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This is a really awesome story. I very much hope that the program can continue its momentum and achieve profitability and sustainability.

This is a great example of using lower-skilled workers to accomplish complex tasks in the increasingly-modern economy. As automation and the digital age make moderately-skilled labor less and less necessary, there is a growing challenge for societies to find a place to employ all of the displaced workers, and this program provides an ingenious blueprint for us to think about.

Does the company differentiates the work that it sends abroad from the work that it sends to NY and SF? There is an assumption, which may or may not be valid, that the average worker will be somewhat more skilled in the developed economies, and I wonder if that effects a model like this that in many ways tries to overcome that very same kind of skill gap.

Thanks again for the great read!

On December 1, 2017, Scott commented on Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Digital Education. :

FCP! Great article.

I have used the MIT OCW platform several times, and I have nothing but great things to say about it. I have learned an immense amount and really do appreciate the school’s willingness to be true to the ideals of liberal educators everywhere.

With that said, I do think that any degree or certificate that is granted through the online system should be annotated as distinct from the in-residence school, similar to the way the Harvard Extension School operates. For better or worse (and this is truly debatable), the names of the institutions serve as a screening mechanism that is communicated to anyone who is familiar with the brand. While the knowledge that you learn from a state school and an Ivy league school may be a commodity, it is the rest of the holistic package that is the target of the high end educational institutions, and much of that knowledge cannot currently be communicated online.

On December 1, 2017, Scott commented on Mars: The supply of chocolate is melting away :

Thank goodness we have you out there on that wall, saving us from the ravages of a chocolate-less future. While that may sound facetious, I want you to know that I’m 100% serious. I cannot even begin to explain how much more complicated anniversaries and such would be if this stuff wasn’t an option.

I have 2 questions as I read this article:
1) How much of a market share does Mars have in the chocolate world?
2) Do the other big players feel similarly about sustainability?

It seems that if another large player didn’t care, then they would simply need to work on changing the output from 10% to 60ish%, and then continuing to provide chocolate at the expense of the area from which it was sourced. In short, is it absolutely necessary to be sustainable to be more productive? Or could a less-conscious competitor ruin Mars best intentions?

On December 1, 2017, Scott commented on Smartmatic: the role of blockchain in enabling elections :

Erika, this is dope.

I am also curious about the extent to which the voting systems are interconnected. Is this usually done at the state level? Or is each precinct its own beast that would be a stand alone network? Moreover, since this is a secure technology that will by no means be inexpensive, would it be feasible to propose a national voting system? This way, the resources of the Federal Government, which far outstrip that of the states, could be brought to bear on the problem, which would make it more likely to implemented in a timely manner.

Thanks for the read!

On December 1, 2017, Scott commented on Arsenal Football Club: The Accidental Victim? :

Eric! Delightful. While I’m a passive and secondary soccer fan, I do appreciate your view into the mechanics of the business of the sport.

I am curious, however, whether Arsenal (and the other Premier League clubs) have pursued an exemption from the British government. Something along the lines of an “athletic visa” that would simply require a sponsoring club. Ironically, while the British public did narrowly vote to leave the EU, I would be shocked if they would stand for a degradation of the talent in the EPL, even if it is made up of foreign players. For an American parallel, I’d simply point to the great state of Alabama, which has deep and lasting racial divides, but no one who is anything but proud when Derrick Henry wins the Heisman Trophy.

All in all, a great article. Thanks for sharing!

Fascinating topic.

I would suggest that there is a linkage here to a domestic issue that should also be addressed: namely, the perception of elitism that comes from HBS and schools like it. There’s no denying that the last 18 months have been – if nothing else – surprising in terms of global public opinion shifts. In many cases, these movements seem to come from legitimate pain felt by large numbers of people that then use HBS and its peers as a foil to explain why things have turned out as they have. I think it’s important that we realize that as long as HBS remains to be seen as a conduit to jobs at Goldman and McKinsey, instead of a place full of people who truly care about making a difference in the lives of everyday people, that this avenue of criticism and the backlash that results will remain open.

In short, HBS needs to put a greater emphasis on public service, and not simply sit back and let HKS do all the public sector work. Then, and probably only then, will we have the leverage to make an effective counter-argument when isolationist trends threaten the HBS business model.