Laura Carpenter

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Based on your article, John Deere’s moves into the digital space to date seem to involve installing new telematics devices on their machines. I strongly agree with the comment above and believe that John Deere must find a way to capture this machine data from the field in order to provide valuable insights to machine operators. I also believe that John Deere should incorporate this machine data into their product design teams. For instance, data on changing field conditions faced by Deere’s “Hulk” machine could become a critical input for the design of future machine components. Other big equipment manufacturers such as Caterpillar and Komatsu are investing heavily in broad data analytics capabilities and John Deere must keep up with its industry in order to avoid disruption.

On November 20, 2016, Laura Carpenter commented on Bezos, the Washington Post and the future of news publishing :

Thanks for the article Jessie. I recently received an Amazon Fire Tablet and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I had free access to the Washington Post on my new device. If the Amazon ecosystem continues to grow, particularly within physical product divisions like Kindles or the Fire Tablets, Bezos will have the unique ability to push the Washington Post on consumers.

I even wonder if Bezos considers profitability of the Washington Post to be a key priority. Amazon has numerous resources at its disposal and could likely subsidize the Washington Post division, particularly if a strong news offering enhanced the overall value proposition of the Amazon Ecosystem. Without the need to focus on short-term revenue targets within the Washington Post division, Bezos and Amazon could transform the Washington Post into a true watchdog that could strive to achieve a higher level of journalistic integrity.

On November 20, 2016, Laura Carpenter commented on Talking Trash :

This was a fascinating article with many parallels to Uber. One of Uber’s biggest strengths, in my opinion, is its ability to attract drivers to its network, in some cases, even poaching drivers from traditional cab companies. Right now, it seems like Rubicon hopes to organically grow its network by offering benefits such as discounts on fuel or optimized driving routes to independent waste haulers. I think they could grow even more quickly by pulling an aggressive, “Uber-like” play and trying to poach haulers from the traditional waste management companies. They may want to invest heavily in a “hauler recruiting division” to accelerate their network effects and business proposition.

On November 20, 2016, Laura Carpenter commented on Are we approaching the end of management consulting? :

I believe that Hourly Nerd is expanding into an untapped market, but is not necessarily threatening traditional strategy consulting firms. Hourly Nerd is selling small projects to corporate clients, projects that would normally be done in-house by a company’s employees, or not done at all. The big, transformational projects for most Fortune 500 companies are still going to be done by traditional consulting firms (for reasons that Jolynn and Katherine outlined above). Additionally, I don’t believe that Hourly Nerd is poaching talent from McKinsey, BCG, Bain or Deloitte. Since most traditional consulting firms operate with an “up or out” model, I imagine that many of Hourly Nerd’s contractors would not have had long term careers at traditional consulting firms (due to poor performance reviews that forced them out, or a need for part-time work that traditional firms don’t offer). So in summary, I think that Hourly Nerd will continue to be successful as a niche player by tapping an unmet need (for smaller, cheaper projects that companies used to do in-house or simply ignore), but that they do not represent a large threat to traditional strategy consulting firms. I think the biggest threat to strategy consulting firms comes from large clients who have decided to develop in-house strategy teams, eliminating the need to bring on a high-priced consultant contractor.

On November 20, 2016, Laura Carpenter commented on A Wholly Digital Whole Foods :

Based on the article, it seems like Whole Food’s partnership with the Infor platform is greatly needed in order to consolidate legacy systems and provide better information to customer and suppliers. However, I think there is a potential for digital technology to have an even bigger, transformational effect on the shopping industry.

I agree with Naomi’s suggestion, to invest heavily in predictive customer shopping analytics. It would be incredibly powerful for Whole Foods to be able to predict, plan for, and perhaps even influence customer purchase decisions before the customer even thinks about these decisions. For instance, if a Whole Foods shopper purchases organic milk every week, the day before the next anticipated purchase, Whole Foods could push a reminder to a customer, potentially even offering a discount on a certain brand of milk. On an even bolder scale, Whole Foods may even consider offering a subscription service for regularly purchased items to customers and managing it through digital technology.

On November 6, 2016, Laura Carpenter commented on NEXTera Maintaining the Electric Grid with Increased Residential Solar Use :

Thanks for the article Robert. This is an interesting amendment for debate, and it seems as if both sides are making strong arguments.

