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On November 20, 2016, TJ commented on Is the Pen So Mighty After All? :

You are on to something here! It would not surprise me to see Five-Star and Mead lose significant marketshare to Apple and Microsoft during our lifetime. With the increased connectivity of devices and instant cloud data storage, the shift towards electronic notebooks seems inevitable. As others have mentioned – the ability to keep track of and organize notes appears to be a significant part of the value prop. However, as a user amasses gigabytes of notes I wonder whether the “value” of improved organization will actually be captured. For me, I think that there would be significant value in integrated search functions in these note taking platforms. If the devices are able to analyze text and index the data – then I suppose it would not matter whether the notes are organized or not. Do you know whether Apple and Microsoft are currently integrating the ability to index and search notes into their value proposition?

Awesome! This is a case that really shows the power of data! To your point, it is now up to the leaders to decide how to best use this data to improve the operations/performance of their units. I am sure that this can have implications in both emergency officer dispatching and preventative police resource planning and allocation. I wonder whether the data could ultimately result in a bias in the way the NYPD operates. Since the nature of crime in general is often a function of irrational behavior, the NYPD may be wrongly adopting predictability into a space where it cannot exist. If police offers are prepared for a given situation based on the predictions of their data (trends based on location, time, etc.), they may walk into an emergency with a bias that could under prepare or over prepare them for the situation at hand. Could this ultimately compound the issue of excessive police use of force if data is wrongly predicting the severity of the call that they are dispatched to?

I also worry about the inventory risk that Canyon now needs to take on. The traditional model provided great value to Canyon in that the distributors and retailers generally carried the risk of shifting consumer demands. Unless the lead time for cycles is very short, Canyon will now need to carry safe levels of inventory for all of their offerings to ensure supply/demand matching. Since the majority of components are purchased through agents and far-east suppliers – it is likely that the lead time is significant and Canyon will be taking on an increase in finished goods inventory.

In addition, I worry about distancing yourself from your prime brand evangelists (the retailers). From my prior experiences in bike purchases, these retailers play a huge part in promoting your brand and fostering sales of your products. I also imagine that these retailers are the best equipped to provide Canyon with information on market trends, customer perceptions, quality issues etc. that are critical to the forward success of the company. For a purchase of this value I tend to believe that the retail experience is critical for first time buyers and brand recruiting. The DTC model should be targeted towards the more experienced, loyal consumers who know exactly what they are looking for.

As one of the most common jobs in 34 states in the US, I wonder how this will impact the lives of these 1.8million American’s nationwide. I would argue that the skill set that these folks have may eventually become irrelevant in the new world of autonomous vehicles. These people will have a tough time finding a new job. When the industry first started permitting dual-trailer carries for highway long-hauls the workforce was significantly impacted by the increased efficiency/productivity. Inevitably, an increase in “workforce” productivity will result in a reduced demand for jobs. That being said, I think that the positive implications of this make for a great case to explore. Perhaps the increase in efficiencies will result in lower total landed product costs and in turn improve cost competitiveness of US based companies. This change in cost competitiveness could then increase demand for good quality US based jobs and workforces in other areas. The sacrifice in trucker jobs could be offset by a massive increase in other job opportunities!

Interesting to see the expected growth for this segment. I have personally never viewed the Roomba as a practical purchase for the general home owner or resident – but it looks like there is a substantial market for it. As some of our brilliant section-mates have already mentioned I worry about the issue of cyber security especially as iRobot begins to integrate their products with the internet of things. Even today we see people worried about the idle cameras on their stationary laptops – covering them with stickers or tape to ensure that no one is spying on them. Similarly, I wonder how people will feel about the camera on their vacuum that is connected to the internet and also has the ability to move around their home. However, I do believe that overall the value proposition here is solid. There is no denying that people seek additional convenience in their lives. I wonder when we will see similar technology spill over into the home gardening and lawn care – or even agriculture. Do similar technologies exist in these spaces already?

