I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the applications of 3D printing, particularly the possibility of apply crowd sourcing techniques to creating the design of these vending machines. In an age of customization and personalization I believe your idea could be a great way to engage with the consumer. Indeed it would be a good way to market the vending machines. I see regulatory and distribution risks (are the vending machines of different shape legal? can we bring enough product to stock them without incurring on heavy costs?) that once solved will undoubtedly bring success to your plan.
Undoubtedly General Mills should keep their R&D department. Having it allows this company to innovate within their product portfolio. While the VC allows them to capture new products and stay at the forefront of what the external forces in the market are doing, General mills also needs to improve their product line and adapt it to developing consumer tastes. The R&D department will focus on developing the brands while the VC firm focuses on capturing edgy new products or technology that General Mills can incorporate in their portfolio.
Very interesting article.
In regards to the question about the parallels and learnings Lego can establish looking at Toy’s ‘R’ us, I believe there are few reasons for concern. Although Toy’s ‘R’ us was a toy manufacturer, their main business was retail sales. Lego, on the other hand, mainly drives revenue from his product sales. While Lego will undoubtedly have to adapt his distribution model and route-to-market strategy, the internet does not threaten their business, bur rather, strengthens it. It allows Lego to reach a wider range of customers settled in a wider range of geographies.
Coming from the F&B industry, I found this essay very engaging.
I will venture to say it is the retailer who will provide the 3D printing services (and therefore the entity that will benefit) in the future. From a logistics standpoint it seems that this can be the only answer.
Wholeseller/manufacturer: it seems unlikely consumers will reach out to individual makers of each and everyone of their favorite lines of products.
Consumer: it is logistically difficult for consumers to have all the printing ingredients necessary to create every food/sweet they want.
In this sense the responsibility of creating the 3D printing will fall under the retailer, who will sell the customization services to the consumer on their stores, or online. Afterwards delivering the end-product.
Very interesting read Sophie!
I agree that data security will be an increasingly controversial topic, as machine learning and other technological innovations develop. It seems the answer to the issue lies in technology. New developments like block-chain encryption can help solve the most immediate problems, and further down the line, more sophisticated methods of data storage will prevent its theft.
Perhaps the more pressing question is how will citizens adapt to a landscape where privacy takes a new meaning. Today your private self is no longer who you are or what you do, but the parts of you that are not online. As consumers become increasingly aware of the scarcity of their private data I wonder how the internet landscape or our social structure will transform.
Acquisition or in-house is a choice that often troubles companies when developing new capabilities. Because leaders in the industry are usually not part of the company, I often lean to acquire knowledge rather than growing. I think this is particularly necessary in a rapidly changing industry such as machine learning, where the time to develop new in-house knowledge might have made the said in-house developments redundant.
Thank you Ulunma for a very interesting read.