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On November 20, 2016, MikeMorgan commented on LEGO in a Digital World :

Thanks so much for the post, Matt!

Before I started reading, my first thought was that Lego has managed to stay pretty relevant in the digital and media world from my perspective, but the entirety of the success of their movies, games, etc. is dependent on invoking nostalgia and childhood memories formed by consumers while playing with actual Legos. Otherwise, their digital/media projects would require convincing customers that oddly-shaped characters and blocky worlds should be entertaining for some reason.

After reading your article, it’s comforting to know that Lego is doing a good job of improving their digital strategy while still focusing on building consumers’ love of their core products, instead of relying on self-perpetuation of their physical products’ popularity through nostalgic parents buying Legos for their kids. I think we’re all rooting for Lego to stick around for the long haul.

On November 20, 2016, MikeMorgan commented on EA: The Next Generation for Video Games :

Thanks Robert! As a Madden enthusiast, I was immediately drawn to your thumbnail image :-D. However, also as a Madden enthusiast, I am concerned that EA’s habit of predictable release cycles for blockbuster titles are going to end up hurting their success in the rapidly evolving mobile and VR segments. Gamers’ attention spans are shrinking rapidly (self-perpetuating decline, as video games can decrease attention spans), and companies that are fast and furious about bringing new gaming concepts to market are ultimately going to win in the mobile space. Not that there won’t always be room for big-budget, big-release companies like EA, but as traditional video game revenue nearly halved (from $9.4B to $5.2B) between 2010 and 2015 [1], that room is shrinking. To quote Lil’ Wayne, “the spot gets smaller and I get bigger”; EA might feel the same way.

[1] 2016 ESA Report http://essentialfacts.theesa.com/Essential-Facts-2016.pdf

On November 20, 2016, MikeMorgan commented on Go-jek or go home :

Thank you, Aparna! I was impressed by your idea for utilizing the data gathered from Gojek rides to improve public transportation systems within Jakarta. Though I agree that it could potentially pose a threat to their business to help improve public transportation systems, providing this data could also present an opportunity for a second revenue stream (from the Indonesian government). I’m sure getting this data on an ongoing basis would be valuable to the MRT authorities, since as travel habits change over time (and as the data set grows and presents trends in seasonality), the data could inform more efficient staffing decisions (and, as you mention, help with optimizing routes and schedules). In fact, I imagine a lot of Indonesian businesses would be interested in getting their hands on this data (in a metadata format).

* obligatory joke about TPS reports *

Thank you, really, for writing this up. I hadn’t heard about this initiative, and as tdubs and Varun mentioned, it is truly inspiring.

The improvement in graduation rates you cited are incredible. What struck me most is the ability to use this data to assess and react to this data almost instantaneously (pull the andon cord!); academic issues, home life issues, self-esteem issues, and the like can snowball very quickly. The plural of anecdote is not data, but both of my parents are middle school teachers, and it’s sobering to hear stories about star students of theirs who quickly fell behind because of issues at home, issues with peers, and other instigating factors.

I am genuinely excited about future applications of this technology, and I just sent this post to my parents – perhaps they can advocate for its use in Los Angeles Unified School District, which is in sore need of innovative ways to improve graduation rates. Thanks again.

On November 20, 2016, MikeMorgan commented on Airbnb: Using Technology to Reimagine Travel :

Thanks for the fun read! I find it absolutely remarkable that AirBnB has managed to grow at such an astounding rate, given the amount of trust required between the AirBnB hosts and guests (similar to Uber). Presumably, as AirBnB’s popularity grows and certain properties emerge as the “hot spots” in each city, the barriers to entry for new hosts will become more difficult to surpass over time; I’m sure others book differently, but I tend to book properties with a high review count (and, obviously, high ratings), and completely gloss over hosts who haven’t yet been reviewed.

