Marius Westhoff

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Thanks a lot for sharing the article – I really enjoyed the read. Coming to your question on whether large corporations should even bother about innovating or whether small startups and small companies should do the job – I believe that in order to stay relevant in the long-run and in order to avoid large multiples for acquisitions, a do-it-yourself strategy makes more sense. Large conglomerates, like GE, need to create space for innovation and allow their teams to make mistakes in order to create room for innovation. Internal innovation funds can help create resources for innovative ideas. Giving workers dedicated hours to look at moonshot projects and how to integrate AI into the overall strategy can allow companies to strive and prevent them from overpaying for innovative startups.

On November 14, 2018, Marius Westhoff commented on Salesforce and the Machine (Learning Revolution) :

Thanks a lot for sharing this article – Salesforce is in many ways on the forefront of innovation in the CRM space and the way we interact with customers and reading about their efforts to incorporate ML technologies is an exciting one. Coming to your questions:

First, what should Salesforce establish as the goal of their research departments moving forward-incremental improvements or great leaps forward?

I believe these goals are not necessarily mutually exclusive – The goal-setting should be aspirational i.e. focus on significant revenue opportunities or product improvements, however, certain findings from a ML perspective might be incremental, others may change the product works in the backend entirely. I feel it is critical to give developers enough freedom to think out of the box, so encouraging to look for bigger solutions makes sense.

Second, can a bet on developing innovative predictive solutions be consistently successful for year after year?

No, I don’t believe that the bet will reward them every year – there will be years in which no significant improvements will be made and there will be years in which multiple significant improvements will be made. As long as the core business and the core operations of Salesforce provides sufficient cash to fund these experiments, there shouldn’t be an issue however!

Thanks again for sharing!

On November 14, 2018, Marius Westhoff commented on Machine Learning at Emirates Airlines :

Thanks a lot for sharing this article – Really like the practical view on ML in aviation and I’ll come straight to your question:

Yes, I do believe Emirates competitive advantage will eventually lie in executing on the research findings that the University of Oxford Lab provides. Being close to the researchers and showing this strong commitment to Artificial Intelligence in Aviation shows the significance of this technology to Emirates. Other airlines may not have the technology on their radar and may not consider it as relevant, therefore, Emirates can use the closeness to the researchers and their findings along with the actual applications in the industry in order to get a first-mover advantage on certain applications.

On top of that, there might be opportunities for Emirates to co-own some of the patents that come out of the research, considering the investments that Emirates provides to the University.

On November 14, 2018, Marius Westhoff commented on Open Research: Advancing Innovation in Public Health :

Thanks a lot for sharing the article. I agree with you in many ways – innovation cannot happen in silos and the most innovative solutions are often team efforts. Having said that, you pointed out the clear deal-breakers for open innovation to happen: Incentives of researchers. The core that needs to be looked at is – how do we incentive our researchers beyond exclusive publications? One way the Gates Foundation could do this is to give credits to publishers/ researchers whose articles are most clicked and most-read, rather than “cited” – that could be a new way to measure the importance of a specific research finding. Rather than relying on citations, new technologies and especially the fact that most research is assessed online can help measure the time individuals spent on articles, which could be used as an indicator of its relevance (similar to how YouTube rankings work or similar to how news-websites optimize their article-positioning).

Coming to your question, I believe that the person who gets the patent first should receive the royalties as the patent requires an overall thought-process and not just a small contribution to a larger problem.

On November 14, 2018, Marius Westhoff commented on The Perfect Fit? Adidas Sprints Ahead with 3D Printing :

Thanks a lot for sharing this – I would agree with Marybeth’s concern:
What makes the Adidas shoe superior? Why would I buy it? Considering the current scale of the production, it does not seem to offer any cost-saving opportunities. Unless cost-savings in production can be achieved, there’s only one way to make a profit: Increase price!
The increased price, however, requires a great value proposition for the consumer, and that’s where I am currently struggling a bit – I am not clear how the 3D printed shoe is better or superior than its traditionally manufactured counterparts. Considering this a major new product line for Adidas, they should think through the market entry strategy.
To AW’s comment – I agree that being the first mover can be an advantage, however, for that to be successful a good value add for the consumer needs to be created/ a strong painpoint needs to be address i.e. in case of UBER transportation.

On November 14, 2018, Marius Westhoff commented on Open innovation: Virgin Hyperloop One’s Global Challenge :

Thanks for sharing this article… Quite interesting and never had heard of crowdsourcing the business model of an initiative… Coming to your questions, I think the VHO team should try to engage the winning teams through consulting and research projects – especially in new geographies, where the VHO team is less knowledgable about buying powers and decision making processes, local support can help significantly in redefining the market-entry strategy. Additionally, in the long-run, hackatons can support technical issues and help solve certain smaller issues, however, I disagree to the point that I am not convinced that crowdsourcing technical issues can solve major problems – given that the hyper loop technology is extremely new, the team should try to engage consultants of employees full-time to work on the technology aspect. I doubt that there’s sufficient specialized talent in the market to support them on a hackaton basis.

On November 14, 2018, Marius Westhoff commented on How Additive Manufacturing Can Unlock Boeings Biggest Challenges :

Love the article and the way you thought about beyond the obvious manufacturing usage of the 3-D printing technology towards leveraging it in the overall supply chain of the business. I am still struggling to understand, however, what exact use cases can be there in the supply chain. While I do see the huge advantages of 3D printing in product development, agile development and faster iterations, I am not entirely clear on the usage in the supply process…I found this article interesting to look at it from a different perspective: