I pause to think about what value a real-life physical grocery store brings over its online and delivery counterparts. Perhaps to me the biggest difference is beating them out on shipping charges (and of course using technology as you say to lower their cost). But I also think that there is a customer service aspect to attracting people especially if we can make visiting a grocery store more of “an experience”. This would help differentiate a Kroger from online and would be something that can’t be replicated through digitization. I would be hard-pressed to create the full “experience” and describe what that would look like, but it may involve a combination of customer service, coupon activities, and maybe even free samples and trialables. Interested to see what the future holds–nice post.
Interestingly enough, I myself was thinking very hard about writing a post about the demise of print media. I certainly think that as population ages, the prevalence of this particular type of media will rapidly diminish. The question to me is one of relevance as you point out yourself. Increasingly we are living in an “echo-chamber” world where news and media are tailored to our preferences, which we in turn reinforce through conscious self-affirming behavior. Where can a once reputable magazine like TIME fall in this dynamic landscape? Big question, and I am glad I am not the one answering that on Time’s behalf. Great post overall and I am hoping this one is picked for discussion during TOM.
I think there is great potential for this application particularly in large-scale quarantine as in the case of the major ebola outbreak last year in Africa. Having this kind of tool is potentially a game-changer for researchers (e.g. CDC). I would also think that a natural extension is to be able to focus resources in real-time as a n outbreak develops. Fantastic post!
Excellent post Luke. I wonder if Slack is just the beginning of newer ways to accommodate large groups of people. Question of course is anonymity–which will be a very real problem if we don’t assert our rights.
Good point Jack. But I wonder, if the progress might not outweigh the temporary drawbacks of this disruptive technology? I think you are spot on about significant upheaval due to the pressure on the people that exist in the middle, but I would counter by pointing out that many more people will capture value through renting their homes/apartments or by saving money. I would imagine that the subsequent economic benefits would be incredible.
It also triggers an interesting debate about the roll that AirBnb plays vs. hotels. I simply can’t see them grabbing the business professional market (e.g. consulting, conferences etc.), so it will be very interesting to see where they carve out a stake for themselves especially as globalization continues at a frenzied pace.
The Echo reminds me of those movies with the advanced AI that responds to all the human requests (think Hal from Space Odyssey). One of the concerns I think about as an extension of that is the potential for these kinds of devices to be used against us. I don’t mean that in the sense that the devices will somehow turn against humanity but rather that they can be used for nefarious purposes including–as you mentioned above–collecting private data to could be used to incriminate or embarrass.
Regardless, I think the potential for these kinds of devices is enormous and that we are just at tip of the iceberg with respect to how much technology can be incorporated into our lives.
Kei, good article but I take exception to a few points that Toyota is trying to claim about their vehicle. Specifically, I am thinking about energy density and production. Obviously when looked at just the vehicle, fuel cells appear to be incredible on surface, especially with extremely low emissions and potentially “renewable” energy. However, transporting, storing, and producing hydrogen require a substantial amount of energy and cost. Unlike gasoline pure hydrogen is not very energy dense and there are fewer bonds to take advantage. On the other side, hydrogen is also difficult to store and transport (it is also highly unsafe). If Toyota could have a different type of fuel cell that can take care of the transport of production aspect, this technology will be amazing.
Sam, I too wrote about Exxon and their need to adapt. They are taking a wait-and-see approach and their current CEO, Rex Tillerson, has gone so far as to say that humanity will adapt to the threat of climate change. In some ways we are at a major crossroads as a society. How will we manage our energy needs while navigating the rough waters ahead with respect to global warming? It is unclear to me and I wonder if Exxon will simply let others do the navigating for them. Great article and I hope to discuss with you during class later.
I am concerned about what I feel will be the inevitable consequence of the current NFIP system: insolvency and people left holding the bag after a major disaster. I am particularly interested in this because I left Baton Rouge to come up to Boston literally 12 hours before the worst floods there took out an entire suburb. Denham Springs (eastern part of Baton Rouge) experienced 90% loss of housing with the remainder in poor shape as well. No one even took flood insurance since they never expected it and as you can imagine, FEMA is now trying to take care of the situation. Unfortunately, these kinds of events have to start occurring more frequently in order for true political change can occur.
Very cool article Ahmad, which takes on the same warning tone for Aramco that I did for ExxonMobil. It becomes increasingly clear that the oil giants have to start stepping up or get lost in the long run. How serious is nuclear an option for Aramco?
Karan, the chemical engineer in me thinks that the ability to convert spent nuclear fuel might come with serious caveats. That is, often times these kind of projects have a hidden cost or extra upfront conversion cost/capital structure. It will be very interesting to see however, if a technology like this has a long term potential to be successful given newer reactor technologies (e.g. thorium-based) that might produce significantly less waste.