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Thanks for the informative article on Progressive! It is interesting to think about a future auto insurance industry where customers are evaluated based on actual driving data rather than simple demographic metrics. I wonder though if customers can game the system by learning to be a better driver within the 90 days that the dongle is installed in their car. If they then send back the device, do their driving habits revert back to lower safety levels? It seems as those an app version would solve a significant amount of this testing issue.

Similarly, do the premiums ever reflect up-to-date monitoring data? It seems as though the most proactive way to institute premiums based on performance is to change pricing in the next month based on driving records. For instance, if I drove really poorly in April, my insurance premium could go up in May. This would be a major change for the industry.

On November 20, 2016, Kerrin commented on The NextGen Way to Get Around :

Thanks for the interesting article! As I was reading this, I was reminded of how the NYC subway system is currently looking to revamp its MetroCard system. The idea is to completely replace MetroCard with a new alternative. It will be interesting to see if Cubic is involved in this new system. If it is, will NYC agree to use some of the newer technology you discussed above? The NYC subway system is quite old-fashioned, where riders cannot even see advance notice of when trains will arrive on certain lines. It would be great if Cubic could provide a solution for the payment method and other things, such as train arrival times.

On November 20, 2016, Kerrin commented on PlanGrid – Digitizing Construction :

Adam, very interesting article! It sounds like PlanGrid could be beneficial for all stakeholders in the construction process. However, given the last paragraph of your article, I wonder how much effort and investment would be needed for a firm to transition over to PlanGrid. Even if Plan Grid was able to make a more robust suite of offerings, would firms be hesitant to change over to the new system due both the riskiness of committing to a new system and the investments necessary to train employees on the new system? I wonder if its possible for current software providers to simply make a version of PlanGrid for their own platform, thereby convincing customers to stay with their current system while supplementing it with a program similar to PlanGrid.

Jaiye – thanks for the interesting article! It seems as though this could be an interesting platform for those interested in real estate investing without sufficient capital for a substantial investment or know-how to accomplish the entire due diligence process. I wonder though how Cadre will limit investors from using their information to then bypass Cadre in the selling process, favoring investing on their own. In other words, as Cadre makes the market at least a little more efficient, how will they continue to capitalize off of this shift? Will they hit a point where the culture of real estate sales/investing is so transparent that a service such as Cadre is unnecessary? Of course, this would be a substantial shift in an industry that has been largely operating in a similar fashion for a long period of time. It seems as though Cadre could have the front-runner, competitive advantage for at least the foreseeable future.

Juan – thanks for the interesting article! As someone who regularly traveled through LaGuardia – the “third world” airport of the U.S., according to Joe Biden – I would certainly appreciate a tech updated travel experience. That said, I wonder how often passengers would use the services mentioned? If they don’t use if often enough, will there be a loss in the overall efficacy of these products due to a loss of network effects? While Shane G mentioned that TSA PreCheck and Global Entry have seen an impressive number of enrollees, other TSA projects have seen questionable success. For example, the TSA publishes security wait times through its app and several other independent apps also provide this information. I’d be interested to know how many people are using these apps to their benefit? I personally have never used these products and generally show up at the last minute hoping to make my flight.

While the consumer experience may depend on adoption, I think we could all agree that smart baggage tracking would be beneficial for everyone. It’s incredibly frustrating to find out that your baggage did not make it to NYC but may be in Chicago, DC or Boston (to be determined). I look forward to learning more about LCY’s tech adoption in the future!

Adam, thank you for the interesting article on Great Wolf Resorts. I grew up going to one of their indoor waterpark resorts and did not know that the company was historically an outdoor waterpark provider. It seems as if Great Wolf’s indoor strategy has proven successful up until this point. However, I wonder how many more towns/cities they can expand in to with their current concept. I usually see Great Wolf in semi-remote tourist destination towns, often ones that have a variety of amusement-type resorts. Will they hit a point where they have little geographic expansion opportunity with their current model? Like hotelier mentioned, it will be interesting to see if at some point they feel pressured to expand in to traditional amusement, which would then be subject to the climate change affects you mentioned above. However, the company could also go in a slightly different direction and expand in to secondary amusement opportunities, such as indoor go karting, rock climbing or bowling. This would recreate quite a shift and re-brand from Great Wolf.

