Laura Barnes

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Really interesting piece Matt! This is definitely a challenging space, and knowing how to interpret and effectively use data is something that a lot of tech/software companies are struggling with — even when you have an analytics department and data scientists for instance, it can be really challenging to gain takeaways / actual insights that are actionable for your product. For instance, just because you know the behavior that the users of your product are exhibiting (e.g. clicks, pages visited, etc.) doesn’t mean you know why they are doing what they are doing or how to get them to perform the actions you want them to take.

On November 20, 2016, Laura Barnes commented on Payments in Africa’s largest market :

Great piece! This is a really interesting company; thanks for sharing. One question I have is — does Interswitch uses the returns from e-payments growth fund for their operational needs? Or, is monetary gain secondary to eliminating the growing competition? Given the material difference in capabilities required to roll out a 150,000 strong agency network across rural Nigeria, how is the company operationally adapting to successfully find, engage and manage these branches?

On November 20, 2016, Laura Barnes commented on Groupon: A Good Deal for Anyone? :

This is a really interesting post, thanks for sharing Grace! I’m interested to see how Groupon will combat these negative effects of having too many options… One way to do so could be to geo-target more closely, only showing people deals that are very close to them. Currently you can select your city, but it still shows a large number in the city and surrounding area. Maybe they could have a mobile app that shows deals as you approach certain stores, or maybe that could be overwhelming so only when you “checked in” somewhere.

On November 20, 2016, Laura Barnes commented on Waze: Paving the Future of Digital Mapping :

Rafi! Love Waze. Great topic. My concern is that I don’t totally understand how one can bike and use the app. As someone who bikes, I definitely need both hands on the wheel! And, it’s important for safety reasons to be mentally focused and aware of your surroundings while driving on the road. It’s still so dangerous to bike on roads given how much transportation is dominated in many cities in favor of drivers. With Waze, a passenger is able to navigate and input the information. Waze even (awesomely) makes sure to ask that you aren’t the driver before it allows you to route.

On November 20, 2016, Laura Barnes commented on Digitizing the globe one pixel at a time – Google Maps :

Aayesha, this is a great topic! The possibilities for Google Maps are definitely endless; I totally agree. Something I’m interested in is the way Google Maps might start giving more information than just the visuals when you’re actually in a place. Using the GPS data that tells the app where the user is, it would be awesome to see some sort of Augmented Reality like Pokemon Go that told me more information about what I’m looking at. For example, wouldn’t it be great if you were in a new place and could have information (e.g. historical) pop up as you go? And if you were in a new country it would be great to have it also translate as you go. Google Translate is already an app that will translate from one language ot another if you hold your camera up to it. What if Google Maps and Translate were to integrate to give you information making travel anywhere so much easier? I’m imagining a version of the product that can educate by becoming a walking atlas/wikipedia as you go!

Dan this is a fantastic piece! I have to say, I do feel a bit skeptical even though in general I completely embrace the data on climate change. I attended a science and technology high school where we were given articles to read such as “7 years until Manhattan is under water”. While I believe the threat of increased water levels is very much real, I am concerned about putting a timeline on these. 7 years have come and gone since that article, and Manhattan, while still fearful, is still above water.

I also really appreciated that you specifically noted who would be most impacted. Mainstream media often leaves this very important part of the story out.

On November 7, 2016, Laura Barnes commented on Dean Foods: Udderly Sustainable? :

Really interesting piece! One thought I had was about the demand for milk and how that plays into Dean’s business. Milk has been consumed less and less in the US for some time as myths about how healthy it was for you have become debunked, and the healthy trend persists. Increasingly, lactose intolerance or insensitivity has been embraced and so I wonder if that may also have an impact on how much milk is produced and therefore the effects on the environment. What other products might Dean consider producing to mitigate this, and what impact will the production of those products have on the environment?

Hari! This is awesome. I particularly enjoyed the use of visuals in your post.

Since this has worked so well for ITC in India, are there any large-scale companies in the US (likely not quite as large) that you think could be setup this way and still perform well fiscally? I’m not sure how similar of a company there is in the states, but am curious how we can have more companies follow this model and consequently have more charts looking like exhibit 3!

On November 7, 2016, Laura Barnes commented on Reducing Carbon Emissions: Ford’ing Ahead :

Really interesting stuff! It’s great to hear that Ford is taking such big steps towards striving to be eco-friendly. This is a little out of left field, but I hear there’s a material that can take CO2 out of the air… Is it crazy to think that they might be able to add some sort of material such as this to the tops of the car to reduce the overall CO2 in the air as well?

On November 7, 2016, Laura Barnes commented on bio-bean: can cappuccinos challenge fossil fuels? :

Really interesting post! To be honest, I had never thought about the coffee grounds as a large source of waste generated by coffee. I wonder if once the technology is more developed, if people might be able to make use of the coffee grounds in their home… Currently, the most environmentally conscious people I know compost their coffee grounds, but it would be even better if they could reuse the coffee grounds to provide some sort of small fuel, like maybe powering their coffee maker!

On November 7, 2016, Laura Barnes commented on Climate Change is Heating Up Foundries :

Great post! It was really interesting to learn about the foundry industry in the US.

I wonder, are foundries necessary anymore with the advances we’ve seen in modern technology? Is it possible that 3D printing could create some of these products? Maybe the major industries could consider shifting towards composite/plastic parts instead of foundry parts. I wonder what effects a potential switch would have on costs…