Open innovation for a consumer product such as LEGO is a brilliant idea, not only for creation and innovation on the product front, but also as a marketing tool and way to engage consumers through the belief that their ideas and dreams for legos can turn into reality, and the additional engagement that they have a say in voting or supporting their favorite creations online. The additional benefit of adding a teaching component through a partnership with MIT to me allows the company to expand the age-range of their consumer base that would be interested in staying engaged with LEGO. To address your question, I think LEGO should continue to innovate, through thinking about the ways differing age ranges of consumers interact with media. For example, a younger consumer is not as active on social media, but is incredibly creative. Including a pamphlet with each set for them to vote on new ideas will leave them loyal to the brand at a young age, and likely eager to contribute later on. For those older than the prime contributing market, I wonder if LEGO can parter with an engineering school to open source creations for electronic legos. This can enhance the learning and engagement from older (high school and beyond) students who have an interest in engineering or programming broadly.
Hyperloop technology is in my opinion one of the most exciting promises of our time. Transportation is integral to nearly every business that functions globally, and finding a way to transport people and materials in an expedited fashion promises huge potential, not to mention monumental environmental gains if we can move away from carbon fuel emissions. To address your question – At first thought I believed that engaging individuals beyond the concept validation phase could be solved with additional competition. However, upon reflection I question whether those who succeeded in the concept phase are the right individuals to be tackling the implementation phase? Having no background in this field (!) I do question if the skills that allowed these individuals to be successful in idea creation want to, are motivated by, and can succeed in the mechanics of implementation. I think this is an interesting question for an open innovation platform.
Given the success of SmileDirectClub and other B2C competitors, I do think that Align faces significant challenges in the near future. One advantage that they have is their significant data on existing customers, which they should leverage to build additional brand loyalty whether it be through follow-on straighteners in the years following original use, or keep-at-home products for when issues arise. I also think that Align will need to enter new business lines, utilizing their innovation that has allowed them to succeed to date. Dentures or prosthetic teeth seem to be the next most similar market that they can enter leveraging existing success to market to new customers. Given competitors are creating products quicker and marketing them at a lower cost, Align needs to act and think quickly about how they will stay afloat once their original customer base rolls off!
I definitely agree that Nike should start thinking more broadly about 3D printing applications beyond professional sports, or even footwear. The ability for 3D printing to create personalization can open so many doors for Nike. Keeping with footwear, users can likely optimize for flexibility and breathability depending on what they plan to use the footwear for, and print for the optimal “mix” depending on their specific size, height and other physical statistics. This level of personalization would definitely be a key differentiator and profit generator. Secondly, there are thousands of individuals across the globe that currently lack real access to footwear (and beyond that, often clothing) because they have small/large sized feet, have been injured in some form, or were born with abnormalities that require sizes that fall outside of what traditional producers deem “normal”. 3D printing promises to overcome the challenges for these individuals, by allowing them to print in a size and shape that works for their body. This to me is the most powerful use- and I would urge Nike to adopt a “social” mission in partnering with those that currently lack accessibility to “normal” footwear!
As I think about the future of this technology, the immediate concern that comes to mind is what can it optimally and productively be utilized for beyond automobiles. Given the rise of autonomous vehicles, I do think auto crashes are an important issue to tackle, but hopefully one that will significantly diminish over time with the rise of driverless cars. I wonder if Affectiva should instead focus its attention and resources to other human-operated processes that seem less likely to be automated in the medium-term. Two that come to mind are airplane pilot operations as well as human-operated machinery. I also think the concern regarding non-consensual data as well as biases is extremely important. Although there is a lot of good that can come by preventing humans from harming themselves or others when in a sub-optimal state, there is inherent danger that comes with labeling facial expressions. Given the enormous range in cultural differences to express varying emotion, as well as obvious differences in facial composition across the globe, I worry that those with ill intent can exploit this technology for racial or professional discrimination and wonder what Affectiva is doing to prevent this and if it’s enough.
I love this topic! The study of health, activity, and utilizing data to optimize performance brings to mind so many ways that society can benefit and the general population can improve their health (and disease prevention) through activity tracking. The anecdote about the CEO determining how to fight jet lag through personal experience exemplifies the need for this technology to be applied to the broader masses for unsupervised learning beyond professional athletes. Clearly athletes are a perfect market to start with: they have required (sporting) activity and training, and closely track performance. However it seems clear to me that if the general population starts tracking daily life with the WHOOP technology, questions such as: What are the physical signs one may notice leading up to a heart attack? When is a person getting “enough” physical activity to prevent coronary disease? How many steps a day are needed for a unique individual to stay fit? can be answered. I see this technology revolutionizing the way that people think about health. Right now the general belief and stated guidelines are to exercise plenty, but the inability for doctors or practitioners to truly qualify how much and what type is “correct” remains a huge open question for society that WHOOP technology seems poised to solve. I see this adding years to many individuals lives but correcting their activity patterns to optimize health!