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What a fantastic post! Thanks, Jessie!

Don’t judge me, but whenever I move to a new town/city, in deciding which church I should go to, I usually start off with all the churches in the area, and I then narrow down my selection based on the “quality” of sermons given in each church, the community events that the churches organize, and the fellowship among the church-goers. With technology, it becomes much easier and faster for me to go through examples of sermons taught in the churches, and understand the mission and outreach programs organized by the churches. Thus, greatly helping my selection process.

I also agree with your point of churches engaging with the worshipper. Whenever I find myself confused about a particular passage of Scripture, I have an app that has sermons by some of my favorite preachers based on the passage. So it’s definitely helpful to those who are interested to do a serious read/study of Scripture.

Personally, I don’t think worshipping through an app is the same as going to church. Part of the reason of going to church is meeting face-to-face and fellowshipping with other believers, so in my mind there is little risk for churches to adopt technology.

On November 19, 2016, Milkman commented on Filld: fueled by on-demand consumerism :

Thanks for your comments, Gustavo! You make an excellent point about the revenue and how this may not be sustainable.

I checked out the website you suggested, and while I don’t understand Portuguese, based on the icons, I can make sense of the car services they are providing, such as exterior and interior cleaning, air-cond servicing and oil change. Yes, I myself am not optimistic of the prospects of Filld given the challenges I’ve outlined in the post and also the revenue calculation you highlighted. I wonder if providing services like Easycarros would subject Filld to similar challenges (apart from regulatory). There would still be low barrier to entry and the margins wouldn’t be high as well.

On November 19, 2016, Milkman commented on If this, then that! :

Thanks, Denzil, for your post! It was very interesting to read about the applications of IFTTT combined with IOT. I was browsing through the IFTTT website and many of the applets they have seem very exciting.

I think it is important for IFTTT to generate a large enough network of users and partners that utilize their services. This is because, the technology may not be too complex for competitors to enter and replicate the service. The main barrier would be the extent of the network that is already created by IFTTT.

My other concern is on security risk. Using the Applets grants access to data and information stored, and users could be apprehensive about this. If secure servers could be hacked, who’s to say that these Applets can’t be hacked too? Also, if we ever reach a stage where home appliances and IFTTT are connected, could someone who gained access to a device like Amazon Echo use it for mischief, such as disarming an alarm system, or opening a door?

I guess I paint a rather negative view of IFTTT, but if security and privacy features could be enhanced I can see this being very successful.

On November 19, 2016, Milkman commented on What is Metered is Managed :

Great article, Daniel! I enjoyed reading it and learned a few things about smart meters in the process.

I really like the idea of smart meters. Not only does it convey real-time and accurate usage information in a transparent manner, the next step is to link it to a smartphone app, where users can view their energy usage at any instantaneous point in time. As the energy tariff usually is designed for peak and off-peak pricing, the user is more equipped to make informed decisions about when they should consume energy. They can save energy cost by allocating their energy consumption more towards the off-peak times. This would result in a more smooth or even demand for energy, which helps the utility provider too as it would be less strenuous on their machines as they don’t have to ramp up at such large amplitudes and helps them forecast energy demand more accurately.

Therefore, I agree with you that although there are privacy issues surrounding the usage of smart meters, if the benefits of transparency are communicated well to the consumers and the potential savings they can get from the data, then smart metering company can obtain buy-in from the end consumers.

On November 19, 2016, Milkman commented on Yellow Pages: Evolving to Survive Mass Extinction :

Thanks for this post, Nancy. I honestly thought that YP no longer existed. It’s interesting to see in this case, an example of the company whose existence was threatened by digital innovation and how it uses digital technology to survive. I also see this example as an intersection of several concepts we’ve learned, such as in MKT, TOM and LEAD.

I am not very optimistic about YP’s future. While it has found a new lease of life, I wonder if it is doing enough to stay relevant. While you are right that they can still make money from print, we will continue to see a larger drop in print sales in the near future. In terms of its digital segment, there will be increasing competition and it doesn’t seem that YP has strong enough analytics to compete or thrive in this environment. Additionally, looking at the graph you showed, total revenue is on a decreasing trend and unfortunately, I see that trend continuing in the future. Therefore, they may need to acquire companies to get the expertise that they require in the shortest time possible, rather than try to grow organically.

This is a very interesting application of digital technology. Thanks for this post, Jon!

Although not a parent (yet), I can imagine that I would be very excited to use the PreciouStatus service. The ability to know my kid’s activities is very important, as I would be able to ascertain if my child had sufficient nap, or is making friends at daycare, or is eating well. And there is very little friction for adoption from a parent’s perspective.

My concern would be whether teachers could provide real-time updates effectively. Considering that they have to monitor several children at the same time, they may not be able to enter the appropriate data in a timely manner. Also, real time updates would encourage parents to communicate more with teachers via the app, especially if something is not normal, such as a shorter nap than usual. Whilst communication between parents and teachers is generally good, too much could be distracting for the teachers.

On November 19, 2016, Milkman commented on BMW – Drive now, analyze later? :

Thanks for such an interesting article, Josefin.

