So I will be frank, I have wished with my birth control medication that it could be delivered in the mail. It is something women have to take everyday and once you find a brand that works, you stay on it. When I first started on birth control, insurers allowed me to buy three months worth at a time. Then the quota declined to two months. And now to one month. Making a special trip to CVS to pick up my prescription once per month is a hassle for me. However, when I only had to make the trip once every three months, it fit into my normal errands routine. From my personal experience, I wonder if instead of building out an online delivery model, could CVS negotiate with insurers to extend the duration between pick-ups? e.g. allow customers to pick-up three months’ worth of supply vs. one months’. This might diminish the incremental convenience of online delivery vs. picking up a prescription at a brick and mortar store.
Roger and Isabelle have questioned Coca Cola’s intentions and motivations around its water sustainability initiative. Does it matter? Regardless of Coke’s intentions – out of obligation, because they genuinely care, or because it saves them money (probably all three) – the result in the majority of the plants where they implemented these initiatives is the same: Less water wasted from a more sustainable use of water in production. I fail to see why their intentions matter.
In TOM, we’ve been spending the past few days talking about network effects and 2-sided platforms, like Uber and Farm Friend. When we discussed Uber, Fasten and Lyft, we asked the question if this is a ‘winner takes all’ market. I ask myself this here – is this a winner takes all, or most, market? My sense is that although Uber and Farm Friend are both 2-sided platforms, the similarities primarily stop there. With transporting a person from point A to point B, it’s difficult to differentiate service and ride-sharing has become a commodity good. However, with Farm Friend, there are many ways to differentiate service and the product across competitors. Thus, I think there’s plenty of room within the market for multiple competitors to succeed and add value to customers.
Large scale hacks like Equifax beg an even bigger question: Can companies and our government ever fully protect themselves from data breaches? If we take the most secure systems, it seems that there will always be a hacker or team of hackers out there who can beat it. Cyber security reminds me of diseases – you find a cure for one disease, but then just as quickly a new one has popped up.
I’m quite new to block chain, so I found the article fascinating on how block chain works and how it can be applied to food. Given the complex nature of the supply chain and investment costs required to implement block chain, I’d be curious to understand how Cargill prioritizes which product lines to roll-out block chain for first. My hunch is the prioritization is based on a 2×2 matrix of value to the consumer (how much do they care for a given food product where that food comes from) and value to Cargill (what efficiencies do they gain in supply chain operations from block chain). If we consider this framework, is there a limit to the total value block chain can provide Cargill? In other words, are there some product lines that they wouldn’t implement block chain for?
Great ‘insider’ article – it was fun reading about the family business. I wonder as well how the increased pricing transparency through online platforms will impact pricing. Usually greater pricing transparency leads to better pricing for the customer as they can ‘shop’ around more – I’m curious to what extent greater transparency will impact prices in the shipping industry.