This post touched on a very interesting implication of the dash buttons: not only will the dash buttons help Amazon secure repeat purchases on a wide variety of household items by making it ultra-convenient for customers to re-order a product by simply pushing the button, the data Amazon obtains will help them infer purchase behavior of entire customer segments. In addition to that, I think that Amazon could also rely on the dash buttons to further improve its already stellar supply chain management. If customers settle in on using dash buttons consistently, then customer demand for products from Amazon will become more steady, and Amazon would likely be able to save money in working capital (from being able to carry less inventory), and they might even be able to negotiate better terms with their suppliers if they’re able to promise more consistent orders on items from their suppliers. Given the large benefits this could provide to Amazon, I think they should do more to incentivize their customers to use dash buttons for as many products as possible.
I love the efficiency and convenience that the MagicBands bring to the Disney theme parks. I haven’t had a chance to use them, but they sound amazing, and sound like they give Disney the opportunity to really make a kid’s already very special day visiting Disney World, with personalized interactions with the characters. Your idea of using one account for gathering data from all of a customers interactions with anything related to Disney brands is a very good, novel idea, and seems very reasonable to implement. Do you think that the existing product offerings for Disney (i.e., theme parks and TV entertainment) are sufficient to maximize the use of this aggregated customer data? I think it could be a challenge to gain much more revenue/profit from customers from theme park and TV entertainment sources alone, because I don’t think there’s a whole lot more for customers to spend money on in these areas. What would be great is for Disney to create new product offerings (revenue-earning opportunities) to use this aggregated data. I don’t have too many ideas for what those offerings could be, but maybe something like live community-oriented events (bring Disney parks to the people), or party planning, etc.
It seems like there are two major problems to tackle when it comes to autonomous cars: getting the technology down for cars to be able to drive without human assistance, and then networking them all on some platform to make it so nobody has to own a car, etc. To solve the first problem, you mentioned that the cars will have to be 100% reliable, and you brought up a good point about not even redundant hardware being 100% reliable. This is definitely the case, and I honestly don’t think that 100% reliability will ever be achievable. If that is indeed the case, then what’s the workaround? To me it seems like you might be able to get away with requiring some amount of training for riders of autonomous cars to be able to step in and take control in a situation where an equipment failure occurs. This would mean that you may not get to the point where you could have an autonomous car pick up your 6-year old kid from school in the car all by herself. If this is as good as we could do, is all the effort still worth it?
Good post. I had definitely heard of Ambarella’s competitors you mentioned, Intel and Qualcomm, but not Ambarella. Given that Ambarella’s competitors are these bigger-name companies, presumably with a lot of financial and human capital resources, what’s preventing them from catching up to Ambarella in terms of technology? The competitors might be able to reverse engineer some of the really competitive features that Ambarella uses, and turn up the heat on the competition for HD camera chips. Do you think a reason they’re not doing this is because this is a relatively small market compared to the markets they’re already serving? If so, based on the projected future growth of this market you mentioned, it seems like it might be wise for the competitors to step up their efforts so they don’t fall too far behind in this important technology.
It was very interesting to hear about the synergies that Amazon (large retailer) and Washington Post were able to have, it’s not something you’d intuitively think about. That seems to be part of the online world though – no matter how different online businesses may be, the fact that they’re “online” automatically means that things like knowing customer preferences, etc., as described in this article, are important to the success of the business, and are valuable to other online businesses. One thought I had about The Washington Post’s potential strategies for increasing profitability, is that users might respond negatively to their data being sold to other companies, and might feel it’s a violation of their privacy. As you pointed out though, this is already happening to some extent with email use.
That’s interesting that they were concerned about climate change all the way back in 1973. The quote that says that if the risks of catastrophic perils becomes too great, they become immeasurable, has large implications for the industry of insurers and re-insurers. I’m curious to know whether they are considering changing their investment strategies to actively promote the growth and success of companies who are proponents and implementors of practices that could mitigate climate change. So far, it seems like Munich Re has really just provided funding for research on climate change, but they may reach a point where they need to consider taking on a more active role to reduce contributions to climate change, in order to protect their business (and the planet, obviously…).
So you’re proposing combating global warming with nuclear winter??? And haven’t you seen those mutated plants (1) and animals in Japan from the Fukushima radiation?
Nuclear power is such a no-brainer when it comes to CO2 emissions concerns. Unfortunately, and you touched on it briefly, one of the major hindrances surrounding the continued and expanded use of nuclear power is the issue with storage of spent fuel. Unfortunately, the US government hasn’t even been able to follow its own laws (2) with respect to the use of the proposed permanent spent fuel depository in Yucca Mountain. That’s right, while on the one hand government leaders are vehemently calling for reduced greenhouse gas emissions, they’re failing to comply with their own laws (2) that would enable increased usage of ZERO-EMISSIONS nuclear power! It makes no sense if you ask me. Extremely politicized decisions like the one to not proceed with the use of Yucca Mountain (even though the law (2) requires it) paint a bleak view of our capability to respond to important issues like climate change in the future.
Wow, this seems like a really tough problem. Unfortunately, the temporary solutions seem to be just that – temporary. If rises in sea level continue as projected, this will put the Maldives in an extremely challenging their position. I think it would be wise for the Maldives, hopefully with the help of some of its friends, to start taking a look at a really conservative strategy for compensating with worst-case rises in sea level so that they’re at least prepared and have an actionable, well thought out plan they can execute if necessary to minimize the adverse effects that would hit their tourism-based economy.
You bring up some really good points regarding Boeing’s unique positioning to influence the practices of some of the many suppliers that exist who have Boeing as their sole customer. That’s a lot of bargaining power they hold there. However, it seems like many of the efforts to implement emissions-reducing processes at the supplier level would result in increased costs for Boeing, which in turn would lead to higher costs for the airlines that purchase their planes, and in turn, higher airfares for everyone. How would Boeing be able to “sell” these higher costs to their customers?
I was there for that storm as well, it was insane! I think Michael posed an interesting question above, about deploying excess snow removal equipment throughout an area. It might make sense to study weather patterns and have cities that are close to each other, yet that have a low correlation of extreme snow events, go in on snow removal equipment and staffing together, this way they could form a co-operative, and pool costs, and have a better response time to be able to get the surge equipment they need. This would obviously bring along some additional challenges, including tensions that might arise if one city ends up getting more storms than the other cities in the co-operative, in which case the other cities may not want to pay an equal share towards the equipment. This concept would function very similarly to an insurance policy.