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Walter nice post! I would love to get your perspective on Amazons future strategy. Fabian asked the question of why Amazon is opening up these pop up stores. Having visited the popup in San Francisco I see the value in allowing customers to try out Amazon products like the Kindle Fire and Alexa, but I question their interest in building hardware to begin with. It seems like ideas like the Amazon locker (and improving digitization of these) are more inline with their primary customer promise. I wonder if they should partner with a company that has a name brand in hardware but doesn’t have the network advantages which Amazon has.

On November 20, 2016, SC commented on John Deere: the future of farming :

Very interesting post! I think most of us may have overlooked digitization at farming however agricultural improvements have allowed us to invest more human capital into building technology in the first place! I will be interested to see how John Deere handles and transitions its customers who may not be tech savvy into the new age of farming. I certainly think there is a large ethical issue around the data ownership. Many farmers already have a difficult time making ends meet. If companies like monsanto can pin point the value of their products delivered to farmers they stand to capture all the value created in that transaction. I find it difficult to believe anyone but the farmer owns the data collected from that farmer’s land.

Francisco nice post! I love the application of this technology prior to simply adding more lanes. There are numerous benefits as you mentioned as well as potentially many more to come. Just thinking back to our last class in dynamic pricing, coming from San Francisco we had tolls which were higher in price during rush hour commutes. We also had smart tolling systems which charged less if you were carpooling with other individuals and thereby reducing pollution and traffic congestion. I think the applications of smart roads will play a large role in reducing CO2 emissions. Often we focus too much on the vehicle itself.

On November 20, 2016, SC commented on Apple: Digital Healthcare Innovation :

Christian very interesting post! I think the platform here as you mentioned holds an immense amount of value. I still don’t see the data coming of consumer wearables as credible or used in clinical decision making. I would ask the physicians out there what it would take to use this data. I will assume apple will need to publish some studies showing the equivalency of data coming from these wearables against equipment used in doctors offices.

Additionally what will society to start using these devices less for fun and more for serious health improvement. I think one of the big hurdles Apple will have to deal with is submitting this device to the FDA once it is used in the clinical setting.

I would be curious to know what your thoughts are on Samsung’s strategy on healthcare in comparison to that of Apple.

On November 20, 2016, SC commented on Bringing Robo-advising to the World, One Bank at a Time :

Great post! I’ve been considering moving part of my portfolio into a robo-fund because of the low cost structures and great automatic re-balancing. I think its very interesting that these companies are partnering with some of the bigger players. In response to DT’s point above, I think that having customers see this type of product being offered through a big name brand bank may help drive trust and adoption. Well maybe not anymore with Wells Fargo! However looking at big banks like Charles Schwab offering an automated portfolio ( I am very willing to test the product.

Although robo-advisor AUM is growing, it appears that the growth rate is slowing down. I found this to be very interesting and wanted to see what you thought on this point.

On November 16, 2016, Sho-time commented on Digitizing Indonesia, One Arisan at a Time :

Very interesting! I am always amazed by entrepreneurs who have been successful building a product for a masses instead of building a product for the top 5% of the economy which may or may not slowly trickle down to the masses. I had seen this same technology while traveling through east Africa about 2 years ago.

I would be very interested to see what lessons can be shared between developing geographies so that people aren’t constantly reinventing the wheel. I also am fascinated by the way certain technologies are leap frogging others in countries where technologies we take for granted never had a chance to penetrate (i.e. credit cards).

Looking forward to your startups.

Satoshi, I agree with the way you have laid out your approach to solving this dilemma. I actually think this issue applies not just to companies which have relied heavily on fossil fuels and are now are looking into renewable energy projects. An analogous case can be drawn to any tech company which is profitable with a current generation of technology, but still looks to invest in the next generation of technology. For example I am thinking of Kodak which did invest in digital technology but failed to embrace it. It is better to cannabilize one’s own share with a new technology (in this case renewable energy), than let someone else do it. With this issue in particular the time horizons are much longer, and so I agree there must be a different way to value renewable energy projects. In the short term it is easier to embrace a profitable fossil fuel business, but the leaders of Mitsubishi and other energy conglomerates must look farther out into the future.

I am very hopeful about the future however, especially as you have pointed out some of the projects and partnerships Mitsubishi has launched.

On November 6, 2016, Sho-time commented on Can banks save the world? The case of Bank of America :

Great post that has made me think about Bank of America in a whole new light. I would not have thought about banks as an important force in changing the direction of global warming. In this case however they are not simply doing it out of the goodness of their heats but out of a need to protect businesses on their balance sheet which are directly impacted by climate change and emissions regulations.

While I agree that banks have an enormous amount of power to shift the scales in the right direction, I am unsure that they will stop investing in lucrative businesses that involve fossil fuels all together. Ultimately I still see banks providing loans to businesses which have the least risk. However I am still hopeful as I have seen many different banks pursue a number of green initiatives seen below.

Also I think Banks have a great amount of power to change consumer habits. For example a bank could provide more attractive leasing/loan terms on a hybrid vehicle compared to its standard non-hybrid equivalent.

On November 6, 2016, Sho-time commented on British Airways: Flying in the face of fuel inefficiency :

My thoughts are inline with CJT’s above. It is interesting that with all of these improvements and projects in place, BA has significantly worse fuel economy. I think the case can be made relatively easily as to how much of the gap would be reduced after transitioning to the new models of aircraft.

I also wonder if the fuel economy metrics are considered relative to the flight paths taken. For example if a BAs flights are to certain cities that always have a more headwinds compared to flights offered by Norwegian Air then it can be assumed they will have worse fuel economy even with the exact same aircraft.

Another opportunity BA might consider are partnerships which share logistical and technological information which aids in reducing CO2 emissions. For example the STAR Alliance which is a network of airlines which allow frequent flyer miles to be used across carriers could also work together to improve carbon emissions.

On November 6, 2016, Sho-time commented on United: Flying the EcoFriendly Skies :

I like Mary’s point about educating passengers about the effects their travel decisions have with regard to CO2 emissions. I also see this as a future challenge that United must be aware of. If people decrease their travel due to CO2 concerns, United has a potential to loose a lot of passengers annually.

United might be able to use lower carbon emitting flights as new class of travel to business travels and corporations which have targets to reduce their sales and business travel CO2 emissions. Potential corporations could be those that reside in countries which signed the Kyoto Protocol.

These flights could have special requirements (such as 95% plane occupancy ensuring little waste, or 30% fewer CO2 emissions per mile per passenger flown compared to industry average) which allow United to charge a premium.

On November 6, 2016, Sho-time commented on Kick your CO2 Habit –> Save $$Millions :

Improving an existing fleet is an interesting idea, and one that seems logistically difficult especially with different companies owning many different types of trucks. I am glad to see that there is an intermediary solution for companies with vehicles whose fleets are not at the end of their useful lives. Although large manufacturers such as GM or Ford do not have a strong hybrid offering for their fleet vehicles today I believe they will be increasing options available in this category. I would be interested to know what the XL Hybrid team plans to do as more corporations buy hybrid vehicles as they replace their older vehicles. Is their a likelihood they will be obsolete in 5 years?

Also I would be interested in how the XL Hybrid team is taking advantage of emissions regulations to make their business more attractive for potential customers. A brief look at the XL Hybrid website did not speak about potential carbon credits or other similar benefits. This could be a potential opportunity for the team.