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On November 20, 2016, TOMchallenged commented on Groupon: A Good Deal for Anyone? :

Great article Grace. The varity of options available to consumers today really is immense! When users are faces with such an array of possible actions, it has been shown that no action is often taken. Given this, do you think promo codes will be a threat to the Groupon model, as they are applied at the final moment a user is making a purchase?

On November 20, 2016, TOMchallenged commented on Wellntel: Smart water for the masses :

Thanks for an engaging and well written piece, Rebecca. Like JMoreno, I am new to this industry and it has been great to gain new insights into this innovative business. It would be great to know how successful WelIntel has been at fundraising (I would imagine that there would be support from development finance institutions), and rolling out the technology in developing markets. Do you see any competition emerging soon, and how efective do you think their patents will be?

On November 20, 2016, TOMchallenged commented on The New York Times’ Digital Journey :

Thanks for a fantastic read Laura. It particularly interesting to hear your view given your experience. Very happy to hear that such a wide range of digital offerings are available, and that post election subscriptions are up. I too believe that there will always be a place for quality journalism and analysis. Are you worried that by focussing on building out their userbase there is a risk that NYT will risk running out of cash before sufficient monetisation is possible? Additionally what is the Times’ plan for attracting a broader audience in the future given the aversion of millennials to paying for content?

Thanks for an interesting post student12! Cost cutting through technology investment accompanied by a reduction in branch footprint has been the way the leading Nigerian banks GTBank and Zenith stand ahead of their peers valuation metrics P/BV. Do you think Itau will be able to maintain its position as industry leader in the face of competition from established banks and fintch upstarts?

On November 20, 2016, TOMchallenged commented on M-Pesa: Providing Banking Services to the Unbanked :

Thanks for a great, informative read Nichols. M-Pesa’s far reaching scale in East Africa is incredible. The insurance / credit applications that credit scoring will create will be game changing. As Lawgu2016 mentioned, utilising mobile handset info like charging habits etc. in addition to spending/ fund transfer patterns should be explored. An alternative to developing these capabilities in house could be a acquisition / joint venture with the likes of Shivani Siroya’s Tala. Tala uses data science and machine learning to reach a credit rating for the financially excluded based on over 10,000 data points per customer. I recommend her TED talk if time permits a watch:

A smart loan for people with no credit history (yet)

On November 7, 2016, Green Builder commented on UNILEVER: The Small Steps Necessary to Decrease a Large Footprint :

Great article, Erica! Thank you. Unilever is renowned for their efforts to create sustainable products, but it is impressive to see their wide ranging and impactful efforts, engaging and incentivising employees, customers and suppliers alike. Paul Polman, has used his position as Unilever CEO to tirelessly encourage govenrments to take responsibility for climate change, with arguments anchored in science and economic logic. It is hard to ignore the head of a EUR 53billion consumer goods company who states, “There was a belief among some politicians that the main challenge is job creation and economic growth, and if we get side-tracked with climate we might not achieve the economic growth.
The reality is, if we don’t tackle climate change we won’t achieve economic growth.”

On November 7, 2016, Green Builder commented on Clean Tech VC: A Decade of Failure :

Many thanks for the interesting and timely read as recruiting season approaches! As LPs turn their back on cleantech VC, it sadly appears that we are losing a generation of skilled cleantech investors at a time when electric vehicles, and distributed solar reach broad market acceptance. The risk-reward trade off for a budding VC investor with viable biotech and software options simply isn’t there at the moment.

On November 7, 2016, Green Builder commented on A Case for Solar-Powered Irrigation in Africa :

Thanks for sharing – It is always insipiring to read about entrpreneurs who forge sustainable innovation with impact. I agreewith WRE that solar is providing countless unique ways for Sub-saharan Africa to leapfrog the West, as several countries are doing with M-Pesa, Fawry and Interswitch’s mobile payment platforms. Given the impact that growth in the agriculture sector has on employment for the bottom of the pyramid, I am keen to see the CDC, IFC, OPIC and other DFIs step in to meet the SunCulture’s funding gap, subject to the company’s ability to establish scalable operations.

On November 7, 2016, Green Builder commented on Tesla: Leading The Charge Toward A More Sustainable Future :

Interesting read Rafi! Many thanks. Solar City has done wonders to increase the accessibility and adoption of roof-top solar across the States. It will be interesting to see how the innovative Solar Roof product is priced. The solar city website mentions that the cost of the product will be less than an equivalent roof adjusted for lifettime utility savings, driving an early estimate by Consumer Reports that an average sized residential roof could cost up to $70-$100k, vs. c. $15-45k for a conventional clay or slate roof [1]. The average household income of solar homes is about 35% higher than the national average, and conventional roof-top solar is becoming more affordible, but this will likely be a luxury product [2]. If so, I fear the Solar Roof will serve a limited target market, while potentially disincentivizing home owners from installing unfasionable conventional panels.

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On November 7, 2016, Green Builder commented on Cow farts stink – especially for Fonterra. :

Thanks for a great read JJCW. It was great to learn of livestock’s contributions to global warming, and the bitter irony of climate change’s effect on Fonterra. In light of current prices, the steaks have indeed never been higher. In addition to Fonterra’s great efforts to avoid an early expiration date mentioned above, the company is New Zealand’s largest producer of biofuel, reducing local industr’y’s reliance on fossil fuels. While I do not condone crying over spilled milk, the company has fallen foul of contributing to a major cause of water pollution, as its dairy stock seeps into waterways. Is this an equally pressing issue and if so, should Fonterra explore udder ways to support New Zealand’s environment?