Ultimately, I disagree with your position and I oppose this amendment because I think the “subsidy” argument is a bit misleading. When consumers sell excess power back to the grid, they are reducing the need for the utility company to buy power during peak hours (when it is most expensive). Also, with less overall demand for power-plant generated power, utilities do not need to build additional, expensive new power plants. This should lead to net savings for the utility that can be passed onto customers. So the poor will not be “subsidizing” the rich. (

I’d need to see more concrete studies that quantified the net savings effect of solar power generation in order to solidify my view, but I wanted to elaborate on a view in opposition to your own.

On November 6, 2016, Laura Carpenter commented on Shocka Brah! How Climate Change Is Impacting the World Surf League :

Thanks for the article (and the humorous photo in Exhibit A). In general, I would like to better understand whether surfing itself is under threat, or whether existing surfing hotspots are under threat due to climate change.

While I agree that traditional surfing locations are threatened for the reasons listed in your article, I think that new surfing locations may gain fame. For instance, the El Nino storm events (see link below) will impact wave and surf heights in the Pacific, creating the potential for exciting, but potentially dangerous surfing locations.

On November 6, 2016, Laura Carpenter commented on Delta Airlines – The airline industry getting away with highway robbery :

I share Juan’s skepticism about your suggestion to shut down routes with low utilization. In order to increase their flight utilization, Delta may be tempted to shift to more linear (e.g., City A to City B to City C) routes as opposed to out and back routes (e.g., City A to City B to City A). However, as discussed in the HBS United Airlines case, out and back routes lead to fewer airline delays and missed flights by customers. Delta is an airline that prides itself on its reliability and customer service and I doubt that they will sacrifice these differentiating factors purely to increase their utilization.

Instead, I agree with your suggestion for Delta to increase its capital expenditures to get best-in-class, efficient airplanes from Boeing and other suppliers. If they can withstand the financial pressure from these expenditures, they will offer a better customer experience with fewer emissions.

On November 6, 2016, Laura Carpenter commented on Let Them Eat Lobster! :

Raising awareness is noble, but at this late stage, Luke Lobster’s actions are not enough to prevent the issue of rising sea temperatures from affecting their lobster supply in New England. That being said, in the future, could Luke’s Lobster simply look farther north for it’s lobster supply? In the future, the “Canadian Lobster” could be as famous as today’s “New England Lobster”.

On November 6, 2016, Laura Carpenter commented on MoBike – A Sharing Economy That Go Green :

Thanks for the article, Jollynl. I lived in Beijing for a summer and found biking around the city to be much easier than driving in traffic.

That being said, I think that MoBike may have a hard time beating its competition. The Chinese government is strongly incentivized to encourage biking by its urban citizens (to reduce traffic and automobile emissions) and I suspect that the public subsidies for bike sharing services will only increase. The government will not be as concerned with operating a profitable bike sharing business, which puts MoBike on an unfair playing field if MoBike has to charge more for its services.

While I believe that the threat of climate change will increase the percentage of citizens that ride bikes around the city, MoBike may want to consider partnering with the public sector, or perhaps even selling its technology to the government in order to make sure it can continue to reach new customers.

On November 6, 2016, Laura Carpenter commented on The Sun is Setting On South Beach Miami :

Thanks for the article, JBF. It’s going to be very interesting to see how Miami responds once rising sea levels threaten South Beach. Once sea levels rise, I wonder if Miami will still continue to be a world-class city. Much of it’s appeal is due to its glitzy, festive South Beach lifestyle that attracts tourists and if this is destroyed by rising seas, I fear Miami may become a ghost-town (a la Detroit).

In addition to the threat of rising sea levels, Miami may also have to deal with an increased threat of catastrophic hurricanes [1]. In this case, even inland development may end up devastated by a storm surge, even if inland real estate is a few feet higher than oceanfront property.

I believe that inland real estate development would just be a temporary solution that will allow Miami to survive for a few more decades. Eventually, much of South Florida will be underwater, and the entire county will be at risk.

Robin McKie,, The Guardian, July 11, 2014

Thanks for the post, Bastiane. With growing demand for food and expected decreases in average crop yields due to climate change, it is important to think about ways that farmers can adapt their practices to meet future demand. While I was aware of ongoing research into GMOs, and biologicals that increase yields, I had not yet considered the impact that IoT technology might have on the agriculture industry.

I believe that the most effective solution will be one that combines different types of innovation. IoT technology alone will not be sufficient to feed the planet, but if IoT technology is researched in combination with new seeds that are better adapted to changing environments, the issue may be addressable.