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On November 20, 2016, RM commented on HomeKit – Apple’s next Big Thing? :

Apple was at the forefront of technical and design innovation for over a decade now. Despite the disappointing results mainly driven by its iPhone sales, I believe we can all agree that Apple was one of, if not the first company to instill that “compatibility” concept in customers’ minds through its home and portable apple products. Initially, I was bullish on the potential of Apple’s HomeKit platform, but as I learn more about its competition (e.g. Google’s Nest Labs) my position has changed. To clarify, I believe in the potential these “connected” platforms have, however realize that companies have a long way to go to get the whole system right and convenient enough for the customer to believe in and realize the high upfront costs associated to making a lifestyle change.

Adoption, standardization and connectivity are three essential factors by which the success of companies like Apple and Nest Labs hinges. Companies can no longer compete for the market share (as they have done in the past) but now have to collaborate to truly extract the value from and for its customers. I also feel like there is big potential for Private and Public Partnerships (PPP) in this space perhaps through subsidies or by ammending home regulatory requirements (once the products are fully developed, made compatible and affordable to adopt) since machine based learning and control could have a significant energy and cost savings benefit to both governments and consumers.

Interesting topic Tatiana! As stated, this system is the perfect solution to the research component, but I found it especially interesting in ensuring trust between two parties through coding self-executing rules in a way that ensures neither party has the upper hand in the way the rules are enforced all while reducing cost through automation. The major issue I see here, similar to what we discussed during the IBM Watson case is that the success of this system (like any other that is digitizing) is contingent upon people submitting their own “social contracts”, digital certificates, and tenancy agreements to the platform, thus reducing the system’s potential if limited information is uploaded or increasing the risk of rubbish in = rubbish out.

On November 20, 2016, RM commented on Connecting Waste :

I have always found these “smart” trash systems simple yet extremely effective as it covers all the requirements a municipality would want (cleaner streets and reduced operating costs). The issue I see here is getting more cities to adopt this technology and put the upfront capital investment that is required on each mayor’s term. This could significantly affect the city’s budget for a given year (provided the long-ish pay-back period) but of course governments could always phase out the installation of these smart systems throughout the city. I very much agree that the reduction in maintenance cost and after-sale-services will be a defining factor between the different waste management systems that are currently available in the market. What I believe would be an eye opening factor to add is the monetization potential that governments could achieve through the efficient waste management supply chain as well as the handling of the waste for other uses.

On November 20, 2016, RM commented on The digitization of a pill :

I too have always had issues with simple medical adherence. This device helps solve an important communication issue especially when it comes to medical professionals making inappropriate changes based on limited/incorrect information. Although it is not entirely the same, it is fascinating to witness the innovation and advancements that ate currently taking place in the Medtech space as is amongst the next “superforces’ of the business future and digitalization and data analytics – making it more and more critical. I wonder how much companies like Proteus Digital Health are investing towards R&D to firstly stay competitive and monetize of the big data opportunity that this industry has to offer. Ofcourse, there are many ongoing challenges to combining big data and medtech. As we have seen by now, collecting the data is not the toughest part (everyone seems to be swimming in it these days), the key challenge will be how to apply the collection of data and really focus on the visualization of that data, as well as the filtering in order to determine what is actionable.

On November 20, 2016, RM commented on Sephora’s Digital Makeover :

Having utilized a lot of the digital avenues that Sephora has deployed over the years, this article was particularly interesting to read and learn more about their digital adoption and integration strategy both in-stores and online. The Augmented Reality feature or the “Sephora Virtual Artistic” as they call it which it has adopted (and continues to improve) is an extremely effective way to push products to customers (by recommending products) and digitalize the interactions with the sales-persons without limiting the customization required in the make-up space. Although it doesn’t seem like Sephora is aggressively shifting away from physical stores in prime locations, it would be interesting to watch how they will grow and develop their online-retail strategy and more importantly how they will use all the customer data to optimize segmentation and improve their individualized customer experience. There is huge potential here and LVMH seems to be capturing it the right way at the right pace.


Great topic, I learnt a considerable about from this post! I especially enjoyed and agree with Elon Musk’s analogy quoted at the very beginning of your article. The underlying question here is: How far do you go down the chain to push your products? And how can you ensure that they are all addressing the very problem Musk sought out to solve.

Your recommendation regarding influencing supply chain decisions to adopt sustainable integration reminded me very much of the concept of virtual integration of Ikea forests. To pgoedertier’s comment above, if Lithium and Cobalt is an essential component to this production might it make sense for Tesla to consider manage their mining activities?

With all these innovating weapons Musk is using to battle climate change and in light of Tesla’s cash flow problems, I wonder which projects he will let sink and what others will continue to develop. Let’s hope this makes the cut.

Cowspiracy brought be here. Although the documentary was how I first learnt about the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, as well as the policies that are being put in place to manage the issue, I found your article to be very informative.

It was interesting to learn about the split of emissions in that sector came from (animal husbandry in relation to the rest of the value chain). The human population is growing faster than ever and so will the issues that arise to feed them. Some of these issues include other factors down the chain such as livestock fresh water consumption which goes up to 80-90% in the US! This very fact should put the United States at the forefront of discussions on sustainable agriculture especially in light of droughts in places like California.

Great topic of choice. Other major cities are also at risk of raising sea levels…including New York, Hong Kong and Boston! As such more local resources and international expertise should be placed to work in places like the MOSE control center in order to finds ways to adapt and learn from the outcomes of these projects with aims to help innovate and find effective solutions to other cities at risk. However, on a much bigger scale major countries including the United States should find effective ways to jointly deal with these issues and push for climate change measures in climate change conventions. More awareness should develop on the topic. I agree with your campaign suggestion for financial support as well as personal carbon footprint reduction.

On November 6, 2016, RM commented on For Elon Musk and Tesla, the Future is All About Timing :

As correctly pointed out, Tesla really is at a crossroads with multiple challenges in full sight ahead. Finding the right growth-rate that would allow it to continue growing (slowly and steadily) while staying ahead of the competition in electric car space is critical. It would be really interesting to see how aggressive they will be if Case 2 were to unfold, and how quick the market will jump to capture the opportunity ahead.

Of course one can’t think of Tesla without the imagine of Elon Musk coming up. Like many others, this exceptional human being also has his flaws. Although well intentioned and in the right place, Musk’s progressive thinking may very well drive Tesla down as he looks to bite off more than he can chew…too fast. Musk needs to manage his risk tolerance when analyzing opportunities (not get too caught up in his dreams) and think hard about where to invest in order to stay afloat and manage his cash flows more effectively. In the face of many challenges ahead perhaps Elon must take a step back.

Musk is a visionary thinker however with a vertical overview of the industry’s economics. SpaceX did an incredible job in pushing manufacturing costs way down by making its own rockets, engines and capsules. He has been known to expect employees to question traditional ways of designing for better more accurate products. With sustainable vertical integration, safe innovation and cost reduction this company and Musk deserve to succeed.

Also, over the past two years there has consistently been issues surfacing with regards to Tesla cars leading to a high recall rate. It makes me wonder whether Tesla is trying to innovate at the expense of assured quality to its customers. Could this issue be another way towards Tesla’s own demise? Perhaps biting off just enough is a better way forward.