Mike Helou

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On November 20, 2016, Mike Helou commented on Wimbledon: Technology Meets Tradition :

This is really cool Nicole – I’ve been fascinated by the Hawkeye technology the last few years. I think it’s the most accurate and simple review in all of sports. I’m similarly skeptical as the comments above about using facial recognition software to better connect with tennis fans. I’m more curious as to how technology can be applied to give recreational tennis players a greater connection to the game when they’re practicing. It would be cool to see AR/VR technology applied to tennis training, so that players could see how their serve compared to Federer’s serves during Wimbledon. Don’t have the vision fully fleshed out, but I can imagine some cool technologies springing up in the next 5-10 years that try to engage players while they’re on the court and keep fans excited during tournament offseason

On November 20, 2016, Mike Helou commented on Comcast combats cord-cutting :

Interesting stuff Lena. Do you think Comcast and other CableCos will be able to fend off cord cutters going forward? It seems like in the long-run, consumers will be successful in pressuring providers for more and more unbundled service. The Triple Play packages are becoming more obsolete for our generation who cannot conceive of the need for a landline. I think CableCos are going to see increasing downward pricing pressure as consumers choose between subscribing to Netflix and HBOGo for ~$20 total per month versus springing for the $100 cable package. The one defensible advantage CableCos have is live programming, specifically sports and special events (I think NBC’s biggest viewing totals last year came from Sunday night NFL games and their live production of Sound of Music with Carrie Underwood). It will be interesting to see if the CableCos try to increase the amount/value of live content, since this is the one area that content producers can’t easily disrupt

On November 20, 2016, Mike Helou commented on The NFL Goes Digital :

Sorry to hear about the bears fandom Billy. One thing that strikes me regarding the NFL and digitization is how short-sighted the NFL is about viewing rights. Contra to the NBA, the NFL restricts the content that users can share on social media. They are very strict about shutting down users that tweet or post videos, highlights, and even team logos without express use. This restriction applies to teams as well – the Eagles and Browns poked fun at this earlier in the year by tweeting out fake highlights (http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/17808784/teams-poke-fun-nfl-tweet-fake-highlights)

The NBA, on the other hand, encourages the sharing of highlights and vines,resulting in great plays shared online as soon as they happen. I think this helps the league spread their product to as wide an audience as possible, and I feel the NFL is limiting its future growth by being so strict with their content

On November 20, 2016, Mike Helou commented on The startup trying to save a media dinosaur :

This is an interesting idea, but I have the same concerns as Sheila regarding the impact this would have on large publications. If consumers can choose articles a la carte they’d have no real reason to pay for an annual subscription. I think this would likely accelerate the decline of these traditional news sources and writers/desks that don’t produce sufficient article purchases would be shut down (I’m imagining some of the less popular sections of the NYT). It’s also interesting that there doesn’t seem to be much pushback from the papers themselves. Cable companies have lobbied hard against unbundling TV packages, knowing that if viewers could choose channels a la carte, the long tail of networks wouldn’t generate enough revenue to continue business. I wonder if large publications will band together at some point to try to limit the unbundling of their content

Interesting stuff Rob – I’ve really enjoyed following the rise of SportVU over the last five years or so. It’s pretty mind-blowing that you can translate a fluid game like basketball into readily-analyzable data on the position and movement of each player on the court. I’m most interested to see how analytics on the defensive side of the ball evolve over the next decade. It seems much less straightforward as to how analysts will assess the performance of a defensive player, given how much great defenses hinge on scheme and communication. I personally think teams may be undervaluing defensive players that don’t fit into a recognizable archetype, and may be an opportunity for smart GMs to nab some players on the cheap. The Thunder have been stashing flexible defensive players like Roberson and Grant with the thinking that offensive impact is easier to coach up than defensive proficiency. Perhaps one day undersized two-guards from the Patriot League will get the defensive acclaim they deserve.

On November 6, 2016, Mike Helou commented on Thanks To Climate Change, The World Is Not Your Oyster :

This is really interesting, and to a big oyster fan like myself, pretty troubling. Have any oyster companies tried to create wholly artificial farms? It sounds like Island Creeks’ Duxbury hatchery is still susceptible to increasing acidity and other changes in condition. Could they move the hatchery onshore, into an artificial lake of sorts? I imagine that this would be very costly and operationally complex given how many oysters they hatch. Maybe there’s an opportunity for a group of oyster companies to come together to jointly invest in an artificial farm, sharing the upfront investment. Seems like it’s a hedge that would be worth exploring as acidity rises. Also, great title, great lede.

On November 6, 2016, Mike Helou commented on Nissan LEAF, green enough? :

This is really interesting – I had never really considered the emissions advantages of self-driving cars, I had always focused on the customer convenience elements. I agree that it makes sense for Nissan to explore this space given their leading position as an eco-friendly manufacturer, but I’m wondering how difficult that entrance would be. I’m thinking about the massive investments and the head shtart that companies like Google and Uber have in this space. It might make the most sense for Nissan to look for a leading self-driving technology company with which to partner. Nissan could continue to focus on making environmentally efficient cars and create a line of automobiles that includes their partner’s technology

On November 6, 2016, Mike Helou commented on Impact of Climate Change on Vail Ski Resort :

Interesting stuff Wiss. I like that Vail is being proactive about creating attractive warm weather offerings to help guard against volatility in the ski season. I think there’s an opportunity for these resorts to shop their offerings to corporate clients. I know a lot of companies do winter and summer offsites – maybe Vail could offer a discounted ski package for any companies that also agree to choose Vail for their Summer offsite. This could be a way to increase the use of facilities during warm weather seasons while also smoothing the revenue intake for Vail over the course of the year

On November 6, 2016, Mike Helou commented on AXA: “the cost of climate change is too damn high!” :

What do you think the role of the public sector is going forward? You mention that AXA is working with public and private partners to strengthen infrastructure in key areas. Could you imagine more creative partnerships down the line? For example, I imagine hurricane insurance premiums in coastal areas in the U.S. will have to rise if current climate trends continue. Perhaps insurers will have to lobby for government subsidies to help lower the cost to customers. I wonder if there’s an opportunity for innovative state and city goverments to enter into risk sharing agreements with local insurers to cover part of damages payment in exchange for some of the investment returns from the buffer.

I really like your suggestion of finding new ways to utilize their plants, in the case that anchovy landings continue to decrease – I had the same thought as I was reading through the post. It would be interesting to see if there was some natural hedge they could focus on, as in a type of fish whose landings increase with warmer temperatures. I have literally no idea if such a fish exists in nature, but it’s an interesting FIN1 parallel of trying to diversify away the market risk of warming SST.