I’m pretty fascinated by Altschool and I think what they’re trying to do is admirable. I do agree with your analysis that what they’re doing right now is very small scale, limited to their environment and exclusively available for the wealthier segments of population. I think the massive challenge for them would be in scaling. I personally think traditional schools aren’t going to be ‘disrupted’ for a long time. Since they’re building products for an extremely different environment than what is actually in regular schools, I think it will be challenging for them to adapt their products to the regular school environment. Very interested to see how this plays out in the future!
Very cool post! Potential applications of IoT in baby products are huge, especially since this is such a pain point for new parents and technology with its monitoring and detection capabilities can help make the early parenting experience to be less stressful. Another MIT project that has gained some publicity is the “smart crib” called SNOO to help simulate the sounds and motions that babies experience in wombs and that helps them sleep better: http://www.businessinsider.com/smart-crib-babies-sleep-snoo-video-2016-10
Great post! I think the debate we had in class about weather Watson will replace doctors in medicine is quite applicable here also: what decisions are these investors making that are purely computational and inferring from past data that machines can do better versus what decisions need higher order thinking skills and dealing with ambiguity that computers are still not competent at.
Regardless of what the future holds, roboadvisors and how they’re affecting the wealth management industry right now is fascinating. These advisors are very appealing to millennials (especially young people in the tech industry) who don’t want to think about building their own portfolios, can’t afford to pay exorbitant fees to wealth managers and are comfortable with the idea that algorithms are managing their money.
I had the opportunity to be in a USDS and 18F recruiting session once at a conference and the energy was really amazing. (I was with a colleague and if you want a first hand account, he wrote a great post about it: http://geoffreylitt.com/2015/10/07/cfa-summit.html). Your points are spot on: their plug was that instead of using your skills to create the next “SoLoMo” app or build the next adtech platform, come solve real problems and make the world a better place. While a lot of great people from Silicon Valley are leaving to join organizations like 18F, USDS or Code for America, it will be interesting to see if this has a significant brain drain on talent in the valley and whether government can really continue to compete with the big names for talent.
I also was quite surprised when I heard of Solar City being acquired by Tesla. However, then it made sense not only as a marketing move to send the signal that Tesla is not just in the automobile company but is fully committed to the energy crisis but also possibly to move towards powering its own supply chain and factories with renewable energy. I think a huge factor in making Teslas more accessible has been the increased availability of charging stations https://www.tesla.com/models-charging#/onthego (which previously were free to use but now would include a charge). I’d be curious to see if Tesla could use renewable energy (particularly solar!) to power these charging stations.
Fascinating read. It’s interesting that they’re able to reduce CO2 emissions every year by 20% per terabyte of data. With the amount of data being shared over mobile networks increasing exponentially, I do wonder if the sheer amount of data is increasing by more than 20%, leading to net increase in emissions.
By virtue of being the market leader, I think Airtel is in a unique position to define industry best practices around sustainable tower design, more improved tower location and the power mix provided to towers. Given the long term cost savings this will yield, this should also hopefully align with their operating model.
Very interesting post, Matt. Thought that having data from farms not only helps improve farm yield at a micro level for individual farms, but also helps understand and visualize the longer term implications of climate change on farming at the macro level for the industry is quite powerful. I do wonder how the increased visibility around climate change trends will impact farming and the way farmers end up using the data provided by Trimble and other such providers.
Fascinating post. The following line particularly resonated with me: “educate the end consumer that they themselves are ultimately the ones with the power to make change.” I always used to associate the word “organic” with food and didn’t realize it was actually considered to be the world’s ‘dirtiest’ crop due to its heavy use of insecticides and pesticides causing toxic levels of contamination to the air, water and soil. I think this is an opportunity for Patagonia to make consumers understand their choices and their longer term implications!
As a Whole Foods buff myself, I thank you for sharing this! I had no idea organic food helps regenerate soil! I think there’s a huge lack of information around what things like ‘organic’ and ‘non-GMO’ mean and I also believe Whole Foods can help customers understand their food choices better. I usually err on the side of organic and non-GMO certified food with the thought that natural is better. A few days ago I came across this article https://medium.com/@BioChicaGMO/were-scientists-we-re-moms-and-we-avoid-non-gmo-products-33bc0aa351a3#.6l66wjgf6 which made me re-think my position. As a scientist, I haven’t quite distilled my position on the issue yet but I do wish I could read more about the research behind the debate arguments.