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On November 14, 2018, JHarvard commented on Additive Manufacturing at GE Aviation :

Thanks Carlos! Costs are a no brainer with respect to speed, material savings and fuel efficiencies. However, proving the safety and reliability of these parts should be the primary concern in aviation before they become widely used. These components are the definition of low-cost, but high cost of failure. Are mission critical components like these developed enough to be relied upon, especially if other industry players have “less knowledge” about their benefits? In the aviation environment, the smallest of components that are manufactured through an additive process can lead to catastrophic failures if not executed properly, when compared to the proven nature of traditional production. To me, safety should be the concern top of GE’s mind in the short- and medium-terms to win customer trust and stay ahead of the competition.

On November 14, 2018, JHarvard commented on Building industrial-scale LEGOs using open innovation :

This is an awesome company! I didn’t even know it existed, but it appears to be disruptive model due to quick turnaround capabilities. However, with a critical eye, I’m wary of Vention’s ability to scale through open innovation. As more engineers collaborate and sign up with their designs, does Vention, currently a smaller-scale startup, have the wherewithal to accommodate the variability in a wide range of design options? Is there a capacity threshold where the company would have to consider rejecting designs due to the high fixed costs incurred to acquire the tooling to create the new designs? If the spirit of open innovation is to drive new ideas through a scaled base of engagers, Vention’s cost structure will be a critical determinant going forward.

On November 14, 2018, JHarvard commented on Machine Learning – In Theatres Now :

Thanks for the interesting article. Because cinema can be considered an art form, I sense an inherent conflict in Fox’s efforts to combine machine with an expression of human imagination. This leads me to infer there are limits to the technology’s benefits. For example, will Fox begin to rely on the output of Merlin more than the intuition of a seasoned film executive who can sense the potential for an instant cult classic? Another thought related to the above – given the human element of creative skill in film, is open innovation a better megatrend for Fox to consider when gauging demand? Said another way, could it harness the visions and opinions of its customers to help generate content in a controlled manner? Additionally, as streaming content stands to disrupt traditional media channels, is Fox focuses its resources on solving the right problem?

Great article – thank you! An incremental concept to consider regarding additive manufacturing and vehicle production is the trade off between cost, speed and safety. Vehicle components will be lighter, enabling increased fuel efficiency, and will also be more cost-effective for GM. However, how realistic is it that this method will be superior for a large-scale vehicle / parts supplier, and how quickly? How does one ensure to maintain quality / safety in the process, without cutting corners during this massive shift? We know that recalls are extremely expensive and generate massive negative brand perception, especially in the event of injuries. Are we convinced that consumers will put their trust in these products given their mission-critical nature?

Thanks for the post Ali! It seems to me that Soundcloud is a dying brand for the following reasons: (i) what are the incentives for the artists to join Soundcloud vs. the competition, besides potentially cost? It seems to me like bigger players may have a cost advantage with the ability to undercut Soundcloud on price; (ii) The major decline in user base may also be a result of irreversible negative brand perception (e.g., if I’m an up-and-coming artist, I want to be associated with a prestige music platform); (iii) If the competition can easily replicate Soundcloud’s open innovation tactics quickly and more effectively, how will Soundcloud win market share (i.e., unrecoverable from being stomped out of the market by Spotify and Apple’s resources).

Great post Samuel! As the world continues its shift towards instant gratification, Amazon enabling its customers to control the shopping experience puts it ahead of the curve, and is aligned with the company’s core competency. One small nitpick – my view is that this ‘experience’ will widen the moat with customers rather than leveraging statistical power to improve product recommendations, as you note above. This is because I believe many people shop for groceries by habit, often purchasing the same products, thus inflating the value of product recommendations. Additionally, with this new grab and go model, will the risk of inventory shrinkage from product theft decrease or increase (e.g., less rigorous check-out process)? Amazon will have to keep a close eye on this in the beginning of its scale efforts, and develop measures to combat it.