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I’m not sure if it’s a right comparison to draw between Airbnb and Starwood Hotels for technology reasons. The biggest reason for people choosing Airbnb over is the price factor, not the service. I would say the Starwood Hotels offer a better service compared to most Airbnb locations, so digitization may not be their winning bet to win the Airbnb guests back. I would also say the people who book hotels and Airbnbs are different sets of people; people choose hotels for the luxury aspect and loyalty points, whereas others choose Airbnb for a more cozy experience and lower price.

This is a really interesting one. I think this is an environment where machines will not be able to catch up with humans for quite some period of time. I think the biggest excitement comes out of personal interaction within the section, and being able to see everyone’s expressions and body language. Sections form a more intimate relationship and culture through interactions in between and outside classes. While this is an interesting approach and might be our future, I really hope the technology in the classrooms doesn’t go beyond a Watson coming in to decide who to call on. It might be a model that will thrive when it comes to inviting more international students for part-time courses.

On November 20, 2016, Lane commented on Stitch Fix Uses Big Data to Personalize Shopping :

I think it’s mind-blowing to hear the 80% reorder stats. Given that almost all of the national fashion retailers get the recommendations completely off the mark or too broad, it makes me want to try the service out. I think another opportunity for this company is to target men. The barrier would be to get men to order it in the first place, but I think men are less sensitive to taste (hopefully doesn’t sound biased). If the company is able to offer a pretty standard box with basic style (e.g. sweaters with no patterns, lightly-printed shirts), I think men might score a higher reorder rate than women who have a more variety of taste when it comes to fashion or dressing up for special occasions.

I think this is a great model for hotels that have high traffic. Las Vegas, for example. While some people may like to be greeted at the front desk, most people don’t like to wait in line to check out when there is a long line of people checking in. During the busy season, it can be frustrating trying to get your phone call through to the room services department and it takes even longer for them to actually bring what you need up to the room. I agree that this is a smart move to reduce the ‘wait time’ in hotels. I think hotels should invest more in getting the customer services right rather than trying to deploy smart functions for turning lights and showers on/off, because this will lead to a higher satisfaction level.

On November 20, 2016, Lane commented on Whirlpool: Are these the appliances of your dreams? :

Sounds like my dream house! But I think the biggest challenge is that consumers don’t necessarily have the same brand across all the appliances, while the Whirlpool app works best when they’re all Whirlpool products. Same for GE. It would function better if a third party comes into play and connects all the appliances, but then again, the integration between the hardware and software might not be as smooth. Still, in the long run, I think it should be third party app/product, because IoT won’t necessarily be able to convince consumers to buy the same brand across all appliances. Certain brands build certain appliances better than others, so there’s a less chance of consumers landing on the same brand for everything.

On November 6, 2016, Lane commented on Can top chefs play a big role in reducing global warming? :

Beyond Meat also does something similar. It blows my mind to hear that they can replicate the look, taste, and the smell! I’ve also watched videos about consumers who had the food, and they say they cannot tell the difference. I would love to see how this plays out once the news spreads. Also, I had only thought about the taste and price, but it’s really interesting that you bring up the legal factors, and I also see a bit of the political play that might take place among the traditional meat providers.

On November 6, 2016, Lane commented on TOO HOT FOR YOUR TEA TO BREW? :

It’s interesting to hear about how tea is susceptible to weather, because we’re normally exposed to shortage of other crops and you would imagine tea and coffee have constant supply in the market. In the end, it seems like there needs to be a more fundamental change in the way of growing crops on top of the suggestions made above. As climate change is a real threat and farms will eventually transition to new cropping methods to be adaptive, I wonder if they’re exploring more innovative changes in the method rather than optimizing for the near future.

On November 6, 2016, Lane commented on A World without Hershey Kisses? :

Oh noooo, I love chocolate! I agree with Alex – shrinking portions of chocolate is absolutely unacceptable! I feel like there is more room for Hersheys other than producing GMO cacao seeds. Like how wineries have discovered dry-farming, Hersheys might want to focus on different ways of growing cacao treest other than genetically modifying them. Also, they can definitely double-down on reducing it’s packaging and also using more eco-friendly materials for packaging.

On November 6, 2016, Lane commented on Turning water into wine :

It’s insightful to learn that wineries in California have alternatives other than recycling water, because I always thought they were so susceptible to weather that their yearly output totally depended on it. I wonder if this is something that could be transferred to growing other crops as well, since we hear about saving water every day in California. Industries can save water only up to a certain point and we cannot control drought, so I agree that vineyards as well as other farms should develop new ways of farming to adapt to the changes.

On November 6, 2016, Lane commented on Animal-free Beef: A Meaty Idea :

Great article, Ryan! Given that it tastes as good as real meat, I agree that price point is the biggest challenge for further distribution. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods also do something similar – they produce meat-like steaks out of vegetables and the edge is that they look, smell, and taste like steak! The price point for their burgers is $8-11 which is slightly higher than normal burgers, but still in an affordable range for the healthy food category. I would love to find out more about how Memphis Meats figures this out moving forward!

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