Great post – thanks for sharing. As the trend of content distributors merging with content creators continues, we are now faced with the potential $85Bn AT&T / Time Warner deal. ( http://www.wsj.com/articles/at-t-reaches-deal-to-buy-time-warner-for-more-than-80-billion-1477157084 )
Should this deal receive FCC approval, AT&T will have vertically integrated itself with the parent company of HBO. There are several parallels to Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal in 2009. Would love to hear your thoughts on the implication of integration for HBO / HBO Now business model.
Great post, thanks for sharing your insights! I do not have many doubts about Nordstrom’s ability to adopt an effective bricks-to-clicks retail strategy. That said, I do believe that Nordstrom has made some questionable investment decisions, most notably its $350M purchase of Trunk Club in 2014. It appears that this deal was part of a broader plan to fend off e-commerce powerhouses like Amazon. As we have studied, Nordstrom’s competitive advantage has historically been its best-in-class customer service. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the viability of a bespoke customer service / personal stylist business model through an e-commerce channel like Trunk Club.
Thanks for the interesting post. Like others who have commented, I too am curious about the dangers of self-driving cars. It is clearly expected that there will be fatalities related to self-driving cars ( http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/01/business/self-driving-tesla-fatal-crash-investigation.html?_r=1 ). Tesla’s response to the May 7th fatality was troubling in that it mainly discussed statistics, and saved the final sentence for condolences to the family of the driver. ( https://www.tesla.com/blog/tragic-loss?redirect=no ) As the NYT noted, the crash casts doubts on whether autonomous vehicles can make split-second driving decisions on highways. Do you find these doubts to be justified? Is Tesla at fault, the driver, or the components manufacturers such as Mobileye who created the technology behind ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems)?
Interesting post! As a former city driver, I have personally found that the biggest inhibitor to efficient parking is a lack of information with respect to parking rules. This has led to the development of apps such as Smooth Parking, which allows users to input the time and duration of their desired parking in order to locate available spaces.
I also wonder about the extent to which cities like New York have been disincentivized to ease the friction in the parking process. It is no secret that there are too many cars on the streets of New York, which increases congestion and lowers productivity. If there were less friction in the street parking process, perhaps more drivers from within the city as well as in neighboring areas would feel more comfortable about driving, which would only exacerbate the problem.
Great post, Vlad! I am also an UberPOOL user and believe the service to be primarily concerned with optimizing logistics, and less so worried about solving sustainability issues. The statistic about riders choosing to use transportation services more often than they would if not available really resonated with me. You seem similarly skeptical about Uber’s underlying motivation. If regulators do ultimately allow Uber to maintain monopolistic control of the ride-sharing market – will the company continue to champion sustainability efforts?
This is a very interesting post on the future of the airline industry – nice job! You make a great point about the fact that the long lead times in the aircraft production cycle are inhibiting innovation. Is there a potential workaround? It seems that the identification of developing technologies that will allow for capacity increases with a reduced environmental impact is the key challenge here. Do you believe that battery-driven electric propulsion or some hybrid approach to engine efficiency would be more viable?
Great post, JJ! I wrote about the viability of SolarCity – another one of Elon’s projects. I would be curious to hear your thoughts on the proposed $2.6bn merger of SCTY and TSLA. Is vertical integration a step in the right direction for Tesla? Shareholders seem hesitant to accept the idea that the deal could be mutually beneficial, allowing both firms to realize synergies and optimize their respective cost structures. Is this actually just a financial engineering decision? Many critics have cited the fact that Elon’s companies (TSLA, SCTY, SpaceX), have all benefited from billions of dollars of government subsidization. What do you believe the path to profitability looks like for TSLA? Can the business reach its goals without taxpayer support?
Great post, Caroline! This is a thought-provoking assessment of Inditex’s sustainability initiatives. I am curious to hear your thoughts regarding the potential reputational risk inherent in the company’s decision to “go green” in fast fashion. As we learned in our IKEA discussion the other day, people do not buy IKEA products because they are sustainable. Similarly, I wonder if Zara customers might be turned off by the notion of a “fast fashion recycling program”. It is my understanding that part of the fast fashion value proposition is that there is a perception of luxury, albeit at a much more accessible price point. The business model is dependent upon quickly responding to the latest trends in high fashion – Inditex could damage its brand unless the taste-making luxury houses also decide that sustainability in fashion is a worthwhile initiative.
Really interesting post on DHL’s effort to reduce its carbon footprint. What I found particularly attractive about the company is that DHL is optimizing for its own sustainability improvements while simultaneously working to help its customers monitor and reduce carbon emissions in their respective supply chain management practices. This is quite mutually beneficial. This B2B service offering should help DHL bolster its competitive position as firms become increasingly focused on energy efficiency in business operations. In many cases, monitoring the extent to which a company is operating carbon efficiently can also help the organization think about cost structure optimization opportunities. DHL’s Green Logistics unit provides several case studies of businesses which were able to reduce emissions while concurrently bolstering their bottom line.  Perhaps the company could use this service offering as a competitive advantage to win more business going forward.
 DHL. DHL Green Logistics Solutions. http://www.dhl.com/en/logistics/green_logistics_solutions.html#case_studies