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On November 20, 2016, Riley commented on Nike’s Play in the Digitization of Fitness :

What an interesting post George! I remember seeing the Fuelband in stores and wondering how it was any different from the other wearables on the market that already seemed to have cult-like followings. Your analysis on the failure of the band makes perfect sense. We’ve seen how difficult it can be to balance priorities when creating 2 sided marketplaces and partnering with other companies. With the band’s success in direct conflict with Apple’s watch it is no wonder Nike had to put an end to it. I’m interested to see how their Nike+ app plays out. There are so many fitness apps available, it will be difficult for Nike to distinguish themselves. One way they’ve done a good job of this is through their partnerships with professional athletes. The app sometimes features workouts designed and “led” by these individuals which I haven’t seen done by competing apps. That being said, the workouts have I’ve seen on the app haven’t been that great… While I love Nike I don’t think they’ve done a great job of embracing tech; though I’m glad to see they are trying! Here’s to hoping their new endeavors are more successful 🙂


What an interesting post Spencer; I had no idea Amazon was looking into brick and mortar! The notion that they can leverage the data they gathered from online book sales to make a more efficient store is very intriguing. I think there are also opportunities to improve their website through insights they gain from running brick and mortar stores. I see these storefronts as massive user experience studies. With eBook sales stagnating, they can learn more about the types of books people are looking for in store and why they want physical books. Amazon can use these reasons to then improve the existing Kindles or even create new product offerings. I’m excited to see what happens with these stores!!

What a great post Parvathy! As a Sephora enthusiast I’ve been excited about the steps they’ve taken to embrace digital 🙂 I remember what a big deal it was when they came out with ColorIQ. It made it so much easier to choose foundation, both online and in store (which is one of the hardest parts of doing one’s makeup). A big risk I see as things move more digital is that nothing is stopping customers from purchasing products directly from brands rather than through Sephora. One of the allures of Sephora is that you can go one place and try products from all the top brands which is well worth the downside that Sephora doesn’t carry their full lines. As Sephora makes it easier to make purchases online, I see other makeup brands following suit; thus making it harder to compel consumers to buy from them rather than directly from the brand. To keep customers buying from Sephora I think it’s important that they continue to invest in their VIB loyalty program which gives consumers points for every dollar spent at the store.

On November 20, 2016, Riley commented on Netflix & Chill :

Great post Ferg! Netflix is one of the companies I always think of when I look to companies who have taken advantage of digital. I think one really cool opportunity Netflix has is with the machine content and the creation of new content. One of the great successes of Netflix is their suggestion algorithm which shows users other shows they may be interested in given the shows and movies they have watched. Netflix has been investing in creating content of their own to keep users engaged while not spending exorbitant fees on content acquisition. As they develop more story-lines, I think there is a cool opportunity to use machine learning to determine what shows are worth investing in. I’m excited to see what Netflix does to remain relevant with so many competitors in this space!!

On November 20, 2016, Riley commented on Burberry: Digitizing the Trench :

What an interesting post! I think reaching younger audiences is something a lot of luxury brands are currently struggling with. The chip concept showing shoppers how the item was worn on the runway is an amazing use of technology to take the Burberry in store experience to the next level. What concerns me is the steps they’ve taken can be adopted by other luxury brands as well. Estee Lauder has created a new line the Estee Edit” using Kendall Jenner as a brand ambassador. While they focus on skin care more than clothing, nothing is stopping other luxury brands from doing the same to reach millennials (who tend to be less brand loyal than previous generations). I think Burberry can take advantage of being first to fully embrace technology in order to build nostalgia with millennials in hopes of keeping them loyal.

On November 7, 2016, Riley commented on Green Mission of Whole Foods Market :

What an interesting read, thanks Iryna!! I had no idea they restricted the products they carried with Palm Oil to those with RSPO certified ones. It’s great to see that they are using their bargaining power to enforce high standards on their suppliers. People have made great comments about educating shoppers on the effects of their meat choices those effects on climate change, Whole Foods could also help educate users make informed quantity decisions. “About 95 percent of the food we throw away ends up in landfills or combustion facilities. In 2013, we disposed more than 35 million tons of food waste.” ( Helping users make better purchasing quantity decisions might be another step they can take.

On November 7, 2016, Riley commented on Fast Fashion on a Fast Decline via Climate Change :

What an interesting post ARS! It’s amazing that H&M was able to decrease emissions by 56% and also increase net sales. And while this progress is great for H&M I completely agree that they need to use their power to influence their suppliers and make sure they are also using sustainable practices and lowering emissions within their factories. It would be incredibly shortsighted of H&M to only focus on their own emissions (especially in this day and age when retailers are held accountable for the practices of their suppliers).

On November 7, 2016, Riley commented on Is the world running out of chocolate? :

What an awesome post Parvathy! I am a bit surprised at how little Mars is doing to be proactive about solving this problem. Most of their solutions seem to be about mitigating their own risk (diversifying their sources, creating sustainable financing for farmers) and sourcing to take advantage of economies of scale seems a bit weak. It would be great to see them make efforts within their own plants to minimize climate impact as well as incentives farmers to exercise sustainable practices. It’s a nice step that they are doing research in this area, but I think they will need to create some type of incentive for farmers to adopt any of their recommended practices.

On November 7, 2016, Riley commented on Can Google stay “Googley” with climate change? :

What an intriguing post, thanks Jason! As someone who plans on working in technology, this is an issue that is very near and dear to my heart. As a society, we have gotten more and more data hungry as time has passed and the problem will only continue to get worse. It is expected that digital data storage will grow at 42% annually through 2020 (, which is pretty scary given the effects these costs will have on the climate. It’s great that Google is not only trying to make their data centers best in class in terms of efficiency but they also created a way for other companies to take advantage of their own data centers. It would be near impossible for smaller companies to achieve the efficiencies that Google has. That being said, I think it would be great if they could be a bit more open about their practices so that other companies at scale could learn from them and improve.

What a great post Camilla, I hadn’t thought of how the clothing industry might me impacted by climate change. It’s quite staggering that one pair of 501s uses 3,781 liters of water! I’ve also seen the campaigns targeted at getting consumers to wash jeans less frequently and never connected that the campaign was a part of their initiative to help decrease the impact their jeans have on the world. That being said, I think the BCI initiative is a bit weak. Given that 70% of water consumption comes from the production of the cotton used to make jeans itself; there is a lot of room for improvement given those part of the initiative use only 18% less water. I’m excited to see what happens when they really start expanding their products to use other materials besides cotton.