Gregory B. Uffer
This is a fantastic article that poses a serious question about how retailers can continue to provide value in an era of increasing digitization. I completely agree with your assertion that GameStop’s value proposition has drastically diminished, and that they are struggling to retain relevance. Since I don’t believe that GameStop can beat publishers directly by providing games digitally, I think that they should double down on providing memorable experiences in the store that could only happen with physical copies of the games. For hardcore gaming enthusiasts, collectors editions of games are highly coveted. From their beautiful packaging to the colorful artwork and memorabilia inside, these products provide an element of artistic enjoyment beyond just the gigabyte storage required for the game to be played. GameStop should collaborate with video game publishers to provide these types of products to customers, and to help build events that would create an enormous amount of hype around certain video game release dates. While this offering may only peak the interest of hardcore gaming enthusiasts, it begs the question as to whether GameStop should make an effort to scale down and focus on a more niche market of hardcore gaming aficionados.
I really enjoyed reading this article, since it greatly emphasizes the tough decision that Facebook must make on how to balance its mission to bring the world together while not foregoing its core principles to appease certain countries. One idea that came to my mind as I read this article was how much Facebook has to lose if it conducts a deal with Russia. Since the US-Russia relationship is under tremendous scrutiny at the moment, I am under the impression that companies like Facebook would be heavily criticized, which could have adverse impacts on its share price. Something I consider is what is the cost of waiting a bit longer before complying with Russian data center laws? Given the tumultuous political climate, there may be a benefit to waiting to see if any major political shifts on the US and Russia side create an atmosphere where those regulations may become more lax. I also believe that by not immediately agreeing to Russia’s terms, Facebook can take a bold stance on its values and set a firm precedent of where they stand on data localization.
This essay did an excellent job of asking a tough question: how accountable are companies for ensuring safe supply chain practices. One aspect of this piece that drew my attention was the idea of partnering with major corporations to help resolve issues in the DRC. My opinion is that First Cobalt Corp should partner with its competitors in the industry to set strict standards in their supply chain. By creating a set of guidelines, it will create a fair playing field whereby all competitors have a broader range of choices in selecting countries to invest in, and it ensures the safety of local workers and inhabitants. I don’t believe that one company alone can make the sufficient amount of change, but a large coalition could place the adequate amount of pressure to enact change.
Healthcare is a hot button topic in the USA, and your analysis clearly demonstrates the tangible value that digital technology can have in improving the system for all stakeholders in the process. A key question that I had while reading this article was how will the implementation of this technology need to be adjusted across different geographies? While the universal health care bill was implemented in the USA and now there are political actions to try to repeal it, other nations across Europe already have well established universal health care programs that are heavily subsidized by the government. While it is reasonable to assume that electronic medical records will be beneficial to all nations, I still wonder if future technologies around automation and data processing will be adopted uniformly across different geographies. With those considerations in mind, large corporations, such as Kaiser Permanente, must maintain these geographic complexities as top of mind when creating their broader digitization strategy.
I greatly enjoyed how this article clearly points out the apparent disregard of several fishing companies to take an active role in reducing their carbon footprint. I was pretty astonished at how Maruha, the biggest player in the space, did not even mention climate change in its long-term planning. I believe that your question regarding the UN’s role is on point, and I believe that they along with other regulatory agencies need to expand their role in reducing carbon emissions. From the financial perspective of these fishing companies, it seems financially sound to postpone any high capital investments in carbon reducing technology until required to do so. While the UN does play a role in setting strategic carbon emission goals for various participant nations, it should set a closer watch on this industry since it is a major consumer of global oil consumption. The UN can serve as an advisory and regulatory agency that ensures that member nation firms engage in cap and trade programs to reduce their carbon footprint, and publicly recognize those companies making significant strides in working towards diminishing the effects of climate change.
I found this article particularly moving. I enjoyed how Airbnb demonstrated a high degree of flexibility in accommodating the stricter policies in Cuba to still engage their customers and provide unforgettable stays for tourists. Something I considered while reading this article is how sustainable these practices will be. As Airbnb continues to grow into a behemoth, I wonder if they will be able to allow for unique practices such as web workarounds and the ability to pay in cash moving forward. If they plan to introduce Airbnb into other geographies with similar restrictions, will they be able to provide this level of customized workarounds that would allow them to operate there? I think Airbnb should look into the feasibility of investing in geography specific operations teams to understand the local intricacies of different geographies and customize the offering accordingly. If they can accomplish that, they would be able to offer an unparalleled user experience that local constituents will approve of.