Jane S

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On November 15, 2018, Jane S commented on UNICEF: Open innovation to tackle humanitarian crises :

Really interesting article, thank you for sharing. You mentioned in the article that the implementation of ideas is extremely challenging for UNICEF given the environments in which the organization operations. Something that occurred me while reading this is: could UNICEF use crowd sourced ideas to innovate on their implementation and execution processes as well? I do think these ideas would need to come from individuals with deep local expertise, but I think that could also be a really interesting way to engage different communities. Has UNICEF tried anything like this?

With regards to UNICEF’s investment in open innovation making them more susceptible to external interests – I’m not sure I agree. They are under no financial obligation to act on the ideas they crowd source, right?

Lastly, an interesting note – the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has also been a public advocate of open source: https://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/General-Information/Open-Access-Policy

Great article! I like the idea of using the in store experience as an opportunity to drive open innovation. Retailers are struggling more than ever and bringing this experiential component to the store would likely drive increased foot traffic (and in turn sales) in addition to open innovation.

That said, I tend to agree with some of the other comments that ultimately, the LEGO customer is the parent. I think that LEGO will need to create new ways to gather feedback with this in mind. Parents might be less likely to seek out LEGO directly, in which case the company will need to go where parents already are to source their ideas. They will also need to create different incentives for parents to participate in idea sharing. One thought is that they could solicit ideas in many of the parent facebook forums that already exist online and compensate parents for winning ideas with LEGO discounts.

Interesting article! I do think that Airbnb should be held accountable for its hosts’ compliance with tax law, as in some capacity they are the employer.

Long-term, I think the key way that Airbnb can maintain customer loyalty is by successfully matching customers with properties that meet their preferences quickly. In addition to using machine learning to help hosts with pricing, Airbnb currently does use machine learning to personalize search results for guests and more successfully match them with the right accommodation (https://www.businessinsider.com/machine-learning-is-driving-growth-at-airbnb-2017-6).

Perhaps Airbnb already does this, but it would be interesting for them to use machine learning to identify preferences from data gathered in guests reviews. From these reviews, they could determine components of a great stay that are actionable (snacks, cleanliness etc) and then share this information with hosts to help them increase their revenue and customer satisfaction.

On November 14, 2018, Jane S commented on Glossier Beauty: Innovating, Not Inundating :

Really interesting! I had no idea Glossier crowd-sourced information for its product innovation. That said, one question I have is: is Glossier really ahead of the times in terms of incorporating consumer requests and feedback into their product development process or, are they just the only makeup company that is doing so publicly? I wonder if other makeup companies are leaning on customer requests and insights but privately through traditional outlets like surveys and focus groups.

Separately, it sounds like Glossier gathers a lot of this information in a pretty free form way online. I wonder if they would get both better and more input from customers if they had more structured ways to collect this input. Maybe the company could use surveys or quizzes posted on its website? Or send surveys out in the mail with products? It would also be interesting to gather visual data and request that consumers send in photos of themselves when they thought they looked their best or something along those lines.

Interesting! I had no idea the watch industry was ahead of the curve in 3D printing. That said, I agree with you that the industry should be weary of undermining the emphasis on artisanal craft.

One tension I was struck by reading your essay is the pros and cons of using 3D printing to cut costs. On the one hand, as you mention this is a great way to improve watch companies’ financials in the short-term. On the other hand, as the price of 3D printing goes down dramatically, this might undermine the value of the end product in the eyes of consumers.

Another interesting thing to think about is the opportunity to use 3D printing to enable further customization (especially with a luxury good like a watch). Increasingly, consumers want customized products (https://www.bain.com/insights/making-it-personal-rules-for-success-in-product-customization/). Curious if you think a watch maker could leverage this technology to produce much more customized watches (very quickly) and how consumers would respond to that.

Really interesting that Spotify is investing in machine learning capabilities to compose music, l looked into this as well. Even though Pachet has framed this effort as a complement to artists, do you think the company might face any backlash for attempting to replace the artists it depends on? Also, there are a number of other companies working to use machine learning to compose music. In particular, Google is researching this as well through its project Magenta (https://magenta.tensorflow.org/). Do you think Spotify’s data collection is a big enough competitive advantage to be the leader in machine learning generated music? I am skeptical as I imagine Google has a ton of similar data through YouTube. If Google is at an advantage here, then it seems particularly risky for Spotify to alienate artists – something they should watch out for!

On November 14, 2018, Jane S commented on Printing: Speed :

I completely agree with what has been said – there is huge opportunity here for Adidas to be the first mover and I am optimistic about consumer demand for customized sneakers. As with any early mega trend, it’s also interesting to think about the rate of change this technology is undergoing. Specifically, how much faster and cheaper this technology will get in the coming years and how Adidas might be factoring that in to their plans. We are still early in the evolution of 3D printing and already you see MIT developing a printer that is 10 times faster than existing options (http://news.mit.edu/2017/new-3-d-printer-10-times-faster-commercial-counterparts-1129). Imagine if the processing time goes from a few days to a few minutes – in that case Adidas could leverage their leadership to reimagine their entire store experience, printing shoes on the spot. The cost going down would also impact if Adidas considers using this technology for standard or premium product.