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On November 20, 2016, JES commented on e-Estonia: How Estonia is digitalizing an entire country :

This is an excellent post. When I was at the City of New York, we pointed to Estonia as the gold standard for digital government. But our envy was always measured because Estonia was at a huge advantage — they built new system from scratch, whereas in NYC we are trying to upgrade an analog operating model for the digital age. ( is our work to transform the digital experience for New Yorkers and become more like Estonia!). One common issue we faced in NYC (and would exists anywhere with a federalist system of government) is in having total control and influence over changing the method and mechanisms for service delivery. This “regulatory moshpit” is why the City of New York hasn’t been able to enact online voting, for example. I would be curious to know if Estonia has encountered and overcome similar issues, particularly with regards to incorporating technology and data collection into existing service delivery.

On November 20, 2016, JES commented on Netflix and Chillin’ in the Mile High Club :

Great post. I think you’re totally correct that Netflix is overdue for a download option, and disagree with some of the other comments about the need for different copyright rules (thinking of iTunes’ “rent” feature, which allows offline viewing for a limited period of time). To me, this as a short-term problem with big consequences. My guess is within the next 2-3 years, Internet speeds at all altitudes will be fast enough to support streaming content. In the long-run this won’t be a problem for streaming-only content providers. But, for the reasons you describe, Netflix risks diminishing market share in the meantime.

On November 20, 2016, JES commented on Gett – Reinventing TV advertising :

I’m worried about Gett’s ability to scale this operation as is currently envisioned. True, adding delivery capability to existing fleet improves utilization, but I question that the demand is consistent and high enough to create scale across CPG goods. It could be in dense urban areas — but then you can buy any number of the products Gett offers in the corner store. The opportunity for CPG commerce in for-hire-vehicles to me feel like practical things that riders may want to solve real-time problems, like a phone charger, gum, mascara, hairbrush, etc. Have you found other companies that are using a portable vending machine approach and do you think that has any greater potential for impact?

On November 20, 2016, JES commented on Wayfair: Way Far Ahead in Digital Transformation? :

Thanks for this post! One thought I have about digital transformation of low-end furniture purchasing is that no matter how advanced the VR technology becomes to assess a potential purchase, the end user still has to assemble the furniture when it arrives. Having purchased a few items from wayfair for my apartment in Boston, I found the UX pleasant and more advanced than Ikea, or other retailers at similar price points. But at the end of the day, the furniture still arrives in a flat pack with instructions that are difficult to follow. Is Wayfair considering creating content to explain furniture assembly? Given the 7 million SKUs you cite, this would be impossible to create for all of the pieces. But for some of the more complex or popular, I thought it would be a differentiator for Wayfair to compete with some of its new competitors like Greycork or Article, which promise quality, variety, and simple assembly.

On November 20, 2016, JES commented on Nordstrom: Balancing Bricks with Clicks :

Incredible to learn that they’re using social media for real time feedback from customers. I wonder how much this feedback has changed their buyers’ previous approaches, which as we’ve discussed in other classes, is driven by intuition historically. Has Nordstroms quantified this and found that it led to measurable savings in leftover inventory?

On November 7, 2016, JES commented on The Ecological Impact of Feminine Hygiene Products :

Great post! I was not familiar with this brand, but am aware of others that market themselves as sustainable. And not just sustainable for the environment, but for women. Until recently, I never considered the toxins contained in feminine hygiene products. Despite having been around for a few years, none of these products have adopted a mass market strategy. Why do you think that is? Are traditional consumers less likely to trust an unfamiliar brand, or do they equate natural with less effective?

On November 7, 2016, Jessie commented on Tesla’s $7 Billion Climate Change Problem? :

This is fantastic analysis that presents an unconventional view of Tesla. Do you think carbon pricing has a chance in Congress any time soon? If so, why would Tesla’s current argument that the lifetime emissions of their product should reduce their tax obligation no longer be effective? Form an operations perspective, supply chain management disruptions due to climate events seem to be the biggest concern for Tesla. In the current political environment, regulatory risk, while always important to consider, does not present a significant enough concern for Tesla’s bottom line to incent them to green their manufacturing process. This is a shame, as Tesla has been the most effective marketer of climate causes to an unconventional audience; we need them to be an example on all fronts.

You mention “outsourcing grape production to areas expected to be less significantly impacted by climate change” as a possible adjustment to their operating model to mitigate climate change’s effects on Rodney Strong. Query whether the carbon footprint of this activity would be significant and if that would impact their decision to move forward with off-site growing.

Great post. Devastating to think about a world without wine.

I worry about the significant percentage of Jet Blue’s (and other domestic carriers’) actions to “go green” that are rooted in marketing gimmicks, not systemic change. Carbon offsets are important for the last mile, but they are not a true solution. Recycling in the aisles is important, and we should not discount the small steps that companies are making, but it is no commitment to biofuel. One area of improvement that I found at Delta is their commitment to greening their ground operations through electric vehicles and other retrofits. Did you find any indications that Jet Blue is making investments in cleaner technology to power its ground operations?

On November 7, 2016, Jessie commented on What’s a Ski Resort without Snow? :

The fact that ski resorts around the globe are turning to summer sports as a way to stay profitable is the most tangible effect of climate change I’ve seen. That said, I do think it is the only option for economic survival. My concern is that year-round activity will expand their carbon footprint significantly, which would not only be a great irony, but also counter productive. Whistler, Vail, Aspen, and all the big mountain resort should partner together to invest real dollars and research into making their operations carbon neutral. This is more than symbolic leadership — resorts are achieving real cost savings in their operating models with retrofits and renewables. While the upfront capital requirements are steep, they’re the only way to keep the powder deep.

Great thought to explore whether or not UberPOOL will reduce net vehicle miles traveled (VMTs), which is the traffic study metric that we focused on when assessing the impact of Uber in New York City in summer of 2015 (read our conclusions here: Related to your point regarding the UC Transportation Center’s study about apps expanding the market for for-hire-vehicles, we considered the number of FHV passengers who would have otherwise taken public transportation. What is still unknown, and is directly related to Uber’s impact on climate change and GHG emissions, is the elasticity of demand for subway ridership versus UberPool. If passengers are leaving the subway to take UberPool, and contribute to net positive VMT, then UberPOOL does not solve an emissions problem — it creates another one. If passengers choose UberPool instead of Uber, then UberPOOL becomes the solution by making for-hire-vehicles become more efficient. Understanding this dynamic will be key to developing smart public policy that promotes ride share, innovation, and efficient urban transportation systems.