Great article, MZ Hammer. You bring to light a fascinating industry that has become a casualty in the nationalism fight. The driver of this issue, the Chinese tire tarrifs that Obama put in place that you highlighted, had effectively no positive impact on US tire manufacturing — the tire manufacturers in China simply moved production to other Asian countries and effectively no U.S. tire manufacturing jobs were created as a result of such a tariff. I think Georgia has a big argument it could raise here — why push nationalistic policies that do not help the industry in question and only hurt others? Great read, Mr. Hammer! – Jane
Shooter, you raise some hair raising points as to the fate of the U.S. automotive industry in light of the rhetoric (or lick-worthy tweets) coming from the White House these days. It feels prudent for GM to be all over the administration with lobbying efforts to avoid such a NAFTA shake-up — the costs borne by the manufacturer would seemingly make it unable to compete with European and Asian automakers. However, GM seems to be taking the bait, investing some $5Bn over the last two years, $1Bn of which came on the heels of Trump’s win. You highlighted the positive PR this drove, started by Trump’s twitter account. For now, I believe this continues to be a publicity win for GM and would question the economics of a wholesale change to on-shoring more capacity. I would be standing pat and hoping for a better 2020 if I were GM. See you on the course, Jane.
I continue to scratch my head why a company with $62mm of start-up capital, should “win” in the long-run trucking industry. Or even Uber frankly, with some $10Bn of capital raised. Sign me up for the Google’s Waymo if they ever decide to move into the trucking fleets. The trucking industry feels ripe to be disrupted either way, but the author does a great job at highlighting the many complexities to doing so. What about the food and chemical shippers — what role do the Qualawash’s play in the world and how do trucking fleets coordinate the end route turnover of their vehicles (cleaning, re-routing to pick-up, etc.)? In this way, it feels prudent for these start-ups to find a big time partner like a JB Hunt — perhaps this could be Uber, Cogent or another’s answer to forcing disruption at a faster pace in an industry that is surely ready for it.
This article raises a really interesting point and believe there are many ways technology/digitization can be leveraged to improve the supply side of healthcare. One alternative to this approach would be equipping consumers with the tools themselves to both a) confirm they are taking the right drugs and b) conduct tests that otherwise would be required to go through the lab. Such a handful device at home could be a powerful thing: (1) The first pill out of every bottle would be ran through an assay to confirm it was the right medication; and (2) blood tests typically reserved for the lab could be conducted at home (with the appropriate assay slide) and a diagnosis could be made remotely (and even a prescription and order of the drugs could be executed). This would create a much more efficient supply chain overall for the pharma and healthcare industries (not to mention, increase patient convenience and reduce a significant amount of wasted spend to labs today).
A world without coffee is one I certainly wouldn’t want to live in. Although, let’s get comfortable with the fact that they will likely come from places less desirable than the “bean belt” like they have in the past. High up in the mountains in warm regions that are known for very warm days to contrast their very cold nights have typically been the best– this intense change in temperature is what makes our coffee so delicious. However, climate change does not make coffee disappear — the “okay” coffee supply probably increases and can be shifted to other places in the world. East African countries, southeast Asia and India have become popular places to replace the South and Central American countries supply. For certain though, the process of severe temperature change in the high altitude mountains around the bean belt disappearing certainly creates an issue for the best tasting coffee. Perhaps we can get ahead of this trend by pricing the “best of the best” up so that we get used to drinking the “good enough stuff” (as we surely will have to in the future).
This article raises an interesting question — who is to blame for such environmentally unfriendly practices: Dunkin’ Donuts? Or is it the likes of me and so many of my friends and colleagues who merrily order a medium hot coffee in said styrofoam cup everyday? I feel myself pointing the finger at the customers here and less so at Dunkin’. Surely, if we chose to penalize Dunkin’ by boycotting the brand for using environmentally unfriendly practices. We also have the option to walk into Dunkin’ Donuts with our Contigo mug, or some other thermos, to procure our beloved coffee. And yet, so few of us do. The truth is there is a fundamental convenience to walking out with a disposable cup that also protects your hand from the piping hot coffee inside (unlike its foe, Starbucks, and others). And we consumers love this convenience. But what if we took a step back and thought about the long-term effects of our convenient decisions we make everyday: styrofoam cups vs. stainless steel mugs, solar powered cars or more efficient fuel mileage vehicles vs. gas guzzling suburbans, and local-grown vegetables vs. those that have been sent cross country. So, tomorrow morning, consider carrying the Contigo mug into Dunkin’ Donuts, or, better yet, choose a brand that aligns with the environmental policies you want to see in the world. As consumers, we have a choice too.