It’s definitely been an interesting decade from MSFT. Having lost the cell phone battle, it is encouraging to see the company double down on its core competency: software. As noted above, many companies would have been unable to weather such product failures, but the Microsoft Office Suite truly is an industry standard. I actually find it difficult to envision a world in which it isn’t. Is MSFT doing anything to stem this concern? Although Office is the industry standard, few things remain undisrupted for long, especially in the digital world. Helmed by Satya Nadella, I am excited to see where MSFT innovates next. The subscription pricing structure is a great bet as consumers (especially younger ones) become more comfortable and acquainted with the model.
Great topic! The fact that Google has essentially driven the majority of the Earth and cataloged it is truly astonishing. I wonder what the risk of Google being the primary holder of this information is. I assume Apple Maps has done its own mapping (not reliant on Google), but it is frightening to think one company has so much influence on the way the world gets from point a to point b. For example, what if Google decided to raise rates prohibitively on its API. Does that mean uber and other companies are at a loss? When a company’s business model is so inextricably linked to another’s data, I see opportunity for extortion, especially given the massive amount of capital invested and required to cull the tremendous amount of data needed to map the world.
Interesting post JPW. I am glad to hear law enforcement agencies are starting to embrace technological advances. I know the mounted cameras have caused a lot of controversy as of late, but seem like an intelligent way to stem excessive force used by officers. After reading about the cameras and microphones, I can’t help but think of a Big Brother scenario in which government agencies are essentially spying on their citizens. It seems there needs to be a careful balance struck between having a watchful eye to prevent crime and not infringing on citizens’ civil liberties. I am curious to see how this shapes out in the near future.
Interesting read. It seems laying off journalists in the NY Metro area to cut cost and wanting to maintain journalistic integrity are a bit at odds. Do they expect to get increased output from the remaining staff? I’m also curious if the quality of the WSJ has changed in the digital age. In a digital world, WSJ must compete with a plethora of less credible sources, yet on the surface, all appear as a simple website with similar respectability. I wonder if WSJ doing specific marketing to stem this issue and maintain prominence in the consumer’s mind as a source of quality journalism.
This is really fascinating Camille. I’d be curious to understand how the bitcoin exchange rate moves in relation to global events. For example, does a Donald Trump presidency cause bitcoin to appreciate because people are concerned about increasing US debt and a less reliable dollar, or does bitcoin depreciate as Trump hints at enacting more protectionist (less global) trade policies. Your analysis of the differences (or lack thereof) between bitcoin and the USD is illuminating and the two do seem more similar than the public would think. Now I’m off to buy some bitcoin!
Very interesting blog Josue. I agree that the reduction targets are fairly moderate and disappointing for a company with a large carbon footprint like UPS. Your point around one-day shipping is fascinating as well. I wonder if there is an agreement to be made with websites like Amazon to better indicate to the consumer the effects of their decisions. As consumer purchases continue to drive to the online shopping experience, UPS’ CO2 emissions will only compound, so it is crucial they set more aggressive targets and are incentivized appropriately by government.
From this blog, it sounds like the cratering of the clean-tech investment sector was more of a timing than a market opportunity issue. Additionally, government incentives and the price of oil seem to be key influencers on how investors view the opportunity. Especially with the 2016 election, given the division between the two candidates’ views, I wonder if a Democratic victory will spur investment in clean-tech, being the party of “government intervention” and spending. Additionally, as technology advances exponentially, one can hope we are closer to key breakthroughs that permit clean energy to be run more efficiently. Yet, these efficiencies will always be measured against the price of oil, an unknown variable. I can only hope government puts into action the right incentives to spur investment in clean-tech once again and assuage investors’ concerns regarding the viability of renewable energy.
This post reminds of Bernie Sanders’ campaign when he continually harped on the country’s “crumbling infrastructure.” It is remarkable that a storm could knock out power to [one of] the most important cities in the world for over a week. I was living in the East Village during the storm and after lighting my gas stove with a match, cooking eggs I kept on ice, and playing chess for several days, I gave up and migrated north of 23rd street where, by some miracle, there was no sign of an outage. The contrast between both sides of 23rd where the grid changes. It was as if nothing had happened.
I think the interesting point here is how to incentivize change. How do we bring our energy grid in line with the other advancements in the millenium? When government and private industry is so intertwined, this is often difficult to do. I hope the local and federal governments can find ways to subsidize capital investments to spur this much needed growth. As you mention, it is only a matter of time before another storm hits and it will be a complete embarrassment if we are left with the same results.
The bottled water phenomenon is something I’ve always found absurd. New York City has some of the best tap water in the world, and yet my two other roommates always had fully stocked 30 packs of water bottles at their bedside. Although I am glad to see the company taking its carbon footprint seriously, I also think there is much to done by way of educating consumers as to the magnitude of waste bottled water creates, especially in areas where tap water is more than passable. Additionally, I find it fascinating that transportation costs account for more than half of all costs. I wonder if it would make more sense, both from an economic and sustainability point of view, for Evian to have more, potentially smaller plants, that are located closer to the end users, thereby reducing the carbon footprint and cost associated with transport.
MicMacMan, you raise some interesting points on the sustainability of glass operations versus the competition (aluminum and plastic). Responding to LG1989’s comments, I am not too worried about the competition creating sustainable glass products more efficiently. It seems from your research OI is the leading manufacturer and likely has established relationships with contractual partners for specific products. I would bet the cost of switching manufacturers is fairly high. However, as more stringent policies are set in motion, I think in addition to increasing the use of recycled glass, OI should invest in sourcing energy from renewable sources. Understanding the company is already highly levered, it is essential that OI plan for a future in which conscious customers want their products produced in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Additionally, glass bottles are likely used for higher-end products, where customers are less price sensitive and can demand more sustainable goods. Since energy constitutes 10-25% of the production cost, it would be smart for OI to invest in clean-energy solutions in anticipation of further government action that incentivizes the reduction of CO2 emissions in processing.