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On November 20, 2016, Karla commented on Under Armour: Playing the Digital Game :

I think this is such an interesting space that UA is trying to get into. It is no longer about UA providing clothing for fitness, but they are now selling the lifestyle of fitness. I think it’s really important for them to be integrated into the entire fitness realm to better understand their customers, and provide the next generation of products that their customers are looking to buy. I think having the data behind it allows them to be the best company to get into wearable clothing and bring it to market for the masses. I’m looking forward to see the changes they make!

I think these technology applications are amazing for a zoo! I actually never considered how much the experience could be improved through technology. Thank you for sharing the videos (especially the panda video)!

As younger generations are more used to technology, I think zoos will not have a choice to adopt technology – it will be a requirement to stay relevant. There is a lot of value from using technology and think that some of the changes the Atlanta Zoo are making are great.

To add your your donation example, I think having QR codes at the zoo where you can directly scan and donate is another way to increase donations. People are much more willing to donate when they are in front of the animals and engaging with them. This is the best opportunity to try to get customers to give back to the Zoo.

I think it’s really interesting how these companies are attempting to capture such a niche space. While I do see why Amazon would want to enter into it, considering they are already selling all other items, the operational logistics around it seems very aggressive to pursue. I don’t personally think this is going to take off.

While convenience is important – at which point is convenience too much?

We are getting to the point where everyone has their groceries, packages, meals, and household goods delivered to their door. I’ve ever seen start ups that deliver gas to your car! Many of these smaller companies playing in the space are funded by VCs counting on the space to take off while the companies are burning cash and have huge net losses. Even plays like Google and Amazon are negative in these spaces. While it’s important to try to adopt to customer trends (like wanting convenience), doing it in a profitability way is absolutely crucial and is currently not a top priority to many of these companies.

On November 20, 2016, Karla commented on TED – A Company Worth Spreading :

This is a really interesting article around TED. I appreciate the diagram that links each of the different channels in which TED is trying to pursue. As an avid TED Talk podcast listener, I think that there’s a lot of value in the way they are providing the content in different channels. While you may not be able to get the same experience as an in-person conference, more people are able to be reached through podcasts and videos.

To push on your next steps more, I think TED could be a lot more focused on how “what can we do as a community.” It’s great to spread the word on interesting ideas and passions, but what now? How can someone interested in the space participate or contribute? They have a very captive audience that they can unite using their online platforms to truly make the world a better place using these ideas they are trying to spread.

On November 20, 2016, Karla commented on Evaluating New Drugs with Wearable Technology :

Great post Tarran! I think it’s really interesting how pharma companies are taking advantage of the advancements in technology to help them make decisions earlier on.

I’d echo KS’ comment around data accuracy. I wonder if it would make sense for pharma companies to vertically integrate into some of these wearables in order to ensure quality assurance and accuracy. Is this a space you see them getting into? While it’s not necessarily their specialty, you see this happening across similar spaces. For example, Apple has acquired smaller health-tech related companies as they build out their Health app and Apple Watch with health sensors. Do you see pharma benefiting from doing something similar?

On November 6, 2016, Karla commented on Chocolate Challenged at the Origin :

This was really interesting to see how Barry is trying to overcome the volatility through closer relationships with farmers in the impacted areas.

Two things that come to mind when thinking about sustainability.

First, while this does not necessarily help or hurt the environment, has Barry thought about genetically modified cocoa beans that are more temperature resistant? This is a very popular space right now, especially to try to mitigate volatility in crop yield year over year based on climate. This may help the smaller farmers take on less risk in the short run.

Second, I would push on Barry focusing on other areas more as well. With the climate changing, cocoa beans may be able to grow in new countries or areas that they would not grow in before. I wonder if this is another way that Barry can try to mitigate their risk by having many different areas across the world where cocoa beans are grown.

On November 6, 2016, Karla commented on What Can Brown Do For You? Innovate! :

I think this is really interesting to think about UPS using their ORION technology to try to optimize their routing. While this does make their process more efficient, sustainability is the second benefit. The first benefit – delivering more packages faster – remains. The second benefit – reducing environmental impact – is only the by-product for having more efficiency. If UPS demand continues to increase, which is the current trend when you consider ecommerce, then they aren’t really developing a sustainable model to reduce their carbon footprint.

I think they could be doing a better job at partnering with green energy companies to change their transportation methods to be more sustainable. If they do this, their carbon footprint does not scale with their overall company size and they can minimize their overall impact on the environment. There is a lot of opportunity for UPS to think about a model that uses more environmentally friendly fuels or transportation. Thinking about Disney, based on Marrisa’s post, they use re-usable energy to fuel their monorails. I’d challenge UPS to think about moving towards this space to truly be sustainable.

On November 6, 2016, Karla commented on The Mouse Versus Mother Nature :

This is a great read on the sustainable practices that Disney is already focused on! How would you compare their practices with competitors?

While I do think Disney is ahead of most in the tourism industry in conserving energy, they continue to invest in construction that isn’t necessarily the most sustainable. I think there is a lot of opportunity for Disney to focus their sustainability initiatives on their new construction projects to truly be a leader in sustainability. For example, they could invest in materials are have the least impact on the environment, or low-energy construction practices.

I also would push whether Disney needs to continue to always build or re-build their rides – which uses a l lot of resources, energy, materials, and waste. I’m curious to see whether all the energy they are saving from day-to-day operations is more than the energy they are using from continued renovation.

Great read! Thank you for sharing the videos that provide better insight into the different brands I’m not familiar with.

While Mother Dairy is taking advantage of the opportunity to be a large distributor and provide more vegetables & fruit across India, do you see any potential risks that Walmart faced? Walmart had the mission to provide “every day low prices” that has resulted in numerous small businesses closing down because they can not compete with Walmart’s prices. Do you see any of these smaller farmers or individuals that sell produce on the street suffering because Mother Dairy is taking their sales? Do you think this is more of a negative impact on sustainability?

Considering that Mother Dairy does not have many sustainability practices, I wonder if it will only perpetuate the climate change issue because Mother Dairy doesn’t have many incentives to focus on sustainability and they will dominate small companies.

These are really interesting findings on ways that ski resorts can reduce risk associated with less snow.

One thing I’d further dive into is whether these practices in snow machines are truly sustainable. From my own research, snow machines are actually not environmentally-friendly and require immense amounts of water and electricity to operate. By investing in over 270 snow machines, what is WB’s environmental impact? Do they care?

One article that you may be interested in reading is: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/8/9/851
In the article, Environmental Management and Sustainable Labels in the Ski Industry: A Critical Review, it breaks down how ski resorts could be focusing on having more sustainable practices to reduce environmental impact, rather than resorting to more damaging practices (such as snow machines).

I do like the idea of diversifying into other areas. Especially in California, I’ve noticed ski resorts focusing on more summer activities to try to counter-balance the reduced ski season.