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On November 15, 2018, SR2020 commented on The Beauty of Crowdsourcing :

I love how Natura has harnessed the one-off conversations women have about beauty tips into a product development approach!

One way the brand could crowdsource its go to market (GTM) strategy is to provide a tool online, on which customers could map-out their paths to purchase beauty products. Natura could then mine this data to proactively adjust their market presence to the formats most wanted by their customers.

In addition to optimizing their GTM strategy, I think Natura should leverage its Cocriando Natura and Natura Campus initiatives for marketing purposes. Competitors may be able to copy Natura’s products, but only Natura will be able to feature the actual people who came up with the ideas in its ads! I think this connection to and appreciation for the customer will give Natura a sustainable competitive advantage going forward.

On November 15, 2018, SR2020 commented on LittleBits: Open Innovation Fueled by Open Imagination :

Wish I’d had this product instead of the Tinkertoy Construction Set when I was a kid!

In response to the author’s first question: I absolutely do not think that open innovation and open imagination are at odds. I believe replicating other’s LittleBits designs helps students develop base-level skills, thus empowering them to then go out and build their own creations. Additionally, I think it’s great for kids to learn how to build off someone’s idea or modifying it for their own situation — this can be as critical as skill as creativity in the working world!

In terms of what’s next, I think that LittleBits should definitely market their product to the masses! The success Legos and GoldieBloks, a construction kit for girls, indicate that there is strong demand for products like LittleBits in the market.

On November 15, 2018, SR2020 commented on The ugliest bridge in the world. 3D printing in Acciona… :

Wow, that’s an ugly bridge!

Aesthetics aside, I believe consumers’ acceptability of 3D-printed building materials and structures relies on government approval and visible, public adoption of the technology. Most, if not all, US states have some version of a “Qualified Construction Materials List.” I think it will be critical for the substances and uses of 3D-printed materials to be included on these lists to address consumers’ immediate fears about safety.

Additionally, seeing the use of 3D-printing technology in a very public place would be a great way to raise awareness of the technology and drive consumer demand. I recommend construction firms using this technique invest in visible projects such as government buildings, sporting areas, and monuments. The downside risk of public displays is large, but worth taking on to develop the market for these products.

On November 15, 2018, SR2020 commented on From Toys to Your Butt, What’s IKEA going to Print Next? :

I believe IKEA’s use of 3D printing should be limited to home decorations, for which they can charge a premium and won’t have to disrupt their in-store operations to accommodate. The value prop IKEA offers for furniture is affordability, but for decorations it is style; as such, I think customers will be more willing to pay a premium on 3D-printed decorations rather than a couch. Additionally, whole 3D-printed items would throw a wrench into the furniture pick-up section of IKEA, which relies on the stacking of tightly-packed cardboard boxes (vs. bins for home decorations).

Given the assumption that IKEA will not expand fully into 3D-printed furniture, I do not think it is necessary for them to bring the capability in-house. Cheaply producing 3D-printed items at scale is challenging and they should leverage the experience of their partners in that matter.

On November 15, 2018, SR2020 commented on OMG: How Texting Grammar Could Impact Your Creditworthiness :

In response to the author’s question about what it will take for consumers to find BankMobile’s model palatable, my answer is very little. I believe that the company has already put itself in an attractive position simply by targeting younger borrowers with limited credit histories. This group is one with limited alternatives and less concerns about giving company’s access to more of their information, making them prime for acquisition.

I think the real stakeholder BankMobile should be concerned about is regulatory bodies. I worry that the variables they have added into their credit formula (e.g. highest level of education, school name) could expose them to discrimination claims and regulatory action. We saw in the Aspiring Minds case that ML had systematically discriminated against female candidates, and I worry that something like that could happen here. As such, BankMobile should continue to work very closely with the CFPB to assess their algorithm.

On November 15, 2018, SR2020 commented on A Machine Learning Pioneer in Grocery: You Guessed It Kroger :

Great read on how machine learning (ML) is being used in seemingly slower-moving industries! While Kroger’s purely online competitors have the advantages of greater data and lower overhead, I believe the company’s brick-and-mortar presence offers opportunities to use ML creatively. Some potential applications include (1) using electronic price displays in stores to dynamically price items based on demand, seasonality, etc., and (2) analyzing checkout line efficiency and flow patterns to best allocate resources in real time.

To the point of how Kroger should attract talent, I disagree with the previous comment that investing in convenience alone will be enough to attract tech talent. How I’ve seen clients tackle this issue in the past is to have a second campus for data analytics folks in more urban, high-tech locales (e.g. New York, San Francisco). The digital nature of those teams’ work allows for flexibility and should be embraced! A less capital intensive alternative would also be to allow a distributed team structure, in which people could work from wherever they wanted.