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On November 20, 2016, pmc3 commented on Walmart working with Uber; Two Giants Join Forces :

Thanks for the post. I think it is really interesting to think about how Wal mart is pushing into digital given their dominance stems from their physical brick and mortar stores. How will they be able to leverage their core competencies in physical brick and mortar stores and translate that into e commerce? E commerce has historically been a huge focus for Wal Mart – they tried to acquire before getting out bid by Amazon. Since they lost out on acquiring, I bet wal mart did not want to miss out on acquiring

Given all the different initiatives they are undertaking, I am worried they may not know exactly what they are looking for and could cause them to suffer in the short term. I guess they want to be prepared in case the digital e commerce move goes in a different direction than what they were expecting. It will be interesting to see how they integrate into their own platform and the potential synergies associated with fulfillment and purchasing. Will consumers still utilize now that they are owned by wal mart?

On November 20, 2016, pmc3 commented on Digital Gainz : The Kayla Itsines Phenomenon :

Really interesting post – I dont think I can think of a better example of someone utilizing digital in order to optimize their business model. I first heard of Kayla through my girlfriend who is an avid fan. I downloaded the app soon after and fell in love with the idea behind the workouts. The interface makes it very easy to use and really forces you to be part of the community which I think is main reason why app is so popular.

The real question is what is next for Kayla? How does she continue to monetize her following yet remain true to her core values? I would be concerned that user growth may stagnate if she does not continue to innovate and come up with new ways to interact with her followers. If she really wants to take advantage of this trends towards fitness I would suggest opening up a brick and mortar store. That would allow her to get her followers to interact with each other and also have a physical presence to gain new followers.


Interesting post Spencer. I had not realized that e book usage had actually plateaued. The reasons you listed definitely influence the rate at which the younger generations read books. Do you think that if they e book usage AMZN would have continued to focus on the e books/online books instead of going into brick and mortar? How do you think they decided it was time to enter the brick and mortar space?

I am trying to think of other lessons that could be applicable as e commerce only retailers switch to a brick and mortar presence? For example, when should Harry’s razors open up a brick and mortar store instead of focusing on e commerce? Also, what is the inventory policy of the brick and mortar store? If I go to a bonobos store they do not carry inventory and ship it to my house after I purchase it. I think this gives stores an advantage over traditional brick and mortar but only works because they have conditioned the consumer to expect purchases from that store to take a few days.

Great post Zack. Especially given my interest in the NFL, it is interesting to hear about the different initiatives they are undertaking to better adapt to the new digital age. Similar to your experience I have been underwhelmed with the NFL’s recent moves into digital. I do think that their inability to connect with the consumer is all different mediums is causing the drop in viewership. While I get there maybe other factors, I think that the consumers are moving away from just watching their favorite team on TV and the NFL needs to do more to connect with the consumer elsewhere through twitter, snapchat, etc.

I also think that the stadium experience itself is causing part of the decline. Not only is it very expensive to get tickets but the view from the majority of the seats are not great for viewing the game.

On November 20, 2016, pmc3 commented on CostCo: Creating Membership Value in a Digital World :

Thanks for the post Kent. I think it is interesting to think about Costco’s path forward in a digital world given they have made their whole existence based on brick and mortar stores. It is important for them to be on the forefront of this transition or else they will lose out to companies that are able to better capitalize on the trend towards digital.

One company that is trying to replicate Costco’s business but only online is Boxed. Boxed is an online only app that offers whole sale level prices to the consumer. It is only available through the app and does not have a brick and mortar presence. Costco should be really worried about the implications of companies such as Boxed that are better able to tap into consumers sentiment and desire for online. It looks like Costco is trying to push into digital but I think they can do more such as offering their services via an app.

On November 7, 2016, pmc3 commented on Save the planet, drink more beer. :

Thanks for the post – I am a huge New Belgium fan so found this to be very relevant. It sounds like New Belgium has taken the opportunity to actually invest real dollars into becoming a more environmentally friendly company. I really enjoyed learning about all the new initiatives they have undertaken. I have to wonder though if New Belguim is able to undertake these because of the fact that they are private. If they were publicly traded or private equity backed, would they have been able to have the same flexibility or lead way in pursuing these types of investments. Is that the reason why larger companies like AB InBev have not really undertaken similar measures yet?

I think New Belgium should consider increasing their advertising spending in order to better educate the consumer on these types of projects. I buy New Belgium because of the taste and had no idea they were on the forefront of tackling climate change in the beer industry. I am particularly impressed as I am sure countless other consumers would be as well.

On November 7, 2016, pmc3 commented on How Can Climate Change Dramatically Change Your Mornings? :

Thanks for the post! I am a huge coffee fan and have been following this concerning trend over the last few years. I recently was in Vietnam, who is the third largest coffee exporter, and they are experiencing very similar trends as Brazil. The impact that this trend is having on the local level is very concerning and it is great to see some of the steps that Starbucks is taking to try and help local farmers.

This post made me wonder if there are additional steps that Starbucks can take to help ensure the sustainability of the crops for their farmers. Given this is the new environment in which farmers need to operate in, are there new crop modifications that can help address this issue? Should Starbucks be investing in technology that can help solve this problem? I am curious if Starbucks is considering vertically integrating and actually owning coffee fields. Because the price of coffee will likely increase in the future and the supply maybe limited, Starbucks should definitely consider it if they want to better position themselves for the future.

On November 7, 2016, pmc3 commented on General Electric – Not so General anymore! :

Thanks Subi, I enjoyed learning more about GE. It is pretty interesting to think about the role that a company like GE can play in helping change the discussion about climate change. After reading your post I am confident that GE is positioning itself to be make sure that climate change does not negatively impact their future business model.

One point your post made me think about was the trade off that GE has to make around short term profitability/growth and long term business strategy. Can GE as a public company spend the necessary capital in the short term to better position themselves to deal with the impact of climate change? I am not convinced that certain shareholders would be happy with GE spending that type of capital instead of on projects that are more NPV positive.

On November 7, 2016, pmc3 commented on Power Struggles at Amazon Web Services :

Thanks for the post Radhika. It was interesting to read about the sheer magnitude of power that these data centers use – it was definitely something I had never before considered. I was also shocked that AWS had not been historically paying much attention to climate change impact of their data centers.

After reflecting on the post, I was surprised at just how little renewable energy powers these centers. Given their locations could be anywhere in the country, I would have expected them to be located in areas where wind and solar power are prevalent. Because of the potential to save money using renewable sources of energy, why do you think they still only power such a small number of centers? I would think that as this issue gains more attention over the next few years, AWS will be under pressure to develop more environmentally friendly policies towards its centers.

On November 7, 2016, pmc3 commented on The Crossroad faced by state-owned China Coal Corp :

Thanks for the post Olivia. I found it especially interesting since I traveled to Beijing this past summer and say first hand the effects that climate change has had on the city.

You raised some really interesting points about the role that China Coal play given it i a state owned enterprise. Do you think that because of this they should be more obligated to invest in areas that will benefit the Chinese people as a whole or should they maximize profit in the short term? I would have assumed it was the former but was surprised to read how slow they are pushing more environmentally friendly policies.

In fact, in today’s WSJ, there was an interesting article on the role that coal will play in China’s future ( It mentions that “China’s government said it would raise coal power capacity by as much as 20% by 2020, ensuring a continuing strong role for the commodity in the country’s energy sector despite a pledge to bring down pollution levels.” I was surprised to read this especially in light of some of the issues you had brought up in your post. I would hope that the Chinese government realizes the role they can play in leading environmentally friendly energy policies.