r cai

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On November 15, 2018, r cai commented on Crowdsourcing at Adidas – Be The Designer :

Super fascinating to see how Adidas is innovating across many different areas relevant to TOM! In response to your question 1, for Adidas, I think them surpassing or rising to the level of Nike is not a question of innovation but rather a question of marketing. In my opinion, Nike has done a far better job in marketing, advertising, and appealing to its customers and that is why they outperform. When I compare these companies on a pure product basis, I don’t think that their products are that differentiated.

For your second question, I would be curious to see how these items are priced or have Adidas do a data sampling how these products should be priced. One thought would be to do collaborations with their ambassadors (like Karlie Kloss) to advertise this product offering and try to attract consumers to the brand.

Love this topic and super exciting to see that companies in the food industry are dabbling and investing in these types of technology. I think it works especially well for a company like Barilla and for items in the food industry that are less perishable. I think the applications for customization in this realm are far-reaching and I can see this being utilized in restaurants that want to provide full customization for customers across types of pasta/shape/style etc. Where I’m more skeptical is on the broader impact of feeding the world and addressing the food gap, the machine is still limited by its inputs so if items like vegetables and fruit are not available, how will that be addressed by this technology? For items that aren’t fresh, I’m struggling to see how the investment in 3D printing would be a better alternative to investing in the traditional food supply chain for under served areas. That being said, I know they are experimenting in this segment with “clean meat”. My other concern is that we are trending towards clean ingredients and fresh food, I think that 3D printing goes in the opposite direction of that trend, and I would be curious to see the customer reaction to items like printed real meat or produce.

Really appreciate this article – it was inspiring to see how Oxfam is using these new technologies for social impact. I see a lot of challenges that Oxfam has to overcome for this to be useful for the communities that is in. First, I imagine that the technology of 3D printing is currently very expensive – how long will it take for this technology to be at a price where it can be implemented and scaled around the region? Furthermore, one of the arguments that was presented was that this reduces logistics and transportation costs. I’m worried that in a disaster scenario that the printers themselves would also be affected and not be able to serve their purpose. In addition, I think Oxfam ought to also consider the inputs needed for the 3D printers, and make sure that they are thinking about the full supply chain if they were to provide these printers and educate the local community. Finally, I think having the communities adaption of the technology will be difficult. I would probably think about targeting issues such as education and use of computers first before introducing things like 3D printers.

While I think there is a lot of potential for this to be increasingly beneficial for the communities it serves, I think there are of hurdles both from a capital and cultural perspective that need to be considered.

Super interesting – I had no idea that Amazon was using crowd sourcing / open innovation in this manner. I think the idea of open innovation in this setting (creative context, sourcing ideas from a diverse group of people, etc) is an amazing idea in theory, but in practice misses out on a few things. One, I think the actual content that is submitted may be more from individuals trying to get noticed, but may not be the blockbuster ideas that Amazon Studios is looking for. Two, the amount of volume and resources that Amazon will utilize in sifting through these ideas and pursuing a few of them may not be the best use of their time and money. I like the idea that Maurice Martin wrote above, which is using this for a more concentrated pool of ideas. I think that would provide Amazon with a better dataset of what people are looking for, potentially feedback on current shows, and could increase innovation for new programs.

On November 15, 2018, r cai commented on Duolingo: Machine Learning Our Forgetfulness :

As someone who used Duolingo for only about 1 week before forgot about it, I think there are a lot of opportunities for them to grow. While I think the interface brings fun and excitement into language learning, I believe that the actual retention of the language learning is low when it is primarily in multiple choice and sentence construction. With their HLR model, I think there is potential for them to integrate more interactive media into their portfolio. For example, providing you with media videos in other languages and getting your feedback for understanding. They could also partner with schools or businesses to further build out their platform and provide a way for companies to help their employees learn other languages (i.e. Rakuten).

With regards to the data, I would be curious to see what industries (outside of education) they feel this data most useful for and how they could leverage the data for those industries. Since you referred to Airbnb, one idea around experiences could also be to partner with someone like Airbnb and immerse people in a culture/environment as a supplement to language learning.

On November 15, 2018, Rebecca Cai commented on Make Tonight Unforgettable with HotelTonight :

Thanks for sharing your view on Hotel Tonight and how the company plays in the machine learning area. In my opinion, the competitive advantage for Hotel Tonight is actually its value and customer experience/ease of use. I was actually quite surprised to learn that they extended their booking window from 7 days to 100 days, as I think that decreases the value proposition from the perspective of a customer. For example, when I log onto the app and book last minute, I feel like I’m getting a great deal because the hotel wants to increase utilization and, because of that, I have access to a room at unique price point. By increasing the booking window to 100 days, I think it transforms Hotel Tonight into more of a traditional online booking platform. With regards to machine learning, I think this provides the company with an advantage in customization and targeted advertising/pricing, but it is not enough to differentiate the company from its competitors. In addition, I think there is a fine line to walk in the hospitality industry with machine learning and customer preferences to ensure that people feel they are getting what they want, but are also able to maintain their living space as a safe and private space.