PHT, thanks for the interesting read. It does seem as though Vail is utilizing short-term strategies to combat the downturn in revenue due to snow availability. I wonder what more they will need to do for the long-term? For instance, is Vail lobbying groups to enact stricter regulations, thereby reducing global warming? I would imagine that Vail is such a tiny piece of the global puzzle that they don’t believe lobbying will do much good. It seems as though they could then turn to nearby organizations to band together to increase availability of water to make snow. For instance, when Vail or similar mountains do not have snow, I imagine all stakeholders are effected, including hotels, restaurants, ski schools, etc that are nearby. Perhaps they could put a local program in place in an effort to conserve water, something like hotels refusing to wash towels if they’ve only been used once by the same guest. In this way, all local stakeholders would benefit from the program. It would be a small change but could be useful in the effort to produce fake snow. That said, none of this would be helpful if the weather is too warm to even produce snow.

Jared, thanks for the article. Very interesting to read about how a country is developing unique ways to begin addressing climate change related issues. This article reminds me a little of our case on Narayana Hospital System and its method of bringing quality health care to rural residents in Africa and Asia. Both examples show how health services can, in some instances, be brought to tough to reach residents via innovative delivery methods. However, as you mentioned, I wonder how other aspects of medicine will be affected by climate change or how regulations may effect this delivery method. For instance, how can the medical community work to expand availability of machines such as X-rays, given the fact that isolation may become commonplace without an improvement in the transportation infrastructure? I wonder if this is an opportunity for healthcare companies to manufacture smaller, cheaper or more easily transportable necessary medical equipment.

On November 7, 2016, Kerrin commented on Strange Bedfellows – The Arctic Council and.. Singapore? :

Alex, thanks for the interesting read. I was previously unaware that Singapore has been added to the Arctic Counsel, however the logic laid out in the article makes perfect sense. I wonder though how the other Arctic Counsel countries feel about Singapore being added to the counsel. Are all of the countries’ goals in the Arctic similar? Of course, I would imagine each would say they are in the counsel for the long-term health of the global climate and therefore the Arctic. However, it appears that several countries on the counsel, namely ports in Norway, Russia and Canada, could stand to gain if the NSR becomes a more frequent shipping option.

That said, I would think that each of these countries would stand to lose gravely on other, non-monetary issues related to the Arctic Circle, such as weather patterns, sea-level rises and constraints on natural resources. I would expect that each country would value long-term views over short-term monetary policies.

Smithovic, thanks for the great article. It was very interesting to learn about how a WA power provider is facing both a unique (in its customer scale) and common (in its long-term energy source strategy) issue. I think it is particularly interesting to view this problem in terms of the end-customers. How do they feel about the changeover to community solar? Although the prices are said to be the same, will they understand why they are getting charged the amount on their bill, even though it will be generated in a different way?

Interestingly, Xcel Energy in Minnesota organized a Community Solar Garden (CSG) initiative which should go live this year. However, in Xcel’s program, third-party CSG developers invest in the solar panels and set up while Xcel provides transmission and distribution services. Customers have to opt to use the CSG source rather than regular Xcel energy. [1]

The Xcel Energy example is different than Horizon’s current dilemma but does show how a company could slowly move a customer base over to solar energy. Most likely, Xcel is hoping that early adapters will convince others to join the program, thereby creating a large solar grid. The question is if the early adopters are not satisfied with the program, will solar hit a stopping point in Minnesota? One would think that Horizon is considering similar questions as it looks to kick off a community solar program.

[1]Tiffany, Doug. “How will a community solar subscription impact your electricity bill?” Accessed at