Cool post Parker. I wonder If aerospace lags behind the IoT curve due to security/safety concerns. Just like we can imagine a world with fully automated cars, we could imagine the same thing for airplane and air traffic controllers. The potential for disaster is just so much greater for airplane automation and connectivity. According to the IIHS, there are about 30,000 fatalities related to automobile accidents in the US each year , but only about 450 fatalities a year related to US airplane accidents, according to the NTSB. So, one automobile malfunction or hijacking could account for 2-4 deaths out of 30,000 and most likely would be more than made up for by the increases in overall safety from automobile automation. However, one airplane accident due to a malfunction or electronic hijacking would be absolutely disastrous, potentially equaling or exceeding the total death toll from airplane accidents for the entire year. I don’t see airplane/air traffic controller automation happening any time soon. I do, however, think that the pilot assist technologies have been a great addition to the industry and made flying safer.
Lee, interesting that you know so much about renthop… The interesting thing about broker automation is that we haven’t been able to “unbundle” the broker’s tasks. For me, the main reason that I used a broker when purchasing my house was to make sure there wasn’t something I was missing about the value of the house. Basically to make sure I was getting a fair price. I needed that assurance to convince me to pull the trigger on such a large purchase. Most of the other broker tasks, like generating a list of potential houses, researching historical prices, etc, can be automated, and just need to be “unbundled” from the negotiation process. Going forward, sites like renthop that can just offer an “expert” to close the deal once the majority of the process has already been automated, will have a huge strategic advantage, since there is no reason that those expert needs to earn the same level of commission since they are performing far fewer tasks.
Like many marketplaces, it seems like much of lendingclub’s success hinges upon the network effect of growing borrowers bringing in more lenders and vice versa. Its success going forward likely will be correlated with its ability to offer a superior customer interface and experience. A startup partnering with a large financial institution could potentially provide a better experience very quickly, and take marketshare from Lendingclub.
Very interesting Post. HBS could also go digital just with a policy change of allowing tablets in the MBA classroom. Cases are already distributed digitally, and many students already have tablets. With one email to students, faculty, and staff, HBS could halt the distribution of hard-copy cases and change behavior almost overnight. Students could then bring the cases on tablets to class. Computers could still be banned as they may be more distracting given that they sit up conspicuously on the tabletop. Also, if HBS is worried about internet use during class, they could just block internet and service provider signals in the classrooms (which is likely doable technologically for HBS).
TBD, this topic seems especially pertinent given the recent move to decriminalize marijuana in many US states. If the federal government were to also decriminalize marijuana, then a market would probably immediately exist for a website like this to act within the confines of the law. Right now, however, selling large quantities of marijuana carries a very heavy penalty under federal law, and could potentially land the operator of such a website in prison with a lifetime sentence just for selling marijuana. The sentence could be even more extreme if a minor purchased the drug from a computer while at a school, potentially triggering more stringent laws around marijuana purchase around schools. There are very few jurisdictions where the operator of the website could escape prosecution under US federal law. Maybe the container under the ocean is the only practical idea.
Very interesting post. It’s also interesting to consider if someday environmentally conscious people will curtail their drinking (of alcohol). Given that producing alcoholic beverages uses water (especially producing beer), and drinking alcohol typically has a dehydrating effect, it’s not unreasonable to think that the environmentally conscious thing to do would be to drink less alcohol. This may be difficult for us, but maybe it’s something we should consider in the future.
Not surprised to see you posting about Tesla, and good work coming in at exactly 800 words on the post. I typically would agree with your point that subsidizing luxury cars is mostly useless, but if a subsidy can move a car from one cost bracket to another, it could have a real effect on behavior. The government has a chance to drive innovation here. If it were to introduce a tax credit only applicable to cars prices under $35,000 then I think it would have both an effect on manufacturer and consumer behavior. The manufacturer would have a heavy incentive to manufacture a car under $35k and the consumer would also be incentivized to buy. This could really change the market.
I LOVE Shake Shack. One other thing that Shake Shack may want to do it partner with Impossible Foods to sell their impossible burger in the store. (http://www.impossiblefoods.com/faq/) This is actually the subject of DM’s post and seems to be applicable here as well. I do love Shake Shack’s Shroom burger, and I had never thought about the environmental impact, but it just doesn’t have the protein and burger taste to be a burger replacement. Shake Shack could really get ahead of the curve by being the first fast-casual burger to serve a real meat-substitute burger.
Thanks for bringing up this issue. As a burger-lover, this article got me very interested. I think another key point that might enhance the adoption of this burger is that it is actually healthier than a meat burger. The According to the impossible foods website, the Impossible Burger delivers bioavailable protein and iron comparable to conventional beef, and it has no cholesterol, hormones or antibiotics. (http://www.impossiblefoods.com/faq/) This would make the burger more appealing to me, a health-conscious burger lover, and I think to many others as well.
Great article – I’m glad to see this issue getting some airtime. I still worry though, that insurers, even with the forward-looking climate change data and greater sophistication in models, it will still be too difficult to evaluate the potential flood losses. I think FEMA has a role to play here in helping to distribute the risk appropriately. Concentrating all the flood insurance in one central insurer, such as FEMA, should help to distribute the risk of loss across a wider pool of insured persons. Obviously this doesn’t solve the problem, and the more sophisticated models you discussed are needed her as well.