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The inner kid in me loves this idea from Lego, but I also share many of your concerns about the product development process and timeline. I see that Lego only produces one project per year right now, but what if multiple projects warrant development – can Lego do this? I fear that the more that they open themselves up to crowdsourced innovation, the more that they are restricting their design team, shrinking the potential “greenspace” for new design, and providing opportunities for people to sue them for “stealing their ideas” if it is used in any potential shape or form. I wonder if it would be valuable for Lego to separate out the crowdsourced designs into a different brand or workstream so that people can keep those product ideas separate from the traditional Lego products. Another option could be to offer less of a reward for good ideas and just provide a social reinforcement system which enables Lego to move forward with more than one product a year but without sacrificing 1% of royalties per product. Moreover, should there be restrictions on what ideas people can put forward – what if a product moves far within the process but it has no potential real viability or feasibility or legal rights? I appreciate Lego changing with the times, but I am not sure if the open innovation will be its ultimate savior in the long run.

On November 13, 2018, RB commented on Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day (Neither was Toronto) :

I didn’t know about this – thank you for highlighting this topic! I do think that open innovation is the key to success for future urban development. By enlisting the ideas of the many, Google (but more importantly local and state governments) will be able to test multiple different ideas at a low cost to the taxpayer. They will be able to bring in diverse perspectives and get buy in from the community earlier in the process, before all the red tape can cut back ideas. I think getting the people’s buy in early can also help limit the impact of special interest groups in changing the design, because the average person would already have seen and contributed to the design. I like your recommendations on how to streamline this process for Google and bring the average person into the discussion. I also just worry about how this can actually get rolled out on a broad enough scale to have a splash in the community. Does there need to be a designated media component which makes this more broad? How does that tie into the strategy?

Very interesting article on Align. My question before we even get into the additive manufacturing is around whether Align is targeting the right dentists and orthodontists to roll out the product. Many orthodontists are still hesitant to recommend Invisilign because it is not always proven to work as well as traditional orthodontia, and the dentists who are selling the product don’t always have the end user’s best service in mind. I wonder if additive manufacturing could help another competitor to create a better product which is more of an amalgamation of traditional orthodontia and Invisilign technology which better serves the customer at a lower price point or easier point of access. I think Align should be looking at potential threats from additive manufacturing in order stove off this disruption.

Great article – very timely study following the TOM field trip last week. Personally, I have no problem with Dynamic Pricing. For the teams, I think it helps to incentivize buying early – whether for season packages or early purchases for individual tickets – which enables teams to predict demand and scope the season, and for individuals, it helps you to choose the games at your price point. I’m not going to pay a lot of money to watch a bad team play the Astros (go ‘Stros!), but I will pay to watch a good team play them. I will pay more for the better experience, and I want the stadium to be sold out for that game. I think Dynamic Pricing helps to increase the turnout at cheaper games and get the people who are willing to pay for the experience into the expensive ones.

On November 13, 2018, RB commented on Does Additive Manufacturing Pose a Threat to Gun Control? :

Agreed with Michael – very terrifying indeed, but something that we all need to grapple with, especially in the larger discussion of gun control in the US. I question whether imposing regulations on the sale of 3D printers will actually do anything to curb this issue. Since so much potential good can come from 3D printers, I think that this regulation could stifle innovation and create even higher barriers to entry for new designs. I also lean towards punishing owners of these guns to the full extent of the law – but I’m not naive enough to think that would be enough.

On November 13, 2018, RB commented on Can an algorithm replace “the pill”? :

Sophia – Very interesting article on a product I hadn’t heard about before. I am glad to learn though that the company is focusing on the 93% rate instead of the 99% rate, so as not to oversell the consumer. I question the long-term position of this company, since a lower success rate could hurt the brand or a higher success rate would just entice more competition. I don’t know if this product has enough staying power to resist greater competition. As to your question of FDA success rates, there is already such a broad range in terms of the success rates of contraceptives in the market, I think that technology-based products should not have to reach a higher hurdle level. However, I do think there should be more education in the market about the actual levels of efficacy, those ranges, and what can impact that range higher or lower. I hope that the company provides clear and honest education for the consumer on these answers.