This post really shows the massive impact climate change is having! Wow. It is hard to believe that such a predominate city like Miami faces such a looming threat in the face of climate change. Reading this post it almost seems inevitable that Miami as we know it today will not exist 50 years from now. It is interesting to see the investments that the city is making to help mitigate the risks ahead but I can’t help but wonder at what point do investors and community members alike decide to throw the towel in and move to a more strategic location? I fear that during our lifetime we may see this unfold. It will undoubtedly take an extraordinary commitment from the city’s leadership as well as an extraordinary amount of money to preserve this phenomenal place. I believe that if these resources are available, the city can ultimately leverage advances in modern technology to find a creative solution to what is, at the end of the day, no more than a difficult engineering problem. Let us hope that the rest of the world too can leverage advancements in technology to help mitigate the impacts of what seems to be the root to Miami’s problem – climate change.

Great post Dori! Having come from a global supply chain background and understanding the importance and complexity of cargo vessels and their routes, I found this very interesting. However, I had no idea that the area was facing such potentially devastating implications due to climate change. This post makes me wonder how the effects of climate change were considered in the initial proposals and planning of the panama expansion project. Recognizing these implications now, I would think that many of these same challenges must have been considered throughout the initial proposal process. It would be really interesting to learn more about how such challenges were taken into effect when green lighting the project and making the decision to break ground on such a massive investment.

In addition it would be interesting to take a look at what environmental trade offs were consciously made when approving the project. On the other hand, it would also be fascinating to understand how this project could positively impact the climate change problem our world faces. Does this expansion project provide more efficient trade routes, or allow for wider more energy efficient vessels?

It is interesting how relevant the issue of climate change is across industries. News and media outlets so often talk about climate change in context to a few limited sectors and important discussions like this may never make it to the broader audience. This discussion truly shows how climate change is impacting sectors that many people (including myself) are overlooking. It is interesting however, how much progress has been made in this space by the industry leaders. I think that some of the achievements Newmont has made are quite impressive – especially in the light of other market competitors no considering climate impact in the decisions that they are making. This reinforces the idea that our society as a whole very much relies on the labors of industry leaders to start conversations, and provoke change for the greater good in places where government regulations or financial incentive structures may not be doing so already.

On November 6, 2016, TJ commented on Amazon Web Services: Greenhouse Gases in the Cloud :

Interesting post Alex! I thought your “my take” was right on. The extension of PTC & ITC at the end of last year was huge for adding to the pipeline of renewable projects in the US. I also would like to see AWS continue to add renewables to their energy portfolio leading up to the phase out of the PTC. I am however, very hopeful that the extension will help give the major onshore OEMs (Vestas, GE, Siemens, etc.) the extra time and certainty they need to make improvements in their technologies and supply chains to deliver future renewable energy at a levelized cost equivalent to that of traditional alternatives.

Noah – very interesting post! This is such a relevant topic for so many people from both a business and personal perspective. I had never really thought about how regional drought conditions are compounding this issue due to a short supply of water to make “artificial” snow during a poor season. We have seen the devastating implications of remarkably dry seasons in many of the western states already. When such conditions make water resource so important it is hard to justify trading precious water supply that could be reserved for crops & drinking water for human consumption, or preserving the equilibrium of a fragile ecosystem for the discretionary gratifications of ski enthusiasts. This also puts a company like Vail Resorts in an interesting position. As such a well-known brand in the ski resort space, how do they continue to ensure that they do their fair part in operating their resorts sustainability and preserve their brand perception? I think that we will continue to see more leadership from their end in taking a stance on the issues and doing their part to capitalize on opportunities that are not only beneficial to the environment and local communities, but also beneficial to their bottom line. I am hopeful that we will see similar strides among the resort owners in the North East where the smaller “hills” are perhaps even more sensitive to the ongoing effects of climate change.