Robby Berner

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On November 20, 2016, Robby Berner commented on The Arizona Cardinals Competitive Advantage: Virtual Reality :

Really cool read. I didn’t realize NFL players (or athletes in other professional sports leagues for that matter) were seriously using VR technology in a training capacity. Professional sports are a uniquely under-pentrated area in terms of digital and technological innovation. There is an ungodly amount of data that is captured about players and teams — every pitch that a baseball patter swings at, every shot a basketball player takes, or every throw a football player makes over the course of games, seasons and careers can be analyzed thousands of different ways to assess trends and potentially make improvements. I am firm believer that the teams that continue to embrace the trends like VR and data mining will have significant advantages over old guard teams that simply shrug off data analytics and other innovations. One of the most interesting sports data tracking companies that I’ve read about is STATS SportVU, which uses six high technology cameras placed in NBA arenas to analyze every single step a basketball player makes. 29 teams have signed up for the technology already. In a free flowing game like basketball, really accurate data is harder to track, but STATS SportVU technology is opening up the door for more rigorous player analytics. It will only be time before this technology is put into NFL and NHL stadiums as well.

On November 20, 2016, Robby Berner commented on The Beauty of CRM in a Digital Age :

Sephora certainly does seem to be leveraging mobile and digital in-store technologies to improve customer satisfaction, especially for millennials. One additional area where Sephora, make-up manufacturers and potentially fashion retailers could engage potential customers and fans through social media during awards shows. Sephora and its channel partners could connect with consumers by offering them a “how to look like [inset celeb here]” either over Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and provide real time links to its website to purchase the types of make-up that the celebrities were wearing.

On November 20, 2016, Robby Berner commented on P&G: Bringing CPG into the Digital Age :

Really interesting article. There is no consumer company better equipped to evaluate and react to ever changing consumer needs than P&G. The digitization examples that you’ve highlighted in your article seem to be largely R&D based. I wonder what they are doing on the consumer research / marketing side to make sure that a) they are developing the right products for their customers and b) that they are then targeting the right customers with those products. Surely they must be doing some cutting edge stuff in those arenas if they’ve devoted the money to digitize potential laundry detergent molecules!

Elizabeth — your comments in the second paragraph were exactly what I too had thought immediately after reading the post! While some of the technological changes that Jessie highlights (i.e., sermons on YouTube, online tithes, etc.) are at least tangentially at odds with the Church’s history, some of the more business-driven technological innovations that you’ve highlighted would obviously seem to be a good idea in any revenue-generating setting, yet seem (to me at least) to be at odds with an institution that in mission claims to be solely focused on spreading the good word.

On November 20, 2016, Robby Berner commented on RubiconMD: Treating Referrals :

Really interesting article Ryan. To be honest, I’m surprised it’s taken Rubicon (or competitors) so long to come up with the platform. Seems like a no brainer: adding a ton of value to all players in the healthcare system. I completely agree with your last line re: integration of electronic medical records. Improvements in electronic data collection, storage and usage capability will also lead to improved PCP effectiveness, general population health and cost of care. The improvement in population health through electronic data collection is most intriguing to me personally. There is a big data company called Opera Solutions ( that is doing some very interesting thins with electronic medical records — they’re working with hospitals systems across the country to gather data on cancer treatment choices and survival rates in an attempt to better optimize treatment for patients based on age, history of health, etc.

On November 7, 2016, Robby Berner commented on Starbucks: the Arabica challenge :

I was surprised to learn that Starbucks has effectively moved up the supply chain with substantial R&D investment in innovative new coffee beans. All of the retail store changes are admirable but also predictable. I was also interested to read above in SHK’s comment that Starbucks’ cups are not truly recyclable. It’s really disheartening that they care more about the look / texture of their “fashionable” cups rather than they do about the ability to recycle them. In addition to improving the recyclability of the cups, I agree with the other additional steps that Starbucks shield be taking. They should, of course, continue making in store changes first and foremost. With almost 25K stores worldwide, they have a massive brick and mortar footprint with which they can continue making positive eco-friendly changes.

I am embarrassed to say that I always thought people were joking when they said that cows were big producers of greenhouse gases via belching and flatulence. The numbers clearly don’t lie; however, stating the obvious here, there doesn’t appear to be anything that beef producers can do to prevent the release of these gases. I also think that massive, population-wide dietary changes away from beef are highly unlikely. While the deforestation prevention efforts that JBS has engaged in are admirable, it would be great to see them go even a step further – perhaps allocate a % of their annual capital spending to companies that are developing carbon capture technologies. If the company truly wants to be carbon neutral in the future, this appears to be the only way to do so.

On November 7, 2016, Robby Berner commented on Cancun: Is the Party Over? :

Great article, there’s definitely a real threat to these resorts near the equator. One other thing that perhaps goes without saying is that as temperatures continue to rise, tropical travel might venture further and further north. In other words, it may get too hot in locations around the equator for vacationers to be able to enjoy their time off — where will the Cancun of the future be? North Carolina? Even further north?

On November 7, 2016, Robby Berner commented on Allstate: Are we in good hands? :

I guess I’m not really surprised by the three things that Allstate is currently doing to mitigate against potential unknown future risks posed by climate change. But, to your point, their business is exactly that – understanding and pricing risk. If they are going to sell less and less insurance to coastal homeowners, it could create a difficult situation for both consumers / homeowners and the U.S. government in the event of future catastrophic events. It will be interesting to see if and how other players will fill the market void going forward.

It’s great to hear that Disney made such a big push in 2012 to try and lead the way in becoming more green by 2020. My favorite part of your blog was the note about how they were approached to leverage the success of Frozen to start a conversation with fans (i.e., children) about climate change — did they do it?! I’d love to see the, do even more. As you mention, they are probably in the best position of any company on Earth to influence the youngest generation. Put your money where your moth is, Mickey Mouse!

On November 7, 2016, Robby Berner commented on Killington Ski Resort :

The ski industry really is a at a crossroads these days as a result of the negative side effects of global warming. As a big skier myself, it’s very disconcerting to think that my children or grandchildren very possibly will not have the opportunity to ski a big powder day out west. Many of the possible solutions for Killington and other mountain resorts have been highlight above — namely to band together to try and force action in Washington. Unfortunately, we might already be at a place where any incremental regulatory action might not be able to save some of these mountains. In terms of operating model changes, the mountain definitely needs to consider more artificial snow machines and additional off-season activities to stop the bleeding.