Josep Mele

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On November 15, 2018, Josep Mele commented on UNICEF: Open innovation to tackle humanitarian crises :

Thanks for the article. It is really great to see that open innovation can be extremely helpful for a great variety of organizations – also for non-profits. Other comments have already pointed out many thoughts regarding how open innovation impacts communities and also about the trade-off between the trade-off that UNICEF faces in working with other organizations.

On another note, I wanted to question UNICEF’s long-term commitment with Open Innovation. UNICEF has a total budget of more than $17 billion dollars for the 2014-2017 period [1]. However, according to the article, they have only invested $14.4 million in its Innovation Fund. Is Open Innovation only a marketing tool for UNICEF? Are they planning to scale it at all?

[1] UNICEF. “UNICEF Integrated Budget, 2014-2017”. September 3, 2013., accessed November 15, 2018.

Excellent article – thank you Jake! One of the best articles I’ve read recently.

I am positive that LEGO will continue to stay relevant in the coming decades. Perhaps I am very naive, but I think that offline world will continue to play a role in our lives. I think that printed books, LEGO and board games can survive. Despite the increasing use of technology, our generation still tries to transmit to its children that there is a value in the offline world.

On another note, I am really intrigued by how LEGO has leveraged open innovation to drive sales growth and remain competitive. I wonder why don’t we see this more often in other B2C industries. I don’t recall having seen this in the food and beverage industry or in the fashion industry. What could be the reason?

On November 14, 2018, Josep Mele commented on Gantri Shines a Light on 3D Printing for Home Décor :

Excellent article – thank you TOMGirl29! Generally, I agree with the points made above: interesting business proposition, but risk to be replicated and difficult to differentiate from others.

I would like to highlight how disruptive I find this value proposition. Many consumers view their homes and the furniture in them as an extension of themselves [1]. Therefore, allowing them to have a say on the design of its furniture is very attractive. Additionally, the product is high quality, cheap, produced quickly and shipped directly to home. This product has definitely an edge over traditional furniture.

Who will win in this market? I don’t think Gantri will. I foresee the winner in this market to be a large global player, encompassing all designer-to-consumer products:
– With scale in additive manufacturing, in order to produce efficiently, both in terms of cost and time
– Including a broad set of furniture, and even other items (decoration, clothing, etc.)
– With very strong online marketing capabilities
– With very attractive value proposition for designers

[1] Ponder, Nicole. “Consumer Attitudes and Buying Behavior for Home Furniture”. July 10, 2013., accessed November 14, 2018.

On November 14, 2018, Josep Mele commented on “Creepy”: When Big Tech Personalization Goes Too Far :

Excellent article – thank you Dominic. There is indeed a very fine line between innovation and creepiness. However, I agree with T123 in the fact that consumers are not reacting to the problem. Despite concern about privacy is growing around consumers, it seems that consumers continue to use the same services. Consumers probably think that the benefit they get from big tech providers (e.g. Google, Facebook, Amazon) is greater than the risk of sharing the data with them and allowing then to use their data freely.

However, in my opinion, this could be an unstable situation – which could potentially change. What if there is a massive data leak in any of these companies? What if individual workers from any of this companies use consumers data for inappropriate personal purposes? What if this data is sold to to third parties? This could disrupt the relationship between consumers and big tech providers. Would such an event end up with today’s degree of personalization?

On November 14, 2018, Josep Mele commented on Additive manufacturing and the future of Nike :

Great article – it’s a very interesting application of additive manufacturing. While I agree with the article and the comments in the benefits and potential of additive manufacturing for Nike, I also have some concerns about how its implementation can negatively impact Nike’s value proposition:
– Nike invests millions of dollars in designing shoes that support the perception of the brand from the mass. With additive manufacturing, consumers could be able to personalize its designs – potentially leading to designs that harness Nike’s brand. One illustrative example could be the inclusion symbols that are offensive in the shoes. How will Nike keep control of every design of their shoes?
– Additive manufacturing allows for local production. As the technology evolves, potentially local businesses and even consumers could own additive manufacturing technologies themselves. Could local business and consumers bypass Nike and produce the shoes themselves?

This is a great example about how machine learning can help to solve some deep social problems. Cyber bulling is unfortunately a growing phenomena. One example is that, as Tynes points out: “race-related online victimization is on the rise, with 50 percent of adolescents of color reporting these incidents in 2013, up from 32 percent in 2011” [1]. This increase has partly been driven by the increased use of content sharing platforms that enable users to share content freely, such as Instagram. Therefore, I believe these content sharing platforms are liable to prevent this to happen.

However, I have some concerns regarding the use of machine learning to eradicate this problem:
– As united22 points out, will these processes limit freedom of speech for Instagram users?
– In social networks, a lot of content is ironic and has double meanings. Will machine learning algorithms be effective in overcoming this complexity?

Finally, I think that a corporation like Facebook Inc., which owns large assets (financial assets and data), should do more to fight bullying:
– Could identification of cyber bullies lead to prevention of bullying in the offline world?
– Could Instagram partner with police to prosecute cyber bullies?

[1] Tynes, Brendesha. “Cyberbullying Is a Bigger Problem Than Screen Time Addiction”. The New York Times. August 24, 2016., accessed November 14, 2018.