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While not the original intention of the “Speedfactory”, one positive side effect of this new production method is as a potential hedge against the impact of increased isolationism. As “Anonymous 8” discussed in an article about Nike, the athletic wear market is currently facing challenges as the world trends away from globalization. Isolationism hurts companies with complex supply chains that span multiple countries such as Nike and Adidas. By simplifying and localizing their supply chain with innovations such as the “Speedfactory”, Adidas has the opportunity to achieve multiple objectives at once – in addition to the advantages from “mass customization” and faster time to market, they are also reducing their reliance on a global supply chain which might be increasingly threatened in the future.

Really interesting read! One interesting dynamic here might be China’s interest in developing its own commercial aircraft industry for defense purposes. China recently created a commission to “increase integration between the nation’s military and industry”, with the apparent intention to “cultivate defence manufacturers in China similar to Lockheed Martin and Boeing in the United States.” [1] The gains from improving its commercial aircraft industry might also generate defense advantages, providing extra incentive for the country to develop direct competitors to Boeing.

[1] Minnie Chan, South China Morning Post, “Can Xi Jinping’s arms production shake-up create China’s version of Lockheed or Boeing?”,

Really interesting read! This issue is very similar to the problem that wine producers are facing, a subject which I looked into. Many of the solutions appear to be similar – I agree that Casa Luker should focus its R&D on climate-resistant genome varieties, and that it should continue to develop farming techniques which reduce the impact of temperature increases (both are solutions wine producers are also exploring).

I wonder if there are additional steps which Casa Luker could take to reduce its exposure to this potential issue. One step could be to look to expand into other geographical areas where cocoa’s prospects might be improving as global temperatures increase. Alternatively, it could also start to look into alternative crops which might work well in its current geographical area as the temperature grows.

Great piece! While these tariffs are designed to help local tire suppliers, it is interesting to see that they can sometimes lead to counterproductive results. In both 2009 and 2017, expectations of a future tariff led US tire distributors to build-up excess inventory of Chinese tires, leading to a short-term exacerbation of the problem that tariffs were attempting to solve [1].

I also wonder what the impact of the shift to natural gas will have the US tire industry. A common rubber used in tires is SBR, which is made using butadiene, which itself is a byproduct of ethylene production when heavier feeds such as naphtha are used [2] [3]. As the natural gas boom continues in the US and ethylene crackers shift away from naphtha and towards ethane, the supply of butadiene might decline [4] [5]. This large macro-level shift might hurt US producers against their Asian counterparts long term.

[1] Kopcha, Joy, Trucking Info, “No Tariffs, No Certainty for Truck Tires”,
[4] Petrochemical Update, “Insights from first wave of US ethylene projects drive second wave decisions”
[5] Frank Caprio, Hose Master, Understanding Naphtha and Ethane Cracking Process “”

Really interesting article! The adoption of kiosks prompts a number of follow-up questions and brings to mind a number of opportunities going forward.

In addition to the questions of how this will change the physical layout of the restaurant going forward (with a need to shift to more kitchen space to address the increased order volume from the kiosks), I wonder what the impact of the digital kiosk is on customer order behavior. Does ordering from a kiosk encourage ordering more/fewer items? Are customers more or less likely to customize items, potentially increasing/decreasing additional complexity in the kitchen? And will this kind of ordering system lead to a level of self-selection within the customer base, with customers who prefer a more traditional method of ordering moving to other restaurants while those who value the speed and convenience of kiosks/apps sticking with Shake Shack?

It seems like there is probably opportunity to drive additional innovation in the ordering process as the company adopts kiosks. Shake Shack could potentially update the order screen in real time to nudge customers based on current conditions (maybe nudging them towards ordering leftover items they are trying to get rid of at the end of the day). There also seems to be an opportunity to use A-B testing to see what kind of display/layout works most effectively in terms of maximizing order size and/or speed/ease of use.

It will be interesting to see how this issue develops going forward!

Interesting article! I think a company like Patagonia has an opportunity to be an industry leader and key influencer in this area. Their target customer (i.e. affluent, outdoors-focused) is a group which traditionally cares a lot about climate change, putting Patagonia in a strong position to put emphasis on this issue. By aligning their climate change efforts closely with their brand, they can help to put pressure on competitors that don’t follow suit.

Climate change is an issue that could hit especially close to home for a company like Patagonia – as winters get increasingly warmer, the demand for outdoor clothing should decrease, posing a long-term risk to the business. While they won’t be able to solve this issue by themselves, they can certainly do their best to help contribute to the solution!