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Great article. While the idea seems really interesting, do you have any thoughts on the adoption curve of this technology? I see both a population that may not want this technology in general, and then one which may not buy into the visualization as an effective tool. I would also wonder if IKEA sees this as a ‘fun’ publicity stunt, or a long-term strategy. VR and AR seem like the flavors of the month, but I’m not sure it’s the most effective way to increase online sales in the long-term.

Very interesting take! My main thoughts would be around dealing with the regulatory perspective of such large transportation projects. You mention that coordination among European nations will be key, but how that plays out will be interesting. Furthermore, the reduction of labor replaced by digitization may cause disruptions by unions, which may increase the overall cost of switching.

Nonetheless, I think it’s great that this important infrastructure operator is coordinating with 40 companies to provide better service. However, because the company is owned mainly by the German government, I wonder if the politicians may be investing in the wrong priorities. For instance, perhaps with advances in technology ‘self driving buses’ could be significantly better than this train system. However, since the government is allocating the capital (as opposed to the private sector), Germany may miss out on the creation of alternative transportation technologies not related to trains.

Thanks for sharing. Overall, I have a couple of thoughts.

The first is really understand why the tariffs were implemented in the United States. If the 300% tariffs was imposed because of Canadian government subsidies, then the U.S. response made complete sense. In fact, I would argue that Bombardier’s strategy to shift production to Alabama via a partnership with Airbus merits further regulatory scrutiny as the company is violating the spirit of the US enforcement action against the Canadian subsidies (although the US can gain comfort from increased jobs and production in Alabama). I would therefore add the question: Why can Airbus play by the rules, but Bombardier can’t?

Furthermore, while I see the benefit to Airbus and Bombardier of their joint venture, I see this as an anti-competitive move for customers. With only 4 world suppliers of airplanes, a combined Airbus and Bombardier venture undermines the value of even having additional competitors.

Thanks for writing. Overall, I am not sure Patagonia has a huge incentive to promote policy changes to enhance sustainability. As you mention, the production of a cotton shirt consumes a large amount of water, and transporting production from Asia to America results in high carbon emissions. Therefore, one could argue that an appropriate policy response would be to disincentive the sale of clothes, such as by taxing clothes sales to account for the negative externality they cause. However, since Patagonia’s business model is based on constantly selling new clothes, I do not think the company would want to a) highlight the inherent negative environmental impact its business or b) ask for governments to increase the cost of clothes production.

On December 1, 2017, JB commented on Arsenal Football Club: The Accidental Victim? :

Thanks Eric the the insightful read and creatively explaining Arsenal’s supply chain. I have a couple of thoughts to simply provide a different perspective.

The first is related to ‘Brain Drain’. While you are focusing on Arsenal’s perspective, there is also the perspective of the soccer leagues in Africa and South America that are losing talent. While the selling clubs are usually compensated generously for producing high quality players, it does cause a detriment to those leagues to lose top talent to the UK.

The second is tied to the success of the English national team. You mention that football is critical to the morale of the country, but England hasn’t won a World Cup since it hosted it in 1966. I find it difficult for England to develop its talent if ~80% of the playing time at the top team is taken by internationals. Therefore, Arsenal’s response of creating a larger pipeline of domestic players may help the country’s national football team.

Thanks for the insightful read! To answer your first question, I believe it makes sense for the Navy to take a stand on the issue of climate change. However, the Navy has maintained a strong reputation across all segments of the U.S. population, so they should focus on the less controversial aspects of it (such as the fact that the earth is getting warmer and sea levels are rising), but not taking a strong stand on issues that may divide the public (such as whether it’s caused by humans and what the appropriate government response should be).

On your second question, I believe the investments on climate change mitigation should focus on whether this is the right priority for the U.S. Navy as a whole. For instance, with the building of artificial islands in contested waters near China, the U.S. Navy could prioritize a policy that addresses this issue. Therefore, I believe the Navy should take a holistic approach to prioritizing its projects, especially if the time horizon is 100 years. If after this prioritization exercise the conclusion is to prioritize climate change response, I would support the investments the Navy is making.