Low Rider

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I love the applications in terms of reducing waste and improving late-stage production testing efficiencies. I think this could mean huge things for process improvement and cost-cutting in the beer industry. Where I struggle is with machine learning in product development – it is hard to believe that a machine can create complex/nuanced flavors in ways that humans will appreciate (with their perceptive palettes and discerning tastes). I think your question of art vs. science is very appropriate here. Would AI beer be fairly standardized and one-dimensional? I’d be interested to see what the computers came up with. This would also extend to food/drink industries more broadly – would the artistry of cooking be become obsolete after the age of machine learning?

It’s very interesting to see how Spotify combines several different machine learning strategies in order to produce customized-music playlists for its subscribers, and I think you did a good job at laying out their strategy and future plans in an organized way. One gripe I have had with Spotify is that I tend to listen to music playlists, such as classical and “deep focus,” while I’m reading or writing, in order to enable my concentration. Because of this, Spotify picks up on these habits and curates classical or ambient playlists for me in my Discover Weekly. I do listen to other music (i.e. that I like) with less frequency. I wonder how Spotify can pick up on some of these types of behaviors and filter through the “garbage in” inputs to make its music curation more effective ultimately.

On November 15, 2018, Low Rider commented on Adidas’s Race to be #1 in 3D Printing :

This is certainly a fascinating model of production for Adidas, which seems to have the potential to transform the entire sportswear and footwear industry. While the performance aspect may take time to prove out, there are huge potential improvements in the supply chain that can result in greater overall efficiency. Where this may be impactful is in the realm of sustainability. We saw that Nike used sustainability as a competitive advantage in our case on the World Cup – the Nike team found that sustainable products both served as a marketing tool and a product improvement point of differentiation. I wonder whether Adidas could leverage the benefits in carbon reduction (i.e. reduced transportation time/costs) as a point of differentiation that could increase sales.

I find this a fascinating application of 3D printing, and it makes a ton of sense. Distributed production/manufacturing (which is similar to distributed energy generation, which the Armed Forces also uses) seems like it will help increase dependability and safety of crucial parts delivery to people deployed in the field. One major issue I see is around the issue raised of obtaining intellectual property from defense contractors. I’d assume this would be a difficult feat given the fact that these companies rely on their IP as a relative advantage over their competitors. This issue made me think that we may see some new models of operation for the Armed Forces in the future – perhaps contractors embedded further within them?

As someone who is new to the blockchain world, I find it fascinating that we are considering blockchain as a part of the open innovation process for banks. While the financial sector seems to be more of a “status quo” industry, this article makes a compelling argument that banks should be receptive to these sorts of innovations, or prepare to be disrupted. I do wonder, based on what we’ve seen about the volatility of some of these blockchain/token companies, whether the technology will be “trusted” enough to be accepted and fully integrated into these large financial institutions and their processes.

On November 14, 2018, Low Rider commented on Block by Block: Harnessing Open Innovation at The LEGO Group :

I like the idea of open innovation with LEGO – especially since the product is so brilliant in its simplicity. Consumers are children; the beauty of the product is that children get to use their imaginations when playing with the toy. Instead of passively consuming media, they interact and develop. It’s funny to think that over-engineering happened with LEGO based on what the product itself is, so I think the open innovation move was quite smart from a marketing perspective. I would caution LEGO against moving too far from its roots – I think that open innovation is helpful in product development, but moving the toy/product to a digital platform may cause it to lose some of its essence. That is, the open innovation should be carefully managed by the product development teams.