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Great post on an interesting and controversial application of digital technology in the transportation sector. I find it fascinating to see how Uber continues to evolve by applying its fundamental business model, but also effectively adapts to local cultures and demographics. In particular, I find it interesting that Uber changed its traditional payment system to include a cash payment option, as a way to attract customers in lower income brackets. I think UberMoto is a great example of combining advanced business models and technologies with unique cultural attributes. Given our understanding of Uber’s expansion strategy after reading the case, i am not surprised that regulation has proven to be their biggest hurdle. I agree with your assessment that local moto taxi drivers are best served by banning with, not working against, the tech giant.

On November 20, 2016, MLW commented on Pill Popping Made Easy :

Sign me up for PillPack! I think this is a great concept that replaces an outdated and error prone system. Looking at my own situation at the moment, I am on the verge of running out of my usual daily medicine, as I have continued to put off getting to the doctor and updating my prescription since my move to Boston. A service like PillPack would be a great way to use technology to mitigate the inconvenient processes / logistics that often go along with a move. I wonder about PillPack’s ability to penetrate older generations / elderly patients, who arguable would benefit from a service like this the most. I would recommend PillPack consider incorporating B2B relationships into its offerings, so that it could service hospitals and nursing homes, instead of having to rely on the individual patient to adapt.

Very informative article on an important topic. It’s fascinating to see how using big data and analytics and has transpired into a socially beneficial cause. It seems that Polaris Project is finding a way to crowd source the information gathering aspect that proves to be so challenging in formulating an effective response. To your point, battling such a fluid, broad based, coordinated effort requires a similarly broad based and coordinated response. Given the prevalence of this issue particularly in developing countries, I wonder if using technology would be more effective than a grassroots, people oriented approach. Or maybe it’s important causes like this that will encourage communities to migrate toward a more technological lifestyle, given the invaluable benefits it could have on raising awareness of and preventing such widespread crime.

Very interesting article. I’m curious about your suggestion for Public-Private partnerships in the future. Are businesses incentivized enough to take on such roles, or contribute private land? As with many climate-related challenges, I wonder whether we are facing a Tragedy of the Commons type dilemma. Whose responsibility is it, when no one is truly held accountable? Similarly, how incentivized are individuals to change behavior, such as not showering during rainstorms, when there is no direct correlation or consequence?

On November 20, 2016, MLW commented on Wayfair: Way Far Ahead in Digital Transformation? :

This article was a great summary of the exciting ways Wayfair is capitalizing on the digitalization movement. They have already disrupted the way consumers buy furniture, and now they used technology to vertically integrate up the furniture buying process, and ingratiate themselves in the purchase consideration phase. I wonder about the role of interior designers in the future, as consumers use more services like Wayfair’s Idea Board and virtual reality to understand how certain pieces will fit into their homes. Will interior designers be out of jobs in 10 years? Or is there something to be said for having an eye for design, that is unique enough to defend their roles?

Very interesting post, on a company that uniquely intersects the climate change conundrum. Given IP maintains a corporate responsibility regarding climate change, not only in terms of their own GHG emissions and energy consumption, but also because of their direct exposure to the raw materials required for their business. I wonder how the optics of their position have played a role in their public and proactive goal setting around climate change initiatives. I also wonder if next steps might include their own forest initiatives, perhaps involving tree planting. Alternatively, I wonder how much of a role IP intends to give to alternative raw materials, that can incorporate a more environmentally optimal use of raw materials. In the meantime, I will be sure to continue printing double sided.

On November 7, 2016, MLW commented on Abating Greenhouse Gases at Intel Corporation :

Interesting point on Intel’s move to pressure its suppliers to offer more efficient technologies. I wonder if Intel will consider integrating further up the supply chain to capture synergies and rationalize the current compliance abatement costs associated with its production. While Intel would need to significantly alter its current operations model, cost savings and streamlined production processes could meaningfully justify such an investment.

On November 7, 2016, MLW commented on Can Opti Optimize Stormwater Management? :

Very interesting article. In terms of growth opportunities, you mentioned the need for OptiRTC to expand its service to include private business and industrial sites, in addition to local governments. I wonder if an expansion of product offerings would also make sense for the company. I understand that currently OptiRTC focuses on the retention and release of excess storm water. Is there an opportunity for OptiRTC to enter into the filtration / disinfectant spaces as well? I would be interested in understanding what potential synergies these services could offer with OptiRTC’s current business lines. What if there were potential to utilize OptiRTC to address the extreme weather events on the other side of the spectrum, including the severe droughts that have plagued certain parts of the country and world?

Great post! As you observed, innovation occurring at the intersection of big data and agriculture could yield enormous benefits, including a reduced risk of food shortages as well as a more efficient and rationalized cost structure up and down the supply chain. Illustrating the bullwhip phenomenon we discussed during our analysis of supply chains, grain shortages in the U.S. will lead to magnified implications further down the chain, resulting in more expensive meat and dairy costs ultimately borne by the consumer. From a cost savings and resource optimization perspective, it behooves all parties in the supply chain to invest in the technology and learning offered by the Climate Corporation and other similar organizations. That being said, I do wonder about the social implications and barriers, as you alluded to in your last sentence. Given the fragmented nature of the agriculture industry, I fear we may see more shortages and negative effects before we see a widespread shift in practice.

Great article! As you pointed out, Tesla’s foray into the mass market raises several issues and opens a discussion across both TOM and MKT concepts. However, I disagree with your assessment of changes Tesla will need to implement in terms of its distribution channels. I think that the current direct-to-consumer model offers a unique competitive advantage and could be advantageous as the company focuses on mass market penetration. There are several obstacles in the way of mass adoption of battery powered vehicles (limited travel capacity, dispersed charging stations, general sentiment / reluctance, etc.), and entering large scale partnerships with auto retailers could be premature. Maintaining its DTC model will allow Tesla to optimally manage inventory during the ramp up phase, and will minimize risk of materials or technology becoming obsolete in this ever-changing and developing space. Maintaining contact with its consumers also allows Tesla to gather and implement customer feedback on a real time basis. Either way, it will certainly be fascinating to watch how it all plays out. Buckle your seat belt!