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On November 20, 2016, rkumar commented on Smart Meters: Gateway to a better grid :

Andrew, thanks for this great post! I’ve been hearing about smart meters for quite some time and wondered how come it hadn’t been implemented in a widespread manner since it seems to be beneficial for all parties involved. In addition to the regulation and limiting infrastructure in the form of transformers and substations, I wonder if these meters need to be installed in an entire subdivision before consumers and utilities can reap the benefits or would it be possible to install them in a phased manner? A phased installation would likely help the feasibility of such a project over a one-time major capital and labor investment.

On November 20, 2016, rkumar commented on Apple: Digital Healthcare Innovation :

Thanks for this really interesting post Christian! I think the applications for this technology are endless as the sensors in our phones improve and the data quality improves as a result. My main concern is how to protect consumers if Apple shares this data with health insurance companies as I could see insurance companies being incentivized to increase premiums preemptively if they start to see signs of potential health issues which may be genetic and outside of the patient’s control. So appropriate regulation will be necessary as this industry evolves to ensure the insurance companies’ and patients’ incentives remain aligned.

On November 20, 2016, rkumar commented on Facebook for Business: Liking Your Way to Digital Transformation :

Thanks for this wonderful post! I didn’t realize Facebook had created a workplace collaboration platform so this was really interesting. While I was at PwC, we implemented a customized version of Jive called Spark and while it was a great way to create internal groups and connect with colleagues around the world, I found it wasn’t integrated well into our daily work because we still used Lotus Notes Sametime for internal chats. So if Facebook can integrate all of that functionality together, there could be a major opportunity for Workplace to be adopted by large companies. But as Jordan mentioned, many employees will likely be weary of their personal profiles being integrated with workplace profiles so it will be important for Facebook to keep those separate.

Thanks for sharing Eric, very interesting post! I was surprised to learn that over 50% of first-time visitors in the mid-2000s would not return. But I wonder if the MyMagic+ program is enough to reverse this trend since it seems to reduce the amount of time wasted in the park but may not improve the experience overall since as you mentioned, only 2% of rides are providing a new experience by being interactive with the MagicBand. I would think Disney should focus on virtual and augmented reality rides to engage the youngest generations of children. This should also allow them to modify and introduce new experiences and rides more frequently as they don’t require the same amount of land and capital investment as physical rides.

On November 20, 2016, rkumar commented on Zillow: Has not yet broken the broker model :

Thanks for the interesting post! I agree that the next step for Zillow would be to develop a full-service automated solution for the entire home buying and selling process. You may be interested in checking out a company, http://www.virgentrealty.com, that was started by a friend of mine and fellow HBS alum that aims to bring the entire home selling process online. They charge a flat $5,000 fee rather than the 3% commission so it avoids the principal-agent problem. Their model is that the seller can receive a valuation of their home online, receive free professional photos for the listing, manage showings through text messages, receive recommendations for each offer, and close the deal online. I believe this model could truly disrupt the real estate industry and listing companies like Zillow will need to match their services to remain relevant.

On November 7, 2016, rkumar commented on BP: what should we expect? :

Wonderful post Akanksha – thanks for sharing! I find the impact of climate change on oil and gas companies like BP to be especially interesting since climate change has been a direct result from their business model. While I agree that these sources still provide a significant majority of the energy in the world, we will only be able to move further towards renewable sources with additional investment so I would say BP has an obligation to invest heavily in the development of these sources. We are also seeing developing countries like India sign the recent Paris climate agreement so the entire world is moving in that direction. Like Tracy, I’d be really curious to hear how BP expects its energy mix to be in 20 years – whether they think they’ll still be primarily oil and gas or will they be able to change their business model to provide energy through renewable sources.

On November 7, 2016, rkumar commented on How your Facebook Likes contribute to global warming :

Great post Fabian! I hadn’t considered the environmental impact of Facebook earlier due to the massive data centers. It was interesting to hear that one of their main initiatives was to locate data centers in naturally cool environments to save on operating chillers but I wonder that with global warming, how much longer will that remain the case? And since these data centers are such large capital investments, it isn’t really possible to move them to cooler areas when the temperatures increase. I also thought amals raised a great point that it would be interesting to hear about what sustainability efforts Facebook has implemented in its offices.

Very interesting – thanks for the post Brian. I would agree that given McDonald’s size and influence, they should be doing a lot more to combat climate change since as we saw with the IKEA case, it is definitely possible to deliver low prices and be sustainable as well. If transportation isn’t actually a significant portion of their CO2 emissions, the real opportunities seem to be in the supply chain and store operations. In addition to beef and fiber, did you come across any initiatives to improve sustainability in the sourcing of their other raw materials? And for store operations, as Eric mentioned, the real impact will only occur when they impose the requirements on their franchisees.

On November 7, 2016, rkumar commented on ITC: Leading India Inc.’s sustainability charge :

Darsh, thanks for a very interesting post. It is very encouraging to read about ITC’s proactive approach to climate change especially in sourcing almost half of its energy from renewable sources. I don’t believe corporate India as a whole has been as proactive so I’d be interested in learning how other major Indian companies compare to ITC. And if they lag behind, how can ITC serve as a role model to encourage more companies to follow its lead. I was also wondering if you came across any specific initiatives ITC has in Delhi since it is now rated as the city with the highest air pollution in the world.

On November 7, 2016, rkumar commented on Time for Marriott to ‘Check-in’ to Climate Change :

Eric, thanks for a very insightful post. I think this is a great opportunity for Marriott to step up their sustainability practices with the acquisition of Starwood and the corresponding increase in their global footprint. I really liked your idea about pushing for more LEED certified hotels through financial incentives and while this may be difficult for existing hotels, it could be possible for new hotels or hotels undergoing major renovations. I also fully agree with Wiss and Cristina that the “Make a Green Choice” program should be expanded since it aligns the customer’s incentives with that of Marriott and I believe it is far more effective than just educational material in hotel rooms. I also wonder if Marriott could partner with local non-profits in their vacation properties to educate guests on how climate change has impacted the local area and they could conduct tours for visitors to see it first-hand.