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On November 20, 2016, Sean commented on Pokemon Go: Bringing video games into the real world :

Cool post King! I side with Van. It was really fun to play for a while and then it lost it’s attraction for me. It seemed as if the game had the lifespan of a viral internet video or social media trend.

What has Niantic done to ensure it’s long term viability?
Are other major gaming companies entering the space of AR? If so I wonder what the effect of competition will be on games like this. People only have so many hours in the day – will they play more than one game during their moments of free time?

AR is definitely an excited new space – can’t wait to see where it gos from here!

On November 20, 2016, Sean commented on Politics in India: The Social Media Elections :

I really enjoyed reading your post. I was just listening to NPR today when I heard this article. It highlights an additional effect of social media use by world leaders towards the electorate.

In marketing we discuss earned and paid media and the higher perceived value of earned media. The approach by Narendra Modi is significant as it generates earned media in staggering amounts for low costs. Even more powerfully, it provides leaders with a direct line of communication to their constituents. Now leaders have a direct conversation with the electorate, no news media as the middle man.

The advantages are clear: politicians control their message (not the media), the response on social media is a great way of testing and monitoring the electorate’s opinion and in essence these two create a very “democratic” way of meeting the demands of the electorate as measured through the data gathered.

The downsides are concerning however. Many in the media believe their role is to be a check on the power brokers by providing clear, unbiased information on them to the general public. By “cutting out the middle man” and increasing the control of the narrative, politicians may drown out this check and balance.

We shall see how this pans out as we move forward in a more connected world.

On November 20, 2016, Sean commented on Start your engines… via your smart phone. :

Great post Ty – I think your last sentence keyed in on most interesting impact here – disruption.

Although, Lynk & Co is clearly concerned about the threat of hacking and cyber security (both very relevant) – Similar to Gregorio and others above – I have concerns about the market response. Is their plan is to have a successful rollout followed by acquisition by a major car company? Do they have several patents on their vehicle? What could make them continue to differentiate for the long term?

If successful I would be concerned about the competitors response. I feel that major car companies could simply create new lines of vehicle similar to Lynk & Co’s – and if the acquisition of Lynk & Co is more expensive than that internal investment they could be in trouble. Lynk & Co is taking all the risk as the major companies observe with an option to move in or just stay out. First mover advantage is certainly strong – but I would love to hear about the long term plan to disrupt the industry and stay differentiated from competition.

On November 20, 2016, Sean commented on Is EZ Pass Poised to Take a Toll on Your Privacy Rights? :

Brad thanks for writing this. As an EZ Pass customer, I had no idea that all of this data was being tracked during “off” times away from tolls.

The most striking and concerning thing is the lack of anonymity in the Gov Christie case.

I noticed that you focused on the hardware manufacturers as a way to place pressure on EZ Pass to shift privacy practices. I wonder, what other players in this should have a vested interest and what can they do to incentivize EZ Pass to increase privacy? (Government, Customers, Lobbyists etc.)

On November 20, 2016, Sean commented on Hello, “Hello Tractor”! :

Zach, I really liked your post. I appreciate Kamisha’s comments as well shedding some light on the pricing aspect of the tractor.

I am more curious about the role of the cloud interface on the tractor – it sounds similar to eChoupal’s business model value add, but is that necessary on the Nigerian farmer’s end these days? Isn’t mobile access to the internet and weather information fairly ubiquitous through mobile in Nigeria? Perhaps, the applications of GPS integration are still unseen as it can give feedback on “overfarming” an area to the farmer. Additionally, there should be some significant benefits to the company if it is gathering this data. I wonder how the company can best utilize this data to add value for farmers. Perhaps the value of the data, if sold by the company, can help to subsidize costs of the tractors – creating wider integration of Hello Tractor on more farm fields.

On November 7, 2016, Sean commented on Hydrogen Hugs (aka Nuclear Fusion) :

Jules – Fascinating post – also your ability to write about the intricacies of such a complex issue in a humorous manner was both very enjoyable to read and easy to understand.

So how feasible to you think this is? The end of your post was citing timelines of 6-10 years but realistically is this something we will see in our lifetimes?

How can we accelerate the process? Is there sufficient R&D from these three companies and billionaire donors or will it take stronger initiatives and focus to reach this in the next decade?

On November 7, 2016, Sean commented on Would you pay for the environmental impact of your jeans? :

Claire – Your post was very insightful and thought-provoking. Everlane’s approach has clearly established themselves a differentiated in the fashion industry and set themselves up to serve as a leader in the cost transparency movement. I like the idea of visualizing costs and taking responsibility for them as a consumer – a novel concept.

Perhaps in addition to cost transparency – the company could research initiatives at the conclusion of the use of clothing such as buy backs – recycling – donation – in order to extend the life use of a piece of clothing. However, such initiatives must be approached delicately in an industry where brand and image are crucial.

On November 7, 2016, Sean commented on Coral Bleaching Threatens Luxury Travel Company :

Paige – I agree with Cathal. I think that while the initiatives of Kuoni are impressive and clearly show a company taking responsibility for their impact on the environment, perhaps the synergy of the impact of clients could be harnessed. Perhaps Kuoni could begin a company internal initiative to:
1. Identify non-profits and key drivers of coral protection outside of Kuoni for partnership – establish key partnerships with effective regional non-profits.
2. Raise awareness about coral bleaching from those who witness the effects firsthand everyday (instructors/staff) to those who are participating and seeing it for the first time (divers).
3. Drive vacationers to raise money into these non-profits at the conclusion of a tour.

Perhaps this partnership could drive increased funds for non-profits at Kuoni’s point of sale – a time that the customer or charity minded vacationer will have the effects of coral bleaching most embedded in their mind.

Cathal, I really enjoyed reading this. Perhaps the most striking takeaway being that 48% of NZ’s emissions come form agriculture. I enjoyed how you dissected the problem – drawing stark contrast between on farm and farm to customer initiatives. Farm to customer appears to be the easiest to change – but the other side of it is much more challenging.

The most startling conclusion is that the on farm initiatives are minimal at best in reducing the methane footprint of animal digestion. It is troubling that currently the only initiatives (diet, genetic modification) are still tough to implement because of the high cost and impact on margins. Perhaps additional R&D investment grants within the local agricultural programs at NZ Universities could at least push the boundaries an what seems to be an impasse. Without innovation – this problem could be affected by regulation – but that clearly won’t hold as a sustainable long term solution. I think we need to look at it from a ver long term perspective 40-50 years in an attempt to innovate and begin to harness this issue with a sustainable solution.

On November 7, 2016, Sean commented on The Battle at the Top of the World :

I also wrote about Crystal Cruises in my post. I really enjoyed how you broke down the issues with respect to regulation, territorial disputes and local perception. It made me think about my post differently and highlighted what might be a good course of action.

I think that there are opportunities and threats alike in this situation – capitalizing on both in the correct manner could launch CC as a leader in the industry and set the right example. A win-win for both the environment and the cruise line.

My biggest fear was that their initial voyage could encourage lower cost (less responsible) players to enter the market. They should actively reach out and partner with Canada and the International Maritime Organization to establish and update more stringent regulations and requirements now. Requirements in line with their current strict planning and execution – and perhaps more if environmentally feasible and fit. That way it would not only be beneficial from a business side reducing cost cutting competition but it would also open up an important dialogue and better adjustment of the current cruises to support the environment. The collaborative approach might be an interesting way for all parties to adjust in the face of climate change.