Justin Timecommentary

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On December 1, 2017, Justin Timecommentary commented on The Drowning Power Grid: CenterPoint’s Plight to Keep the Lights On :

Great article! Regarding the government stepping in to help with funding, something interesting here is how vast the need is. This year it was Houston that saw truly disastrous flooding but all Gulf coasts (as well as the majority of the eastern seaboard of the US) are susceptible to this sort of weather event. It will be interesting to see how different coastal cities (New Orleans, Miami, Baltimore) respond to this threat.

On December 1, 2017, Justin Timecommentary commented on Jumping through hoops: Cirque du Soleil in an era of isolationism :

This is a super interesting take on the issue of isolationism — what do you do when your supply chain is entirely based on not just intellectual capital but literal human capital. One thought I’ve had here is whether or not Cirque could begin to integrate virtual reality in order to have artists “cross borders”. There is a cool TED talk I recently watched on using VR in art (https://www.ted.com/talks/chris_milk_the_birth_of_virtual_reality_as_an_art_form) that could be applicable!

I agree with Ryan and Bepo25 regarding the lobbying issues — larger, more well-funded groups haven’t been able to sway policy on this, so I’m not hopeful for the prospects of Cirque making an impact here.

On December 1, 2017, Justin Timecommentary commented on SHAKE SHACK: IS ‘ENLIGHTENED HOSPITALITY’ BECOMING DIGITALIZED? :

I definitely think that there is risk associated with phasing out the human aspect of any service oriented business, and that that risk is exacerbated for Shake Shack because their primary point of differentiation is the happiness/personal touch of their employees. From that point of view, it seems essential to keep the “hospitality champs” (as Kaye mentioned above), but that begs the question…why spend the money at all there will still be human tellers?

I see a lot of benefit to increasing the option to order ahead — it seems that organizations like Sweetgreen and Starbucks have had a lot of success with this sort of system and that it doesn’t take away from the feelings of human contact.

On November 30, 2017, Justin Timecommentary commented on Is Happy Hour Over? The Impact of Climate Change on E & J Gallo Winery :

Great piece (and really loved the puns). I wonder about the financial implications of these changes for vineyards — I assume that in most cases it will be more expensive — due to R&D, sustainable practices, etc. — to implement these changes than their current cost structures. From that, I would expect the cost to be passed on to consumers, which may then push prices to more up-market levels. Will that end up changing demand, or will consumers being willing to bear the financial burden of sustainable winemaking?

The other thing that I find interesting here is that the strategy of expanding the land area upon which the wine is grown (essentially moving into the blue areas on the map in Exhibit 1) is not itself a long term solution. If the planet keeps warming, we will eventually run out of suitable climates for grape growing altogether.

Super interesting read, especially given how quickly the FANG companies are beginning to encroach on the healthcare space. While a blueprint of an analogous example doesn’t immediately come to mind, I do think that CVS could garner some value from looking to other industries that Amazon has disrupted. This could be something akin to bookstores leveraging their physical space / experience by implementing cafes and reading rooms, as well as leveraging author signings and speaker events, to shield against the threat of Amazon, and, for CVS, would look similar to what Graham mentioned above (leveraging their physical spaces).

To Faraz’s point above, I wonder if there is any other organization as large / powerful as Amazon that could “break” the current system. I don’t think that there is, and, given that, will Amazon’s success end up taking over the market, or just pave the way and lay the groundwork for a new system.