• Alumni

Activity Feed

On November 20, 2016, JBArev commented on Why VR could mean the end of Art museums :

First, I’d like to say I love the way you laid out the beginning of the article–having never been to the Louvre, I would never had imagined how immensely crowded it is! I think the VR angle will be a godsend for those not wanting to wait in line (or those who cannot afford to travel). However I, like the others who posted above, am skeptical of how much VR will actually detract from the museums’ bottom line. I still think that VR is seen as very gimmick-y (just as 3D movies/TV were supposed to be revolutionary, it seems that this sentiment has died). While people can “see” famous pieces of art using a simple google search, there’s a draw to being physically present with the specific masterpiece. I wonder if by making it more interactive/3D/virtual will be enough of an incremental improvement over seeing simple photos/reprints of art–after all, in both scenarios, you aren’t seeing the actual work of art but just a representation. One is just more realistic.

Perhaps this will turn out to be a good thing for museums should it really take off–museum halls will be less crowded and line will be shorter, and new streams of revenue can become available by licensing rights to incorporate famous works into the VR world. I do worry about smaller museums who might not have the same clout around their artwork, and thus draw smaller crowds. I’d be interested to learn if there has been much push-back from museums from this?

On November 20, 2016, JBArev commented on Dare to dream: A world without lancets :

This is such an important realm in which technological innovation can have profound impacts on patients, providers, and our healthcare system at large. The number of patients I’ve helped care for who suffer from poorly-controlled DM and the vast number of complications is causes has left me very discouraged. Getting patients to reliably track their blood glucose is such an uphill battle for the reasons you stated in the article, and yet the complications that arise later result in profound morbidity and mortality, costing patients huge sums and putting huge financial strain on private payers and medicare alike. Once we have a revolutionary breakthrough for management of DM, like the technologies you outlined, the gains in years of life, quality of life, economic productivity, and healthcare savings will be immense–especially given that diabetes affects roughly 10% of the US population.

From what I could gather in a very brief literature search, it seems like there is a bit more improvement needed in the technology–since the CGM machines monitor glucose levels in the interstitial fluid (vs blood using finger-stick blood glucose monitoring), the readings are only accurate ~75% of the time since there is a delay in equilibration of diffusion between fluid compartments. [1] I agree that the technology is perhaps most useful for those who are at risk of unkowingly becoming hypoglycemic, particularly children, but it seems that the readings have a lot of accuracy during times of exertion/exercise (which kids would be prone to). [2] I, too, am interested to see how the proliferation of non-invasive technologies (which Mary eluded to above) will impact the development of the CGM tech, and whether or not accuracy vs cost efficiency wins out.

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=18715215
(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27356172

On November 20, 2016, JBArev commented on How Netflix Became Chill :

I was pretty skeptical when Netflix made the move to start producing its own original content a few years ago, but I can now see that this is such a smart move–it seems that the cost of acquiring content rights is becoming increasingly expensive due to competitors driving prices up (see link below) and also the fact that Netflix is being seen as a much more serious threat to the viability of traditional media delivery. Producing original content tailored to its user base will ensure a smaller portion of their investments being “duds” by supplying consumers with content they don’t actually want.

The net neutrality issue is definitely worrisome for netflix, and since they use such a massive amount of bandwidth, I doubt that the issue is resolved forever. I think Netflix should be careful with introducing 4K due to this fact–bandwidth usage will skyrocket further and may open up more aggressive challenges by ISPs who will have to scramble to continue delivering minimum levels of speed to their customers.


On November 20, 2016, JBArev commented on Talking Trash :

First of all, I love the Simpsons-inspired title image (“the garbage man caaaann!”). I’ve never even considered that there are independent haulers in the waste management realm–I always assumed these services were provided by local governments and never thought further. This is such a cool business; I especially like their initiative to help businesses turn waste into potential revenue streams (and recycling material that would otherwise end up in a landfill!). Helping haulers with enhancing capacity utilization and offering loans is also such a cool idea! I hope that they can continue helping encourage mindful recycling and discouraging dumping waste. I wonder what incentives there are on the haulers’ side to conduct more eco-conscious practices to reduce emissions from their vehicles, or if venturing down that road would ultimately send haulers elsewhere to look for cost savings. Cool article!

Very interesting article. I had the same concern that Ludwig mentioned above regarding the still relatively low mobile phone penetrance in India. Switching to cashless would certainly impact the non- and late-adopters to a much higher degree, and I wonder how much of a paradigm shift will need to occur in order for people to fully buy into such a system (no pun intended). Your article seems to suggest that there are also a lot of competitors in the mobile payments space; I wonder if this further complicates adoption as users and merchants alike will need to load multiple services in order to accommodate differing availability/usage patterns. I also wonder how much this opens up these consumers to fraud vs the status quo–though with appropriate safeguards, it seems reasonable that this would be a net benefit to combating “black money.”

