Micah Smurthwaite

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On December 2, 2017, Micah Smurthwaite commented on Coca-Cola: Original formula in an IoT world :

Great points. It is early for IoT fleet management. It is currently succeeding in smaller organizations, and you’re right, it will probably need a couple of years to cross the chasm from early adopters to the majority. If you’re interested in the topic check out some of Samsara’s customer use cases: https://www.samsara.com/customers/cowgirl-creamery. https://www.samsara.com/customers

On December 1, 2017, Micah Smurthwaite commented on US Isolationism Takes Flight to Ground Bombardier :

Thank you for the thoughts. What is conspicuously missing from your assessment of Bombardier is that Canada offered over $3 billion in loans, equity infusions, grants, and tax credits to Bombardier. Bombardier was on the verge of bankruptcy two years ago before federal and provincial governments buried the company in bailout money. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2017/09/21/why-washington-is-certain-to-find-canadas-bombardier-guilty-of-trade-abuses-next-week/#1a0e3b6412d6). These subsidies allow Bombardier to sell its aircraft at artificially low prices.

This is not a case of American isolationism. This is a case of steep anti-subsidy duties protecting against Canada’s violations of the World Trade Organization standards.

The US is not the only country who sees this as unfair. At Brazil’s request, the World Trade Organization is now investigating Bombardier for violating WTO rules (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-29/wto-to-probe-canadian-jet-subsidies-in-new-blow-to-bombardier). I commend the US and Brazil for enforcing a level playing field in trade and preventing Bombardier and Canada from engaging in predatory practices.

On December 1, 2017, Micah Smurthwaite commented on Cleaning Up Cobalt: Who Is Responsible? :

Another HBS ’19 student considered the issue of child labor and cobalt mines (https://d3.harvard.edu/platform-rctom/submission/is-child-labour-the-only-way-forward-for-tesla/). Thank you both for bringing these issues forward. While only 6.5% of today’s cobalt production originates in North America (http://www.mining.com/web/elon-musks-worst-nightmare-child-labor-cobalt-supply/), I enjoy your proposal of moving operations to Canada. Hopefully this shift in global operations rebalances the pressures on child labor in the DRC.

On December 1, 2017, Micah Smurthwaite commented on Climate Change – A Tough Nut to Crack :

I agree that Famoso should work with growers, policy makers, and regulators to protect the land and their yields. They should also consider other locations conducive to almond trees (http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/top-almond-producing-countries.html) to diversify their production risks. As Fomoso expands operations, they can request government subsidies from new growth regions, lower their production costs, and make a hedge against draughts, fires, and climate change in California.

On December 1, 2017, Micah Smurthwaite commented on Campbell’s Climate Challenge: Preserving An Iconic American Food Brand :

I’m not sure if consumers of Campbell’s traditional product lines will absorb these sustainability costs, but consider Campbell’s recent acquisitions (https://www.crunchbase.com/search/acquisitions/field/organizations/num_acquisitions/campbell-soup-company). Organic brands are winning market share from incumbents, and become targets for legacy CPG companies like Campbell’s. Campbell’s operating model is to allow recent acquisitions to continue operations independently. When brands like Plum Organics retail at higher rates than competitors, the costs are passed along to the consumer who is willing to pay a premium for a sustainability-focused organization (https://www.plumorganics.com/faqs/packaging-sustainability).

On December 1, 2017, Micah Smurthwaite commented on Sorry CVS, Maybe I’ll Ask Alexa? :

I like Bismah’s view on this. As the threat of Amazon looms to extend their reach into healthcare, the Aetna and CVS merger is a defensive alliance (https://www.thestreet.com/story/14408606/1/on-the-eve-of-cvs-aetna-deal-all-eyes-are-on-amazon.html). It’s a strategic move that has the humility to admit Amazon could enter and win the market. The alliance lacks the hubris of Walgreen’s CEO, “They [Amazon] will not come in an industry so complicated as our industry,” (http://www.businessinsider.com/walgreens-ceo-on-amazon-in-healthcare-2017-11). Amazon’s deep pockets of $22 billion (https://www.geekwire.com/2017/256-billion-apple-cash-amazon-microsoft-google-combined/), and distribution network, make them a threat to CVS and they have the foresight to defend against the internet giant.

On December 1, 2017, Micah Smurthwaite commented on Equifax – lessons to be learned about online security :

Equifax certainly had a Web Application Firewall. Every WAF comes with the OWASP ModSecurity core ruleset (https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Category:OWASP_ModSecurity_Core_Rule_Set_Project) to protect against the top 10 most common vulnerabilities (e.g. SQL injection, XSS scripting, etc…). The challenge is WAF ruleset management. Every open-source HTTP server, whether it is Apache or Nginx, will have CVEs (http://nginx.org/en/security_advisories.html). Updating a WAF with rules to defend against new vulnerabilities requires multiple updates for an on-premise WAF box. Enter the power of the cloud. A cloud-based WAF can update these new rules immediately, on the operators behalf. For this reason legacy organizations, like Equifax, should layer on a cloud-based WAF with their on-prem equipment. Barracuda, a WAF vendor, sold to PE firm Thoma Bravo on November 27 (http://www.zdnet.com/article/barracuda-networks-is-sold-to-thoma-bravo-for-1-6-billion/) because on-premise boxes are the past, not the future. The lesson to me here isn’t a lack of proper equipment, it’s a lesson on time to remediation. Remediation times drag with on-premise equipment. The future is not on-premise, it’s in the cloud.