This is a great post, and a very interesting topic! I completely agree with your recommendation around needing to ensure that the user base from which ideas are sourced is as diverse and representative of the civilian population as possible. I believe that this will help ensure that people of all socio-economic backgrounds are represented equally. Of course, such initiatives tend to attract a self selected sub set of people who are relatively more well off, and so I believe that the onus of ensuring that this effort is inclusive lies in the hands of the government bodies that are leading it. In fact, I believe that this is in their best interest, as often the best ideas and important change can be sourced from the grass roots level and initiatives like BigApps can help spur such movements.
I really like how Takeda is implementing such an innovative approach to drive innovation – especially given that it is one of the oldest pharma companies in Japan, and that this industry has traditionally been quite closed in their approach to innovation. Given that the robustness of its drug pipeline is most critical for the growth of a pharma company, I think this initiative is especially important for Takeda to maintain its competitive advantage in the market going forward. As you highlighted however, this also comes with several external risks, including regulatory and legal risks. Furthermore, it may also pose operational challenges for the firm. As it starts to use open innovation to source more and more of its R&D initiatives, the company will need to focus on developing new competencies and new resources around managing this open innovation process in the most optimal way possible to ensure that it generates the best outcomes.
The speedfactory concept and the application of 3D printing for footwear is extremely interesting and, as you very rightly highlighted, the move toward in season, fast fashion is table stakes for Adidas as much of the fashion and retail world is moving in that direction. In response to your question, I do appreciate how in the short run such investments do create interesting buzz about the company, helping them use this as a marketing play to build the brand. At the same time, I do strongly feel that taking a long term view and starting early to build such capabilities to remain competitive is extremely important. Hence, I view this more as an investment in Adidas’ future, and a necessary response to shifting consumer preferences. Of course, the success or failure of such a venture will ultimately be defined by Adidas’ ability to execute effectively and scale this investment across its operations.
This is an interesting read. As you mentioned, the gender gap remains a critical issue in society, and any solution that helps bridge that gap and drive greater inclusion of women in the workplace undoubtedly serves a very important need. Similar to what others have mentioned above, it would be very helpful to understand what exactly women do not like in the current offerings to ensure that the Ellevest solution is delivering on these specific needs and differentiating itself in the right way to serve its target market. Furthermore, it is most critical that the offering is at least as good as the others on the market from a functionality perspective to ensure that it does not in anyway disadvantage the women who choose to use it. To address your question on using machine learning to reverse gender biases, I am not quite sure that machine learning alone can be the solution, as most of the challenge lies in changing the fundamental perceptions and constructs of society as a whole. However, I do feel that if such digital solutions are implemented in the right way they can help get us there faster!
This is a very interesting read – thanks for sharing! Emirates has long been regarded a leader in the airline industry, and so I am not surprised that it is yet again emerging as a leader in applying machine learning to optimize performance, and in turn maintain its competitive edge in the highly competitive industry in which it operates. To address your questions, I do believe that Emirates’ ability to execute is its main competitive advantage – this is both in terms of their operational capabilities, as well as their vast resources and genuine willingness to invest substantially in maintaining their leadership. I do not believe that competition’s access to this information is a detriment to Emirates as a lot of this technology is soon going to be a commodity anyway. The value will be generated based on how effectively and quickly it is implemented to reap the rewards.