Great comments, Francisco. 1) Blue, like SpaceX, has been successful at integrating these digital technologies into their operations; unlike the incumbents which integrated those technologies later. Blue, however, has a different business model. Their mantra “gradatim ferociter”, meaning “step by step ferociously”, symbolizes the company’s approach to space flight. They are less worried about rapid operations and more focused on building new technical capability. 2) There is a lot of cooperation between NASA and New Space companies such as technology transfers and licensing, access to data, and technical experts. Data, however, is not typically package nicely for private companies — they often have to mine that data or get it through the technical experts.
I appreciate the comment, John. NASA unfortunately has silos, preventing engineers like me who are focused on a specific technical area, to access data and analytics from other technical groups. This prevents teams from making real-time decisions on the potential tradeoffs, which result in decelerations of the development process. The debate is up on whether these innovative technologies don’t sacrifice quality and safety, at the expense of expedience. There should be a balance.
Thank you for your comment, Cristina. I agree with you, SpaceX’s work on the 5G arena is truly impressive. The company is currently building a satellite constellation, Starlink, to bring internet via satellite to the world including remote and isolated areas. SpaceX’s agile operations allows them to integrate the latest technologies, such as 5G, to their fleet of satellites. A lot of satellite developers fail to do this: by the time they launch their satellites into orbit, a lot of their technologies and systems are obsolete.
Thank you for commenting, Omar!
1) Yes, the reusable boosters drive costs down, however, their development was possible thanks to SpaceX’s innovative data handling and operations, coupled with agile processes and effective leadership which resulted in substantial productivity improvements. NASA, due to the inefficiencies and bureaucracy you mentioned, has been very slow at adopting digital technologies, which often result in lost opportunities or misuses of their data. SpaceX, on the other hand, adopted those digital systems almost since its inception, which cut substantially the development schedules, costs, and ultimately allow SpaceX to be more vertically integrated and agile. While NASA continues to develop Orion and SLS, SpaceX has flown Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Crew Dragon, Starship, etc. NASA recently launched a Digital Transformation initiative to address these issues and make better use of their data, hopefully they can catch up soon: https://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/what-is-digital-transformation-and-why-is-nasa-doing-it.html
2) Yes, digital twins have become popular in the industry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geS6wsUHmOw. There are obviously still some complexities those simulations are not able to capture (i.e. radiation is typically hard to model), but we are getting there…
3) I would be down for a beer or coffee any time!
Great article, I had never heard about Civitas. Dropout rates are significantly higher within the black and Latino students within the U.S., with rates of close to 10% compared to the average of 6%: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/raceindicators/indicator_RDC.asp. Do you know if Civitas is specifically targeting those communities?
This article if fascinating, I had never heard about Eaze. The legalization of Cannabis is still very controversial and highly politicized, specially as it relates to bad social behaviors or health-related concerns. These data insights and customer inputs could be a very effective tools for lobbying both within the U.S. and around the world. Is Eaze currently considering making the data available to government institutions?
On your last point on data movie analytics, I found Disney Research’s analysis of audiences’ reactions at the movie theater both fascinating and frightening. While data can provide valuable insights into elements in the movie that the audience liked or didn’t like thus improving quality of its content, I’m concerned about the privacy implication of allowing these systems to penetrate these space. Is privacy something Disney is evaluating as they explore these technologies?
Thank you for sharing your comment, Kanako. It’s nice to meet users of the app — I’m not a parent myself but I have several friends and family members who use it. That’s what inspired me to write this blog.
It seems that Huggies, Pampers’ closes competitor in the sector, also has a rewards app: https://www.huggies.com/en-us/rewards. They app, however, is not standalone but it was integrated into an umbrella app, Fetch, that allows users to get cash rewards for various other consumer products.
This may make the Huggies app less appealing to prospective parents, given that it lacks personalization, in addition to the fact that it doesn’t offer the parenting tips and other perks that Pampers does.
Thank you for sharing the link, Rolando. This is definitively an interesting idea about integrating “baby tech” IoT devices to the platform. In fact, if Pampers truly embraces your one stop shop proposal, it could even open the platform to services (in addition to products) like pediatricians, day care centers, and others.
I have never heard of Zeel before, thank you for sharing this!
To your point related to the risk of disintermediation, I wonder if the platform has implemented other features that add value to users in both ends. It would be interesting to chat with a therapist and learn about the challenges/needs they frequently face, and figure out if the platform can tackle those in a way. If you have any thoughts on this I would be very interested in reading them.
