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On November 14, 2018, rtillman@mba2020.hbs.edu commented on Additive Manufacturing: Potential Solution to the Labor Shortage in Construction :

Printing houses certainly would be something else… I think this idea has many ramifications within the labor force. While on face value it appears to be good in that it addresses a labor shortage and the associated time delays and cost overruns, I share some of your concerns about the long term implications. As I understand it, there are still serious material questions surrounding AM components, particularly within metals and directly linked to the manner in which these materials are ‘printed’ – whether via melting of metal particles by laser or some other method. This has numerous implications on how high an AM building can be, how strong it is and where it can be (i.e. can it stand up to hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc), and what is the lifetime of the building. Additionally, I would anticipate there to be a strong backlash from workers, especially since many construction workers are still consolidated into unions. Looking ahead, I see a lot of head butting between government, corporations, and workers/voters delaying the introduction of AM into the main thrust of construction projects. Lastly, homes and buildings are people spaces at their core. From what I have seen of AM constructed homes so far, they appear ‘additive’ in nature, by which I mean, they look like a child at the beach layered them in their construction. I am not sure this will resonate with people without having a component of labor still attached to construction to make these places live-able and/or work-able.

Wow, this is a cool post! I think this form of open innovation sounds like a win-win for consumers and producers alike. Producers get to minimize their costs and shorten their design-to-production timelines, getting in line with trends and capitalizing on those trends in the form of increased sales. Consumers get a chance to shape their own experience and bring their sizable talents to bare. I would posit to you that LM is already capitalizing on the intrinsic values of their designers – these are self selecting people with skills who are inspired by the challenge and likely find a lot of fun in participating in competitions regardless of the political motivators. Some questions I have going forward lie in the command and control and compensation arenas of the open innovation process. Does Toyota, LM, etc relinquish command and control of the design processes to the consumer and risk their brand identity to the whims of the fickle internet denizens or do they select designs that they believe fit with who they are as companies and who they cater to? Also, since the design is one of the most important parts of a consumer good such as vehicles, will these companies feel pressure from the design community to pay out royalties that ultimately total more than the costs of their traditional engineer-based designed process?

On November 14, 2018, rtillman@mba2020.hbs.edu commented on Ambulnz, Inc. :

Very interesting service. I guess I never knew that hospitals or nursing homes had to find 3rd party ambulances to deliver patients to primary care providers. I just assumed that the ambulances were under the cognizant control of the hospitals. In Italy, I remember seeing that the ambulances often cannot make it to patients in time or are slower at negotiating city traffic (in Naples where the road rules are less rigid than America – and car size determines what is and is not permissible) and therefore friends and family of the patient drive erratically on the way to the hospital, honking and waving a white towel to signal distress and for other drivers to yield. As far as Ambulanz moving forward, is there sizable research data on the costs of timing errors and their impact on EMT performance and looks metrics? And if so, how can this open innovation technology be leveraged to address these concerns about EMT service that are perhaps only slightly correlated with time of arrival and overall efficiency?

On November 13, 2018, rtillman@mba2020.hbs.edu commented on Is the Navy’s Additive Manufacturing Strategy Bold Enough? :

Very interesting and as the Navy works out the kinks, I am sure this will ultimately improve readiness of the Fleet and the ability to minimize port visits to retrieve components. I am curious about a few other challenges. One specifically, is who is going to be qualified to operate the 3D printers and commensurate to that is, who (contractors maybe?) will be providing the CAD blueprints and materials. The Navy will have to figure these out before real headway can be made. Additionally, how will the Navy deal with a redundancy issue that this shift would create. For instance, if the Navy logistics chain relies on AM to replace parts on ships, what parts will the Navy hold in inventory.

On November 13, 2018, rtillman@mba2020.hbs.edu commented on The Brains Behind Olay Beauty Care Product Recommendations :

Very interesting to see AI being used effectively to identify skin age. Humans actually struggle with that all of the time. I am curious to know if the algorithm is actually good at determining age, or simply the presence of ‘defects’ and what in the product line attempts to address those defects. Additionally, it is well known – via the issues with the iPhone X – that face algorithms can be quite inaccurate — but it seems like Olay has found a way to hit the nail on the head. Did P&G purchase/team up with an preexisting AI company or did they develop their own unit in house?

On November 13, 2018, rtillman@mba2020.hbs.edu commented on The Impact of A.I. and Machine Learning on Financial Data at S&P Global :

A cool piece on how AI is being used to do financial analysis…so we don’t have to! However, I am curious to know that since the AI algorithm is always contingent upon human operators, and knowing that humans are inherently imperfect, will Kensho go to AI that can identify its own errors and be able to fix them? Particularly errors that a human would not be able to see or foresee.