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Thanks Lizzie, I think this is an inspiring concept with potential for great social impact. Like you, I am curious of the ability of kountable to scale across markets. Governments are trying to catch up with innovations in the fin-tech space which creates regulatory uncertainty risk for kountable. Furthermore, I am skeptical of kountable’s ability to compete with new entrants – is there anything about kountable’s business model that is proprietary or is it simply a network-play?

On November 20, 2016, Smitha commented on Wearable Technology Moves From The Wrist To Smarter High Fashion :

Wearable technology is such an exciting concept, thanks for sharing Viktoria! I really enjoyed your examples of how fashion and technology can help us live better and smarter. While the price points for wearable technology are starkly high – do you think 3D printing clothes could lower the price point for the common consumer?

On November 20, 2016, Smitha commented on Alibaba and Singles’ Day Sales :

Long, the amounts of sales and orders Alibaba is capable of handling is truly incredible. Thanks for sharing! I’m curious how sustainable this 30% growth really is? As Alibaba looks to scale outside of China, how will its logistical network and infrastructure need to develop. I agree that new technology like drones can help, but perhaps Alibaba can leverage existing transportation infrastructure to deliver its products.

Interesting post, Laura! I’m saddened by diminishing value of Steinways in the face of digital technology. Digitalization has democratized the piano by dramatically decreasing the purchase price. Unlike my peers, I think Steinway should adapt its model and go digital. This could be in ancillary products like digital auto-tuners or in combining hardware and software as they have already begun. To protect the Steinway brand, I would suggest they rebrand their digital products as “___ by Steinway” to protect their brand integrity.

On November 20, 2016, Smitha commented on How Macy’s and Technology “Fit” Well Together :

Wow, what a cool idea! Great article Erica! I am curious whether the Manhattan Beach store requires more inventory stock than a typical store. If multiple people are trying 30-50 items at a time, I can only imagine this multiplying the inventory a given store needs and potentially increasing costs in the short term.

Thanks for sharing, it is exciting that Levi’s has taking a leadership role in making a jean which requires 96% less water. I had no idea it took nearly 3,800 liters of water to produce a normal pair of jeans. While Levi’s has made some production technology enhancements, I found the Levi’s Water<Less strategy has more of a marketing campaign. Based on their website, I felt that the company was promoting sustainability through engaging their end consumer in effective marketing campaigns. Now that Levi's has created the Water<Less production process, it seems to be just pushing the onus of conservation and sustainability to the end consumer. Shouldn't Levi's be trying to invest in more R&D efforts to further reduce its water footprint? Do you agree that Levi's Water<Less has evolved into a marketing platform and that the company has stalled its efforts to further improve the environmental efficiencies of their supply chain and production operations?

On November 7, 2016, Smitha commented on Ecofriendly Fast-Fashion: A Real Possibility or an Oxymoron? :

Maria, your post reminds me of our class discussion about sustainability at IKEA. Although Inditex is making strides to address climate change and reduce its carbon footprint, the very nature of its business at odds with this. As you stated, fast fashion is wasteful and is paradoxical with with sustainability. Eventually, if the clothing trade idea you proposed or other recycling efforts gain traction, the company will only be able to offset its negative environmental impact – but not necessarily ever get to a net-positive impact result. I just wonder if this is a deterrent to action. As we discussed in class, if you simply disengage with the furniture business or fast fashion business, other competitors will simply take your place. Anyway, I’m still on the fence on what Inditex’s role is within the sustainability space – thanks for writing a thought-provoking article!

Interesting post! Like Erica, I was amused by the graphic which juxtaposed the negative and positive impacts of climate change on Coca-Cola’s operations. There seems to be some misaligned incentives here. If warmer temperatures lead to more consumption, then why would a profit-seeking business like Coca-Cola be incentivized to change? The answer, as you pointed out, is adopting a long-term view. While in the short-term, Coca-Cola sales may increase with higher temperatures, this is not sustainable as natural resources become sparse.

As for your point on desalinization, I wonder if this really solves the issue? Although desalinization would increase water supply in the short-term, it may propagate excessive consumption of water and not fix the problem long-term. Thoughts?

On November 7, 2016, Smitha commented on Making Beer Green :

Hey Ali, our posts interestingly seem to have different views on AB Inbev’s sustainability initiatives. In my eyes, they have not nearly done enough to regulate supply chain water use. While they have initiated pilots “helping barley growers use enhanced irrigation technology and drought-resistant seeds to grow more barley with less water,” I haven’t found credible metrics on the amount of water reduction from these initiatives or plans for scale. Furthermore, when you look at another beverage company leader, Coca-Cola, I found that they have instituted more stringent regulations on their upstream suppliers to effectively curb water use throughout the supply chain (Source: Given AB Inbev’s minimal influence on supplier water use, I’m still not convinced they are really making a real impact and greatly reducing their total water footprint. Thoughts?

Cheers, Smitha

On November 7, 2016, Smitha commented on Do you like beer? Then save the climate! :

Thanks for sharing, it is interesting to learn more about Smuttynose’s sustainability initiatives. While Smuttynose’s commitment to the Climate Declaration and LEED Certification are great to increase energy and water efficiency, I am concerned that they might be more marketing initiatives than solving the underlying problem. As you said, brewers are becoming increasingly concerned about water supply and usage. Has Smuttynose done anything to date beyond increasing water efficiency, essentially reducing their water inputs throughout their supply chain?