John Smith

  • Alumni

Activity Feed

On November 20, 2016, John Smith commented on Zillow: Ahead of its Time or Falling Behind? :

This is a very well informed article; however, I tend to disagree that Zillow is at potential risk from companies that are trying to phase out realtors. I know it is easy to think about realtors in parallel with the old travel agent model that has essentially been wiped out, but I would push on the fact that purchasing a home is a much more complicated process as compared to booking a trip. I view this scenario as closer to the auto industry. There are a litany of services that are aimed at helping the customer make a more informed purchasing decision, but this doesn’t eliminate the need for a car dealership or for someone to walk you through financing, etc.

On November 20, 2016, John Smith commented on When the Referee Isn’t The Only Zebra On the Field :

The additional element that makes this whole system go is Zebra’s ability to get an RFID chip small enough to fit inside of a standard NFL football without altering the flight or rotation of the ball. This is essential to making this system work from a scouting and player evaluation standpoint. If teams don’t have a clue where the ball was on the field for that particular play, then the data is fairly useless beyond a sports science and health application. The other element that is a big issue that the NFL is still trying to work through is data management given this influx of information that needs to be stored and protected. There is currently a wide breadth of technical aptitude within team front offices so the NFL is taking a very cautious approach to releasing this data to ensure that all teams are at least capable of managing this new information before it is given to all clubs. Really great article and if you are interested in learning more the NBA has been utilizing this concept of player tracking for a while.

The additional applications of RFID to the in-store experience are really cool. I feel like it would save so much time in the checkout process if the cashier already had my basket of items entered into the POS and all they would need to do would be to accept my payment. However, I feel like I am a little concerned that these RFID’s aren’t disabled once I leave the store. I realize that we are living in a trackable world and that data on my movements are being transmitted through my smartphone, but I wonder if people are going to be turned off by chips woven into their clothes. It is hard to see Levi’s forgoing this opportunity if they are going to experience a 1% increase in sales for every 3% increase in inventory management so I wonder how they will approach any reservations from the customer.

This article is fascinating. However, I am curious how a “mobile wallet” is defined. Is it the fact that the payments are processed through an app? If so, then I wonder if mobile wallets are necessary as opposed to a more rudimentary form of mobile payment. For example, you reference M-PESA, which operates on PIN enabled SMS text messages. Therefore, I wonder if India’s switch to mobile payments is being overcomplicated if widespread adoption is the goal.

On November 20, 2016, John Smith commented on Hacking the TOM Beer Challenge :

As a person whose family member owns a pub, I really enjoyed this article. I remember taking inventory as part of a summer job once and it was pretty miserable and inaccurate. I do agree with your point that it’s still fairly unclear how much distributors and brewers benefit from SteadyServ at this point. You do almost need a closed system to show incremental improvements over the current process. It’s going to be absolutely crucial to prove a true ROI for smaller bars to invest in a system like this; I’m not sure how StedyServ handles the hardware, but perhaps they can lease it to the bar to cut down on the initial costs? Also, with the infusion of other technologies into bars i.e. advanced POS systems, gauges on liquor handles to measure pour volumes, etc. you start to wonder if all of this technology becomes a burden given typical high turnover of bar staff and the subsequent need to constantly train employees.

On November 6, 2016, John Smith commented on Seeds of Success :

Much like IKEA, it seems like Kaveri must adjust its business model through methods that are drastic enough to require creating an additional business. I agree that the opportunity for Kaveri to help lead the proliferation of irrigation techniques throughout the region is massive. If this venture goes smoothly, there is no reason that Kaveri can’t expand this theme of developing infrastructure for farmers into more technical areas like distribution of weather forecasts or a digital network for farmers to report yields and share best practices. AB InBev has already done a great job with this type of collaboration and innovation through its SmartBarley program. Perhaps Kaveri can use this system as a model to further expand its infrastructure development initiatives.

On November 6, 2016, John Smith commented on Imagine A World Without Lobster Rolls :

As a lobster roll lover and New Englander, this post really hit home. As I’ve grown up, different fisheries have been producing less and less yield. As I think about potential solutions it seems that fish farms are still trying to figure out how to scale, but culturing lobsters appears to be extremely difficult. This seems to be the only viable option to saving the lobster given that overfishing seems to be much less of a problem as compared to rising water temperatures. Furthermore, it is unfortunate that fisherman must also bear the burden of climate change given that, besides boat exhaust, they do little to contribute to the current emissions problem.

On November 6, 2016, John Smith commented on UPS: United Problem Solvers or United Petroleum Supporters? :

If I was David P. Abney, I would start to look into ways that I can physically start to remove vehicles from the road. I would think of taking a page out of Uber’s book and look to create a more structured version of UberRUSH. This ability to leverage vehicles that are already on the road to do on-demand one way trips could do a great deal to mitigate emissions while the company continues to implement and innovate around alternative fuels. In addition to this potential solution, UPS should also be investing in drone technology. This type of innovation has the potential to be a patch solution until greener jet fuel can be developed. Given that it is impossible to close Pandora’s Box of online purchasing and overnight delivery, UPS absolutely needs to investigate every option to operate in a more sustainable way.

On November 6, 2016, John Smith commented on Tesla: Profitable? It depends on the climate. :

I found this article to be incredibly interesting. I had no idea ZEV credits even existed. However, it’s incredibly frustrating that the current ZEV credit market is flooded due to lack of standards. I spent a good deal of time thinking about an alternative for Musk besides lobbying for increased standards, but no reasonable answers present themselves. Perhaps CARB can issue a flat bonus to manufacturers and the manufacturer receives the proportion of its bonus that equals the proportion of total vehicles produced that are ZEV’s. So if the bonus is $100 and 50% of Manufacturer X’s cars produced this year are ZEV, so Manufacturer X gets $50. Obviously it is a fine line between prodding innovation and placing an excessive burden on auto manufacturers (especially American manufacturers given the issues of 2008 that are still being dealt with), but Musk should absolutely be rewarded in some way by being so far ahead of the curve.

On November 6, 2016, John Smith commented on Climate Change & Major League Baseball: A Strikeout? :

I think that this post does a great job of both highlighting a nonobvious organization that is undoubtedly affected by climate change, but also interesting ways in which the MLB is affected. From personal experience the amount of electricity consumed by a professional sports stadium is astounding. To further the lighting issue, teams typically have sponsorship contracts where external signage is mandated to be illuminated 24/7. So even if night games are limited there is still a good chance that the lights inside and outside of the stadium will remain on. As you pointed out, the efforts to make stadiums greener are fairly prevalent so hopefully teams will find effective ways to utilize solar or other options to limit the impact of their electric bills.