Parker Davis

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On November 15, 2018, Parker Davis commented on Machine Learning at Toppr: Is Personalised Learning the Way Forward? :

Thank you for such an interesting article! Reading this piece made me think of all of the possible ways that the ability, through machine learning, of the platform to personalize the teaching to the specific student could have a real impact, outside of simply being a tutorial tool, for students with learning challenges. For example, if Toppr was able to build out a part of its platform that specifically helped students struggling with dyslexia or ADHD, this would be an incredible value add to these children’s lives, as a huge problem in the world of education (at least in the United States where I have experience) is students with special educational needs being unable to receive the help that they need during the school day given the demands on teacher’s times, especially in the public school systems (with typically larger classroom sizes than the private school systems). Developing exercises and drills to help students with these additional challenges that they could complete at home in order to help them better perform and learn during the school day would be hugely beneficial, and I am hopeful, after reading this article, that the possibility for such a platform to be created is imminently possible.

On November 15, 2018, Parker Davis commented on OMG: How Texting Grammar Could Impact Your Creditworthiness :

Thank you for such an interesting article! I was very shocked at first to learn that an algorithm to enable a fully-automated (for over 50% of loan applicants) loan application process was created in partnership with the CFPB, a group formed specifically to protect retail investors and consumers from risky business practices, given my initial reaction that removing all face-to-face interaction between lender and potential borrower would possibly lead down a dark path towards 2008. But when I read the statistic you included that “for a given loan approval rate, the Upstart service experienced 75% fewer defaults versus a peer group of large US banks,” my initial hypothesis was debunked as this suggests that the machine learning tool they have developed is more successful at evaluating business risks based on the wealth of available information and the algorithm’s associations. I would be very interested to know exactly what information is included in the scope of the algorithm’s analysis and whether the person applying for the loan is aware themselves of the full scope, or if data is scraped from public areas of the internet without being supplied through the applicant directly.

On November 15, 2018, Parker Davis commented on The Missing Piece: How Lego Found Open Innovation at a Critical Time :

Thank you for a really interesting article! It is very exciting to see Lego, a company that many of us grew up with, still being successful in the market through continuing to innovate in such a creative way through crowdsourcing.

However, I think you are very right in many of the potential risks that you assert the company should be aware of. The example that you provide about Lego having trouble partnering with Mojang in order to create a Minecraft toy and its implications on the timeline of the product made me also think about the strategically vulnerable position that Lego is putting itself in through the way that this program is set up. When Lego goes to Mojang after already having raised customer expectations that a Minecraft toy would be produced (after communicating to users that the project received the green-light), Lego is in a much weaker contractual negotiating position than had they approached Mojang with the potential desire of considering a partnership given Lego’s increased need to consummate the partnership or else disappoint, and potentially alienate, the many customers following Lego Ideas.

This is illustrative of the lesson that empowering the consumer can make them feel more connected and engaged with your brand, a generally positive result; however, if consumer expectations are built up too high and too specifically through this empowerment, a company can be placed in a difficult spot strategically given the subsequent pressures on the company to deliver on its promises.

On November 15, 2018, Parker Davis commented on The Beauty of Crowdsourcing :

Thank you for such an interesting and enlightening article! I was not aware of Natura before reading this piece and am astounded at such incredibly high levels of revenue (463%) and net income growth (3,722%)! I would be very interested to know how much of that growth could be attributed to ideas that resulted from crowdsourcing as a concrete way to measure crowdsourcing’s impact on the company through its traditional purpose of idea generation. I would also be interested to know if in addition to acting on the ideas that are presented through the Cocriando Natura and Natura Campus programs, the submissions are used even more so as (a) a recruiting tool to identify innovative candidates that the company then encourages to apply to join the firm, (b) a marketing tool to increase the brand’s image and presence in consumer’s minds as being innovative or (c) an investor relations tool to help consumers feel more connected to the company through an additional touch-point.

Thank you for a very interesting article! I think the incorporation of additive manufacturing into Gillette’s toolkit for making new and unique razor designs not only impacts the way that P&G must market the razors (as differentiated from competitors given the ability to customize your shaving experience to your exact specifications through Gillette’s 3D-printing capabilities), but it would also hugely impact the distribution channels in which P&G sells the razors. The additive manufacturing shift will force Gillette to move a large part of its business online, as people will not be able to order and have a customized product printed for them while in the grocery, convenience or drug store (the main channels for razors today). This pre-ordering model will also force Gillette to grow its operating resources, likely needing to add teams to manage the ordering platform and teams to handle the additional logistics of shipping (likely) single razors directly to customers. This illustrates how important it is to remember that incorporating 3-D printing comes at a cost greater than the cost of the printing itself – it can require massive changes to your business model.

Thank you for a very interesting and informing post! I had not realized that the medical field was already embracing additive technology in such a meaningful way. You mention that the benefits of 3D printing in this space include the ability to customize the implants to the patient in addition to resulting in “lower costs, reduced time spent in operating rooms, and improved clinical outcomes.” I would be curious to understand more about the link between the 3D-printed implants and the improved patient outcomes. I wonder if there is a direct link between the ability to customize the implant to the patient and the improved patient outcomes, or if the relationship is more indirect. For example, are the improved results simply a function of the fact that less time spent on the operating table means less opportunity (in terms of duration) for problems with anesthesia to occur or for a patient to develop an infection (given a patient’s open wound when being operated on)? It will also be interesting to see if the lower costs promised by the additive manufacturing in the space are at all passed on to the patient, or if the benefits of the lower costs are mostly taken advantage of by insurance companies and hospital providers instead.