I like your idea of increasing host comfort through non-invasive monitoring, but I could see such an implementation becoming a PR fiasco, regardless of how much you limit the extent of the monitoring. People tend to overreact to anything involving gathering information about their private life. In the end, even if AirBnB is facilitating the transaction, hosts will have to be comfortable with a certain level of risk; hotels have to deal with the same issues.

Thanks again!

I couldn’t have made it this far without loyal readers like you – you da real MVP.

On November 7, 2016, MikeMorgan commented on Sustainable Innovation at Nike :

Yikes – the t-shirt vs. driving a car X miles comparison is striking. It would be interesting to know the GHG emission impacts of using more synthetically produced materials, as you detail in one of your suggested alternatives. Thanks for the eye-opening read; the impacts of climate change are already so tangible (i.e. Nike’s factory shutdowns, along with many other impacts detailed by other posters).

On November 7, 2016, MikeMorgan commented on “Waste”-ing our Planet Away :

Thanks for the interesting, albeit rather depressing, read – I know we read about this in a prior case, but it’s still shocking to be reminded that Methane is 25X as effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere as CO2. I am curious about how one can educate folks on which products specifically are the greatest contributors to Methane emissions in landfills. 100% compliance with recycling initiatives would obviously be the ideal, but maybe people would think twice about throwing that X into the trash can if they knew how impactful it really was. Through some quick research, it looks as if methane gas created through the action of microorganisms – does that mean waste that is not organic is not the main driver of these emissions? Probably too simplistic an extrapolation, so this definitely warrants further research on my part – thank you for sparking my curiosity.

On November 7, 2016, MikeMorgan commented on Will Global Warming Destroy E&J Gallo Winery? :

Thanks for the post! Agree that more should be done, but it is difficult to say what the wine industry can do as a whole to reduce climate change drivers. There are much greater tragedies caused by climate change, but it’s a shame that an industry with so much rich history and heritage now has to turn to measures such as creating synthetic champagnes and (further) genetically engineered grapes to circumvent this problem.

In my post, I detail how the hotel industry is noticing that tourism demand is moving away from the equator and closer to the poles as worldwide temperature increases. I wonder if the same will happen in the wine industry (i.e. will Napa and Sonoma soon be a thing of the past, and we’ll all be drinking Alaska reds?).

Thanks again – this is my third comment so far, and it’s really eye-opening and heart-wrenching to see how many industries we love are being or will be severely affected by climate change. Again, there are greater tragedies, but this exercise makes it more tangible.

On November 7, 2016, MikeMorgan commented on Can Innovation Save the Oil Sands? :

Thanks for the interesting read, DT! I am curious – with a nationwide imposition of an “overall cap” on carbon emissions, how is that 100M tonnes/year allocated between companies (i.e. how do they keep companies accountable to that limit in aggregate, when each company could point a finger at the others)? I would also be interested to see what incremental profit is generated by oil sands companies in Canada from production that results in an additional tonne of carbon emission – is $30 CAD more than enough to cover the incentive to just keep producing inefficiently?

It’s encouraging to see companies like Cenovus investing in innovation through the clean tech fund and bitumen processing, rather than just figuring out workarounds; it seems they are approaching the problem in the right way by thinking about the long term. However, I agree that more needs to be done.

Also, nice wordplay toward the end :-D.

On November 7, 2016, MikeMorgan commented on Go Green – New Mantra for Tata Steel :

Great post, Pooja – thanks for the information and insight. I like your idea for relocating steel manufacturing facilities to areas where solar and hydro power are available. I will look into it more, but is this cost-prohibitive – i.e. are these forms of power going to lead to costs being passed onto Tata India’s customers, similar to its current purchases of RECs? Also, what is holding Tata India back from primarily focusing on recycled steel, similar to Tata Europe? Given Tata Europe’s volume relative to Tata India’s (35M vs. 15M), I assume this would be difficult to implement, but that the raw materials (i.e. steel waste) would be available. It would be interesting to see the cost of making one of those two changes (solar/hydro or recycled steel refining) vs. the current cost Tata India is incurring by purchasing RECs.

Thanks again, really – very interesting read!