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On November 20, 2016, Shezaad commented on Should Central Banks Issue Digital Currencies? :

Thanks, Sotaro. Great post! Are there any other reasons central banks are making the push to back digital currencies? I’m sure there are benefits aside from the operational complexity of printing notes and managing circulation. On another notes, what I’m most curious and concerned about is the patchwork global regulatory environment – Canadian and Japanese may have different standards, which complicates both development efforts and cross-border transactions. Any insight here?

Nice post. I’m frankly a bit surprised that Cat doesn’t already track idle time, fuel efficiency, etc. They don’t really need minute sensors to do so. I think the more interesting application of this is tracking industrial equipment as opposed to industrial vehicles. For example, what’s the throughput time of a conveyor, what are the number of stops, etc.? That information is more difficult to gather without sophisticated sensors. Does Uptake have any applications in this space?

In addition to embracing mobile, activision blizzard should consider embracing augmented reality, much like what Pokemon Go uses to overlay Pokemon characters in the real world. Many of its games (if not all of them) are non-interactive, which limits the engagement timeframe (e.g., time per session). If they embrace an AR strategy with their game recognition, they can improve engagement.

On November 20, 2016, Shezaad commented on Future of Clothing = Renting? :

RTR definitely needs to embrace new digital technologies if it wants to grow its top line. One area – machine vision, which is the branch of artificial intelligence that utilizes imagery. Specifically, machine vision is a technique that can analyze pictures and make sense of what’s being represented (this is how facebook can suggest who to tag in photos). RTR can use this technology to run their recommendation engines and also do digital fittings.

Great post, Bhargav. I’m also fascinated by blockchain technologies. One thing that worries me here is the nascent regulatory environment, which presents the following risks: 1) inconsistent regulations across borders (and even states), 2) adoption risks given regulatory uncertainty and 3) development risks. Have there been any frameworks proposed to-date?

Two thoughts in reaction to your two thoughts!:

1. Leaf sales have been slowing down over the past few years (22K in 2013, 30K in 2014, 17K in 2015 and 10.6K through October 2016). [1] I imagine this has to do with the oil glut since 2014. However, that’s projected to diminish by the end of 2017. [2] Sales growth should resume.

2. Nissan definitely needs to cut down on battery costs. Perhaps there’s an opportunity to partner with a 3rd party manufacturer – such as Tesla or Samsung? Battery development is a massive investment, and they’ll need to invest Tesla gigawatt money to compete in the long term. Otherwise, Tesla has a legitimate path to undercut them while offering a better quality product.


On November 7, 2016, Shezaad commented on Bare Slopes: The Profitability of Ski Resorts in a Warming World :

While there are opportunities for investment in non-skiing activities, I’m not sure these resorts can stay profitable given their large operating and capital expenses and decreased revenues. Revenues will decrease because travelers can do many of the summer-time activities offered by ski resorts at other non-ski resort locations (national parks, for example). I would also expect the resorts to charge premiums for the same product.

While I love skiing, I’m fairly bearish on the future of the industry.

Very interesting post, Bhargav. I too am troubled by the significant water needs of almond crops. When reading your post, I started to think about creating genetically modified almonds to consume less water. This is a long-term solution, however, because almond trees take 20 years to mature and to start to produce nuts [1].

What about a demand-side intervention – adding a tax per pound of almonds. The proceeds of the tax could be used to reduce water consumption in California broader (e.g., training farmers on better irrigation techniques, infrastructure spending, etc.) while also reducing almond consumption.


On November 7, 2016, Shezaad commented on Mayday: Mother Earth Code 7700 :

Great post, Curtis. This is a classic example of incentive alignment between environmental interests and polluting industries. While oil prices are at an all time low, many analysts predict that the supply glut will wind down at the end of 2017 [1]. Regardless, because of the long-term development cycles, Boeing seems well poised to take advantage of increased oil prices given their innovations in fuel efficiency and lightweight material engineering. Their strategy also aligns with airline strategy – offering longer and more flexible routes, which the 787 is already taking advantage of.


Great post! As I read more and more posts about companies buying from “certified” sources (certified cotton, for example), I find myself growing more cynical given that many of these companies fund the certification organizations themselves, thus introducing a conflict of interest. Would love to learn more about the certification angle, as I believe if it’s done right by a non-partisan organization, it can cause lasting change in the cocoa supply chain – as it can provide market forces necessary to influence farmers to grow sustainable crops.