On November 7, 2016, JBArev commented on To boycott or not to boycott Nutella :

A theme of these TOM challenge posts is that my favorite foods are killing the earth. I very much enjoyed your take in this article, and it’s promising that progress is being made to curb the impact of palm oil. I wonder, however, if we are putting too much of the responsibility on Ferrero to mitigate the costs (by being charged a premium) or by contributing to NGOs to facilitate the certification process of suppliers when–as Ludwig’s comment points out–that palm oil is used in such a vast array of products. How do we engage the producers of these other products to follow suit? I would be interested to learn more about the regulatory changes that you briefly alluded to–are any changes on the horizon in this regard?

On November 7, 2016, JBArev commented on Making a Google Search Sustainable :

“A single Google search expends as much electricity as turning on a 60W lightbulb for 17 second.” This statistic is going to haunt me in my sleep–considering how much I have to Google to figure out what all of the TOM and FIN1 lingo means, I hate to think of how my naivety is harming the environment :P.

In seriousness, this is a very cool topic. I was unaware at how the utility company monopolies can serve as such a hindrance to sustainability, and think you’ve uncovered an interesting (yet frustrating) point that very few organizations are powerful enough to assert any sort of leverage against the utility monopolies to encourage partnership with industry to establishing more sustainable practice. With such a high-profile–and generally well-regarded–company, I wonder if there are ways for Google to build grassroots support for (or at least promote awareness of) the need to disrupt the practices of utility monopolies to ensure a sustainable future.

On November 7, 2016, JBArev commented on Levi Strauss – Taking the Water Out of Jeans :

I always have a difficult time visualizing how much water it takes to produce common consumables. Intuitively I know that 10,000 liters is a lot—but comparing that to flushing my toilet 1600 times really helps drive the point home that our daily practices that we *think* use a lot of water very much pale in comparison to water-intensive products like jeans.

I very much like Levi’s commitment to Water<Less by sharing the techniques to competitors. This reminds me of Elon Musk’s decision to encourage competitors to use Tesla’s patents in good faith to continue progress toward more sustainable industry-wide practices. I think an action like this helps differentiate companies from those who are only seeking positive PR from initiates vs actually “walking the talk.”

To extend this further, I agree that more needs to be done. I’m particularly a fan of vertical integration of supply chain, since agriculture is the foremost consumer of water in the world. Although risky in the short-term, it seems that it could really confer a competitive advantage in the future as other suppliers struggle to deal with decreasing water supplies.

Very interesting article!

On November 7, 2016, JBArev commented on Imagine A World Without Lobster Rolls :

“A world without lobster rolls” is one of the scariest article titles imaginable… The vanishing biomass of marine life is an incredibly urgent problem that I think has been overlooked for a long time as we grapple with the changes brought on by man-made climate change. It is refreshing that a restaurateur has vertically integrated in order to ensure sustainability practices of its key ingredient are respected and followed. I am curious how they are able to serve cheaper lobster rolls than their competitors who ostensibly use less sustainable (and thus probably cheaper) practices. I’m also curious how their suppliers of lobsters view their strict adherence to the sustainability rules–will this shift lobstermen to black/grey markets where they wont face the same amount of scrutiny?

I wonder how visible the sustainability aspect of the business is to the consumer–I’m not familiar with Luke’s, but I’d be interested to learn about how much of a draw these practices are for new/existing customers vs. lower price. Hopefully, if it’s the former, these practices can become the norm as consumers select out the non-sustainable providers.

Very interesting article. While I definitely can understand why some are concerned that the rise of private ride-sharing may inadvertently increase CO2 emissions by siphoning public transit users to private cars, I think the rise of Uber Pool and Lyft Line–which attract multiple riders at any given time–can help mitigate emissions by, a) get “more butts in seats” of cars that would otherwise have only 1 to 2 occupants (which is obviously inefficient from an emissions standpoint) and, b) make ride-hailing services more attractive in order to incentivize people to abandon car ownership altogether. The resulting de-cluttering of roads may even help increase emissions from stop-and-go traffic.

Abandoning car ownership altogether may in fact encourage public transit usage, perhaps encouraging a mix of ride-sharing and public transit. A study by the American Public Transportation Association supports this; the report suggested that services like Uber and Lyft “are most frequently used for social trips between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., times when public transit runs infrequently or is not available. Shared modes substitute more for automobile trips than public transit trips.” (source: http://www.apta.com/resources/reportsandpublications/Documents/APTA-Shared-Mobility.pdf). Still, I think it may be time for public transit systems to invest in innovative solutions to make public transit similarly attractive and positioned to work alongside ridesharing which is surely here to stay.