I personally am not a huge fan of 3d printing in the food space, in my view it a one off fad with limited scale and upside. It is definitely a good marketing tool to employ in theme parks and areas with high footfall of kids, but monetizing the actual technology is difficult. I would position this as purely a marketing and sales initiative and a second use case would be to crowd source ideas from consumers on potential chocolate designs that customers find attractive. Also, another monetization of 3d printing technology could be special occasions like weddings, valentines day, birthdays, anniversary and other such events when customers would look for tailored products – I would not make this feature available in public rather an online only thing since the demand would be very scattered and physically placing these 3d printers in physical outlets will not result in a very high utilization.
I do share the view that a major risk of additive manufacturing is the intellectual property risk of files, but so is the case with closely guarded secrets such as the recipe of Coca Cola, KFC and several others. For decades, this intellectual property is protected using stringent governance mechanisms and controls. On the second concern, all advancements in our generations, computers, robotics, open innovation, machine learning bring in large risks of manual worker displacement, additive manufacturing/ 3d printing is no different and will result in replacement of some manufacturing jobs. These workers will have to be retrained and redeployed for other growth projects.
Interesting piece on an app I have used on multiple occasions but did not realize the use of machine learning at different points. I do agree with the use of machine learning on the trip ideation phase. Their is a lot of power in the data set the Airbnb continues to accumulate, it could leverage this to introduce interesting new products that could be monetized eventually. One can look at Google as a prime example at the amount of products it has introduced, after having amassed a large amount of customer data – these included Flights, Images, Translate. Most of these are not monetized as yet but as the adoption grows I can see a number of ways in which Google will use them for its next phase of growth. Likewise using machine learning and predicative analytics I can see Airbnb trying out and introducing a number of new products that will allow it to growth into several adjacent business lines.
The 20% incidence of an incorrect spam detection is extremely inaccurate and unreliable – the potential customer churn and negative press could bring back the twitter short-sellers that doomed the stock for the past few years. The initiative does sound promising – but the accuracy and some human intervention at a particular point is necessary to prevent a media scandal. I like your suggestion on alternative account authentication, I believe from time to time – if these flags are raised by machine learning tools/ bots – one could re-authenticate accounts using these means rather than outright closure of fake accounts.
Very intriguing and informative article. Amazon indeed is handicapped against the likes of Apple and Google, by not having a mobile platform that a consumer is spending 2+ hours a day on. Hence, in my view Amazon should focus on home users and integrating itself with home automation rather than a mobile personal assistant. The lack of global reach of Amazon compared with the likes of Google and Apple further created a comparative disadvantage to win in this personal assistant dominance battle. On expanding to international markets, the Alexa team needs to conduct R&D in more global markets to tune/tailor products to individual markets, further a reliable 3rd party distribution network should be explored for market entry into potentially lucrative markets.
Extremely insightful article, it clearly articulates the use case of Ripple in cross-border transfer. My fundamental concern with Ripple or other similar crypto-currencies/ block-chain technologies is that the fundamental feature of money is store of value. Since these tokens are consolidated in a large quantities among several buyers, it could result in large swings based on sentiments rather than functional value. I share your concern that transfer of money could be instantaneous which is a clear benefit, but if those 100$, 3 minutes later are worth $95 that would prevent banks from widespread adoption – and an alternative solution needs to be explored. An additional pain-point I see that could hurt widespread adoption is similar technologies such as XLM (Stellar Lumen) – my belief is that for an XRP/XRapid adoption you would want majority of the banks leveraging one blockchain technology.