HCL, what an interesting concept! Thank you for bringing it to my attention.
I feel that this post touches on one of the greatest shortcomings of the modern age – phone-addiction and the inability to “be here now”. One interesting aspect of this is the growing trend of mindfulness, as people find it harder and harder to focus on the present. This, personally for me, is a big problem and sometimes I just catch myself in the act of walking three city blocks without raising my head.
While the problems you present for Yondr are substantial and I agree that the future does not seem bright for this company I believe the concept and its application is important and will prevail. Another interesting application of this is driving – with smarter and connected cars, I would love to see a day where phones are locked while driving, at least for non-verbal use.
Finally I think that the HBS classroom is a great example of how Yondr’s concept can have a great effect on our daily lives and interpersonal interactions. With no electronic devices to lure us away, we are left to quite simply… “be here now”.
Thank you for a very interesting read Pperonto!
You’re definitely touching on an area with so much potential to disrupt our day-to-day lives. The fitness fad has grown so much over the last few decades and I personally don’t see it going anywhere. Therefore, the fight to capture market share in the future of fitness gear is understandably huge. With so many big players, it is interesting to see how UA is presenting its value proposition. I am worried however, that this field is yet to be truly disrupted. At the end of the day UA is offering us a monitoring device with a heart rate monitor, such products have been on the market for a quite a while now. Furthermore, today’s running watches come with a built in HR monitor. I find it hard to believe that the need to strap one on around your chest will be sustainable for daily use. So what is UA offering us besides sleek design and a compelling vision?
I think that one possible answer to this is data – if UA can leverage the data it collects on us and millions upon millions of users to help us become better versions of ourselves then the potential can be big. Perhaps the next big step lies not so much in digitization as it does in “biologization”. One example is a recent creation of fabric that morphs as we sweat (1). With UA’s big purchasing power, perhaps they can become a leading innovator in this field as well.
Mwd, thank you for a very interesting read!
I think that you managed to pick a crucial service, that as you present effects a large amount of people already and will do so for even more in the future. Using Changi as a test-case is interesting for the fact, as you mentioned, that is is considered by many to be the leading airport in the world.
There are any similar innovations taking place in airports throughout the world and it may be interesting to compare between them and discover what are the over-arching best practices. In Heathrow for example, travelers in terminal 2 can use can check-in and drop off their bags at any agent stand, regardless of which airline they are flying with. Behind the scenes, all the bags get sorted out That means a single attendant can service several airlines at once.(1)
Chad, a very interesting read!
I couldn’t help but putting on the album “Harvest” in the background while writing this. Albeit it is via Spotify so I’m not sure Mr. Young will approve.
One of the interesting things about this post is the non-linearity that it presents regarding technology. We often tend to think that digital advancements are always good and always a part of human advancement. This is not always the case. Some even argue that scientific and digital advancement are taking the human race back in terms of ethical advancement – less face-to-face communication and more advanced weapon systems are just a couple of examples. While the case you present may not be so extreme, it is another subtle reminder that digital advancement does not come without a price.
In terms of the approach taken towards this product, it appears that this is a case of appealing to too a niche a market. Furthermore, as you mentioned there are other, perhaps more accessible options out there such as Tidal. Finally, as technology advances, both compression algorithms and bandwidth of connectivity, perhaps the issues you present will be solved for the wide market as well… at that point, the bottleneck will be the human ear/brain and who knows perhaps we’ll be able to surpass that one as well.
Denzil, this was a very interesting read.
One thought I had reading about IFTTT is the continuing trend of simplifying complex tasks so that anyone could master them. One example is the creation of web-pages/Internet sits, where we have seen a very successful industry grow around DIY site-building. One example of this is WIX, which enables the average person to build professional looking sites. The question that arises from this trend is where would it leave the people that have the skills that are now being replaced. I believe that rather than a threat to them it poses as an opportunity to become specialists on the one hand and to help provide the tools that enable the masses to master the more simple aspects of their jobs.
While this concept that IFTTT developed is very intuitive and appealing, I wonder why it is yet to become a major hit. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that a bigger community of “designers” has to be built, as Milkman mentioned above. But then, one may wonder why this hasn’t happened yet. Is it because IFTTT are not doing enough to leverage their product (operationally, marketing etc.) or because at the end of the day this is a cool fad but not something a product that bridges a real gap that people have in their day to day lives. Most apps today are designed by professionals and are mostly free and therefore our need for IFTTT may not be so substantial. However, I do believe that with the introduction of more and more connected devices into our daily lives, there is still much potential for IFTTT to thrive.
Denzil, thank you for an interesting read.
Tesla is a very intriguing company in today’s landscape. Their plans regarding solar roof tiles are just on piece in the puzzle for the company that is also pushing forward their electric cars and wall batteries (that will potentially store energy from the solar tiles). In doing so, Tesla may be on the way to creating a whole eco-system of products that can have a substantial impact on climate change.
What I think is the most interesting aspect here is whether their sustainability efforts are sustainable? As you mentioned Tesla are continuing to lose cash and are yet to be profitable. For how long will they be able to continue operating in this manner and is there perhaps an Elon Musk bubble that will eventually burst?
Perhaps one way to address this issue is via regulations, where the government/municipalities can introduce building standards that will include sustainability as a measure. There may be a potential for Tesla to player a major role in pushing towards such decisions. On the other hand, I am worried about the role that the big electrical companies will play in this game, seeing as they wield considerable political and economic power? How do they fit into a world were a house can serve as its own energy-producing ecosystem? Is there a potential partnership here in order to avoid a struggle that will lead to losses on both sides?
Thank you for a very interesting post Amrita!
It lead me to read up on Disney’s efforts regarding these issues and I was impressed to see that in some aspects Disney is at the forefront of turning food waste into energy. I think that as such a powerhouse in the industry, Disney has the power to influence additional companies – whether suppliers or partners. It will be interesting to analyze how their policies are driving change in their business ecosystem.
Finally, I think you touch on another very important role that Disney plays – an educator to the young. Many of our opinions are formed at a young age and influence by popular culture. In recent years, Disney has taken a stance on issues such as the portrayal of women in Disney movies. I agree with you that climate change and global warming are issues that Disney can take a social stance on through it influence on young viewers.
Thanks for bringing to light this important issue.
As I view it there is an interesting and important convergence here of sustainability, market influence and ethical concerns. We are therefore in a crucial point, where perhaps this convergence will lead to a true change in the way humans produce and consume food.
While going completely vegan may still be extreme, there is a growing trend today towards flexeterianism – people that choose to actively reduce the amount of meat they are eating. Often they opt for quality over quantity. Another thing to consider in this analysis is what role will the market plays – already today meat prices are on the rise, leading to a decline in consumption. Is this a trend (dictated by the rising price of feeding kettle)?
Finally, one more option that companies like Tyson Foods have is widening the use of Methane Digesters, which are machines that can literally digest methane from the air and use it to create energy. While this method works and is used potently in landfills, the meat industry is yet to introduce wide spread use of it.
This was a very interesting read apedrajo!
I am happy to see that an industry leader is taking a stance on this important issue and appreciate your ideas for more robust efforts. As we often see, perhaps the fact that a major player in the industry is going down the path it will have a ripple effect on other related companies. One example of this may be Related’s supply chain and the company’s ability to influence the supply chain by administering certain requirements from their suppliers.
Another interesting angle to view this, which you touch upon, is the role of municipal and government regulations. Are real estate firms like related receiving incentives from the public sector to maintain high levels of sustainability? such involvement by different levels of government could perhaps add further value for real estate companies to go greener.