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On November 20, 2016, NIB commented on Optimizing the Happiest Place on Earth :

Magical post, Bouncer!

I went to Disney and had my own personalized wrist band, and the experience was so easy, fun, and painless! I think it is a great idea and can really see where this aggregation of data can help with Disney’s efficiency and provide a much more customized experience. Another reason Disney might have implemented this though (or just a very convenient consequence) is because of (even more) financial benefits. I read an interesting article about the psychology of money and paying, and, basically, people were more adverse to spend if the money was as cash instead of a credit card. If transactions were replaced with a band or other gizmo, people were more likely to spend a significant more amount of money.

On November 20, 2016, NIB commented on HomeKit – Apple’s next Big Thing? :

Really appealing article, JM.

I think, regardless of need (to Sayan’s point), Smart homes are the way of the future. I do agree that Apple is already behind this innovation cycle ever since Nest was acquired by Google, but I don’t doubt Apple’s ability to play catch up (especially since it is still sitting on a mountain of cash). Another competitor that is moving into the smart home category is Samsung with its release of a Smart Fridge. Do you think Apple will start making refrigerators too in the near future? Maybe it will have speakers on it (in it), especially if it is capable of hydroponics because apparently some plants grow better with music [1]. I also wonder where Microsoft is on these developments because Bill gates famously has on of the smartest homes in the world. Oh, what a brave new world!

[1] “Effect of Music on Plant Growth.” DenGarden. 2016., accessed November 2016.

Interesting article, TUB.

I think your article poses a difficult question and conundrum. On even a larger scope, I wonder how more predominantly unskilled laborers will feel and react to their jobs being replaced by machines. The benefits are very obvious with (eventually) lower costs after a large upfront capital expenditure as well as more predictability and safety in may industries. I think another added benefit, especially in this example, is the fact that with automated trains, they can run 24/7 without the necessity of overtime, so utilization can really increase. I would love to be able to take a train in the middle of the night when I would be sleeping anyway and wake up at my destination. I also agree with Greg that the loss of jobs is not as of too much concern since new jobs will naturally arise with the new technology [1].

[1] Jones, Michael. “Yes, Robots will Steal our Jobs. And that’s Fine.” February 2016. Washington Post., accessed November 2016.

Enlightening post, Nick!

My friend is what we would call an “early adopter,” and he bought one of the Phillips Hue products. Honestly, I thought it was very gimmicky and unnecessary, at least in its early stage of development. However, I agree there are possible benefits and applications for innovations in this area. I think being able to control lights throughout the house using your smart phone could not only be a great party trick, but also help save on energy costs. The lights could also be interactive or have security applications in the future. In a recent Forbes article ( I read about how lights could be synced and interact with music, or they could change color and light up tactically during an emergency like a fire in order to lead occupants to safety. I think we are moving towards a even more connected world and home and lights will definitely play a part in that interaction; looks like Phillips is on the right path.

On November 20, 2016, NIB commented on Are smart cribs the solution for exhausted parents? :

Interesting post, Coff!
I’m a little more optimistic about the prospects of this new infant/toddler technology but also acknowledge potential drawbacks to allowing technology to interfere in the development of a child if it compromises the adult to child interaction. However, as a supplement rather than a complement to raising a child, I think there could be benefits. Like the first post, I was hopeful that maybe wearable technology could help prevent SIDS, but apparently the research is not conclusive [1]. However, due to busy schedules and more double income households, an interactive crib could provide meaningful interaction and supervision for a child that wasn’t possible only a few years ago. There just seems like there has to be a balance between using a crib as a tool or a crutch.

[1] Priest, David. “Can Tech Really SOlve SIDS?” It’s not so Simple. August 2016. CNET Smart Home., assessed November 2016.

On November 7, 2016, NIB commented on Hershey’s and the Extra Bitter Future of Chocolate :

Thanks for the article, Justin! Hershey wouldn’t be the same without the scent of chocolate permeating the air. I have been slightly depressed reading these blog posts about how three of my favorite things: beer, wine, and chocolate are basically on the brink of extinction due to global climate change. I really think GMO is the only way to go in the short term. What do you think the feasibility (in the not too distant future) of huge capital investments in extensive greenhouses and biodomes that can meticulously monitor the environment and produce the optimal conditions for cocoa trees? I personally think it would be unmanageable and the cost would far outweigh the price, but I do believe some form of hydroponics, at least for more vital plants, will eventually be a large part of our future.

On November 7, 2016, NIB commented on Will it be NextEra’s Era? :

Very interesting article, thanks for sharing! I really like NextGen’s green initiative, but I have always been wary of wind power’s impact on other environmentally important issues. Not only can it be an unreliable source of power like you outlined in your article, especially in the face of unpredictable shifts in weather patterns, but it can also decimate local bird and bat populations. Do you think the questionable benefits of wind energy justify its habit of killing significant portions of a local area’s wildlife? I think the problem will only compound if more wind mills are produced unless there are new innovations available or mitigating strategies.

I love wine; great article! I think your article really brings to light how business opportunities can manifest themselves in all types of changing and dynamic situations. One of the worries of climate change are the fluctuating sea levels, and, if ice caps melt enough, the popular coastal varieties of wines in California and Oregon will obviously be negatively impacted. However, this is the first article I read mentioning the new geographic areas where new vineyards can spread. At first, I thought this competition to the north of France would discourage wine makers in Bordeaux and Burgundy, but apparently the warmer weather causes earlier harvesting seasons which leads to higher quality wine. I was worried about wine’s future due to climate change; thank you for abating my fears!

Intriguing article about Micky D’s! I thought it was interesting that the driver’s are now trained and encouraged to drive significantly under the speed limit to reduce emissions, but I am suspect of the actual savings McDF is accruing. I would assume that the longer lead times on top of the extra hourly wages provided to the drivers would negate any cost savings from fuel consumption. However, if this is only a temporary change as the company eventually transitions to electric trucks, then I can see the merits. Also, i think it’s fascinating that striving for innovation for an altruistic cause can still lead to great opportunities for improving efficiency and cost savings which may be translated into direct competitive advantage. Do you know if McDF, with all of its popularity and market share in France, has pressured any other restaurants into a Collective Action agreement to support their cause?

On November 7, 2016, NIB commented on Boeing: Dreaming Big to Fight Climate Change :

Interesting article, Carl! The over budget concerns are reminiscent (on a smaller scale) of what the US Government has had to deal with concerning the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is over $200 billion of initial budget. Even more so than private companies, I would guess that the planning fallacy is even more rampant in government agendas and plans. I was also very curious about Boeing’s decision to outsource so much of its manufacturing and design; it seems like that decision unnecessarily increased variability into the process and limited effectual, centralized decision making and problem solving. We’ll see in their next iteration of aircraft if their complex process will be replicated or if it truly is a model that is doomed to fail.