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I think that this is a fascinating topic, and one that really demonstrates how to add value across an entire supply chain. I disagree with a couple of the posts above that this model could result in a cannibalization of sales. I think that customers who choose to go out to dinner and those who would like a quick, late-night buffet are fundamentally different in terms of their preferences, and that this model attracts customers who would not have otherwise chosen to go out to eat. Furthermore, I think that this model definitely lends itself to expansion. I know that supermarkets have already made inroads into selling excess food at significant discounts, but I would expect a much wider use of this model across the food and beverage industry would be possible.

Really interesting topic, Katsu, and one that demonstrates just how great a range of industries can seize on opportunities offered through digital transformation. The funeral industry is one in which there is a great deal of information asymmetry between the provider and the customer, and the system you describe creates incredible value for both parties. I think that perhaps the greatest value this platform offers is the ability for a customer to view prices in real time across competitors in an industry that is traditionally based on more personal relationships. I do think that the issue of “monetizing religion” is one that is potentially thorny, and I wonder how well this model could expand into other countries where the role of religion in society may vary.

Interesting article with some great applications of the topics we have been discussing in class. I think I was struck most the reduction in variability throughout the architectural ‘supply chain’ through greater information sharing on the CATIA platform. Allowing the early involvement of contractors in the design process and access to a common base model is a fascinating use of digital technology to reduce variability in an operations process, and I agree with Tom that the applications of CATIA to other industries heavily reliant on complex designs is significant. I also liked your recommendation to expand the platform to include raw material sourcing as a way of further increasing the flow of information across the platform. I think that other areas of improvement could include a meeting/facetime platform as well in order to offer contractors and designers the opportunity to engage in real-time collaboration through the same portal.


Great post, and, like many of the commenters above, I am skeptical about the long-term profitability of brick and mortar bookstores for Amazon. I do think that it is an interesting strategy from a marketing standpoint, and I liked your reference to “bookstores as billboards” which I think might be the real value-add for Amazon in this space. If the company uses bookstores as a means to push more consumers into the kindle funnel, then it may make sense for the physical stores to operate as a loss. The idea of “digital fatigue” is also interesting, and I wonder if it does indicate a revitalization of the physical bookstore in future years.

On November 7, 2016, MattM commented on How Vail Resorts Plans to Weather the Storm of Climate Change :

Great post, and I’ll admit, I had no idea it was the ski resorts that invented cloud seeding. Very interesting fact. I am concerned however that geographic diversification is only a short term plug on a very real long-term problem for the ski industry. I agree that Vail’s strategy is far ahead of its competitors, but I wonder if they need to be more aggressive with their diversification. One area of interest might include helicopter skiing, which allows resorts to service terrain that cannot be serviced through traditional lifts. As snowfall becomes increasingly erratic, companies like Vail may have to expand the scope of their offerings in such a way.

This is a good synopsis of some of the negative impacts of climate change on marine life as well as the tourism and fishing industries that are dependent on a robust marine ecosystem. I think that it is unlikely to be too late to arrest some of the negative impacts, but certainly more action is needed then simply boycotting unsustainable corporations. I think that working through local and national government agencies as well as international agencies is essential in combating what is truly a global concern. A good example of positive initiatives within this space is the state of Florida, which has implemented fairly substantial reef-management plans in recent years. Measures include beefed up regulatory frameworks, marine zoning plans that improve reef resilience, and outreach efforts that support climate-change specific lobbying efforts with real-time data outlining the impacts of warming temperatures on habitats (see I think it will be necessary in the coming years to establish broad coalitions committed to similar measures across international reef systems in order to see meaningful change in coral degradation.

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

Very interesting and very worrying article! The thought that coffee may be only a memory in coming years is a tough pill to swallow. I think that you capture the threats that the industry faces and Starbucks initiatives very well, and I like the idea of using the economic weight of the company to positively impact growers while nudging consumers to adopt more sustainable habits. I also wonder if Starbucks could partner with other companies affected by the impacts of climate change to place pressure on the governments and international agencies to enact meaningful legislation to combat the drivers of climate change and provide support to farmers.

On November 6, 2016, MattM commented on Boeing and the move to low-emissions aircraft :

Great article, and I agree that a push toward more sustainable aircraft is a key strategic pillar for the airline industry writ large. I do think that there are other factors companies like Boeing could take a look at as well. One would be to work with the FAA and ICAO to develop a more efficient aircraft routing system which would shave thousands of hours of flight time off of Boeing’s schedule each day. Currently, air traffic control is a relatively inefficient system that does not make full use of GPS systems in routing aircraft, relying heavily on ground-based beacons. Reform of this system would require heavy investment, but I think it’s a necessary step.

I am also skeptical that there is much room to see drastic emission improvements in current jet engine technology. While aircraft are becoming lighter and more fuel efficient, the improvements are largely incremental and we have not seen breakthrough advances in quite some time (for instance, the 787 saw only a 15% increase in fuel efficiency, and we are a long way away from a successor to this version). I think an area to explore is in breakthrough sustainable technologies, such as lighter-than-air aircraft and solar powered aircraft. While these are far from being commercially viable at this time, I think that long-term solutions will require integration of these technologies in order to significantly curb emissions.

On November 6, 2016, MattM commented on The US Navy: Are the Oceans Reaching a Boiling Point? :

Fascinating topic, and certainly an issue in which the Navy is taking a leading role vis-a-vis the other services. However, like Tom, I tend to be largely skeptical of the Navy’s current efforts to build a more sustainable fleet. Sustainability seems to be very much an afterthought and implemented in somewhat piecemeal operational improvements rather than in a fundamental, bottom-up manner through the defense procurement process. Chris and Tom are absolutely right in their assessment that changes in this area will require deep coordination between the US Government and defense contractors in developing sustainable Naval equipment, and I think that resolution here is many years in the distance.

I think that the most interesting issue here is the breadth of strategic challenges that the Navy faces as a result of retreating arctic ice. There has been a ton of literature surfacing on this issue, and CSIS in London ran a piece a couple of years ago that I found to be a good overview of some of the long-term implications if you’re interested: