Toffel House

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On November 27, 2017, Toffel House commented on In Seoul, the future of transportation is here. :

Really great article. It’s fascinating to see how far ahead the SMG is compared to other cities around the globe. While the idea of smart cities and embedding sensors into the infrastructure sounds really great at first glance, I wonder how the rapid pace of technology will ultimately effect the utility of some of these investments. For example, predicting bus and traffic patterns may be wonderful right now, but if we have fully autonomous self-driving cars roaming the streets in 10 or 20 years that are privately owned by citizens or companies, with the ability to make much more granular transits than large buses and trains, will much of the investment in these technologies be for naught? A city like Songdo sounds really great on paper, but when I think of buildings with computers built into them, I can only imagine how outdated they will appear in only a decade.

I’d express a similar sentiment to Phil Mickelson. A lot of this comes down to the long-term direction of America. With the Trump administration we’ve seen a heavy push towards nationalism and protectionist policies, but how long will he be around and what will the next administration support? Given the current political climate, lobbying the US government against tariffs on imports could be a lost cause. It’s truly a difficult situation to manage. However, given the rising nationalism in other countries such as China, the push for globalization may be harder pressed. Perhaps Goodyear should attempt to meet demands by expanding their current facilities for the time being until a more stable political climate (hopefully) emerges.

On November 27, 2017, Toffel House commented on Lotte at the Whim and Mercy of Chinese Nationalism :

Very interesting article. Lotte truly is at the mercy of the Chinese government. As many of the other commenters have mentioned, there seems to be a significant history of China behaving in a nationalistic manner to favor domestic companies. I think Josh’s thoughts on partnering with local Chinese to gain a stronger foothold and better favor with the government definitely have some merit; however, I would worry that some of the same political risks exist even through partnering. While we’ve seen examples of companies partnering in the past, I would question whether they faced the same magnitude of political retaliation that Korea is facing and whether they will be able to overcome this retaliation simply through partnerships. The Lotte brand is still a Korean brand. I would actually side more with Lotte’s decision to pursue other markets. While those markets may be smaller and present less opportunity for growth, the company likely cannot afford to continue pushing into China with the level of resistance that they are currently facing.

Really interesting read. It’s a very serious challenge these companies face. It’s great to see that Pioneer is making attempts at sustainability by using water from waste plants, but if they continue to grow they will inevitably outstrip that supply. Furthermore, it doesn’t seem like there’s enough waste water to go around to feed the industry as a whole, so depending on how important sustainability really is to investors and communities, we may actually see sustainability as a key differentiator in this industry given the limited supply of more eco-friendly water sources.

On November 26, 2017, Toffel House commented on Where in the world will our wine come from? :

Interesting article! While large scale producers may have trouble with the climate change occurring, one can also envision a world in which wineries grow smaller and smaller rather than consolidate. One way of controlling climate, which would likely be too expensive for a very large plot of land, would be to artificially control it within a regulated indoor environment. Wineries could grow smaller to fit into such spaces, and we may see highly controlled, finely tuned micro-wineries cooking up unique reds and whites similar to what we see with microbrews!

On November 26, 2017, Toffel House commented on Digitization at Pfizer :

Seems like Pfizer may be able to pry their way into patients’ homes to track medication consumption and usage, but I think they’ll have a very difficult time personalizing the medications for a given patient. Without lab quality metrics and a thorough interview to elicit side effects that won’t readily visible to any electronics we have available, personalizing dosages or medication balancing will be very challenging and comes with lots of liability on Pfizer’s end. The physician has typically assumed liability for any changes in medication, and I can’t imagine Pfizer will want to assume that role and the risk that comes along with it.