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On November 20, 2016, KK commented on Digital Farming :

Thanks for the post, interesting reading about the field! I am a huge proponent of the technology and think it is very cool to learn more about. I think a part of the business model that may be interesting to consider is what type of growth these companies may expect as they move past initial early adopters. With the next group of farmers they are likely looking to convert to their platforms it will surely be much harder to convince them to make a large up-front time and capital investment in a new technology that they know little about. As you indicate as they get more data the more invaluable their platforms will become and getting the next type of farmer on-board could be even more important as big data analytics evolve.

On November 20, 2016, KK commented on The Verdict is still out – Will Square Survive? :

Interesting info about Square! I could not imagine how businesses such as food trucks would have grown without the technology that square is able to provide. Another question that would be interesting to explore for future growth and expansion is what risk mobile payment technology brings to the market for them, and how they plan to compete in the future. In some countries such as the US mobile payments have not gained much traction, but in many developing countries mobile payments are established systems that make the Square technology irrelevant. I wonder how the Square team is looking at this threat and how they plan to evolve to compete against it in the future.

Very interesting post, thanks! I also had not heard about the company before reading this. It would be interesting to further consider how the company may consider mobile platforms. For Ed Tech one of the major barriers in lower-income areas in Sub-Saharan Africa is the fact that although most people have access to mobile phones, internet penetration and smartphone usage is significantly lower, especially in the low-income neighborhoods that AfricaScan is currently serving[1]. Because of this it might make sense for them to move up-market as you suggested to more middle-income neighborhoods.

[1] http://www.pewglobal.org/2015/04/15/cell-phones-in-africa-communication-lifeline/

Interesting read, I knew that rumors of high-denomination notes being removed from circulation have been pushed the last six months in the EU and US, but had not realized the action other countries had taken. One article describing the differences in using large vs. small denomination notes was particularly noteworthy, it states that £1m in twenties weighs more than 50kg – about 50 bags of sugar, while the equivalent in 500 euro banknotes weighs just over 2kg [1]. It would be interesting to measure how the switch to digital currency in India effect this move has on illicit markets.

[1] http://time.com/money/4226174/kill-100-dollar-bill-500-euro-phase-out/

On November 20, 2016, KK commented on Change of EPIC Proportions :

This is a very interesting business model and company, loved learning more about it. I am curious how their operating model has changed over time – I would imagine the growth to a 1B+ dollar business has been difficult for them to maintain. It could be interesting to understand how their products have had to change, and how they have had to adapt pricing/sales as technologies have changed as well as how their operating model has had to be adjusted. For example, I would imagine the privacy concerns for patients when they had only a small number of hospitals is significantly different than it is today.

On November 7, 2016, KK commented on Wildfires – PG&E’s latest $90 million problem :

The impacts of climate change on utility companies is definitely a large one and I think something that can even be considered outside of California wildfires. Utility companies around the world are going to have to deal with more extreme weather and ways to adapt without needing to make unsustainable infrastructure changes, and it seems like PG&E is trying to think proactively about it. For example, according to one report (http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/impacts/effects-of-climate-change-risks-on-our-electricity-system.html#.WCFLLfkrI2w) 8 million people lost power due to Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and events like that are expected to continue to rise. With rising sea levels, reduced water availability for cooling processes, and increasing water temperatures problems electricity companies are facing are likely to be real problems for more than just risk, but for being able to successfully deliver their product to customers. Interested to see how other companies may adapt what PG&E is thinking about!

Interesting article, and something that I did not know excited! I agree with the points above about how risky the business may be in an environment we know little about and that is constantly changing with the impact of climate change, but I also would like to better understand what the environmental impacts are on opening up this shipping route for the world to flood into. It seems that an environment such as this is already in an extremely fragile state, and I worry that in seeking to use it for financial gains we are going to result in even larger impacts on the environment by quickening the impact global warming is having in the artic. I cannot imagine that with numerous countries trying to begin chartering the waters of the artic that the impact is negligible.

On November 7, 2016, KK commented on Are you ready to live in the dark? :

It is very interesting how some of the ways in which we have tried to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels are now being irrelevant due to climate change, some of which is caused by the use of those same energy sources! I had not thought previously about how alternative energy sources such as this may be affected by climate change and it makes me wonder what other impact climate change will have on our energy supplies. It would be interesting to consider how changes in temperatures, weather patterns, etc. will impact other parts of the energy industry, and how people are looking to deal with those changes. Possibly adaptations could be shared across industries as companies work to deal in the changing environment.

On November 7, 2016, KK commented on Before the Burp: Can DSM be the cattleman’s savior? :

Very interesting Samar, and agreed something the world needs to deal with. Another piece of the puzzle I think that is highly related to raising cattle is manure management – which is very similar to methane from beef/dairy cattle in that it adds to the emission of methane and other gasses. According to the EPA in 2014 this accounted for 13% of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions – rivaling the emissions of just live beef/diary cattle. In learning how to deal with one I could imagine we would also learn significant amounts in how to deal with the other problem.

On November 7, 2016, KK commented on Aviva – How to insure against the ultimate risk? :

Really interesting company and description of what they are doing! The risk that investors face going forward is unarguably higher in the face of climate change. I would be interested in what the effects might be for the broader market even – are people thinking about how this uncertainty is likely going to impact the market writ large? The balance between short term investments and longer term risk is also apparent here, and it is interesting to think about how different companies are approaching this problem, and if it will be enough. If companies such as Aviva who have significant risk in the market are unwilling to do more,how will other companies as well? It is also interesting to see how places such as Harvard have or have not incorporated sustainability and climate change into their investment strategies – http://www.hmc.harvard.edu/investment-management/sustainable_investment.html – they claim to but it is unclear the impact this strategy is having on their actual investing practices.