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On December 1, 2017, MGiampapa commented on Digitalization and the Death of a (Real Estate) Salesman :

Great article! While I would agree that paying a broker 6% on a large transaction (like buying a home) is expensive and ripe for disruption, I’m not convinced that Opendoor is the right solution to this problem. Opendoor’s economic model is based on the speed in which they are able to flip homes. After the housing collapse, we saw various institutions starting to buy large swaths of residential real estate at large discounts, in order to cash in when the market corrected. Given the recovery in the housing market, Opendoor is no longer able to purchase homes at such a discount, leaving the margin for error very small. While Opendoor does provide value to the consumer (certainty and speed of closure), I don’t think homeowners are typically willing to pay higher fees for this service in most cases.

On December 1, 2017, MGiampapa commented on BP: Blockchain Petroleum? :

Great article! It’s encouraging to see large corporations (not just start-ups) starting to make investments in blockchain technologies. In the long-run, I wonder how much of the benefits of such investments will accrue to the early adopters vs. the industry as a whole. Becuase blockchain is a distributed ledger system, various parties need to participate in order for the system to work as designed. I could imagine a scenario where BP pushes the adoption of blockchain across the oil & gas industry, but this does not provide a competitive advantage for BP in the long-run. Are there ways for BP to implement this system to capture more of the positive externalities blockchain tech offers?

On December 1, 2017, MGiampapa commented on Blue Bottle Coffee: Riding the “Third Wave” :

Great article! Even with the work Nestle/Blue Bottle is doing on the sustainability front, I’m still very concerned how vulnerable they are to the effects of climate change. Given the increased frequency and severity of natural disasters, especially in coffee-growing regions, supply and price of coffee beans are increasingly unpredictable. I see this as an opportunity for Blue Bottle, as a disruptor to the established coffee landscape. Blue Bottle can support and invest in alternative growing processes, which could serve as a strong competitive advantage over the long-run.

On December 1, 2017, MGiampapa commented on Nissan after Brexit: Driving Manufacturing out of the UK? :

Great article! I’d be interested to know if other car manufacturers will be affected by Brexit to this extent. To the extent there are several, they could form a consortium to have increased leverage against the UK government for subsidization. However, this is not a short-term solution. The benefits of investing in the local supply base are probably reaped over the long-term. How does Nissan continue to compete on price in the short- to medium-term?

On December 1, 2017, MGiampapa commented on Apple Inc. – Powered by 100% Renewable Energy :

Great article! It seems to me that Apple could be doing much more around sustainability, if this was really a top priority for the firm. One potential reason for this is the tension between Apple’s operating goals and its sustainability goals. A large portion of Apple’s growth has been coming from emerging markets, where consumers are more price sensitive than the developed world. Apple has been working hard to reduce the cost of manufacturing of its products in order to better serve these regions. The onus of Apple’s sustainability initiatives, which it conveniently transfers to its supply chain, would increase costs, at least in the medium-term. With over $250 billion of cash on Apple’s balance sheet, they may think to start deploying some of that capital to help the entire supply chain be more environmentally friendly.

On December 1, 2017, MGiampapa commented on The impact of Brexit on Kerry Group :

Great article. It’s fascinating to see a hard example of how the Brexit decision is affecting companies in Ireland/UK. A key decision for Kerry management is just how much these additional costs should be passed on to the consumer or rather should be absorbed in their own cost structure for a period of time. Depending on the elasticity of demand, consumers willingness-to-pay, and Kerry’s competitive positioning, it may be more advantageous for Kerry to take a hit on margins in the short-run, rather than losing customers in the long-run due to higher prices.