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On November 15, 2018, kmuller commented on Open Innovation Driving Growth at Alibaba :

Thank you for the article, EP. This was incredibly informative! It is great to hear first hand experiences about giant business that are driving innovation around the world
One question that still remains for me, and that I think you touched on lightly already in your text, is what is the key factors that will help Alibaba in finding the correct balance between in-house innovation and collaborative innovation from outside the firm. Also, on that note, how does Alibaba go beyond economic incentives to secure the R&D being developed? This latter question, I ask because it seems like there is a race for the ‘next big thing’ between Alibaba and competitors like Tencent, as you well put it in your article, and my concern is that these companies get stuck in a vicious circle of ‘throwing money at the problem’ by trying to outbid each other for the chance of that next R&D project

On November 15, 2018, kmuller commented on Is Sony INNOVATING enough to create the next Walkman? :

Hi Panda, thank you for the informative article. It was very interesting to read about how Sony is trying to go around the fact they have not had a groundbreaking innovative product in recent years.
One question I am left with after reading your article is whether all these initiatives such as SAP and the Sony Innovation Fund divert the focus needed to develop a really cool product. Where do you draw the line between quantity and quality in product development? And how should Sony go about when it does launch a product that gains initial success? Should they drop the diverted focus and narrow down on this successful launch or should they keep ‘shooting everywhere’ in hopes of landing another random successful hit after it?

Thanks for the very informative text, Ryan. As a Formula 1 fan, I had little knowledge of the impact AM had in the background of car development. Also, as I first started to read your article, I kept wondering if Ferrari would have the guts to make the first move, but when you brought up the notion that Mercedes already being one step ahead of them, it all made more sense.
Still, I am left with two questions for your future reflection. 1) From your text, I understand that partnering with Renishaw will be a costly investment for Ferrari, both in terms of money and time. How should Ferrari go about hedging this decision if the results do not show in the milliseconds of performance that separates winners from losers? 2) How should Ferrari balance the many moving parts that make a winning team (e.g. driver, engineers, car development), meaning what if Ferrari does have the best car but does not have the best driver to steer the wheel? Should they leverage this partnership to get better sponsors to afford top drivers?

On November 15, 2018, kmuller commented on Predicting loan repayment rates for unsecured loans in Uganda :

Thank you for your article, Satomi. It was extremely eye opening to read about how tech enabled companies are trying to solve problems with real life implications, such as unsecured loans in developing countries
The question that remains for me is whether Numida is ahead of its time to be successful in Uganda. As you very well present, it appears that the people in Uganda are either reluctant or not enabled to use the internet (thus, generating the data) in a way that supports Numida’s current business proposition. In an even more fundamental question, I wonder if Numida’s business model is even viable in an economy with the characteristics you described (i.e. internet use still limited), and if the company would find better success in using more traditional ways of generating an initial mass of users that would, then, feed the algorithms to drive decisions in the future

Adebodun, this was a very informative piece of text, thank you!
Reading your article, it raised my awareness about the application of 3D printing in an industry that has relied heavily in traditional production processes, but that has also benefited from immense technical incremental innovation in recent years.
One question that still remains for me is what is being fundamentally changed in construction through the adoption of 3D printing, and what role does 3D printing have in changing the ways of the industry (e.g. making it more cost efficient or accessible)? In other words, is 3D printing just an incremental innovation or is it going to be a disruptive force in the construction industry? Only time will tell

Thank you Chris Li for this great piece of knowledge. I was not aware of the work CircleUp was doing before reading your post. As I read through your post, what struck me as the most interesting is the ability the company has had to improve the quality of the data it feeds into the algorithm, e.g. partnering with Nielsen. At the same time, I find it hard to wrap my head around the fact that investment decisions are being made based purely on data, especially when we are talking about early stage companies that are still developing i) their business model, and ii) their leadership team. This leads me to question how will CircleUp stand the proof of time (or proof of return vs. other benchmark) when so much of the factors that influence the success of an early stage company cannot be measured objectively?