I loved learning more about Neighborly and the intersection between FinTech and communities through this article! I think that Open Innovation will be a valuable tool for the firm since it conceptually aligns with the operating model/mission of the business. Essentially it would be aligning crowdsourcing of funds with the crowdsourcing of ideas. In both methods, the ultimate goal can be the betterment of communities – so I see it as a natural fit and a great vehicle for Neighborly to grow and remain competitive. You raised the question about scalability then. Personally, I think Open Innovation will help and won’t be limited by needing customization in each community. I think Neighborly could set some consistent guardrails for each community via their tech (i.e. geographical boundaries, other regulations, etc.) and then allow each community to source ideas that would be most meaningful to them via Neighborly’s platform.
To build on Daniel’s comment about the FDA, I find it very interesting to see here how product innovation comes into conflict with regulation. Medicine is such an interesting application for 3D printing, but I wonder if the strict regulatory environment will run companies like Organovo out of business. For instance, they may not be able to secure funding to stay afloat while government agencies adapt their rules to this new category of innovation. It’s still not clear if that will be a short-term or long-term issue for companies like Organovo. For instance, I think product testing will be much faster to accept 3D printing than organ transplants.
I’m really impressed with Spotify’s ability to curate resonant playlists via machine learning. I feel like playlists are a space where customers are willing to trust data and algorithms, if it ultimately leads them to listen to songs that they appreciate. However, I think Spotify is wandering into dangerous territory by beginning to use machine learning to generate original music. I think this will alienate artists and listeners alike. In my opinion, at least, there is so much to music and artistry that data cannot replicate. Content creation is where humans remain essential. I’m curious to see what Spotify finds in this area, but I think it could really turn off many of their key stakeholders.
After reading this, I’m curious about how the growth of 3D printing & customization will affect Adidas’ value proposition for consumers. Historically, customers have trusted shoe companies like Adidas and Nike to be the experts in shoe design. The designers have known best about the technical nuances of the designs and have had access to the most research on what matters for comfort and performance. If Adidas goes down a path of functional customization via 3D printing (beyond tweaking style elements), I wonder if their credibility will begin to breakdown. I think that the company will need to set strategic guardrails around what they allow to be customizable, in order to preserve their brand equity.
I wonder about the long term implications of Netflix’s use of machine learning to generate recommendations, content, etc. Will it be able to maintain its competitive edge forever? Will viewers ever grow skeptical of Netflix’s motives/power and want to feel like they have more of a conscious choice in the content they view?