I have very mixed feelings about how to perceive Uber. Because there are so many factors that could come into play namely short-term vs. long-term pricing, market reaction to Uber, Uber car of choice, etc.
I completely agree that Uber has a great chance to make a different and it can shape the future.
However, I have doubt of the long-term positive impact on the environment. Even with Uberpool people will still rely on cars. And even if I take it to the extreme that all Uber car run on electricity, the majority of electricity produced is from fossil fuel. The ideal scenario would be for everyone to use public transportation and to take sharing economy to the extreme. Buses or trains can hold a lot more people making it much more efficient than Uber.
To summarize, I believe that Uberpool and its sharing economy provide a great medium-term solution. However major transportation infrastructures are needed to build a more sustainable way for people to commute.
This is a fascinating post. What struck me the most was the fact that instead of trying to preserve Venice for the future generation, people decided to all visit Venice before it disappears. For me, this raises a problem of a significant mismatch of a long-term vs. short-term interest for people involved. This goes beyond just Venice. For example, Maldives is experiencing the same thing. A third party entity, e.g., the government and/or UNESCO should play an active role in managing and maintaining these climate-sensitive tourist sites.
I also very enjoy your analysis on using the business mindset to solve the problem. Using the surge in price to finance for a long-term solution is a stroke of genius. As long as they could figure out the optimal price point to maximize overall profit, this would be a great settlement to the issue as it would both reduces the number of cruises and finance the floodgate.
This is a very interesting article, and I think we need more companies to move in a similar direction. The nice thing about this blog post is that it make me realizes that the group as diverse as Samsung with limited downside from climate change cares about the environment. Furthermore, the company went beyond just sourcing for energy sustainably to reduce energy consumption through the switch to LED lighting.
It will be fascinating, like you said, to see how they implement this as the conglomerate-wide initiative. If all large conglomerates agree to be more mindful of an environment, then a significant impact could be made.
This is super cool. I wonder what drives the government to intervene and pull out smaller notes from the market. But in any case, I think it’s a bold move in the right direction. Thailand faces a similar problem of being a cash-based economy. In fact, credit card penetration has long been a no.1 obstacle for any online payment. Alternative payment method, e.g., Paypal also failed to gain popularity.
On a separate note, I have one concern about the cashless system globally. The non-cash system will have a psychological impact on people spending behavior. People spends more when it’s not actual cash leaving their pocket. This is the tricked used by the casino. I wonder what kind of long-term impact this would have on the world. Will people spend non-cash money more consciously or they will consume more as a result.
It is remarkable that WeChat was able to combine all favorite aspects of modern mobile usage in its ecosystem. Covering the entire ecosystem is why WeChat is such a powerful application. Your article reminded me of the recent big news of Uber exiting China. It is not only because Didi Chuxing was too strong, but also because Didi partnered with WeChat. I could imagine it will be hard to go against a relatively similar app with a much more convenient payment gateway.
On a separate point, regarding O2O, I have seen this happened in Thailand as well. In fact, I wrote my article partly about this. Modern retailers are trying to leverage O2O concept to leverage its store better and at the same time capture the attention of the millennials. It will be interesting to see the which will be the better model in the long term. Pure e-commerce vs. O2O or “Click and Mortar”.
Thank you, Nick, fascinating article. I think Blizzard has done an excellent job in the way they monetize their games. Specifically, in the past, the company rely more on the sales of the game itself, but today the game is free, and items are the way to monetize.
I am quite surprised by the fact that Blizzard chose to ignore VR. The gaming industry is one of the industries that could benefit the most of VR experience. Nintendo was able to leverage a relatively old technology to create a huge buzz with “PokemonGO.” I believe Blizzard can revolutionize the industry if it was able to create VR version of its classic game e.g., Diablo or World of Warcraft.
This is very impressive and innovative move by Samsung. l find it a little bit peculiar that Samsung chose refrigerator as a centerpiece for the “Family Hub” model. One would assume that they will surely use the phone to connect people. Instead, Samsung decided to revolutionize a more traditional household device.
Furthermore, Samsung continues to revolutionize another traditional hardware. Choosing car is a perfect option. I think car is one of the industry where improvement was limited since its creation. It will be very interesting to see how Samsung connects everything together.
Ross, I find this article very fascinating. I never strike me (until you pointed it out) that, given its’ data, Netflix has much better analytical ability than any other service providers. Hence, the firm can pick the best content for its customer base. A perfect tool to assess demand for the content. Furthermore, I think Netflix can (if not already) use this information as an input to create its owned shows. For example, they would be able to pick better actors and actresses, genre, etc. It would be very interesting how the science of determining customer preference meets the art of creating content.
Great article! I have heard about Maldives sinking for quite some time but and thought it will be sooner than the year 2100. For me the hardest part to convince is how do we make people feel good about combating global warming. How do we create this kind of mindset and culture in the industry where there’re a clear conflict of interest. One can argue that everyone should work together but the most efficient way is to rank all companies by the degree they caused global warming and publicize them. I personally believe the 80-20 rule apply here and everyone could do their part in putting pressure on these giants to improve on their carbon emission reduction mission.
It is extremely interesting to see the case that company could both benefits and harmed by climate change. It is even more interesting to see which side that company took. For Ben & Jerry, I personally believe they will gain more on revenue from the global warming. It is a lot easier to control ingredient or the components but natural boost in revenue is rather hard to come by. The boost in revenue from the awareness of the initiatives against global warming will be much lower than the increase in temperature simply because everyone will feel the rise in temperature but not everyone will hear about Ben & Jerry’s effort. This very fact made me feel very impressed with the choice the company made. Clearly they truly care and you just gave me more reason to enjoy Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!
I am among the people who have a plan to visit Iceland during winter break. I didn’t realize how much impact planes has on the environment. I am very impressed with Icelandair effort to combat climate change. They are certainly fully aware of the issue and try to treat the issue right away. This got me thinking about situation in my home country, Thailand. Like Iceland, Thailand rely on its natural beauty e.g., beaches, mountains, and waterfalls to attract tourists. However, unlike Iceland, Thailand has a very poor management of how to sustain its natural beauty. Even at the most basic level e.g., littering. It is quite sad and shocking how far we (Thais) has to improve to help both ourselves and the world.
Fascinating blog! I couldn’t agree more with the choice of company and your suggestion on how and why Shake Shack should take the lead in being part of the global warming combat. However, there are two key things that I wonder. Firstly, from the Shake Shack perspective and wondering if this will have a negative impact on their revenue. I can’t help but wonder if people would switch restaurant to find wider variety of meat menus. Secondly, I wonder how much reduction of beef menu would help. Where I’m coming from is whether beef eater will just continue to select the limited beef menu making the positive impact negligible.
That being said, I think it’s a great idea and doing something is still better than not doing anything to help the world at all!
This is a great insight on Tesla business model. I didn’t realize that Tesla rely so much on ZEV to be profitable. On a separate note, I wonder if Musk push on raising ZEV standard is the right option for the world. I assume that Tesla objective is to help be part of creating a world with better environment (and make money). Raising ZEV standard significantly might cause more companies to stop their ZEV program completely than improve their ZEV program. If this were to be true then Tesla is going to lobby CARB into doing something that has the negative net effect to the environment. This, of course, depend on the magnitude of “significantly improve ZEV standard”.