Paula Álvarez

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On November 15, 2018, Paula Álvarez commented on Will the Sport of Football Survive? VICIS Says Yes. :

Really interesting submission, Bueller!

I tend to disagree with the idea that they should be marketing it to NFL players. The main differentiation factor of this product is safety. Who cares more about safety? Moms & dads. They should be focusing their efforts in lowering the price of the helmet -and I’m sure there is room for that- and targeting youth players. If you are going to save the sport, you need to start with the young players, and this helmet has the potential to directly address the biggest concerns that families have when it comes to the sport their kids play.

p.s. I would be interested to see how the helmet ranks not only in relative terms to other helmets, but in absolute terms. How safe is the safest helmet in the market? Is it safe enough?

On November 15, 2018, Paula Álvarez commented on Breaking the Molds: 3D-Printing and The Future of Shoemaking :

Really interesting article!

I do agree with Ti, Leo and Leila that 100% customized shoes seems unlikely. However, I do agree with Charlotte that provided its lower shipping costs and assuming direct manufacturing costs continue to decrease as the technology gets more and more refined, I can imagine a world where 3D printing does become the norm in sneakers manufacturing and it’s not just the “cool kids” wearing 3D-printed shoes. My question is, if/when 3D printing becomes mainstream, will the cool thing then be to wear “vintage” traditionally manufactured shoes?

On November 15, 2018, Paula Álvarez commented on Improving Public Safety with Machine Learning :

Thank you for sharing this! I was totally unaware about machine learning developments towards fighting crime, and I must say: I find its predictive efforts terrifying!

An article on from barely a month ago goes:
“Now called ShotSpotter Missions, HunchLab’s program applies historical crime data, as well as current and future indicators, to statistical models and machine learning to forecast crime at specific places and times. […] offers guidance on when to patrol each cell, what sort of crime is likely to occur there and what patrol tactics to use. […]”

The system appears to be set up to support the status quo, and I strongly fear that being fed with historical data, this will reinforce the oppression that some minority communities already have to face.

Also, here’s a critical article on its deployment across the river:

Great article, Masato! It’s definitely interesting to read about how traditional corporations -aka the dinosaurs of the industry- are tackling innovation. You list two great ideas to foster innovation at Mitsubishi: internally through an ideas sharing/development platform for employees, and externally by partnering with a VC. The main risks I see of launching it internally through an open innovation platform is 1) a steep learning curve for the organization, resulting in wasted time and resources; and 2) setting barriers to prevent overloading employees with additional work on top of their current hours (as we saw it happening with Rakuten employees learning English at night). I also agree with the risks that Jayant brings up regarding an external VC partnership. Two potential, hybrid solutions to mitigate risks could be to launch an in-house accelerator or to partner with a collaborative corporate accelerator. A third one would be to innovate through acquisition.

On November 14, 2018, Paula Álvarez commented on Discover Weekly: How Spotify is Changing the Way We Consume Music :

Thanks for the post, BCA! As a proud Spotify user since 2008 and a big fan of the Discover Weekly playlist, I found your article really interesting and I think it raises a number of relevant questions. Data is allowing the Swedish company to grow its core business through new product development (e.g. discover weekly) but it also has potentially to turn Spotify into a vertically integrated music company -by engaging in content creation and ticket sales. With its current market share of 60% and the potential to dominate new music creation and the live show scene, at what point will Spotify become too big/dominant in a discipline -music- where diversity of sources matters profoundly?

On November 14, 2018, Paula Álvarez commented on San José Tackles Open Innovation for Smart Cities :

Really enjoyed reading this, Nancy! You definitely picked the best topic 😉

It sounds like San Jose is a dynamic Smart City, implementing cool, innovative projects across different disciplines. Just like with other municipalities, though, when I read about their different initiatives it brings the question of how deliberate they are being in developing a long-term strategy (vs. implementing individual, highly relevant projects here and there, without a cohesive storyline). It sounds like Mayor Liccardo is acting as a beacon and ensuring that a full-picture vision is developed, but I worry how much of that can change throughout different election terms. I think that having this clear vision of where the city should go technologically is even more relevant when crowd sourcing innovation ideas. Without a consistent vision and defined criteria on what constitutes a project that is not just hot, but also well-aligned and value-adding for the city, there rises a risk to end up with a handful of disconnected projects.