didn’t want to make a statement they would buy a Prius and give the $60,000+ left over to a charity.
On Jesse’s second suggestion, I am not an expert on this but I actually think one possible reason Tesla does not highlight the “benefits” its technology on C02 emissions is that this statement would be questionable. Right now every time you charge a Tesla, the electricity that is used is generated by coal and gas plants which contribute to C02 emissions.
I did not realize just how damaging the apparel industry is on the environment and find it particularly interesting that it is second only to oil. It is clear from Paul’s post that Adidas struggles with many of the same issues that we learned IKEA struggles from – namely the damage that over consumption of its product can have on the environment as well as the burden to not only improve its own practices but also those of its suppliers. I am surprised, however, that Adidas does not highlight the financial benefits that it, itself, can gain from promoting greater energy efficiency. There are a number of apparel companies that have been created in the last 5-10 years – Reformation, Everlane, etc. that highlight its efficiency both to differentiate its brand and to lower material costs. I would be curious to understand what economic benefits Adidas itself can gain from this debate.