La Pistola

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On November 20, 2016, La Pistola commented on Nordstrom: Balancing Bricks with Clicks :

Great post. I am interested to see how Norstrom can leverage its reputation for top customer service through its digital platform. Perhaps it could equip its in-store sales personnel with profiles and purchase history of customers that they can use to make recommendations to customers (although this could seem a little creepy). I certainly do not think that they should abandon their brick and mortar model, but can use their digital platform to make it better.

On November 20, 2016, La Pistola commented on How Technology is Changing the Treatment of Type-1 Diabetes :

Great post. It’s great that the digitization of T1D treatment can both improve the quality of patients’ live and decrease costs for hospitals and insurers. It would be interesting to see if companies like DexCom focus on partnering with insurers to promote their product, as it could be to the benefit of both companies.

As far as the closed loop treatment goes, I agree with Mike that they may run into difficulties regarding approval for a system that does not rely on human oversight. Are there any other similar companies/treatments that are already doing this?

On November 20, 2016, La Pistola commented on Hungry? Try 3D printing your food :

Great post. I would love to learn more about the competition in this space and how 3D printed food is changing or could change the restaurant industry. If 3D printers can eventually execute on all types of meals, will this change the experience at restaurants? This could ultimately have an impact on the layout of restaurants and reduce the need for back of house space and lower kitchen exhaust. With respect to in-home 3D printers, I would imagine that the investment could make this prohibitive. This is likely a commercial product for the near future.

Great post and good job laying out the difficulties with this model. I have a hard time believing this business model will make it through an entire economic cycle. I think any institutional investor will have access to bigger, stronger investments with more security and legitimate guarantees. That leaves smaller, one off investors who don’t have access to debt funds and MBS vehicles facilitated by premier originators. These players typically don’t have the underwriting capabilities to fully understand the risk associated with one off, personal loans. In a down-turn, a lot of people are going to lose money regardless of how strong this model is, which will lead to higher regulations. I suspect, the first business model to bite the dust will be the new one that is subject to class-action law suits.

On November 18, 2016, La Pistola commented on Too much data :

Coach, great post. As a Baltimore native, I am always interested in UA’s latest strategy. While I understand your skepticism with respect to their endeavor into the digital, wearable space, I think they have the means to be effective in personal health using these products. By tracking sleep, blood pressure, oxygen levels, etc. UA could understand health patterns that lead to stroke or heart attack. It might make sense to start with extreme cases like athletes, but their data systems could lead to more useful health info longer term. One company focused on this is called Whoop ( Their software focuses on identifying health trends so that they can predict problems before they arise.

On November 7, 2016, mass ave commented on Impossible Foods: The Intricacies of Farts and Burps :

Great post. I agree with the responses above that it will be very difficult to replace real meat for meat eaters, but that this could be a great alternative for vegetarians. While there are negative connotations associated with genetically modified organisms at the moment, I think something in this vein has to be the future of sustainability. Have you looked into lab grown (aka cultured) meat at all? While it seems far fetched at the moment, several companies have been working on producing meat from stem cells. This could be a good, albeit expensive, substitute in the distant future.

See lab meat:

On November 7, 2016, mass ave commented on Nike – Innovating with Sustainability :

Great post. I wonder how Nike could work with its manufacturing partners to improve sustainability. Per TOM User 1’s comment, they could try to vertically integrate, but that changes their business model and may get them outside of their core competencies. Are they setting targets for their partners and holding them to the same standards that they are holding themselves to?

This leads to the question of whether or not companies based in the US and developed countries should apply the same standards to companies they partner with in developing countries. Countries in the developing world have not had the benefit of the industrial revolution and the ensuing decades where the world was not focused on energy efficiency. How do they catch up while keeping emissions in check? Nike could have a huge role as a major player based in a developed country.

On November 7, 2016, mass ave commented on Vail Resorts: An Avalanche of Change :

Incredible post, Alex. I did not know that you had children. Exciting news.

As it relates to Vail and their sustainability efforts, I am interested to see what they do in the face of policy change regarding water use. It is inevitable in the future that there will be restrictions on overall use, and I wonder if non-essential land uses like ski resorts will be in a first loss position. Has Vail tried to incorporate the US Green Building Council’s recent LEED ( codes in an effort to reduce their use?

Is it time to start “harvesting” cash from their business or embrace sustainability and continue to grow? It seems the market believes in their position. If a company that literally consumes water for fun can find a way to be efficient, then things are looking up.

On November 7, 2016, mass ave commented on AB InBev: Brewing Initiatives to Fight Climate Change :

Great post. I like what AB Inbev is doing for the most part, but am worried that their partnership with is just noise. If they want to focus on sustainability, I think they can have a greater impact by tying it to their bottom line and focusing on creating shared value (HBR). I think that their efforts with VPO are headed in the right direction.

In thinking about sustainability as it relates to brewing, I wonder how the industry can find ways to incentivize microbreweries to focus on environmentally conscious brewing. Craft brew is becoming increasingly popular in the US and firms like Inbev have recently acquired smaller breweries like Stone and Goose Island. Is there a way outside of consolidation to brew responsibly?

I have read 900 posts and this is literally the most interesting one.

On November 6, 2016, mass ave commented on AI helps data center to stay cool and keeps energy bills low :

Great post. I would be interested to see how smaller companies with smaller server requirements are coping with their energy efficiency. I would guess that many firms don’t think about it at all. That said, I wonder if there are ways to pool together smaller users into larger, more efficient data centers. This could free up the office space requirements for smaller companies and allow pooled data centers to use the same AI to keep overhead low in the same way as Google.

This also begs the question of whether or not it is Google’s responsibility to share their research and AI technology with other firms to reduce energy consumption across the board. It may be a competitive advantage at the moment, but Google could potentially have a greater impact if they worked to decrease data center emissions worldwide. Perhaps they can find a way to find shared value with their work.