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Great article! It helps me understand the concept of smart grid and how digitalization transforms power plant and electricity industry. Adaptation of bitcoin, decentralization, is interesting since the electricity industry has been one of the most conventional and hard-to-change ones. According to the rise of renewable energy sources, TEPCO seems to be well prepared in terms of linking with conventional energy sources and creating a broad platform.
One thing that I would like to add is that TEPCO should also make partnerships with telco companies, such as NTT, KDDI and Softbank. In a smart grid structure, the most important factor to enhance transparency among participants is “Real Time” information. Data should be transmitted fastly and all the participants ought to know the information on a real-time basis. Thus, a significant number of sensors and the fast network infrastructure are critical for a smart grid business.

Great article! I was able to understand impacts of free trade elimination on Mexico economy and Nemak, depending on US automotive companies. The management’s immediate response to diversify clients is also reasonable in terms of increasing negotiation power.
I strongly agree with David’s points. Nemak could indirectly push US automotive companies, making them worry about increasing sourcing costs. To monitor replacement factories in the US, Nemak could convince them that the elimination of FTA would surge the costs, eventually weakening the competencies of US automotive industries. US automotive companies, with a great lobbying power, could influence the decision making of governments.
I also thought about eyeing on LATAM markets. To capture the growth of the market, a significant number of carmakers build factories in LATAM region. To illustrate, Hyundai Motors has a plan to expand its capacity in Brasil. In terms of clients diversification, LATAM regions could be an alternative strategy for Nemak.

Great article! The body shop’s approach is very interesting in terms of shifting its distribution into the hub-based distribution system. This can significantly reduce packaging wastes and bring efficiencies over distribution channels. Building Bio-Bridges is also an amazing strategy in terms of our generations’ long-term accountability.
In addition to Mark Twain’s comments, I also have a curiosity about long-term sustainability. Regarding the competitive landscape, competitors value either affordable price or functionality. As more players participate in the market, competitions become more fierce. I completely agree with a rationale behind the Body Shop’s vision, but it costs a lot. Can the Body Shop guarantee long-term sustainability within a high-cost structure? They are not social responsibility organizations. Do shareholders also support the decision?

On December 1, 2017, Seo commented on BP: Blockchain Petroleum? :

Great article! I have never imagined such conventional players prepare for new platforms based on bitcoin. For the last couple of years, the oil and gas industry has been challenged, sometimes even distrupted, by renewables, shale oil and even digitalization. I am so excited that old firms have learned and internalized new technology, initiating a counterattack. Adopting blockchain system is a great example.
I hope BP adopts the technology in a broad way. Even if this is an initial stage, BP seems to focus too much on efficiency. Regarding the fundamental foundation of bitcoin and etherium is decentralization, BP could open their value chains to increase participants. Partnership with other oil giants is a giant leap. They also make individuals, gas stations and even shipping companies participate in the platform. It will require not only transparency but also, to some extent, sacrifices of BP’s values.

Great article! I was able to understand how tariff influence economics of domestic players in an opposite way. I also understood solar panel markets are immature and fragmented. I thought that Sunrun might capture opportunities under the tariff-oriented policy.
The manufacturing process of solar panels is very similar to that of semiconductors. By cutting wafers as delicate as possible, manufacturers produce panels. In this process, both use a vast amount of materials, leaving by-products that can make serious negative impacts on not only humans but also environments. Many employees in undeveloped countries have been exposed to such a risk. In addition, solar panels are consist of some toxic materials, such as PV films. Since the industry is still in a beginning stage, such materials have not been managed.
Tariffs can be used to cease price-centric competition among manufacturers and to incentivize them to be equipped with the environment-friendly system. I recommend Sunrun, the market leader with capitals, could internalize the manufacturing or at least control factories abroad strictly, differentiating themselves from competitors.

On November 28, 2017, Seo commented on Royal Dutch Shell: From Hydrocarbons to Electrons :

Great article!
Regarding the deployment of BEVs, I have never thought about the perspective of oil companies. It is stunning that Dutch Royal Shell already has prepared for the next step. I would like to add my thoughts on it.
(1) Shell ought to consider competitive horizon broadly. I still believe that the bottle neck lies in charging time. Thus, consumers should have something to spend their time. In this context, department stores and retailers prepare charging stations in Korea. Shell should create value proportions, such as vehicle-care, to attract more customers.
(2) To get electricity more efficiently, Shell can consider acquiring power plants. As you suggested in “Pilot services”, Shell can establish its vertical value chain by acquiring or building power plants in local countries. I wonder the future of gas stations. Can they survive?