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On November 20, 2016, Mace Quinndu commented on Not on Target: A Retail Giant Struggles to Remain Relevant :

Very interesting read and I too worry it may be too little too late from an e-commerce perspective. Elements that are hard to quantify like momentum and buzz are no less important than their measurable counterparts. The fact that they “quietly” launched a new website make me think they don’t yet understand that yet. The app seems to be getting decent traction but I worry, as you mention, they are merely subsidizing purchases that would have happened anyways. To be convinced it was really having an impact on incremental sales, I would like to see evidence that the app is attracting new customers or even pushing existing customers to use target for purchases they wouldn’t have otherwise made or would have made elsewhere. I agree that RFID makes a compelling case but am concerned that it is a response that does not fully address to the changing landscape.

On November 20, 2016, Mace Quinndu commented on Is Nike the Next Big Tech Giant? :

Completely agree on the potential for data collection and actually want to take it one step further. The post linked below talks about the amount of data Procter and Gamble has access to simply because of the scope of their business. I would assume the same is the case for Nike. As they roll out new products like the smart clothing (which I think is a great idea), I think they have a huge competitive in the space due to the data they’ve collected both with with Nike+ and the consumer data they’ve been amassing for decades. I see this data assisting them in everything from recommending specific “Smart-wears” to individuals based on purchasing patterns and fitness levels, to identifying consumer trends in predicting which smart clothing lines to invest in.

https://digital.hbs.edu/platform-rctom/submission/pg-bringing-cpg-into-the-digital-age/

On November 20, 2016, Mace Quinndu commented on P&G: Bringing CPG into the Digital Age :

Agree with Berner here, especially as it relates to targeting the right customers. Given the scope of their data, I wonder if they could use it to reach new markets quickly and effectively. I envision them using this data to draw similarities between consumer bases they know and one’s they are trying to gain market share with. In theory, it would allow them to reduce research time and to penetrate a market more quickly. The risk here is that they draw conclusions about these consumer that do not hold (because the parallels don’t actually exist) but if they account for that risk in how they proceed, hopefully that data base could give them a competitive advantage.

Thank you for writing about such a relevant yet under-reported topic. It is interesting, though not entirely surprising, that governments have been unable to stem the flow of immigrants and that digital technology has been one of the main causes of that. What is surprising to me though is the fact that government action has in fact put more immigrant lives in danger by forcing them to take more dangerous routes. It means not only are government agencies unsuccessful in deterring the flow of immigrants, they are endangering immigrants by forcing them to take greater risks.

It was encouraging to read about the greater access to information refugees are now receiving. As the State Department discusses in its 2016 human trafficking report, we have seen a rise in the number of trafficking cases related to Syria as the civil war has escalated. It is great to see that refugees are now able to get information on the people they are paying beforehand. To take it a step further, I wonder if something could be done to further combat trafficking, given how globally ubiquitous technology has become.

On November 20, 2016, Mace Quinndu commented on The Solution to Police Brutality: Digitization? :

I agree with @Yarden and am concerned that body cameras alone will not provide enough of a deterrent to solve the issue. As we’ve seen over the last two years, not only do many police officers act in deplorable ways even when they know the camera is running, they often go unpunished (a prime example is the Eric Garner case you mentioned. The officer that killed him used an illegal chokehold but was not indicted by a grand jury).

I agree with you, @MAW, that training could be a more impactful solution. In the article linked below, Shaun King talks about the fact that many police require less training than cosmologists in comparable areas, a fact which I found to be both surprising and disappointing.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/king-cops-trained-cosmetologists-america-article-1.2727221

On November 7, 2016, Mace Quinndu commented on Climate Change and the fight against ISIS :

Very interesting! My first thought immediately went to what impact ISIL could have in their control of natural resources necessary for daily life. My second thought was about the control of many of the other natural resources in the country. The organization has largely been able to fund itself by seizing and selling many of the resources available in the region (primarily crude oil). Should global warming become a more widely recognized threat to humanity and we see an genuine concerted effort to move away from fossil fuels, I wonder what, if any, impact this could have on ISIL cashflows. Though weening the world off of fossils will take decades at the very least, the price impact is likely to take much less time. All else being equal, should ISIL remain a major power in the region as the world shifts its perspective on global warming, they could see a major source of cash dry up.

On November 7, 2016, Mace Quinndu commented on Chipotle’s Guacapocolypse :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5x4Clxh7HM

On November 7, 2016, Mace Quinndu commented on Chipotle’s Guacapocolypse :

I had Chipotle for dinner last night and lunch today to prepare for this comment (and subsequently won’t need to eat another meal for at least 5 days).

I agree with Ben’s point in being concerned about the companies ability to make so many changes after such a difficult stretch. Given the data around the safety of GMOs, I think the company should shelve that goal for the time being and focus on procuring high quality ingredients (like avocados) and partnering with farmers (and preferably local when possible) to insure that supply is reliable. Hopefully in relaxing their GMO standards, they will be able to reduce the volatility in supply by diversifying their sources of ingredients.

On November 7, 2016, Mace Quinndu commented on State-owned copper mining: climate change vs. country development :

Very interesting post! From the data on per capita copper consumption to the fact that Codelco consumed 12% of Chile’s electricity supply, these were some facts I had never come across before!

I like the way you think about the problem and the solution you’ve chosen (in considering a shift to the recycle copper industry). My concern here is twofold. The first is what it means for operations. My knowledge base is very limited but my understanding was the production of copper that used recycled copper as a primary input is much different from the production of copper that uses concentrate as the primary input (aka normal copper production). Though I’m not sure how feasible it is, maybe mines could supplement there concentrate use with recycled copper use (as opposed to switching over to primarily recycled copper use). My thinking is that this will allow them to benefit from some of the power savings without having to significantly change their operations.

My second concern is the availability of recycled copper. The availability of recycled copper is correlated with the price of copper. As the price falls, people are less willing to sell stockpiles. My worry is that as prices falls, not only will they see reduced prices for the product they are selling but that they will also see reduced availability of what they have made a crucial input (as opposed to normal operations where availability of raw materials is just a function of Codelco’s ability to mine).