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On November 15, 2018, L_401 commented on Can We Live Forever? :

Very interesting topic. I think however that the choice of manufacturing process (i.e. 3-D printing vs. traditional manufacturing techniques) largely has nothing to do with the underlying issue here, which is that scientific advancements have allowed for the production of life-like organs on which useful experiments can be run. In fact, given that one of the key issues with AM (at this point in time) is a limited set of “printable” materials, perhaps we are unable use material which might more closely resemble human tissue. It would be ironic if AM were actually constraining the otherwise groundbreaking technology of developing and utilizing artificial organs.

On November 15, 2018, L_401 commented on 3-D Printing: Disney’s Latest “Wow Factor” :

Very interesting article and a use case for AM that I would have never considered! The biggest question I take from this article is what is the end game for Disney. I imagine their toy arm is small relative to their core business – namely, media and entertainment. While AM may help them revolutionize the way toys are created for individual children, is printing prosthetic limbs something that is core to their business? While I certainly think the technology is additive to the experience of their customers, it appears to be more of a niche application and one which ultimately will not have a meaningful impact on Disney’s business.

Very interesting article, thanks for sharing. I laud both sides in the medical community for chasing technology like this. To the point of generalizability, I think this is a step in the right direction. Although it appears this technology is limited to the optimization of the prior authorization process, which is no small feat, I think it can be applied to other costly parts of the healthcare system. Examples include the process of prescribing medicine to patients, the hurdles pharmacists’ have to jump through to contact and obtain approval from insurance companies for drugs, and the entry that goes into updating patient records. For most of the time that a patient spends in the doctor’s office, the healthcare provider is typing into a computer, thereby reducing the quality and quantity of care given to the patient themselves – perhaps similar technology could automate that process through natural language processing and even help providers surmise/analyze the data. The possibilities are endless and, more importantly, the need for innovation is greater than ever.

On November 15, 2018, L_401 commented on Block by Block: Harnessing Open Innovation at The LEGO Group :

Thanks for the great post! It struck me while reading this article that LEGO is in some ways the perfect candidate for open innovation. They have the brand recognition and the association to toy blocks, which was built over decades of success. Since their biggest issue became design (which was exacerbated by some poor decisions, as you highlight), what better way to solve this than to become more customer-centric and open the doors of their sourcing process to the public? They need input for toys which children want to build based on the end result! They want to be able to build their favorite heroes, cars, planes, structures, etc. Rather than conduct expensive research and guess as to what may or may not be received well, it is smart to directly let them opine.

To your question on technological risk, I think this is valid but minimal – LEGO’s edge is mostly its brand, and knock-off competitors have (and will likely always) exist. As long as they continue to focus on high product quality and design with the help of their newest contributors, I do not see a need to erect an impenetrable information wall to protect their data.

Very insightful article on a tangible use for blockchain technology. There is no doubt that capital raising as it stands today is an inefficient and expensive endeavor. As cited, paying a gross spread of 5-7% on initial public offerings, on top of the initial offering discounts of 15-20%, means companies ultimately see as little as 75% of the money they might otherwise be able to raise for various projects. While I agree that some of these fees are earned since the bankers provide a service by educating investors, to M’s point, I think the bigger issue is the inaccessibility of the capital markets by most firms. Investment banks and most investors do not put their capital behind companies who are not able to meet the strict reporting and asset requirements laid out by various regulatory agencies – I think blockchain could help us better assess risk and remove some of the prohibitive red tape surrounding the process of raising capital to give more companies a chance to participate and more investors the chance to earn a return on their capital.

Very interesting article! As a frequent user of Spotify’s platform, I have been amazed by their ability to recommend content that I ultimately do end up really liking. That in turn has made me a very loyal customer. However, your question about the potential to sustain this competitive advantage is spot on – this algorithm, while novel now, is likely not difficult to replicate in due time. It is unlikely Spotify will stay one step ahead forever. However, their sustained competitive advantage can come from their collaboration with and insights from content producers, where they have the first mover advantage and thus an upper hand on the competition.