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On November 20, 2016, xyz commented on The Solution to Police Brutality: Digitization? :

Thank you for this post! Tensions between police agencies and different communities are at all time highs and we must find a way to improve this. I think the application of these body cameras will increase accountability and reduce incidence of police misconduct. That being said, I do not think they will fix the larger issue here which is one of race based stereotyping. If the goal is to eliminate that, then the cameras will not be overly beneficial. That being said, if the cameras can limit incidences of race based police misconduct then they will be extremely effective. I think that these cameras are critical to building trust within the community because officers will be held accountable for all actions.

Thanks for the post!

On November 20, 2016, xyz commented on Under Armour: The Business of Sweat Goes Digital :

Phoebe! This is an interesting post on the application of technology to the fitness industry. Under Armour, like Nike, has done an incredible job allowing everyone to become their own athlete. You made a really interesting point about Under Armour’s ability to identify future workout trends through the data collected by their apps. While this is great when suggesting future work outs, I wonder how much it will truly impact their top line. This assumes that Under Armour already has the correct products in place. One way they may be able to adapt is by integrating sales data with the apps. If UA could say that “x” shoes are incorrect for the types of workouts they are doing and that they should really buy “y”.

Secondly, I think UA must be the first company to successfully introduce wearable technology. Whoever figures this out first will see major gains and it makes sense for a company like UA to be on the forefront of this. Especially if they can introduce it into the shoes or clothing of its customers to get real time performance data.

Hi Kristina! Thank you for the thoughtful post on a product that is held close to my heart. As a frequent user of the Dominos app, I was excited to read your post. I did not realize the Dominos created this platform internally. I tend to think the power of this application is the reduction of friction in the pizza ordering process. The first aspect of this relies on creating a profile so one does not have to input customer information every time. This makes it far easier for customers to order. Additionally, Dominos does a fantastic job marketing to its customers through the app. These notifications increase the frequency with which customers order pizzas, resulting in greater sales.

My concern with Dominos going forward is shift in food preferences towards healthier options. Dominos has historically tried to introduce a varied menu to appeal to customer demands though his frequently fallen short. I think its success going forward relies heavily on introducing healthier options, which will require greater operational efficiency to produce so many varied products. Digitizing the supply chain should help Dominos reduce costs.

On November 20, 2016, xyz commented on Ford is no longer ‘just an auto company’ :

While I think the shift away from personal car ownership is an interesting discussion, I think it is largely confined to a small demographic. This demographic can be characterized as one that lives in a city with excess disposable income. While the purchase of a car is a high barrier to entry and ultimately depreciates quickly, paying for these costs plus commission through ride sharing will ultimately be more expensive and does not have any resale value. Additionally, while ride sharing is a great way to address cost and emission concerns, it is only practical in a highly condensed city. Because of this, these benefits can only be realized by a small percentage of the population. I view the lion share of these plans as CSR based marketing and not something that we will see forever. I would think these automakers would be incentivized to increase operational efficiency, reducing costs to make auto purchases more accessible. Additionally, they should invest further in R&D for electric cars.

Katherine, thank you for the thoughtful post about the transitioning nature of the coupon distribution industry. It was interesting to follow that change in delivery of a product that has not shifted at all. I wonder how effective this distribution channel will be going forward. This is largely a function of greater price transparency across the web as different websites allow for aggregating price views. In order for RMN to remain relevant, they must provide coupons that offer a lower price than what is available on other sites. If done effectively, this could be a powerful way for RMN to increase its relevance. In particular, this could be leveraged by its partners to return customers to their websites as opposed to third party sellers. To an earlier comment though, at what point does this inhibit broader retail distribution by favoring the offers of partners providing the largest share of revenue?

I like how you discussed the benefits of introducing deep machine learning to RMN. I think this can help refine the relevance of offers on the website and increase the targeted nature of its offers. I believe this is critical going forward as consumers begin to rely on extremely targeted offers.

Thank you for the insightful post!

On November 7, 2016, Sam commented on Let’s Go Fly a Kite – SkySails and Climate Change :


This is a really interesting post. I had no idea this was being used to reduce fuel consumption for container ships. One aspect of this project that I find to be extremely interesting is that fact that it is automatic, while still being controlled by humans. This mitigates many of the negative impacts of turbines, such as interacting with migratory bird flight patters. It made me further consider whether it is possible to place solar panels on these ships as an additional source of energy to compliment existing power generation. Have you heard of this? Furthermore, I wonder if this technology can be reduced in cost. The price tag seems extraordinarily high for such a simple solution to fuel consumption.

Thank again for the thoughtful post!

On November 7, 2016, Sam commented on McDonald’s – is the Big Mac in BIG trouble? :

Shray this is an insightful post about the impact McDonald’s has on the climate. I agree with all the points you have raised within this post as major issues faced by any global food supplier. While I agree there are further measures that McDonald’s can take to improve its carbon footprint, I feel that they will eventually face diminishing returns. These companies face very structural trade-offs between profitability and a better planet. I do believe there are certain measures that McDonald’s can take that align both incentives. For example, a more efficient logistics system that reduces on global fuel costs. Additionally, I believe that McDonald’s can implement measures similar to PepsiCo that reduce sodium in its foods to 1) combat health impacts 2) reduce sodium consumption globally and 3) benefit its bottom line.

Thanks again for the thought provoking post!

I find this to be a truly interesting discussion. Thank you for taking the time to put it together. While others have taken a hard stance defending the need, or benefit, of investing in fossil fuels, I find it more interesting to initiate the debate. Given portfolio optimization theory and the needs of diversification, I find it hard to argue a benefit to NOT investing in fossil fuel based securities. However, to your point, there is a definitive way in which one can invest in those who have made an effort to proactively fight for climate change through actions that fit within the best interest of their shareholders. I look at Exxon as an interesting example. While their impact on global C02 emissions is clearly massive, they have made substantial investments in sustainable energy. One can argue that the R&D in sustainable energy from companies like Exxon may be the most impactful in the long run given the size of their balance sheets coupled with the academic resources held in house.

Nobody will doubt the need for companies like Exxon. We all rely on transportation fueled by such companies. At what point does actively arguing against such companies become hypocritical given the general populations’ support of such companies? While people may be opposed to the companies themselves, the goods with which they interact on a daily basis have all touched oil within some respect. Does that mean we should not use our iPhones or not take the bus to school?

Thank you for the thought provoking blog.

On November 7, 2016, Sam commented on El niño se convierte en hombre (The boy becomes a man) :

This is a really interesting perspective on the compounding growth of volatile weather conditions across the globe and how they are impacted by climate change. Clearly climate change has increased the veracity of such meteorological phenomena, such as El Nino. I think the largest impact, which you have brilliantly noted, is the increased volatility of such recurring weather patterns around the world. These impacts clearly impact more than just industry as we saw domestically in California over the past few years. I found the states approach of placing reflective balls in reservoirs to limit evaporation to be particularly interesting. Thank again for the insightful post!

On November 7, 2016, Sam commented on Vail Resorts Could Be Doing More :

Thank you for your insightful post about Vail Resorts. I find it shocking to see that Vail is not making much of an initiative to combat climate change, especially when a large percentage of other ski resort companies are making these efforts. I found a few of such efforts to be particularly interesting. With regards to snow making, many resorts are using more efficient snow making guns and using recycled water to maintain a consistent water table. Additionally, some companies are cooling the water as it moves through the system so it is bigger and therefor more efficient. Furthermore, many companies are using solar panels or hydro-power to power their operations as opposed to taping into the grid. Such measures I find to be particularly innovative approaches to the structural issue that is operating a ski resort in a world of global warming.