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On November 20, 2016, Smithovic commented on KUVO – Connecting The Global Dance Music Industry :

Great article Izkander – really interesting to see how a company is thinking about leveraging technology to create value for its customers in new ways. The strategy of giving boxes to clubs for free is a clever way of exploiting a first mover advantage to gain scale. It seems that with this kind of network based product, scale will be a competitive advantage. A club would be unlikely to run two competitor of these systems in parallel, so getting there first on the club side really matters.

On November 20, 2016, Smithovic commented on Are we approaching the end of management consulting? :

Really interesting to hear about HourlyNerd. I can see that this has the potential to be very valuable for companies grappling with particular kinds of problems, though agree with Laura that this is likely not taking away business from firms like McKinsey, BCG or Bain as typically companies choose these firms where there is a higher level of ambiguity and a lot of value at stake (to justify the fees). I actually see HourlyNerd as more disruptive to businesses like recruiting firms who connect Fortune 500 companies to flexible temp labor. HourlyNerd’s platform dis-intermediates these firms by allowing companies to connect directly with talent.

I’d be interested to understand how the manage development, feedback and performance management for their consulting contractors? Professional development is part of the core value proposition to employees at traditional consulting firms, which I imagine is trickier for HourlyNerd to provide when consultants are working as sole contributors at a client rather than in teams.

On November 20, 2016, Smithovic commented on Fujifilm: Outlasting the “Kodak Moment” :

Thanks for the article A.J. – fascinating to hear the lesser known Fuji story. This reminds me a bit of the Goodyear case we did in Finance, however, clearly Fuji was extremely strategic in choosing what markets to enter and how to diversify. Leveraging internal capability to expand beyond film into other forms of imagery and making acquisitions to build capability have paid off.

On November 20, 2016, Smithovic commented on Bright Cellars: The Pandora of Wine :

Great article – this sounds like a service I would love to try! I am a little more bullish than Nitchan on monetization. I can see that assisting in wine selection is a valuable service for a segment of consumers who would likely be willing to pay. There would also be a clear segment of wine interested consumers that Bright Cellars can market to advertisers, who may purchase display advertising or sponsor member newsletters. Finally, I can see that Bright Cellars might be able to charge wine producers for the privilege of being distributed via its service. There are many wine producers that Bright Cellars could choose from, and they create value for wine producers by connecting them to consumers they otherwise would not reach, with the potential to become loyal future customers.

On November 20, 2016, Smithovic commented on The New York Times – from Print to Digital :

Interesting article AC – in your research, did you come across the leaked innovation report? ( This preceded the memo NYT released last year, and the two together provide a rare and remarkable degree of transparency into how the NYT is grappling with these challenges.

An additional benefit to your suggestion of user generated content would be the potential for cost savings. UGC could supplement staff writers as a lower cost source of content (e.g., vs. paid contributors) in all sections of the paper. However, given the NYT brand, rigorous curation to ensure quality would be key to using this effectively.

On November 5, 2016, Smithovic commented on Climate Change & Major League Baseball: A Strikeout? :

Fascinating to read about the multitude of ways the physical manifestations of climate change are impacting baseball Andy! One path that teams are taking to resolve the tension spotted by Scott’s comments above (evening games increasing consumption of electricity) is the installation of distributed generation, as Andy suggested: “In the last few years, the Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals and Cleveland Indians installed photovoltaic (PV) solar systems at their ballparks. This year, the Seattle Mariners are joining the movement and the Indians are advancing the cause by adding a cutting-edge small wind turbine complex” ( While only partially offsetting usage today, it’s great to see Major League teams are committed to sustainability even as they are forced to adapt to climate change themselves.

On November 5, 2016, Smithovic commented on Why a Chemical Company Embraced Climate Change Regulations :

Kerrin – thanks for your outstanding example of “how a company can successfully adapt to anticipated regulatory changes, resulting in a competitive advantage”. I wonder though whether Chemour’s experience here will incite the industry to further change. The particular circumstances of Chemour’s experience – allegations of ineffectiveness and a product that is 10x as expensive – may prove a cautionary tale rather than incitement when it comes to sustainability driven chemical product innovation, depending on industry adoption of Chemour’s product as a viable alternative. Further, do you think the agreement could have happened if there was no available alternative to HFC? It seems that the believable threat of regulation and the advantage a first mover experiences when it occurs are critical elements to motivating innovation that will make the chemicals industry more sustainable.

On November 5, 2016, Smithovic commented on Climate Change and the Department of Defense :

I agree with the author that a considered and comprehensive response to the challenges posed to the DoD by climate change is necessary, particularly using its considerable influence to drive partners and NGOs to further readiness. However, I’d all so ask Michael to consider the proactive actions the DoD should be making, addressing its own role in contributing to the climate change it faces. For instance, would you consider it appropriate for sustainability considerations to influence procurement decisions or supplier relationships? How else might sustainability become important or the organizations internal operating model?

On November 5, 2016, Smithovic commented on Intercontinental Hotel Group: Making Sleep Sustainable :

Reading the article, it struck me that the initiatives discussed in the post were largely “top down”. As Caroline notes, these are solutions pushed outward from the corporate centre. Looking at the range of suggestions made by Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (, an organization focussed on the Mediteranean region, got me thinking about alternatives.

Capturing the engagement of hotel staff in sustainability will not only ensure that the top down efforts of the corporate center are effective, it will likely generate additional ideas for action by those on the ground, getting beyond the obvious. A further benefit one Orient Express Hotel property found was that ideas generated by staff were also implemented more quickly ( and the engagement of some staff became infectious across others. To maximize the effectiveness of its sustainability efforts, Intercontinental should actively involve its staff at all levels in idea generation as well as implementation.

On November 5, 2016, Smithovic commented on Tesla: Profitable? It depends on the climate. :

I too was struck by that quote, but for different reasons. I wonder about the effectiveness of Musk’s statement here when trying to incite action on the part of the regulator. As the author points out, the scheme is failing to achieve the change in behavior that the regulator set out to, given the glut of credits. The regulator is also in the midst of a review of the regulations ( Given how important this scheme is to Tesla’s profitability, and therefore the amount it can reinvest in R&D in the near term, working collaboratively with the regulator to try and influence the scheme’s review might be an approach worth considering for Tesla.