AJR

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I liked this article. I agree with what LST said about making sure this wearable technology is filling a void and not just a gimmick. However, I do think that things like the Mastercard partnership do create value for a customer. Apple pay was the first step into the mobile payment world and was highly successful. People like the simplicity of pay and go. Adding a fashionable elements and making it even easier by not having to search through your bag to find you phone only added more benefits to clients.

I love how ITUB is innovating to the digital world. Online banking is clearly an area of growth, but it does disadvantage those who do not have access to smart phones or internet on a regular basis. I love the idea of creating a partnership to give loans for smartphones. I would make sure that the loan is with ITUB and not the retailer providing the phone to make sure the switching cost to go to another bank is high.

I also love the innovation in the Virtual Card. I know a lot of the barriers to online banking are security issues rather than operational ones. These short term “credit cards” help to alleviate that risk and are a true differentiator for ITUB. If the bank keeps innovating with unique programs that benefit their clients and increase switching costs, I think there’s no end to what they can do in the digital world.

On November 20, 2016, AJR commented on Video Games Are the New Football :

I agree the eSports are an exciting growth opportunity for agents, brands, and media alike. There is a very targeted audience that seems to offer a great potential for brands to connect and monetize with these millennials around the world. The problem is how do you build a league? How do teams create the illusive brand love we have been learning about in marketing? I think before eSports can truly be monetized it needs to be centralized. Can we get Valve, Blizzard, EA to work together in a licensing deal to create one league? Or does each studio create and manage its own league to further monetize their games? I think before agency like Catalyst can be the Sherpa for brans, there needs to be a clear mountain to climb to get the economies of scale.

On November 20, 2016, AJR commented on Free internet? What could go wrong? :

Just because internet.org isn’t perfect, doesn’t mean it should fail. I agree the motives might not be 100% pure and Facebook probably is using this app as a means for customer acquisition. However, people are also benefitting by finally having access to the internet. In a perfect world, google and twitter would be on the app and everyone would have access to an open and free internet. However, that is just not the case here in the US and probably not likely to be the case abroad.

Facebook is putting up the capital and time to create this platform so if they gain a little more benefit, I still think its ok because it is a net positive for the customers. With enough pressure from competitors and governments we will likely see other platforms pop up or changes made to internet.org but this is starting the path to global connectivity which is net positive in the long run.

I really liked this post and learning about all the way Foursquare is evolving to monetize its business. I think it is so smart to break the business into multiple parts to address different markets but it is confusing to customers to see the value propositions and customer promise change.
I agree in the value that location based services have for marketing and investment decisions and that Foursquares’ pivot to become a data company was smart. However, data is only as strong as the inputs from the customers. There does not seem to be any incentive for users to log in as the social clout of being a mayor has deteriorated as well as the discounts. I think Foursquare needs to go back to its core competency of being a value add to its customers through discounts and deals to encourage usage and feedback. Apps like RetailMeNot are also building their location based data by giving sales and sicoutn information to clients. As more competitors come into the space and low switching cost, Foursquare needs to find innovative offers and partnerships to encourage users.

On November 6, 2016, AJR commented on Climate Change: Is it All Downhill for Vail Resorts? :

I agree with Grace, Vail Resorts can make all the steps in the world to help combat climate change, but they cannot fix this problem alone. Our Earth is warming and thus there will be less snow. These acquisitions into new ski areas will only be successful if we can stop climate change. I think Vail Resorts have made great strides in helping to combat climate change, but there is a bigger issue at play. The warming weather means shorter ski seasons and less revenues for ski resorts. These resorts need to find alternative ways to make money.

Vail Resorts should shift its business model and marketing from winter resort destination to year-round vacation locations. Expanding into new markets like mountain biking, rafting and hiking (http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-sej-mountain-climate-change-20150728-story.html). Just like a change in technology can cause an industry to pivot its target markets and goals, this change in the environment is going to force ski resorts to change their business model and strategy.

On November 6, 2016, AJR commented on Champagne from England? Mon dieu! :

While sparkling wine is great, there still is something special about having a glass of champagne. This article makes me wonder if there are no other ways the French can combat climate change to help the champagne region instead of giving up the market share to the Brits. I have read that the warmer and dryer summers can actually lead to less acidity, higher alcohol content and make it easier to produce (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-summit-champagne-idUSKCN0SZ1YX20151110). Perhaps there is some good that these growers can find from the change in climate while still focusing on what they can do to combat the change. I love the ingenuity of the British growers in entering the market, but I would like to save Champagne if possible.

One was the JBS can help to reduce greenhouse emissions is to diversify away from cows. There is growing concern that red meat is worse for the environment than cars and there could be some backlash against the industry and overall demand. Raising cattle requires almost 30 times more land, over 10 times more water and is 5 times more damaging than raising pigs or chickens (https://digital.hbs.edu/platform-rctom/submission/is-jbs-doing-a-good-job-for-reducing-greenhouse-gas-emission/). I don’t think its realistic to give up the livestock business just to save the planet, but there is a way to continue the business and be more social responsible. Reducing the cattle livestock and increasing to more “green” meets will mean more yield for the land and water usage for JSB and less emission as a byproduct of the cows breathing and farting. While this won’t stop climate change, it can help to slow it down as we look for new ways to combat this global problem.

I agree with Dan, the first step to solving this problem is to admit that there is one and talk about it. People need the information in an easily digestible way so they can understand the risks when buying a home or building a business in Miami. However just knowing about a problem will not solve it. Miami should look to other cities who are facing similar issues of sinking and see how they are addressing the problem. The most famous example is of course Venice. The world has known that Venice is sinking for a long time and now they are finally acting on it. There is a large public works project to create gates to help be a barrier to the incoming water all around the city (http://www.businessinsider.com/venice-sinking-mose-system-italy-2012-4?op=1/#e-city-has-been-working-on-a-plan-since-the-great-flood-of-1966-2). This gating system is like the use of levees that cities like New Orleans use. While it is not a perfect solution, it helps to solve the sinking cities (at least for now). However, these gates are expensive. I think there should be some sort of tax break for developers who help to put in these gates or a tax on the new real estate to help pay for them. The people of Miami need to work together to save their city.

Msaggioro brings up the excellent point, do the motives matter when talking about combating climate change? I would like to think we live in a world in which people want to do good and help one another save the planet. However, we know that companies are driven by profit and they cannot continue to do good if they do not exist. By aligning the sustainability goals to the profit goals of the company I think Syngenta is ensuring everyone in company is working together to make these goals happen. Even if their motives might not be 100% pure, they are helping and in the long run that is what matters.

The part that worries me is that the changes Syngenta are making are slowing down but not combating climate change. I agree with Msaggioro that they should focus on creating new products that help to stop the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. By creating these new products, they can continue to help their bottom line and the environment.