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On November 20, 2016, Marcelo commented on The New York Times in the digitalization era :

Great post, Bernardita. As I understand that the trends you mentioned are similar across the industry, they certainly affect certain players more than others. The NYT is still a reference in terms of news reporting, content creation and opinion-making and the challenge is how to monetize this asset in the digital world. Newspapers all over the world that did not have the same content creation capabilities and were simply replicators of content will have substantially more difficulties in this digital age.

There is also the fact that the relevance of US news is very high worldwide, which might help monetize the content. For international newspapers, the strength of the local market will play an important role in surviving the digital age.

On November 20, 2016, Marcelo commented on Macy’s in the Digital Age :

This is a very interesting post, BM. Digitization in brick-and-mortar stores are a real challenge and it seems that its effect on increasing profitability is still unclear but Macy’s is very focused on using it to solve its own operating problems. Inventory has been a major problem for the retailer and it seems that adding RFID will greatly help them control overall inventory and free up cash. Beacons also seem a very effective way to make the customer interact more with the physical store and encourages it to explore further the different departments, similar to what Pokemon Go does to cities.

The question still remains if it’s enough to fight against Amazon and other smaller retailers as they transform the customer experience.

On November 20, 2016, Marcelo commented on GameStop in the Age of Digital Distribution :

Thank you JS for the text. It is always interesting to see when digitization profoundly changes an industry and puts long lasting industry leaders in a very uncomfortable position. Being from Brazil, every time I was in the US, my first stop was always Gamestop to buy the latest games since import taxes prevented me to do it domestically. However, since the advent of Steam, Xbox Marketplace and PS Store, prices have gone down and digital distribution became the norm. IT not only affected domestic customers, but digitization also completely changed the way gaming companies build relationship with customers overseas.

On November 20, 2016, Marcelo commented on The Changing Face of Makeup Purchases :

Thank you, M. This was a very interesting read. Augmented reality initiatives have a great number of applications, especially as the integration between digital and physical becomes more seamless and believable.

My biggest concern regarding this initiative is how can Sephora stay competitive if it creates incentives for the customer to interact less with its physical outlets and this pushes it to use online channels such as Amazon, etc? The biggest value proposition of Sephora is its service team, working with clients to find them the best color, the best eyeliner, etc, helping them choose what looks best on them. If they just need an app to do it, they might look for other channels.

On November 20, 2016, Marcelo commented on Just one more mile to go… :

Thank you, Ricardo. This is very interesting. It is very interesting to see it as an integration between current delivery models and disruptive technologies that will change the market. Using automobiles as drone launching pads might be very effective in reducing overall costs for deliveries since you can leverage automobiles when they are the most efficient, at mid-range distances, and leverage drones for individual deliveries, leaving products at your doorstep in record time and thus freeing up the driver’s time, which can reduce overall cycle time.

This makes me think about other transitional technologies, such as hybrid cars. As electrification is a non-stop trend, current internal combustion technology can be useful to optimize motor efficiency while increasing range, taking the best of both worlds.

On November 6, 2016, Marcelo commented on How Can Climate Change Dramatically Change Your Mornings? :

Thank you ecanabarro, this was very interesting. I would like to challenge your post in terms of how do you believe Starbucks strategy is related to the problem of reducing yields in coffee crops. Do you believe that Starbucks is following the right path or it could focus more of its resources in trying to work with coffee producers in order to increase yields in affected areas?

On November 6, 2016, Marcelo commented on The Death of the Gas Station? :

Very Interesting article, Garet. Thinking about Gas Stations and their future role, they might shift to something different, but I would dare to say they will still have a place in our day to day lives. Gas Stations have become places of convenience purchases, of car servicing and stops during long road travels. Electric vehicles do not worry me, just the contrary. The fastest charging technology that we have so far is capable of chargin 80% of the battery in 20 minutes. This means an increase in time spent charging the vehicle by 10x. I believe this might increase flow at convenience stores and average ticket.

Hybrid card can be disruptive however. They require less servicing, they last longer and, the most important, they consume way less fuel, requiring less stops at Gas Stations. Toyota Prius for example can drive for 700 miles without stopping on a single tank. This means that a normal commuter would only stop at a Gas Station one time per month, to fill an average size tank.

On November 6, 2016, Marcelo commented on Challenges: Old and New :

Thank you Ricard, I really enjoyed reading your post. One of the things that I thought while reading was the importance of logistics and transportation in the overall price/value of food grains. Grains require dedicated ports, ships, cargo trains and trucks in order to be transported from the producer to the final consumer or processing plant. The need for special capital goods for transportation and the overall weight and volume of grains relative to its price is one of the biggest constraints in terms of increasing economically viability of grains in further regions. By sustainability actions, Cargill might be successful in reducing the share of transportation in the cost of the grain and make it viable a ibber share of the world’s population.

On November 6, 2016, Marcelo commented on Dollar Menu in Danger :

Thank you, siyer for the very interesting perspectives on Burgers. In terms of climate change, one of the things that I believe adds to your point is the impact of livestock in global Methane emissions. Livestock is one of the current ongoing concerns regarding Greenhouse emissions because Methane is 23 times more destructive than CO2 and we currently have 1.5bn animals being raised around the world for agriculture purposes. How to deal with that problem is one of the questions that should be a major concern for fast-food chains with a global footprint such as McDonald’s, as it is one we’ll have to deal with eventually.

On November 6, 2016, Marcelo commented on Negotiating your own demise :

Thank you RM, this was very interesting to read. I would say that the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Saudi Aramco is one of the strongest private-public relationships in modern days and I believe that as Saudi Arabia begin reforms in terms of how to better utilize its mineral resources to create a welfare state, I also believe the role of Saudi Aramco will be renewed. And a drastic change in terms of energy profile is very unlikely due to the importance of oil to Saudi Arabia’s economy as you mentioned and would be irresponsible since the technology is still very concentrated in a few countries and as its efficiency is still to be scaled up.

On November 6, 2016, Marcelo commented on Dragons in the Sky – somewhere between Sao Paulo and Rio :

Interesting post, Sharp Boy. From a technological point of view, the commercial airplane is one of the few technologies that has survived the past 50 years without a technology disruption, it reminds me of the telephone before the mobile phone revolution and the car as it stil stands today very similar to its original conception. Innovation is still incremental an improvements are marginal. The thing that strikes me the most is the more we only have marginal improvements, the closer we are to disruption point and I sincerely believe that it will probably come in terms of new propulsion technology that will limit the use of fuels and drastically reduce its carbon footprint. One of the answers might be with Hyperloop, that has recently passed its proof of concept stage.

Thank you, your point of you on this topic is refreshing. To add the the discussion, I believe there are two biggest next steps to this matter: first, it’s how fast this new possibility can be introduced to current bulk carriers standard shipping routes. Normally, to fully develop port infrastructure and to reduce freight costs to economically viable, carriers need to include the route in its scheduling which is a large investment from their point of view. With that, overall cost for companies are largely reduce since ships became more heavily utilized. Second, it would be interesting to see what kind of impact this could have in terms of the commodities market. Canada, Russia, USA and Northern Europe as strong producers of oil and minerals and having this route could eventually re-balance the market.