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On November 20, 2016, Ludwig commented on The Failed Launch Of :

Thanks for sharing such an insightful post on a relevant topic. I am surprised that any website made in 2010 have the problems you mentioned, even if made by the government. Every web developer should know that capacity planning and designing for key user journeys are among the most important aspects of creating a successful site. I am certain that Google or even a “random” startup in Silicon Valley could’ve done a better job in less time, especially given $1.7B for a single webservice.

As you mentioned. There is a big difference between private companies, for which every minute of downtime means lost revenue, and the government. People waiting online to sign up for the healthcare act does not, apart from bad reputation, have a direct impact on the people responsible for launching the site. Yet, these failures costs a lot for society, with all the manhours spent waiting online.

In your Key Takeaways, you also mentioned that the government should create a new office for technology products. Yet the separation or investment by itself does not guarantee better products. The Government faces the same challenge in attracting talent that a company like Google does. Good talent means good products, and what top engineering or design talent wants to work for the Government?

Again, very interesting post. Thanks for sharing!

On November 20, 2016, Ludwig commented on Samsung, connecting your everyday life. :

Thanks Jaydn for sharing another insightful Samsung post! These solutions would touch upon so many parts of our lives, so it was a very intriguing read. I am impressed that Samsung choses to make the big R&D investment based solely on projected future growth of IoT.

I wonder how quickly their investments will pay off. How many people will actually go out and buy a “connected home”? To Taka’s point, is it something that consumers will actually understand? When consumers don’t understand a value proposition, they will not pull out their wallets and pay for it. Today, even the most basic home monitoring kit costs $249 to buy (, so quite pricey. I am curious to see how Samsung plans to go to market with these solutions in the U.S.

Furthermore, it seems that the big opportunity for IoT isn’t in connecting the Home. While McKinsey projects the IoT market to become worth $4 to $11 trillion in 2025, the Home is “only” $0.2 to $0.3 trillion of that.

Again, very interesting read. I look forward to retiring with these solutions in place, in 40 years.

Thank you for sharing such an impactful story. The ability to collect taxes will be huge in helping India to create infrastructure and solve poverty.

You mention the overall market growth for mobile wallets. However, on a population basis, I read that 28% don’t own a phone, and that less than 5% of the Indian population pay income taxes ( To me, this suggests that the country is not quite ready to become cashless. Do you think the government could combat the black market without striking against the poor? Perhaps India’s government could restructure their income tax brackets and put a 0% income tax on the 75% that earn below $78 per month (See link above). Also, in implementing a cashless and thus taxable society, do you think the Government could and should subsidize smartphones for those without?

Again, very interesting post! Let me know what you think.

On November 19, 2016, Ludwig commented on Talking Trash :

Wow! This is another great example of how technology can be used to cut costs and tap into the shared economy. By making the service request cost so upfront and dynamic, I wonder if they also incite businesses to become more efficient with how they order trash pickup. For example, a business may chose to be part of a “trash pool,” where common pick-up happens on a given day of the week.

Looking at Rubicon’s next steps, do you think they are taking the right ones? Is improving cost enough? I would investigate the value of expanding their customer base from businesses to apartment buildings and home owners. Also, after visiting their website, I was disappointed to see they are unable to service my former employer’s address in Sweden. They should seriously consider working on Europe before Rocket Internet takes their business. It’s such a great opportunity!

On November 19, 2016, Ludwig commented on FedEx – the next big Challenge :

Thank you for sharing such an interesting post. SenseAware seems to present a big advantage where time and product quality is of the essence, aligning with FedEx’s customer promise. I am curious to see the opportunity size here. I.e. they are investing $400M per year, but what’s the value added? Do they expect SenseAware plus IT security to pay off immediately through higher pricing, or is this an investment that can only be paid back over time through added brand value? Or only in combination with other innovation that will make the impact noticeable?

Another thought is the extent to which they intend to share the detailed analytics with customers, versus using it only to improve company operations. To Ryan’s point, I can imagine that some customers would be willing to pay extra for such transparency. As a future service, if a customer’s package has a detailed ETA of say, 27 hours, that customer could pay extra to reduce the time in real-time. FedEx might then ship their package from the nearest mailing center by sending a drone at midnight, instead of waiting for the morning mail truck.

