The main question I am left with thinking about Uber is whether they are spreading themselves too thin as they are fight battles on many fronts: 1) They are fighting against Lyft in the US ridesharing market, 2) they are fighting against Careem, EasyTaxi etc in the international ridesharing market, 3) they are fighting against Google and most car manufacturers on autonomous vehicles, 4) they are fighting against logistics companies with UberRUSH and 5) they are fighting against food delivery companies with UberEATS. This reminds me about the Chinese Proverb that if you chase two rabbits, you will catch neither. The only difference is that Uber is chasing five rabbits and at the same time are dealing with sexual harassment internally, a new CEO and a gigantic lawsuit at the same time. All of this will strain Uber’s resources both financial and non-financial. Perhaps the better way forward for Uber is to focus their efforts rather than doing more.
I find this article interesting from the climate change point of view, but also from the view that sustainable energy is becoming competitive with other sources of energy. Kieron mentions in his comment that Chile could expand its solar power to help other countries reduce their emissions through carbon trading. However, the low cost of producing solar power mentioned in the bid, which could go even lower in the future, could drastically change Chile’s relative strengths in the world. A low cost of of energy will make it increasingly attractive to locate energy intensive production in Chile compared to other countries, potentially leading to a boom in new industries for Chile. Moving energy intensive industry to Chile could achieve many of the same effects that Kieron mention in his comment about carbon trading, but it could be even more beneficial for Chile to move entire industries to the country compared to selling carbon quotas.
It is interesting to see that how the New Orleans Port could work on reducing the effects from climate change. However, it seems that some of the implications of climate change would be very difficult to deal with such as storms in the Gulf of Mexico. It would be interesting to know more about whether volumes are likely to shift to other ports such as Savannah, Georgia to reduce disruptions from these storms. If Savannah or other ports are good substitutes for New Orleans, it may be that proposed investments could reduce the impact of climate change on the port itself, but that they will not yield a good ROI as volume will shift away from New Orleans as the investments are only able to mitigate parts of the problem.
It is interesting to see the Almarai reliance on international trade of food from five perspectives. The first is that agricultural products often face obstacles to free trade either as subsidies or tariffs as many countries see food as a strategic resource that they want to produce domestically. The second and third are the current protectionist trend seen across the world at the moment and the potential impact of climate change on agricultural output. The fourth perspective is that Saudi Arabia’s power on the international scene may be declining with lower dependence on oil, reduced oil prices and the US becoming an oil exporter. The fifth perspective is that Saudi Arabian values seem at odds with western values and politicians in the west may face bad press for supporting Saudi Arabian interests. Combining these four perspectives, it seems that Almarai’s business has significant risk that is largely out of their control. The question that I am left with is what is their alternative? Are there ways Saudi Arabia and Almarai could reduce their dependence on imports by leveraging their own relative advantages, for instance by using solar power to desalinate sea water for agriculture?
It is interesting to see that the terms “fast fashion” and “low price” are often mixed up in the case of H&M where they are not really a fast fashion player with such a large share of their production in Asia. It seems that H&M has built their company and operations around what the world looked like twenty years ago. They were very successful in building that business and have been able to sustain good financials even though the world has gradually changed over time. Now, it seems that they have suddenly woken up to several different challenges at the same time and are acting in a reactive way as it is pointed out and they are losing some of their key competitive advantages. Would it rather make sense for H&M to take a step back to have a holistic view on how they should best operate in this new world?
It is interesting to see how the bitcoin technology can help Pfizer to both increase revenue through less counterfeits and expanding B2C ecommerce and at the same time comply with regulation and secure their own supply chain. If both of these hold true, Pfizer should be less concerned about who picks up the bill as it will probably be a net positive from a financial perspective.
One thing that would worry me with B2C ecommerce, is how to deal with prescription drugs and their delivery? In the current setup you can usually only access these drugs by first seeing a doctor and then getting the drugs in person at the pharmacy. I worry that in a B2C delivery system it would be either very inconvenient or prohibitively expensive to ensure that drugs only reach the right patients, especially for drugs that could have high resell value on the black market such as opioids. What would happen to the patients if delivery is late or lost in transport?