This is a fascinating post. I have heard of but never really used Nike ID. I believe it is the differentiating factor in a market that every now and then sees a newcomer organically pioneer trends, Under Armour for example. The size and scale of Nike itself acts as a barrier to entry to many firms, companies and designers looking to enter the market. I therefore firmly believe that Nike ID is the way of the future in a market being led by m-commerce and where consumers are getting increasingly picky about their brands. Having said which, I don’t see Nike actively promoting Nike ID. Being able to customize a pair of shoes should be a good enough selling point for Nike. Any reasons you think they’re not actively engaging in marketing it aggressively?
Carl, great job on linking your first and second TOM challenge. Boeing has historically been plagued with problems of backlogs, as you also mentioned in your post. It is one of the main reasons it has lost out on many large orders to Airbus. While digitization and robotics will definitely act as a catalyst in improving its delivery timelines, Boeing has to be able to adopt and implement the digitization process quickly and on a large scale. It also has to focus on retaining talent and skilled workers, another one of the issues it has faced regularly.
An excellent post, succinct yet meaningful. Smart cities are a way of the future and as a tech enthusiast, I am very excited about them. In fact, smart cities is a massive pet project of the Indian government which it launched last year with plans to invest $15billion to initially convert 100 Indian cities to smart cities. While smart cities sound amazing, making them is a herculean task. Which is why it is always an incremental project – starting with the most basic services and then moving on to the more advanced resources. However a rising use of non-renewable energy and resources by a majority of the worlds countries presents a direct conflict to the usage and purpose of a smart city that is built to run on environmentally friendly resources.
Great post. As an avid user deeply engrained in the Apple ecosystem, I hope Apple makes a comeback. As a critic I believe Apple’s best days are behind it. The last 5 years or so has not really seen much innovation in addition to poor (read very poor) design choices by Apple, a company lauded for its exceptional design – the magic mouse that charges at the bottom, the Apple pencil that plugs into the iPad with no place to store the cap or the pencil itself, the bulging battery case, laptops with almost no ports, loosely held dongles (and the list goes on).
Apple’s core strength lies in Control – Controlling the hardware and the software, it’s one of the reasons it has produced hardware of immeasurable quality and software with the least number of bugs. While HomeKit is an excellent idea there are too many links in the chain for Apple to be able to realistically control itself, as you mention in your post too. Quality, accessibility, security all become major issues when a lot of players get involved in the chain. Also, in the tech industry, it is all about adoption. If a company like Nest or now Google Home, with much greater expertise and access to market reaches its consumer first, it becomes a herculean task for Apple to capture that consumer. Consider the example of Apple launching News app to rival competitors like Flipboard and Longform – consumers have failed to adopt it, despite Apple having the advantage of preinstalling the app through updates. I therefore believe Apple has to be able to come out with a revolutionary, game changing, innovative and at this point a cost effective product to be able to really win back consumers. Else to our worst nightmares Apple may see a repeat of 1997 and this time they don’t even have Steve Jobs to save them.
Interesting write up Carl. Boeing has had to respond extensively to numerous emergencies related to the 787’s ranging from engine failures to landing gear failures only adding to the additional budget of $9bn. And while they have championed the cause to increase fuel efficiency with the use of better materials, Airbus has been quick to catch up with launch of the A350s. Having said so, I do believe they will continue to innovate on fuel efficiency, but given that the airline industry accounts for 3% carbon emissions globally, I do not believe they are incentivized to do so since they also hold a near monopoly in the commercial aircraft manufacturing and assembly industry.
Pippa, this is a very intriguing post. I understand and am aware of many of the issues you have described above. China is indeed taking corrective measures in terms of water and air pollution. However, to Justin’s point above, while China is adopting these measures, it isn’t curing the main sources of pollution. Environmentalists have recently found that a small space of industrial land in China produces more pollution than the entire United States. And while China is simultaneously taking corrective measures to shift to cleaner sources of energy, reduce water pollution etc. it isn’t really doing much to put a stop to the main causes of pollution.
Anton, animal husbandry is a huge contributor to climate as accurately pointed out by you in your note. I believe expecting consumers to shift to alternative or vegetarian preferences is unrealistic. A lot of emerging markets have experimented with this idea by introducing organic foods but haven’t succeeded in doing so. Additionally, I believe taxing beef or pork is a temporary solution to the problem since quite often producers shift that cost to consumers, which sees benefits but for a limited time frame. There are quite a few pharmaceutical companies that are producing feed and supplements for animals that aids in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which basically speaks to your point of developing environmentally friendly technologies for sourcing etc. Additionally, a regulation on the quantity that farmers can produce will also help the cause of regulating consumption and thus production.
Alex, this is a very well written and elaborate post on AWS. Among the big technology companies, cloud computing is the main bone of contention – each player (Microsoft, VMware, Google etc.) looking to grab the maximum market share from businesses worldwide given that many are constantly shifting to cloud computing to reduce server costs and risk of data loss. AWS here has the first mover advantage, being amongst the first companies to launch cloud computing and capturing a major portion of the market. In order to maintain and expand its market share, a huge opportunity for AWS here is to reduce the amount of energy its servers use. A sustainable way of doing this is to build its server data centers in cold regions where temperatures are always sub 0. In doing so, AWS can use naturally available cold air to cool its servers and data centers thus eliminating the need for air conditioning and massively reducing carbon emissions. As mentioned in your post, AWS has also enhanced server utilization in the last few years, however, as they increase their market share and data centre, it is increasingly becoming difficult to be more efficient at server utilization.