Michael Glynn's Profile
Momo, thanks for a fascinating look into the national security and cyber world. One of the most important issues you hit on was the ability to attract and maintain individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary for the military to keep their IT systems and networks secure under increasing threats. There are several issues at work: first, the government is extremely limited in its ability to remunerate talented individuals due to legal restrictions. If an enlisted cyber warfare specialist can easily earn twice or three times the salary for fewer work hours, they had better have a compelling culture and mission to encourage them to stay in uniform. This brings up the issue of personnel management policy and managerial expertise. Many middle managers who supervise military cyber experts are significantly less experienced and tech savvy than their subordinates. The military has no ability to rapidly promote a hacker to their level of competence. Additionally, the U.S. military still prizes combat arms officers above others, meaning that often cyber warfare officers/managers are individuals who transferred into the community due to their inability to perform in their original war fighting role.
If DoD is intent on pacing the threat, it is crucial they update their personnel policies. To maintain a industrial age personnel management and promotion system in the information age is a recipe for obsolesce. In the case of military computer networks, obsolesce means vulnerability and defeat in battle; in other words, a situation that is unacceptable!
Like the previous poster, I question whether the Quirky business model makes sense to begin with. Do individuals submitting ideas have the same knowledge and capability to generate meaningful innovation as compared to industry experts. What if Quirky shifted from crowd sourcing ideas themselves to allowing large organizations to set up their own internal innovation efforts?
In 2012, the U.S. Navy stood up an organization known as the Chief of Naval Operations Rapid Innovation Cell. The “CRIC” allowed sailors to submit proposals and compete for funding for rapid prototypes of technology or processes that could improve maintenance, training, or operational effectiveness. The CRIC was eventually shut down due to bureaucratic competition, but not before it led to several advancements in cyber security, aviation, maintenance, and tactical systems. In the process, the CRIC leadership leaned heavily on innovation experts from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL).
Could Quirky pivot to help large corporations set up internal innovation cells to crowdsource ideas and monetize the expertise of the employees in a manner similar to how JHUAPL helped the Navy setup its innovation cell? Only time will tell. Until then, thanks for the great article!
Mark, thanks for a fascinating look into the high tech in the offshore sector. The scale and extremely demanding nature of the operational requirements for equipment operating in the deepwater extraction segment is always impressive. I’m curious if 3D printing also has potential to reduce inventories for spare parts and make fabrication of parts possible in remote environments. In 2014, the U.S. Navy began experimenting with 3D printers at aviation heavy maintenance depots to fabricate parts themselves to speed the repair of equipment. Would it be beneficial for installations in austere environments or ships underway to have the ability to fabricate parts themselves to make them less dependent on supply from shore? Or is the cost savings from reduced inventory and reduced down time too small to make the CAPEX in rolling out specialized 3D printing equipment worth the investment? Only time will tell. Nice work!
I was surprised as well at the small percentage of the market that clear aligners hold. Aside from the aesthetic appeal, it would seem that the product is superior to traditional fittings. I’m curious if there are specific factors that prevents orthodontists from switching from one method to another or whether the investment in manufacturing serves as a barrier to entry. Regardless, the technology seems to be an exciting option to bring brighter smiles to people all over the world. Nice work!
Chris, thanks for sharing this look into how data analysis is driving an improvement both in efficiency and profit for both operators and Rolls Royce themselves. Having spent nearly 1800 hours held aloft by jet turbines (the Rolls Royce Adour is near and dear to my heart), I can tell you that operators also put great stock in the safety and reliability of their motors. Monitoring engine performance in near real time helps both operators and manufacturers to detect the degradation of an engine and pull that engine off the wing before subtle vibrations can lead to fatigue or a catastrophic blade failure. These advancements drive not only the excellent safety record of modern engines, but also improve the economics of long-haul overwater flying for airlines, ultimately allowing consumers to fly for less money and reduce their carbon footprint by flying aboard more efficient two-engine jets rather than less efficiency four engine jets. Thanks for a look into this high-tech world!
GM, you raise interesting points regarding bias and the role of the developers of dating apps. Is the mission of these companies to deliver users an experience they enjoy and an outcome they want (i.e. a romantic connect and the perfect match), or to serve as a vehicle for social change? One area that is interesting to examine and think about is the role that product differentiation is playing in dating apps. Various apps such as Tinder or Bumble up-sell users to add on additional features to increase the chances of a match. Other services such as the League explicitly target higher net worth individuals. Are these differentiated or “higher end” dating apps leading to situations where individuals with similar educational levels and socio-economic situations end up together? If so, dating apps and the machine learning algorithms that drive them are contributing to increasing levels of of economic stratification. Might be an area for socially conscious app developers to target before they focus on re-programming users biases about what hair color or height they like.