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On November 19, 2016, Ricardo commented on HomeKit – Apple’s next Big Thing? :

Wow, fascinating! I also believe smart homes are the next big development, with the possibility to include a series of incremental developments within, just as smartphones and PCs have.
Regarding Orly’s concern, I believe Apple looks for a balance between a mass and an elite product. So, as much as Android has 60% market share, Apple can still earn huge revenues from the remaining 40% pricing at a premium and appealing to its always innovative technology.
Another concern I have read about is with the connection technology that the software requires. The most recent developments on HomeKit have demanded too much capacity from Bluetooth and WiFi, which have not yet been able to deliver. So, as much as Apple is delivering a state of the art product, it still depends on other technologies to ensure its success.

On November 19, 2016, Ricardo commented on Can education publishers digitize? :

Exciting post, KK! In fact, I worked with online platforms in public education for a couple of months earlier this year. This is, indeed, the way to go for educational content. Online platforms have a series of upsides and ways to cater to both teachers and students: they allow for gamification (which students love), adaptive learning, and relieve the burden on infrastructure expenditure as they optimize our brick-and-mortar classrooms.
The biggest challenge has been, to this date, getting teachers on board. As we see with other technological advances, people are weary of losing their jobs. Personally, I do not believe this is a reality, as online platforms are a complement and not a substitute for traditional teaching.
Lastly, for Pearson, this is an excellent business opportunity, since the greatest challenge is building the platform framework. Once this is done, the same platform may be used for teaching content from kindergarten level to GMAT prep and all else included.

On November 19, 2016, Ricardo commented on Coding Trust – Blockchain Contracts and the Law of the Future :

Great post, Tatiana!
Indeed, as an ex-lawyer, I agree Law is one of those areas where technology has found the most resistance. The advances of blockchain, however, may generate impacts irrespective of lawyers’ wishes, as I see its use mainly in contracts between unequal parties. Often, people do not have the resources to pay for a good contract lawyer and end up subject to unilateral terms enforced by big companies (banks and insurance companies are the most common cases). Blockchain may, as you mentioned, relieve the weight of that upper hand.
Regarding reviews of legal documents and the search for applicable precedents, the technology may also exert fascinating results. One of the main functions of a junior lawyer (besides serving coffee and taking copies) is, in fact, doing research. Being removed from this duty, I wonder what consequences this will have on the upbringing of our future lawyers. How are they supposed to learn? In losing their current functions, is there a chance these lawyers will actually start drafting documents earlier on their careers? I seriously believe the Law industry will be severely disrupted by development brought about through digitization.

On November 19, 2016, Ricardo commented on Why Technology is Causing Your HBS Degree to Depreciate :

Thank you for your post, Tiana! Really a lot of insights here.
Having worked with public education for a couple of months earlier this year, I can easily visualize the benefits of programs such as the Khan Academy: reduced investments in infrastructure, higher quality of teachers and the ability to bridge age-year distortions. In Salvador, for example, one of Brazil’s richest capitals, age-grade distortion is over 34%. This means that 1 in 3 students are more than 2 years behind their appropriate grade. A program such as the Khan Academy may be exactly what the City needs to improve this situation.
Having said that, I believe online education can only takes us to a certain level. A full educational experience, as Carl and Ann mentioned above, still demands personal contact with teachers and fellow students.

On November 19, 2016, Ricardo commented on Otto and Uber: Pioneering Autonomy in the Shipping Industry :

Excellent post, Pete! I am very interested in the supply chain industry and it appears this whole segment will be immensely impacted by automation with AVs, drones and the like.
From what I understood, Otto is in the prototype stage, so I believe a few questios are still unanswered. For example: what are the regulations for drivers on “Level 3” AVs? Are they still limited by the 60 work-hour weeks? Also, how has AV development been impacted by Tesla’s recent accident?
Finally, I still see a conflict of interest between Uber and AVs while the company heavily relies on drivers to support its current network effect. Do you have any information on how company drivers have responded to Uber’s massively announced investment on AVs? Isn’t there a risk they abandon the company before investment on AVs have fully developed?

On November 6, 2016, Ricardo commented on Climate Change Delivers New Opportunities for Maersk Line :

Very interesting perspective and suggestions! The NSR is certainly a possibility to be tapped in the future. The question, as you mentioned, really remains of when is the right time. In my belief, I think it is still too early to radically pursue this opportunity. The shipping industry, as you mentioned, is facing rough waters, as Hanjin, one of the world’s biggest carriers, has filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. Acknowledging an opportunity cost, Maersk should probably focus on consolidating its traditional container routes, acquiring cash-constrained competitors in the following years. In addition, environmental projections have been all over the chart in the past 10 years, especially regarding rising sea levels and Arctic sea ice declines. In my opinion, Maersk, would be better off waiting for more reliable data on the NSR to come out, focusing instead on other recently expanded routes, such as the Panama Canal.

On November 6, 2016, Ricardo commented on Mortgages: Not the Only Thing “Underwater” in Miami Beach :

Very interesting post! Rising sea levels are sort of a new problem in American cities, but have long been an issue in Europe. In this sense, I wonder why Miami Beach has not chosen to benchmark some of the solutions found on the other side of the Atlantic. The Netherlands, for instance, have miles upon miles of dams, many built over 60 years ago. The country has deep knowledge on the subject, having recently also begun to tap into innovative solutions, such as using beaches and natural estuaries to prevent flooding (http://environment.harvard.edu/node/3272). Anyhow, thank you very much for your insight, especially the comparison between mitigating and costs and potential losses. This kind of data should really resonate on our politicians.

A quote attributed to Churchill commands us to seek for opportunities in times of difficulties. I believe your post strongly speaks to this point: whereas most companies are on a survival mode regarding climate change (in fact, many have yet to acknowledge the challenges), NBC has been seeking ways to benefit. My belief, however, is that most projections for sea level and Arctic Sea ice decline are still rather uncertain, having changed drastically in the past 10 years or so. In NBC’s place, therefore, I would be extremely cautious in investing, being cognizant of more conservative studies, which may pose challenges to traffic on the Northwest Passage. In addition, similar to Ann Yih’s comment above, it would be interesting to further investigate competition of the Passage with the Panama Canal, since the latest expansion of the latter has included the possibility that O&G vessels, NBC’s primary product, traverse as well. Lastly, O&G bulk carriers are a very verticalized and consolidated industry, with major companies, such as Vopak and Odjfell, controlling great part of the supply chain, from vessels, to terminals to ducts. Competing with these companies will not be an easy task for NBC.

On November 6, 2016, Ricardo commented on The Panama Canal: The “Bottleneck” of Global Shipping? :

Excellent post – the Panama Canal is a topic which has long interested me: I used to work in a port terminal, and many of our investments and projections considered the Canal’s expansion. One topic that always worried us was the extreme weather conditions the region faces, such as the floods and droughts you mentioned. Seeing the pictures you posted and having briefly studied the topic of climate change, I wondered if the Canal’s Authority / Panamanian Government is acting to prevent and/or compensate deforestation in any way. The Canal is surrounded by a beautiful tropical forest, which may very well help carbon capturing and and protect the watershed.