Curious to hear what you think!

On November 7, 2016, Ludwig commented on Samsung C&T Corporation : Reducing Environmental Impact :

Hi Jaydn,

Thank you for sharing such a thoughtful post from an insider’s perspective. I agree with your point that Samsung C&T needs to integrate with the rest of the company. Samsung is at the forefront of developing many technologies, so I was interested to see what they are looking at in terms of engineering R&D. Any energy company can build and install solar panels, but only an integrated Samsung can develop the most efficient ones.

For example, I found an interesting page showcasing their research on next generation batteries, “quantum dot” solar cells, and OLED displays.

To solve the sustainability problem we need a revolution. Do you think Samsung is a company that can make it happen? How does Samsung stack up against current fusion research, Tesla and Google in terms of solving the biggest innovative problems?

On November 7, 2016, Ludwig commented on To boycott or not to boycott Nutella :

Hi Jolynn,

Thank you for sharing such a thoughtful article on Nutella and palm oil. Your idea of using technology to track the risk of supply looks promising. However, I am worried that in the wrong hands, such a tool may help to silence critics while working against certified palm oil producers. A profit seeking executive at Nutella could use it forecast available supply and put price pressure on suppliers in case they see enough certified supply in the near term.

The difference between IKEA and Nutella is that IKEA is the face of the industry, whereas palm oil is used in fast food, packaged food, personal care products etc. There are many players that would have to cooperate to make the game fair. Without such a cooperation, any investment outside Nutella’s own supply chain is a drop in the bucket without benefits.

Thankfully, there are some organizations rallying for sustainable palm oil on behalf of all companies. Here is one that keeps a scorecard on the commitment of each brand:

On November 7, 2016, Ludwig commented on Monsanto – Facing a Wicked Problem or a Major Opportunity? :

Hi Laura,
Thank you for sharing such a relevant post about one of the most affected industries. You are being very nice and diplomatic thinking that a company described as “the world’s most evil corporation” would chose to increase goodwill with farmers at the expense of their bottom line. Farmers may actually have very little power over Monsanto. Unless Monsanto’s customers manage to organize against their supplier at scale, they will be crushed by Monsanto and other GMO competitors. We’ve seen that one of the few ways farmers can fight back has been through court (Organic Farmers vs. Monsanto, 2013). To what extent would the steps you suggested prevent future court cases? How would yield-based pricing benefit Monsanto?

As you mentioned, Monsanto looks to be in prime position to take advantage of the climate crisis, especially after the merger. So from the company perspective, shouldn’t Monsanto just invest in good lawyers?

Note: This comment do not reflect what I believe in as a person. I am taking the point of view of an evil profit-seeking corporation.

Hi Ayhan,
Thank you for writing such an interesting post on a relevant company. With regards to your recommendation, I am curious about the concrete actions that Uber can take to drive both sustainability and the bottom-line. “Innovate” is a fluffy concept. Do you have a plan? Some concrete sustainability ideas that I came up with make little sense from a profitability perspective. For example,

1. Restricting supply to environmentally friendly cars => Less supply => More expensive rides => Fewer customers => Less revenue
2. UberPool exists already. What else can they do?
3. Sponsor electric cars => Direct expense for Uber => Really net positive in terms of brand and appeal??

Uber relies on whatever cars people have, so as people buy eco-friendly cars Uber will become eco-friendly as well. Do you have any ROI positive steps that Uber can take to speed up the transition?

On November 6, 2016, Ludwig commented on A Coffee-less world :

Hi Krishna,
Thank you for publishing such a thoughtful and relevant post. While the world might be a better place without caffeine addiction, I do sympathize with deadline meeting students and the Starbucks corporation. I have a two critiques of your argument that you may be able to address.

1. On the “climate change” section of their website, Starbucks addresses the greater CO2 issue and their actions to combat global warming itself. The issue of reduced coffee sourcing is due to global warming, so if you solve global warming, you solve the coffee sourcing issue. Should they prioritize talking about and preventing the cause, or reduce the damage from the effect?

2. Robusta coffee has its taste described as “burnt tires” by Do you think switching from a sensitive Arabica bean to more sturdy beans will have consequences for the quality of their coffee?