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On November 20, 2016, PatL commented on e-Estonia: How Estonia is digitalizing an entire country :

Very interesting post, Nicklas! I’m going to complete my e-Residency for Estonia as soon as I finish this post! e-Residency is certainly an innovative initiative by the Estonian government to attract foreign investments. However, I think foreign investment market is a hugely competitive landscape where there exists a major player like Canada who doesn’t only provide ease of doing business in the country, but also a pathway to citizenship and an access to top class education. I do believe that Estonian would need to step up their incentives and offerings beyond merely digitized banking, business registration and tax services in order to effectively lure foreign investors to the country.

On November 20, 2016, PatL commented on Gett – Reinventing TV advertising :

Interesting read, VB! Although I am impressed with Gett’s idea of “bring sales closer to advertising,” I am concerned whether Gett would be able to practically commercialize and actually make profit from this business model. I tend to think this business model only works for a small subset of CPG products whose characteristics include immediate consumption, relatively low price point and small purchase quantity. If there is no obvious needs for immediate consumption, the buyer will likely postpone the purchase. If the price point is high, the buyer will want to do more due diligence and thus likely make the purchase through other channels. If the purchase quantity is large, the buyer will like buy the product through other channel like Amazon where per-unit cost is lower.

On November 20, 2016, PatL commented on Zillow: Making Realtors Obsolete :

Great post! Your idea on the next-era Zestimate, one that is extremely accurate and basically governs the price discovery process of all properties, made me think about Kelly Blue Book. By looking up Kelly Blue Book, car buyers and seller essentially know what the fair price is, and thus there remains very little room for negotiation. KBB practically makes second car market more or less arbitrage-free. I agree with you that, when Zestimate successfully creates a completely transparent property market, consumers will benefit hugely from lower cost of transaction to seller/buyer as a result of information asymmetry.

On November 20, 2016, PatL commented on Oil Companies Need to Go Digital to Survive :

Very interesting article! It’s really fascinating that Devon was able to boost output by as much as 2.5x and at the same time cut nearly half of its well operating costs with big data investment. It is even more interesting to me that none of major oil companies, who arguably have stronger R&D capability and more generous investment budget, decided to pioneer investments in digitization of oilfield operations. Do you think the reason was because the majors are better diversified and thus less impacted by the price collapse, as compared E&P players like Devon who felt stronger top-line pressure?

On November 20, 2016, PatL commented on Uber’s Bet on Self-Driving Car :

Very interesting, Peter! I really like your idea on Uber partnering with car manufacturer to create driverless car services. I certainly agree with you that this model would allow each party to bring in their expertise and competitive advantage – navigation technology and enormous rider base from Uber coupled with driverless car technology at low cost from the manufacturers. I however doubt the practicality of leverage Uber’s network of drivers to help with road testing and sensor data collection. I believe that most drivers would be hesitant to collaborating in the development of driverless car technology that could eventually steal jobs from them.

On November 7, 2016, PatL commented on ExxonMobil: Carbon Capture and the Fight to Stay Relevant :

Great article! I agree with you that Exxon has made significant progress towards reducing its carbon footprint as it focuses on the development carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) process. However, I believe that Exxon, despite its long history and success in the oil business, is well equipped with unsurpassed human and capital resource to help pioneer the innovation and development of clean technologies which could have a considerbly bigger impact on climate change than the CCS technology. We have seen in recent years that both BP and Shell have decided to invest in clean technologies, and I strongly believe that Exxon can certainly join them in tackling one of our generation’s biggest challenges.
– Shell:
– BP:

Interesting article, YM! I really like your suggestions on future reduction, especially item 2 on educating consumers about the positive environment impact of choosing green options. As DHL continues to invest in its operations and fleets to lower carbon footprint, the company will inevitably face another challenge: higher investment requirements and rising costs, which will likely translate into higher prices to end-consumers. It is critical that DHL communicate its “Go Green” effort clearly to consumers in order to gain support and justify higher prices charged to consumers for the same level of services. Otherwise, “Go Green” can result in a negative financial performance of the company despite its positive contribution to the environment.

On November 7, 2016, PatL commented on Gazprom: Ready to Respond :

I agree with MDLB that the European Union has already planed to move away from BOTH fossil fuel sources (natural gas and coal) AND Europe’s heavy reliance on Russia (via Gazprom). Although natural gas is considerably cleaner than coal in terms of carbon footprint, I believe that the EU acknowledges that natural gas is still much more polluted that renewables sources such as wind and solar which they consider to be more sustainable long term. In fact, we can see in recent years that the EU has already made some strategic decisions to pursue renewable energy sources and curtail its reliance on natural gas.

Great article, Vlad! I have been using UberPOOL since its inception and loving the scheme as it effectively combines low cost and convenience. Although I am on the same page with you that UberPOOL essentially halved carbon footprint by “pooling” at least two people on a ride, I do agree with Alan that UberPOOL as well as other Uber services can turn into a significant hindrance to the development of an extensive and efficient public transportation system, which I strongly believe is the true answer to solving congestion and pollution problem. With great services that Uber provides, commuters have no interests in using public transportation system, leading to low system utilization and discouraging additional investments in transportation system. Despite numerous benefits that Uber provides, its emergence as a major transportation option could potentially make a negative impact on global carbon footprint from transportation.

On November 7, 2016, PatL commented on Blue Apron: Delivering an efficient tomorrow :

Great article, Aakash! I found your quick facts towards the beginning of the article really fascinating, particularly as you pointed out that us in the US actually wasted as much as 30-40% of our food supply. Although I believe that Blue Apron definitely has a very interesting and is potentially a good solution to waste food problem, I think the business model would only be effective in solving food wastage locally with a relatively small impact whereas, in reality, global food wastage and starvation issues are happening cross-continent in massive scale. Would the solution be to create many more businesses like Blue Apron to operate locally all around the world?