It would be interesting to see how DriveNow intends to gain market share in the US from existing competitors in the space such as Zipcar. It would really need to place their cars at very strategic locations where there is high demand or affinity for consumers to utilize such application. I am also concerned, as with Zipcar, with the utilization rates. I often see Zipcar vehicles parked for days at the same location with nobody renting it. Therefore, analytics could be the differentiating factor that provides competitive advantage to these companies.

I think that like Uber, DriveNow would need to incur losses for several years in attempt to gain market adoption at sufficient volume or mass, before it can turn profitable.

On November 7, 2016, Kenny Lim commented on Thinking Outside the Box :

Yikes! I opened my storage closet only to see a pile of cardboard boxes lying around!

Great article, by the way. With more and more shoppers making purchases online I worry that the situation will only get worse (heck, even some mattresses are being delivered in cardboard boxes). While companies such as Amazon are right-sizing their packaging, it probably is not enough to offset the growing number of cardboard boxes consumed. Nevertheless, the efforts taken by PCA are very commendable.

I look forward to greater R&D effort undertaken in the industry to find innovative solutions in terms of packaging materials and design, that would either replace the materials used to make boxes, or alter the design of boxes to be more efficient and green. It would be great to have a packaging that is made of a by-product (e.g. corn husk, leftovers from cotton) of another industry, as it will reduce its greenhouse warming potential (GWP) substantially.

On November 6, 2016, Kenny Lim commented on Winter is not coming… :

I like your passion in supporting winter, snow and snow-sports.

I agree with you about improving thermal efficiency of the resorts, which will reduce energy consumption. If windows could be oriented in the right direction and made of materials that have higher solar heat gain coefficient, the natural energy of the sun can be utilized to help with heating the building. Buildings made of materials that are better insulator of heat would also retain heat more effectively.

One thing I noticed about pictures that I see in ski resort advertisements is how people featured in the ads are often wearing sun glasses because of how bright it is there. It got me thinking about solar panels for their buildings. I think there is a high potential for greater adoption of solar panels in ski resorts. However, they usually come with higher initial cost and longer payback period.

On November 6, 2016, Kenny Lim commented on Coal in the Time of Climate Change :

Yes, indeed coal mining industry is a contributor to the climate change problem, but at the same time, coal is likely to remain as a source of fuel over many years to come. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated global coal reserves at 980 billion short tons in 2011. At current consumption rates, these reserves are expected to last 113 years. [1]

For Cerrejón, there are a few solutions that they can implement to reduce their impact, especially to the water quality. I like your idea of desalination. At the same time, they can install liners and covers on waste rock and ore piles. This will reduce the potential for contamination of groundwater, and may go a long way to appease the Wayuu community.

In terms of reducing the amount of water used, they should recycle the water used in the processing of the ore, and can invest in R&D to treat the water that has been used to control dust emissions such that it can be used back in the ore processing phase.

[1] “Center for Climate and Energy Solutions” [].

This is a nice perspective of efforts taken by a player in the real estate industry to respond to climate change.

I really like the notion of retrofitting existing properties to be more green. You laid out the returns from a financial perspective and by adding the positive environmental impact of such efforts, it definitely makes retrofitting very attractive from Related’s perspective.

The challenge I see with green retrofitting of existing properties is having to vacate (at least partially) the premises. Tenants of the retail / commercial units may be reluctant to agree with the proposal, given the hassle that it would cause them. The financial benefits just may not be attractive enough to offset the hassle.

Interesting article! I had never heard of a renewable diesel before this. As much as I am excited and commend Alon for this innovation, I have a point of inquiry.

It seems to me, as I understand this article, that the problem that Alon addresses is more towards the availability of fuel, i.e. we won’t run out of renewable diesel since it is obtained from beef tallow / vegetable oil, whereas fossil fuels are finite in volume and will deplete over time.

I am curious about the greenhouse warming potential (GWP) of renewable diesel versus petroleum diesel. Since the chemical composition of renewable diesel is similar to petroleum-based diesel, how significantly less is the GWP of renewable diesel than conventional diesel? This needs to be looked at from a life cycle perspective. As agriculture is a significant contributor of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (9% of US GHG emissions [1]), any benefits of reduced GWP from the consumption of renewable diesel may be offset by the GHG emitted in the front-end of the life cycle, e.g. in agriculture.

[1] “Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions” [].

On November 6, 2016, Kenny Lim commented on Chipotle’s Guacapocolypse :

Sorry, Pat, I’m gonna side with Ryan on this issue. In a time when consumer trends are moving towards more organic, healthier and more natural sources of food, there is merit for Chipotle to defend its non-GMO stance. After all, I believe if a marketing study were conducted, we will find that one of the main reasons customers opt for Chipotle is because of what it stands for, including non-GM food source. [1] It reminds me of the MOD Pizza case we did in LEAD, sales were boosted by customers who believed in and were attracted to the mission of the company (and in the case of Chipotle, they even have a quality product as a solid base to start with). I would in fact encourage Chipotle to run a contrast ad (taking a leaf from the recent MKT case) and explain to the public the potential dangers of GM food, which led to 19 out of 28 EU countries opting-out of growing GM crops and many countries implementing an outright ban. [2]

[1] Scott SE, Inbar Y, Rozin P (May 2016). “Evidence for Absolute Moral Opposition to Genetically Modified Food in the United States”. Perspectives on Psychological Science.
[2] “Majority of EU nations seek opt-out from growing GM crops” []