• Alumni

Activity Feed

On November 30, 2017, JessicaSchiffman commented on Digital Content Delivery – Can AMC Theatres survive? :

I don’t see AMC becoming a technology company; rather, I see AMC leveraging technology to upgrade apps, reservation methods, etc. that support its core value-add: the in-theatre movie-going experience. People will always want to be entertained in large groups, and a normal-sized house and television are not conducive to this. The one thing Amazon and Netflix do not yet have are brick and mortar theatre locations. Given that there’s no stopping Amazon and Netflix from continuing to create and own its entertainment at every level of the digital supply chain, from production to distribution, AMC would be wise to embrace the rise of digital content delivery and, as HJ and Erin mention, partner with these digital providers to create an exclusive experience. Why not strike a partnership with Netflix to deliver exclusive experiences viewers can only first experience at an AMC Theatre? For example, AMC might show the next season of Stranger Things (a Netflix Originals success) in AMC theaters before it hits Netflix, creating positive marketing buzz and publicity for both parties.

A threat to AMC could be its complacency when it comes to the actual technological advances in film screening technology amidst declining revenues due to the digital watching trend you describe. When everyone and their mother can stream a film using 4K technology at home, AMC and movie studios need to reconsider their simple goal of getting studio films on as many screens as possible and place more of a priority on insuring films are shown to the best of their ability. [1]


In the case of Almarai, a business that both requires steady water supply and targets a water-scare environment, a global supply chain is necessary. However, you pose a realistic potential shift in sentiment. US protectionism may indeed end up affecting Almarai’s ability to own farmland in the American Southwest. The company would be wise to continue supplementing its farmland investments in the US with additional investments in countries like Argentina, which as you mention, contributed farming land starting in 2011. In diversifying its supply sources, the company would not only be hedging against political risks, but also weather risks, transportation mishaps and other conditional risks that may end up interrupting Almarai’s supply chain.

In response to your second question, “can a company bet all it has on a global supply chain or will you always need to maintain some level of supply back home?,” it seems that as long as costs are kept under control, Almarai has opted to maintain as much supply back home as they can, as evident by its ownership of cattle. I wonder not whether it is necessary, but instead, in Almarai’s case, at what point does “at home ownership” become inefficient? How do they decide when to outsource, and when to invest in supply chain efforts in their home turf?

On November 25, 2017, JessicaSchiffman commented on From Canned Tomato Soups To Personalized Nutrition and Transparency :

You highlight an important trend within the food industry, Ivan. Out of all the steps you mention Campbell taking, perhaps the simplest one, the “What’s in My Food” website, stands out to me as having the most potential impact.

RXBar, a smaller independent food brand, has dramatically capitalized on consumers’ desire to understand “what’s in their food.” The company immediately came to mind upon reading your post. RXBar’s packaging and branding are the ingredients themselves, as the front of each bar’s wrapping lists ingredients in large bold lettering (I.e. “3 Egg Whites, 6 Almonds, 4 Cashews,” etc.). Kellogg’s bought the company last month for $600M [1].

Campbell’s would be wise to heavily market this website they created through a targeted digital media campaign across relevant sites and social media, spreading the idea that they too are freely sharing “what’s in their food.”

[1] Wilkins, Peter. “What $600M RXBar Acquisition By Kellogg’s Says About Chicago’s Simple Food and Beverage Industry.”, Oct 13, 2017.

On November 25, 2017, JessicaSchiffman commented on Will Digitization Eat Blue Apron for Lunch? :

I’m completely in agreement with the fact that public markets often create an excessive amount of short term pressure for companies to realize improvements too rapidly, which in turn spurs the death spiral you illustrated with Blue Apron. This seems to be a pattern in the startup market, as entrepreneurs and investors are let down following artificially public high valuations.

Blue Apron’s failed execution clearly opened the door for competition like Amazon, however I don’t think all competition will benefit from Blue Apron’s failure. HelloFresh, the Berlin-based cooking kit delivery company, recently revealed that it’s planning to raise up to $353 million in an IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange [1], and given its similarity to Blue Apron, there’s no reason it won’t head down the same path as Blue Apron. It’s also backed by Rocket Internet, an incubator known for taking existing business models (i.e. Blue Apron’s) and applying them elsewhere (in this case, Germany/Europe). While Amazon’s size and resources prevent it from facing the same kind of pressure as Blue Apron, I doubt that startup competitors headed towards IPOs will be able to learn from Blue Apron’s mistakes.

[1]: Roof, Katie. “Blue Apron competitor HelloFresh planning to raise up to $353 million in IPO” TechCrunch, Oct 17, 17:

On November 25, 2017, JessicaSchiffman commented on A Perfect Storm: When Hurricanes Hit the Medicine Supply :


It seems that Puerto Rico ended up being the home to 25% of US pharmaceutical exports due to federal contribution, i.e. the tax subsidy you mentioned. Therefore, it’s up to those at the federal government level to tighten regulations and impose restrictions on the contributions they offer. Before Puerto Rico receives federal contribution, our federal government should require that Puerto Rico meet stricter standards for infrastructural soundness. As Alison mentions, I don’t think this should be the job of the FDA, which at its core is a regulatory agency. To me, the key question is: how should the federal government account for the impact of climate change so that being emergency-ready does not fall entirely on the shoulders of businesses, organizations and industries across the nation?

On November 25, 2017, JessicaSchiffman commented on Victoria, Don’t Keep a Sustainable Supply Chain Story a Secret :

You and your commenters raise interesting points, @MarieCalguri.

You mention using the Angels as potential influencers to communicate the steps Victoria’s Secret has taken towards eco-friendly fashion. While I agree this would be an effective strategy, I’m unsure these influencers would put their personal brand on the line to position Victoria’s Secret as an environmentally friendly brand. I avidly follow Gisele Bundchen, one of Victoria’s Secret most famous angels, on social media. More often than not, her posts tout the importance of embracing wildlife, saving forests (and more specifically, the Amazon) and spiritual fitness. The gowns she wears and posts are always sustainably created. She is perhaps as equally known for her environmental awareness efforts as for her modeling career.

Yet despite her long history with Victoria’s Secret, she hasn’t posted about Victoria’s Secret efforts to go green, and aside from the annual obligatory VS Fashion show posts, I’ve haven’t noticed her mention the brand in her posts. This leads me to wonder if the Victoria’s Secret brand is too steeped in “sexy.” Echoing @D.R.Rockwell, a sudden pivot to “go green” may cause this intimate apparels line to be viewed as inauthentic.