Mike M

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On November 20, 2016, MM commented on Alibaba and Singles’ Day Sales :

Insightful article, Long! The stats surrounding Single’s Day in China are incredible – especially the $18 billion in sales and the handling of 140,000 orders per second during peak times of 11/11. Alibaba’s logistical network must be constantly evolving in order to handle this vast amount of sales volume in a country almost as large in land area and 4x as large population compared with the United States. I agree with Jimmy’s comment in that Alibaba will need to continue to innovate and evolve to make use of new technology such as drones or self-driving vehicles. Besides being able to support the world’s largest one-day shopping event, Alibaba must also reliably support the daily usage of its services. I am curious to see the evolution of sales levels on Single’s Day; will another company be able to compete seriously with Alibaba? It does not seem that way due to the sheer scale of Alibaba.

On November 20, 2016, MM commented on Big Brother is watching where you park!! :

Interesting article, Alex! The Scan-Car technology will undoubtedly help curb the popularity of illegal parking because of the fines associated with it. I think that this technology may also promote the use of mass transit or other ride-sharing services so that people do not have to worry about leaving their car in a space for a long period of time. I am also thinking about the negative aspects of this technology and any kind of technology that begins to take away human involvement and consequently employment. Privacy also becomes a concern as the Scan-Car can easily begin to store data and can become a means of tracking people and the locations they visit; this issue has already arisen in Massachusetts and other locations throughout the United States with regards to red-light traffic cameras. The issue itself is not that the cameras are taking pictures of the car and license plate, the issue is that the aggregation of that data presents a privacy concern in the case of accessibility of that information.

It is great to see that Phillips is integrating sustainability with convenience in its pursuit of changing the light bulb. With an increased reliance on smart phones and mobile applications, people around the world will likely look to these innovative bulbs to not only save on energy usage, but also design their homes or offices with the customizable options. I can imagine that at some point not in the too distant future smart homes will only utilize these kind of interconnected bulbs. Phillips may be concerned that this business is ripe for competition, but I do not think competition will necessarily be a bad thing in this space. It will force the lighting companies to continue to innovate and constantly create more efficient bulbs for many different uses. It will also lower the prices of the bulbs, as you mentioned, making them more accessible to other parts of the population.

Great post about Kickstarter! I agree with both Rebecca and EDRM above; Kickstarter should absolutely look into scaling its business and merging with partners that make sense like Venmo/PayPal or other social media platforms. 9% seems like a high number of failed projects; I wonder if Kickstarter can analyze the data of both successful and failed projects in order to give realistic expectations for the creators and backers in terms of achievable goals, proper amount of money to raise, etc. With that type of analysis available, creators can determine whether their goals are achievable based on historical examples and Kickstarter can also use the data to better screen the applications of the creators.

On November 20, 2016, MM commented on Football 2.0 :

Very interesting read! I agree with the above comment that it might be beneficial to look into expanding the technology to capture health statistics from the players including heart rate, breaths per minute, blood pressure, etc. to continue to monitor a player’s health on the field. If abnormalities are observed by the team doctor after a big hit in football, the player can be removed from the game and examined. In addition to being useful to fantasy football players, this type of data might also be useful to the users of sports-betting companies like DraftKings or FanDuel; these companies require complex algorithms to examine the large volume of data available on each player and team and this technology could assist the company or the users by giving them access to more data on players.

Very interesting article, Rafi- I like the distinction that you pointed out between the things we want to do and the things we should do. Tesla’s innovation is a great step to change out behavior and encourage us to be more socially responsible. Tesla’s innovation also promotes competition from other companies, which encourages constant innovation and a constant drive to become more efficient. I am very interested to see the consumer response to Solar Roof; one possible issue with the Solar Roof is that it is likely easier to install on newly constructed houses. I do not know whether Solar City can install the new roof on an existing house, which leaves a lot of the market and a lot of the energy savings off the table.

On November 6, 2016, MM commented on Shipping: Global trade’s dirty secret :

The environmental impact of the shipping industry is startling, although I agree that it is a difficult industry to regulate due to its global scale. Shipping companies and the environment will both undoubtedly benefit from fuel innovation and expanded use of biofuels. I do not think that nuclear propulsion will be an option in the near future, so it is good to see that companies like Maersk are seeking alternatives. However, the illegal dumping of hydrocarbons is unacceptable. I agree with Stefan in that there needs to be more accountability in the industry. It is surprising that he UN International Maritime Organization has not set clear emissions reductions goals and does not even address the illegal dumping of hydrocarbons. Although it is important for the companies to have their own emission reduction goals, I do not think that it is enough to solve their enormous contribution to climate change; there needs to be oversight on the industry as a whole, but where that oversight comes from is the question.

On November 5, 2016, Mike M commented on Are hang tags causing global warming? :

I am surprised at the statistic that forests have the potential to absorb one-tenth of global carbon emissions. I would never have guessed that forests would absorb that high of a percentage of the harmful emissions, and I would guess that other people around the world are also not familiar with that fact. Education and building awareness is an important tool in the fight against climate change. Although I do not think that Avery Dennison has to abandon its business of relying on paper in its production process, the company should build awareness about deforestation and continuously seek to improve the efficiency of its supply chain. There will be significant costs to incur while utilizing the certified paper, but the sooner Avery Dennison begins to take these steps, the sooner it will be able to improve the reliability and efficiency of the supply chain. Convincing customers downstream to purchase the more expensive environmentally friendly paper will not be an easy task for Avery Dennison, but it must begin to take the steps now. There could be other sustainability projects for Avery Dennison to look into such as supporting the growth of more forests and printing tags directly onto the apparel rather than using attached paper tags.

Although I enjoy golf and would very much like to have the opportunity to play a round at Trump International Golf Links and Hotel in Doonbeg, the solution of building a wall does not even remotely begin to address the root causes of climate change. I agree that the wall is simply a temporary solution and local planning regulators and the Irish government should continue to deny the permits for the construction of the wall. If the golf course truly wants to save the course and resort, the owners should address the causes of rising sea levels, rather than finding temporary solutions to the problem. I find it ironic that the golf course wants to construct a wall, the process of which will undoubtedly contribute to global warming and harming of ecosystems, to “solve” the problem. Instead, the organization should look to partner with the local residents who are concerned about their houses and other businesses to reduce emissions and maintain that reduction. It is going to take much more than that to reduce the effects of rising sea levels, but it starts with groups of people like this and people around the world must do their part.

On November 5, 2016, Mike M commented on Boston Steps Up Fight Against Climate Change :

I agree that it is important for Boston to do more to address climate change. Besides issuing an executive order to the city to reduce emissions, the local government should look into partnering with all large corporations and small businesses within the city to pledge further clean energy practices. Look no farther back than two weeks ago to see how climate change is very tangibly affecting the city; King Tides, the highest tides of the year, hit Boston in one week, causing local flooding. King Tides demonstrate just how dangerous rising sea levels are. As sea levels continue to rise, King Tides will also continue to get worse, leaving the infrastructure and economy at risk. It is not just the Seaport, Financial District, and South Boston that are at risk because of their proximity to the ocean, Cambridge is also at risk because rising tides will affect the Charles River. I wonder how Boston compares to other large cities in the US in the fight against climate change?