Great post! Even when I think this idea is fantastic, I am not really happy about the execution.
First of all, I think that as far as possible, this type of services should be self sufficient. I understand that to motivate the usage of a good that have a positive externality, we should subsidize the good. Nevertheless, I feel that using bicycles don’t have a direct positive impact in the environment… using the car less is what affect the environment. Then, from an economic point of view, we should increase the cost of using cars, not decrease the cost of using bicycles.
My second issue is more personal. I feel that the quality of this public bikes is very low. To give you an example, cycle from Harvard Square to Kendall Square in the Boston public bikes takes me around 25 minutes, but it only takes me around 12 minutes in a regular bike. My intuition is that having this low quality bikes decrease the cost of them and the level of thefts… but at the same time it decrease the willingness to use them, and instead push customers to keep using their regular transportation (car, bus, subway).
After reading your post, I have three questions about how companies like Craiglist operates and interact with the industry:
1. Many tech companies are generating disruption in established industries like news & media, pushing revenues and profits down. But, what is their business model? how are they generating profits?
2. What do you think is Craiglist competitive advantage? Can an online newspaper give the same service, with a more reliable platform?
3. We know that Craiglist effect broke a 19.6 billion business, which now is worth 4.6 billion plus potential revenues from Craiglist & other similar platforms. But, how do we now if at the end this effect created or destroyed value for the society? Is there any way to measure it?
This was a very entertaining post to read!
I have a couple of questions about how virtual education would work in practice:
1. What is the selection process that the university would have to decide who can opt for virtual education? How does this affect the goal of “educate the citizens and citizen-leaders for society”?
2. How do you think the market will evaluate the merits of the people educated virtually versus the people educated in person at Harvard (or any other major institution)? Could they possibly be perceived in the same way?
I think your post raises a complicated question: Should laws be adapted to technology-based companies or technological companies comply with the current regulation?
My big ethical issue here is that usually laws are set to protect some powerless group (workers) from the pressure of the power groups (companies). When some company (like Uber or Deliveroo) find a loophole to avoid complying with the regulation, they are affecting a huge group of people who do not have the power or the resources to defend themselves. There is a reason why labor laws were created: to ensure a fair treatment to all employees. Not paying the fair value of work (which includes vacations, retirement, health benefits, etc) is not only prejudicial for employees, but it is also giving this companies and unfair competitive advantage.
I agree that regulators need to do something about it, however, we must ensure that the solution is fair to all parties involved.
As Joanna, I was thinking how this companies can generate profit with this service. With 1.7 million envelopes open per minute (I can oonly imagine how much money this apps are moving), I feel there is room to monetize this service without having to charge a fee to the users for sending or receiving money.
I’m thinking of acting like a bank would. People deposit money into their checking accounts (or their app wallet), and the bank (WeChat) uses those funds to (1) invest or (2) lend it to other people. In the same way, people who receive virtual red envelopes with money, keep the funds in their checking account (app wallet), and the bank (WeChat) also profits from those funds.
Do you think a system like these can work in China? Would it be approved by local regulators?
I have to say that my first impression after reading this post was similar as yours, how are they impacting the number of customers that will need treatment with their current initiatives?
But, after additional thought, I realized that the main objective of Kaiser in regards to climate change adaptation, should be to ensure they have a business that is sustainable in the long term. In this sense, and remembering that their customer value proposition is to provide a quality but affordable care, I feel that their initiatives are pointing in the right direction. Furthermore, I would love to see Kaiser management thinking about additional ways to reduce waste and keep costs low for the increasing demand that they will face in the future.
I completely agree with you that being the fourth most valuable brand in the world according to Forbes , Coca Cola have a responsibility to increase awareness and educate the population on the recycling issue and the effects of it on climate change. It is unbelievable that only 27% of Coca Cola PET bottles end up being recycled.
I strongly feel that is not enough to increase their plants efficiency regarding water or energy consumption. A key part of their social responsibility program should be develop initiatives to reduce waste, the waste that they have been throwing to the environment with the production of each soda.
 Forbes Welcome. 2016. Forbes Welcome. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.forbes.com/powerful-brands/. [Accessed 07 November 2016].
Fascinating! Climate change not only have a negative impact, but also have allowed the development of new wine strains in zone where it used to be impossible to grow grapes, such as England.
Something similar happened in Chile. A group of investigators found a new strain in the dessert, that has been there for around 100 years, but suffer from multiple changes to adapt to the effects of climate change (such as elevated temperatures and low water availability). Now the “Tamarugal” strain is the only of its class in the world. The full story is available on: http://www.economiaynegocios.cl/noticias/noticias.asp?id=232622
I appreciate your analysis of an organization with are interacting with in a daily-basis. I did not know, for example, that the university have electric cars charging stations.
Nevertheless, I feel that Harvard University is doing mostly mitigation actions, instead (or in addition to) adaptation initiatives to fight climate change. In this regards, is interesting to think about the University’s perspective if faculty or students are affected by climate change implications. For example, is the university willing to flexibilize their policies if a student can no arrive to classes because of flooding / hurricanes /storms? What happen if a prospective student cannot attend to its interview for the same reasons?
Additionally, I am interesting to learn about how the University approach the construction of new buildings. Is the university thinking about the impact on climate change of the multiple new buildings that they build every year? Are they developing buildings resistant to the impact of climate change (ex. what happen to the HBS tunnels in case of flooding?).
As a comparison point, when MIT Sloan built there new MBA Building, they were concerned about developing a sustainable and eco-friendly building (for instance the floor is made from crushed brown and green beer bottles ). In their own words, E62 building is the greenest of MIT, “showcasing sustainable features such as light-sensitive window shades, a green roof, and an irrigation system that minimizes water use by responding to changes in weather”.
 About E62 – MIT Sloan Building the Future. 2016. About E62 – MIT Sloan Building the Future. [ONLINE] Available at: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/buildingthefuture/pdf/MITSloan-SelfGuidedTour.pdf
 About E62 – MIT Sloan Building the Future. 2016. About E62 – MIT Sloan Building the Future. [ONLINE] Available at: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/buildingthefuture/about-e62.php. [Accessed 07 November 2016].
I am depressed now… how would I know that by eating my favorite thing in the world (there is nothing like dulce de leche ice-cream…) I was impacting climate change?
I think this is the bigger issue. We usually think that climate change, global warming, lack of clean water, or any other major problem of humanity is fault of big corporations and is the responsibility of the governments in power, when that is a very shortsighted view. All of us (at the end corporations and governments are not more than a group of organized people) are responsible of this problem, and is in our hands to find and implement the solution. Are we ready to stop using products or services that impact climate change (i.e. dairy ice creams)? Are we ready to start using the ones that are eco-friendly? and even more complicated, Are we ready to educate others on how their behaviors are impacting climate changes?