Really interesting, Spencer. Is Amazon planning on carrying inventory at these stores or, as you suggest with the Bonobos reference, potentially using these store fronts as an opportunity to peruse their online catalog in person? In addition, I wonder if Amazon will use these stores as a way to expand their Amazon Locker service. I have to admit, I am a little surprised by this strategy by Amazon. We have seen major book stores struggle substantially in the last few years so I have to think that Amazon has to have another angle other than opening inventory intensive book stores. It will be interesting to see how this plays out for them.
Great post, Georgia. Given our discussion today in class I am intrigued by one of the suggestions you gave for Linkedin: “Advise educational institutions on what courses to offer based on forecasted employer demand.” How can Linkedin effectively predict employer demand? In addition, can it monetize this data not just in the context of educational institutions but also workers that are likely to have their jobs globalized or disintermediated by technology?
Casey, Thank you writing this post. I am sure we have all noticed these “sophisticated” looking garbage cans since we have arrived here in Boston. I personally didn’t realize that these cans had the ability to enhance route density for municipalities trash collections. With the right predictive analytics you can see how valuable this technology can be in reducing costs and emissions. In addition, I agree, I am not sure I see the utility in the company expanding into addition data collection activities but I do wonder if Bigbelly can use its existing technology and algorithm in other logistically intensive business (ATM loading, last mile delivery, etc.) that historically have excess waste in their operations.
Snoop – thank you for writing this post. I find the ability of these analytical tools to take a more predictive/proactive approach to be extremely interesting and valuable for all stakeholders (consumers, insurance companies, doctors). This post reminded me of a presentation I heard earlier this semester by the founder of RapidSOS (https://www.rapidsos.com/?utm_source=Header&utm_medium=RapidSOS%20logo&utm_campaign=Website), a startup that is developing technology to predict and preempt emergencies before they occur, dynamically warn people in harm’s way, and ensure that first responders are one touch away globally. Effectively, the business is hoping to modernize the 9-1-1 infrastructure to be speedier and more predictive in order to improve health outcomes much the same some of the technologies you talk about are doing in the doctors office. I look forward to seeing these technologies developing further and improving health outcomes for more patients.
Fergie, This is an excellent and well written post about how Netflix has stayed on the fore-front of innovation in the entertainment industry. In your post, you speak to the competition that Netflix has encountered in content acquisition. Interestingly the company has experienced net cash outflows (free cash flow) each of the last four years including an almost $1 billion outflow in 2015. Do you think Netflix can sustain continued cash deficits for the forseable future as it seeks to compete in content acquisition and to fund costly internal development projects?
You also speak about virtual reality as an opportunity for the business, I am interested to hear more about how Netflix will be able to influence this segment of the market. Can the business accelerate technology advancement of virtual reality devices and/or accelerate consumer adoption of VR experiences? This reminds me a bit of the decision that Valve faced.
Kat – this is an extremely interesting and well written post. Have we have talked about in TOM class during the Indigo session, solving the world’s issue with long-term food scarcity must be top of mind. With that being said, it is great that you have started the discussion around Euglena Co., which has the potential to not only make strides in helping solving the food gap but also as a green technology and alternative fuel. I hope that this company is able to commercial this technology and help in addressing climate change.
Thank you for the post, HBS_TOM. In my opinion, Nike continues to be the innovation leader within the apparel industry, most recently when it comes to sustainability. I recently attended a recruiting event where Nike’s HR team spent a significant amount of time discussing their sustainability initiatives as a key part of the companies vision and strategy. In addition to what you have spoken about in your post, Nike has developed two innovative programs to create sustainability into their products: (i) Nike Flyknit technology, which produces 60% less waste than traditional cut-and-sew methods. Since 2012, the technology has reduced nearly 3.5 million pounds of waste and (ii) Nike Grind, a palette of premium recycled and regenerated materials created from original materials and products that are used in 71% of Nike footwear and apparel products. http://news.nike.com/news/sustainable-innovation
Great post, Sophie. I wrote a post that is very similar to this about Morgan Stanley’s efforts to help finance environmentally friendly projects.
Having worked at Bank of America Tower in NYC, I was aware that Bank of America has made significant investment in attempting to be environmentally friendly – Bank of America Tower was a $1bn+ project that focused heavily in building the most innovative environmentally friendly features into its design, earning it LEED platinum designation, the first commercial high-rise to earn this designation. However, not having worked on the credit team that supported investments in industrial business I was unaware of the efforts that were being made at the firm. In addition, I also asked the question about what responsibility finance firms have to be selective in their investment choices based on environmental factors. I was previously unaware of Bank of America’s effort to reduce their exposure to investments supporting the coal sector so I am glad that you pointed out Bank of America’s stated position and encouraged them to be more transparent in reporting on how they are leading the charge in turning down business that doesn’t meet certain environmental standards.
Great article, Robert. In response to mzirngibl questions, I think you hit the nail on the head when talking about how volatility in weather patterns is making the risk models that Travelers, and other large insurance companies, have relied on for decades undependable. Given the analytical nature of the industry having such volatile and unpredictable weather patterns as a result of climate change has meant that actual losses are starting to deviate from statistical projections. In addition, regulatory policies have meant that large insurers like Travelers have had to continue to insure those in the most volatile areas. One other interesting dynamic in the insurance industry has been the proliferation of private capital investment by private equity and hedge fund investors in catastrophe insurers (http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304584004576415682545924942). These investors have a higher risk tolerance than companies like Travelers, which creates an interesting dynamic in the market.
Thank you for contributing this post, Vinay. There were a few areas of this post that I found particularly thought provoking. First, in Exhibit 1, its interesting that McKinsey views a short-term negative impact on GM’s valuation from climate change due to near-term increases in emissions standards while in the long-term McKinsey believes there is a business opportunity for the Company if it can successfully adopt to new technologies and pass through costs to consumers. It will be interesting to see how many automakers are able to successfully make this shift in technology and, as Pablo points out, consumer positioning.
Second, it would be interesting to better understand the current consumer demand for electric cars. Is there enough demand in the market for automakers to offer creative financing solutions for them to be indifferent to discontinuing fuel-efficient lines? If not, how can the auto industry help to shift consumer preferences?
Finally, as I was reading your post I couldn’t help but think back to our Ikea case where we discussed Ikea’s efforts to incentivize its supply chain to become ‘climate change compliant’. You mention in your additional ideas the power GM has over its suppliers. It would be interesting to better understand how GM is trying to push through climate change initiatives throughout its supply chain.