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On November 18, 2016, SM commented on Can Pearson shape the future of Education? :

Cool blog post! I think HBP (Harvard Business Publishing) is another interesting concept in this world. It can support a lot of different types of content (teaching notes, cases, interactive simulations like Everest, etc.). It’s also pretty dynamic in that new content is constantly flowing in. It’s not hard to imagine a world where more teachers/professors (beyond the business school context) are assembling their own “course materials” from sources that operate kind of like HBP (or even Teachers Pay Teachers for that matter).

On November 18, 2016, SM commented on Is Facebook becoming a news site? :

Oh gosh, such a loaded topic but a great thing for us to discuss. Good summary of the issues! First, I agree that Facebook needs to get the fake news off the platform. It’s bad for users and it’s bad for society. It also reduces the value of facebook as an advertising property, I think. What brand wants to show up next to a bunch of fake news? It’s a really hard problem to solve, though. They need a way (potentially an algorithm) that can do this filtering in a totally objective way. Fortunately, Facebook has invested a TON of money in AI, so maybe that’s a problem they can solve. No way you can have humans do this. The volume is way too large and the second the filtering appears to be subjective, the liberal or conservative media (whoever was slighted in this instance) will go ballistic, so they have to be really careful. Also, maybe you ban specific articles, but if a particular website has a history of producing erroneous pieces, do you ban the entire site? Do you give them an opportunity to come back if they reform? I know Google has banned companies before for abusing SEO and eventually let them come back.

There’s also the question of the user experience. If you try to post something from a bad source, does it tell you that it’s not allowed? Does it explain what the issues are? Or perhaps it allows the posting but then there’s some sort of outline or marker on the post to signal to readers that there may be fact-checking concerns?

On November 18, 2016, SM commented on Government Innovation: Not an Oxymoron? :

Very interesting piece on something we would all be glad for — a government that serves us better through technology! The only thing I worry about a little bit is too much proliferation of agencies. What I would really advocate for is a bit of a “reorg” of government. Can we go back to the drawing board, map out the various buckets of value we need to deliver, and then design our agencies around those things? I expect that there are areas (like CFPB) where we are getting it right but others that could really benefit from efficiency improvements. Obviously getting the political will necessary to actually do that is nearly impossible, but I can dream for a second. I had a friend who worked at a defense contractor that partnered with various national security / intelligence agencies. Based on what I learned from her, the sheer number of intelligence-related agencies and the confusing, somewhat overlapping nature of their mandates actually creates a lot of the IT issues, poor communication, and information-sharing obstacles that they experience.

Interesting article about a really big issue! So many problems with EHR still, even after all those billions have been spent:

-Very high fragmentation among EHR providers and lack of strong collaboration on interoperability (opening up APIs, using standardized data structures, encouraging more sharing across platforms, etc.). Trench warfare over market share means everybody loses.
-HIPAA makes any sort of innovation especially hard in healthcare IT. Say you’re trying to move healthcare data to the cloud. Well, you can’t just move it to any cloud you have to jump through a ton of hoops to make sure it’s a HIPAA-compliant cloud. A lot of it is pretty meaningless stuff. You might just be operating on an AWS box either way.
-EHR tools are mostly built for revenue cycle — they are bad at pretty much everything else (outcomes or bundled payment scenarios, for example, which appears to be where the world is going…maybe…though post-Trump who knows where the world is going).

Great article. It sounds like this tool solves a genuine need for patients and providers, so I’m a bit surprised it didn’t get taken-up by providers (I’m assuming that’s the only reason they would pivot). Even in a FFS world, this seems like it would both create new revenue opportunities for providers (in the form of additional appointments) and improve patient outcomes. I’m not terribly optimistic about this working out in a direct-to-employer model. Employer premiums are already going up, so the cost is a problem. Mental health is also something that a lot of employers aren’t quite comfortable talking to employees about yet. Finally, there’s the creep-factor of your employer being even remotely connected to an app that closely monitors your personal behavior.

Great post! It’s an interesting point to raise that environmental impact extends beyond the operations of Unilever to the actions of both suppliers and end consumers. I wonder how coordinated their efforts are across brands and if certain brands are lagging behind the ones that seem like front-runners of sustainability like Lipton. In particular, I know Unilever owns a bunch of ice cream brands (like Ben & Jerry’s, Klondike, etc.). I would imagine that the refrigeration required to sustain an ice cream supply chain and retail operation creates a substantial negative environmental impact. That being said, I do really like ice cream 🙂

On November 6, 2016, SM commented on Water: Our World’s Most Valuable Resource! :

Cool post! I assume most of Xylem’s customers are municipalities that control the water infrastructure? I wonder to what extent they have already started to upgrade infrastructure to make the water system more resilient. It sounds like they probably have invested in upgrades of some sort since you said that the amount of freshwater use has actually remained stable despite a growing population. I expect that making significant upgrades to the water system is a multi-year endeavor.

On November 6, 2016, SM commented on Gundersen Under the Sun :

Great post! It’s interesting to hear about some of the cool things going on at Gundersen. That said, I must confess I’m a bit cynical about the prospects of applying this model elsewhere. Health systems are already under a lot of strain because of so many massive change efforts going on in the industry — the shift to bundled payment models, meeting EHR meaningful use requirements, shoring up defenses against hackers / identity thieves, etc. It’s hard for me to imagine hospitals investing this heavily (40M) in a project that isn’t required by CMS / the government and will require so many years to recover the investment. I guess I just have to wonder what was unique about Gundersen that allowed them to do this.

Good post! It sounds like this is mostly a corporate responsibility / pubic relations move for Maersk? I don’t see the competitive advantage for them. Seems like if Maersk and the other shipping companies all try to hit these CO2 targets in a coordinated way, basically all they are doing is pushing the cost required off to customers (they can’t, after-all, opt to become even less profitable). I guess the only way I can think of that this gives Maersk a competitive advantage is if other companies can’t hit the targets for some reason and are penalized in some fashion.

I totally agree that vehicle standards need to take into account the “full-cost” of the environmental impact. Regardless of whether we all agree on what should be done about climate change, we can’t have an informed conversation about it unless we are all talking about the same reference frame and objectives. As you state, just looking at driving emissions leaves out the harmful effects of production and, in the case of EVs, charging. I also think miles-per-gallon is a flawed way to think about fuel economy because it obscures the real objective, which is reducing emissions of various compounds. The risk of doing that (even if it simplifies targets) is that it limits the scope of innovations we can use in our approach.