The fitness and health wearables industry is incredibly fascinating and seems very well positioned to capture shifting consumer preferences towards health and wellness. However, as you pointed out the industry is over saturated with competitors given the low cost and minimal barriers to entry, which makes the market presence of Fitbit that much more tenuous. One of the primary means Fitbit can leverage to retain its existing user base as well as acquire new users would be to increase the cost of switching by integrating the data it amasses to one’s smartphone, computer, and everyday life. Potentially by following a model similar to that of iTunes, where you are reluctant to switch due to the song library you’ve built up, Fitbit can better retain users. For example, the longer a user has a Fitbit, the more data the device can collect thus generating a more informed and useful health profile that can ultimately offer better recommendations to improve one’s health. By building this significant, individualized health data profile and making it nontransferable, Fitbit could dis-incentivize consumer switching.
The integration of digital and the construction industry is fascinating, and I completely agree that it opens up entirely new opportunities for organizations like Caterpillar. I am very curious to see how Caterpillar evolves its business model going forward, and if it adopts a strategy similar to that of General Electric, who has created an entire model around the collection of data itself. It will also be significant to see if Caterpillar will face any backlash from end users for collecting their data. I wonder if it begs the question of who ultimately owns the data that each purchased machine generates?
The potential decline in museum goers due to access to the exhibits via VR could be incredibly worrisome, though I’m not completely convinced that museums will suffer when it’s all said and done. I would like to think that there is still intrinsic value in seeing and experiencing the exhibits first hand, and that consumers will continue to flock to museums. However, it is compelling that museums could partner with VR platforms to lease or license the right to show the exhibits, thus opening up potential new market segments and reducing wait times at the museums themselves. Museums could also invest in partnerships with local restaurants or other sights in order to increase the value of in-person visits as well.
Cue’s technology and value proposition sound incredible! I agree with you that the shift in the population towards more health conscious attitudes offers a very attractive environment and target market for Cue. I’d be curious to see the pricing and actual mechanics for taking the end user samples to better understand the consumers’ ultimate willingness to pay and adopt. One of the biggest challenges Cue will have to face is gaining and sustaining adoption, given that many fitness and health tracking technologies exist today and can innovate to match Cue’s offering. I think one way Cue can mitigate these effects is by tapping into a first mover advantage and build a network of users, and then add a competitive, ranking, or social element to the tracking service. Potentially by matching friends with the same goals, such as increasing vitamin D, to go on runs together or go out to eat at specific healthy restaurants. Personally, I’m fascinated by this technology and hope it comes to market soon!
I think the shift you highlighted from traditional PC gaming to mobile will be a significant litmus test for all of the software and game developers like Blizzard who have been so successful in the PC model to date. It will be very telling to see just how Blizzard continues to adapt and evolve with the changing consumer landscape and how end users experience the games going forward. The move into mobile seemed inevitable and it will be very interesting to see just how much time and resources Blizzard allocates to mobile versus PC going forward. You raised a great point about VR, in that Blizzard could be forgoing significant first mover advantages by choosing not to develop games for this new platform. However, I’d be curious to see if they can be latecomers, like they did with mobile, and still design a high quality game for the new VR platform.
Its mind blowing to learn just how water intensive the production process of jeans is! I completely agree that Levi’s should increase the usage of its Water<Less accounts and BCI farmers. From an advocacy standpoint, it also has a conduit to a large viewership via Levi's Stadium. Perhaps Levi's can leverage this stadium as a means to communicate to consumers on a broad scale, increase awareness of the issue, and ultimately encourage a shift in mindset and ultimate purchase behavior. If Levi's can leverage its scale and market position to ultimate change the purchase criteria of its consumers, it could stand to make massive inroads in the denim industry as a whole.
Its incredible to shift perspective and consider the energy needed to power our day-to-day Google searches! Given the significant need to cool servers and Google’s willingness to experiment with design and location, I wonder if it would be worth exploring hydropower as a potential energy source as well as a cooling mechanism. It would also be interesting to see if Google could expand even further into the renewable energy field by bringing the capability of energy production in-house via higher utilization of wind and solar farm investments, and if it can leverage this skillset to set a precedent for technology companies across its competitive landscape.
I am curious to see how Whole Foods, along with other supermarket and grocery chains, will combat both the availability of foreign grown produce and the environmental impacts of shipping the produce to the individual stores. Ultimately, with the impact of droughts or unfavorable growing conditions for produce and the significant environmental costs of transportation, I wonder if certain produce items will become more and more scarce across the U.S. Even bananas, a fruit that has become so commoditized and ubiquitous in grocery stores everywhere, have a disproportionate cost of transportation to get to stores across the U.S. I wonder if end consumer behavior will ultimately have to change, and if expectations of availability will have to be reset.
It will be very interesting to see the impact rising temperatures in the summer will have not only on Major League Baseball attendance, but also on that of youth league games (across multiple sports) and on the health concerns for players that could be easily exacerbated by risks of dehydration. As an example of a southern MLB team’s response, is that of the Texas Rangers who are considering building a domed stadium due to the triple-digit temperatures that the games see throughout the summer months in Dallas. However, to your point on energy consumption, this only exacerbates the overall negative impact Major League Baseball has on climate change.
One of the interesting dynamics about Nike’s support of sustainable practices is how it will influence end consumer perception of the brand as a performance and athletic-based apparel manufacturer. Given Nike’s emphasis on constantly innovating to bring the best product to market for athletes everywhere, it will be important to ensure that the sustainable materials do not detract from consumer perceptions of the brand as offering high-end or even elite performance. It will be interesting to see how Nike’s mission statement evolves, if at all, into the future and whether or not sustainability stands alongside performance in its ultimate goal.