Finally, I really liked the way you organized the blog. The way you structured it makes it very clean and easy to read.
Amazing article and very inspiring company!
I recently engaged in a conversation about gender inequality within the science, technology, and engineering fields. I learned that women within these fields represent less than 27% of the workforce in the U.S. Mogul could really make a difference in closing that gap.
I see from the blog post and their website that they have an global user base. While there are unifying challenges facing women around the world, it would be interesting to learn about some of the challenges they have faced across different international communities in terms of cultural and language differences.
This is indeed a very interesting article. I used to watch “60 Minutes” a lot growing up, even though I don’t watch it as much anymore, I still associate the brand to high-quality journalism. No wonder Quibi was interested in the partnership.
Competing for viewership simply on the quality of your content is hard, even for prestigious brands like “60 Minutes”. There is so much stuff available through various channels that is hard to convince anyone to pay a premium.
If high-quality content isn’t really a competitive factor, what other options do brands like 60 Minutes and Quibi have to increase their young viewership? Do you have any ideas of additional features that would have added value to the end-user, thus strengthening their business strategy?
Disney refusal to launch Black Widow through their streaming service, even applying the $30 Premier Access fee, seems to be due to contractual obligations. Marvel Studios has a standard compensation structure “giving key talent (like Scarlett Johansson in this case) back-end bonuses based on their respective film’s success at the box office”. Because of the language in the contract, the studio is not allowed to stream the movie. There seem to be negotiations to modify the contract language so that key stakeholders can “receive adjusted compensation depending on whether the film opens in theaters or debuts on the Disney+ streaming service.” Another side effect of COVID: new contract language for Hollywood actors.
This is a great blog post, proving a unique and global perspective on the restaurant industry. I would specifically like to try their Rotis! Reading about Chefette’s bet to invest on their own delivery fleet reminded me of the Domino’s case. I wonder if Chefette, like Domino’s, would be open to collaborate with the other delivery service providers, like Uber Eats and DoorDash, if/when they enter the Barbados market.
I come from a community predominantly run by micro-entrepreneurs, particularly Hispanic/Latino like Renato and Veronica, where technology adoption always becomes an uphill battle. This is mainly rooted on a lack awareness on the potential benefits of these technologies (such sales management tools, digital operations, etc), language and cultural barriers, and lack of access to the required training. Several organizations have attempted to address this issue via educational and communication campaigns: https://hispanosemprendedores.com/en/pasos-para-digitalizar-una-empresa/
As a consequence, some of these micro-entrepreneurs struggle with getting access to financing and competitive loan options — given that they don’t have the necessary data to defend some of their business goals. There are also inefficiencies regarding business operations that are not properly captured due to the lack of data, preventing micro-entrepreneurs from growing.
I grew up with Nintendo and continue to be a fan — I’m happy to see them emerge during the pandemic. Their strategy of “mixing famous brands and repeating experiences” has definitively been the factor that keeps me hooked. I keep going back to play the latest Legend of Zelda games or the Mario franchise (Kart, Party, etc.). In addition, one of the competitive advantages of Nintendo, in my opinion, is their ability to reinvent themselves with the launch of their latest console. While Xbox and PlayStation have focused on enhancing graphics and maintaining the standard gaming experience (with a hand-held controller), Nintendo has not been afraid to innovate. The Wii, for example, introduced motion-sensing technology, the Switch integrated tablet-like elements to their console, and now you see them leveraging AR to create a more immersive gaming experience. This willingness to innovate their gaming experience is what keeps some of their established franchises fresh and relevant. Here’s a short article on Nintendo’s innovative culture: https://www.theguardian.com/games/2018/apr/25/nintendo-interview-secret-innovation-lab-ideas-working
As a user of both Uber and Drizly, I celebrated the news of the acquisition. There is definitively a synergy between the company’s strategies and target customers: whenever bars open and I can get together with friends to have a beer, I will take an Uber; if I need to stay home because of the pandemic and quarantine restrictions, I know I can always get my drink of choice on Drizly. My main concern is rooted on the potential social and health care implications of “taking alcohol mainstream”. According to a recent report by the CDC, the cost of excessive alcohol use in the United States reached over $250 billion in 2010. These costs are mainly due to loss of work productivity, increased health care expenses, and other criminal justice costs. While Drizly can be the solution for “casual” alcohol users like ourselves, this technology could also exacerbate some of these problematic behaviors and alcohol abuse. Implementing appropriate technology safeguards could mitigate some of these negative side effects.