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Fantastic article, Helen! Though, unfortunately, I can’t say I feel the same way about marmite. I do think that Brexit ‘yay’ voters have likely underestimated just how severe, extensive and pervasive the rise in food costs from currency depreciation and isolationist policies will be. The rise in food costs will also cause a shift in customer supermarket preferences amongst the more price sensitive. It will be interesting to see which supermarket brand ‘wins’ the market. Will there now be an Aldi every few metres down the high street as opposed to a Tesco’s? I’m eagerly watching this space!

On December 1, 2017, Ronald commented on Let’s Get Digital, Digital! :

Great article, Kevin! It brings to mind an earlier conversation we had about how Mattel lays out toy strategies years ahead of release, and, in some instances, to coincide with major cinema releases. However, in today’s world of ‘fidget spinners’, where a certain toy takes the world by storm and then disappears a few months later, I can imagine situations where Mattel would need to increase speed to market using a digitalized supply chain.

The second thing your article brings to mind is the role a ‘toy’ can play with regards to increasing a child’s safety in today’s digital world. Mattel’s experience with Aristotle, in my opinion, represents a significant opportunity for Mattel to develop toys that parents will feel comfortable leaving their children with i.e. toys that keep children engaged and learning but that also protect their identities, protect their privacy and prevent them from accessing unsuitable online content.

Brilliant essay, Yin!

It’s so interesting to hear about the strategy a direct Tesla competitor is employing. Ultimately, I do agree with you that controlling the key IP (in this case energy density technology) is a key to success, but perhaps it’s not the key to success in the US and not in China. Here, I think we have two factors playing in Nio’s favour in the Chinese market. 1) The government support for EVs – as the Chinese government has mandated that 1 in 5 cars be run on alternative fuel by 2025, I think that it’s in Nio’s best interest to get as many cars in the market as possible over the next few years – which means that time and resources should not be allocated to developing IP, but to increasing productivity. 2) Tesla as a competitor – I think luxury car consumers in China looking for an EV alternative are likely to be making a choice between Tesla and Nio. In this situation, Tesla might win if Nio is not offered at a more affordable price point. Outsourcing battery development is a cost saving that can be passed on to the consumer in the form of a lower price point.

Looking forward to hearing more about Nio in the future!

On December 1, 2017, Ronald commented on All Digital at ALDI: Fast Times in Supermarket Tech :

Great article, Point A to Point B!

My immediate thoughts with regards to Aldi digitalizing its supply chain echo Stender’s. I don’t believe it’s in their best interest to invest in high tech digitalization efforts like IoT. The company runs the risk of underestimating the high fixed costs, learning curve costs and opportunity costs that will arise from such an investment as well as how long such high tech investments can take to yield lower operating costs. Having played in the low-cost space in so long, company management will certainly face a tough time dealing with margin squeezes.

I do think that there is a place for digitalization with respect to ‘delivery’ and ‘order for pick up’. For now, I think that’s where Aldi should focus its energy and attention until IoT becomes commoditized enough to be ‘plugged and played’.

On November 30, 2017, Ronald commented on Arsenal Football Club: The Accidental Victim? :

Thank you, Eric! Brilliant essay!

The biggest question that your topic raises for me is ‘who will benefit from the EPL becoming more English?’. The US’s recently rising interest in football leads me to believe that perhaps a potential competitor market for foreign players will be the US Major League Soccer. However, since the US is also adopting increasingly isolationist policies, perhaps the opportunity does not lie there but in other European or Asian clubs.

I think the revenues generated from viewing rights and ticket sales perhaps present too much of an incentive for the status quo to be changed too much; if the highest revenues come from the best entertainment, the best entertainment comes from the best players and the best players come from outside the UK, it’s hard to envision a world where exceptions aren’t made to accommodate foreign talent in the EPL. (Though I fail to see why such talent would choose Arsenal with White Hart Lane little ways down the road)

Thanks for writing this, Hedy! Although I do love the cinema-going experience, I’m concerned by the fact that WB has limited resources to gather data on cinema-goers. I think that the ideas Philip has proposed are fantastic, but they require a lot of investment to realize. These investments are risky if they don’t appeal to the customer. The movie-making world is used to coming up with ideas (e.g. movie ideas) in a vacuum with hopes that the audiences will embrace those ideas. However, it’s now time to figure out ways to gauge what the customer wants from a cinema-going experience (in terms of experience and content) before making any investments. Netflix and other digital platforms have paved the way for collecting data. I think it’s time for studios like WB to come up with innovative ways to track customer preferences before investing in changing their cinema related experiences.