Thanks for this interesting post! After flight cancelations and delays, queueing is the most painful process at any airport. Many posted concerns about data protection, but I think in this case benefits more than offset potential concerns. Yes, we do need to take steps to securely store biometric identities. I do not have any knowledge on this, but I think most of our information is already out there. We read every day that information is stolen from many companies, governments, etc. It seems for now that hacking a bank account, email account, or any other information that we already have online is a lot easier than using our biometrics.
Very interesting post. If MOOCs become recognized by employers someday, I think MOOCs will create additional threats to many educational institutions that are not well known, because their courses will become commodities and could be switched with Coursera courses (or any other MOOC). Thus, what are the benefits of attending a not well-known university/institution if the courses are the same? Are we creating a system in which attending university is only a signal to the market about our capacity to get into an Ivy League instead of the actual knowledge that we will acquire?
I think developing Quickteller is a smart move. Nigeria as many other developing countries needs to adopt new technologies and avoid as much as possible old technologies such as credit cards. Mobile technologies are quite cheaper and easier to roll out than other forms of payments for both consumers and retailers, making the adoption of mobile technologies the most cost-efficient way to reduce cash payments.
One of the main implications of cashless economies is that tracking transactions is easy, making harder to operate in the grey economy. However, it is not clear for me whether digital currencies are feasible everywhere given that most countries still have high informality rates. Does digital currency, issued by central banks, reduce informality rates? Or low informality rates make the use of digital currency possible? If governments do not reduce informality rates, we will end up using printed money, cards, and digital currencies and creating a more complex system that do not tackle one of the main issues for developing countries, the informal sector.
I think this technology is very interesting and has huge potential. However, I am concerned about what will happen when any retailer can afford to use this technology. It could be annoying to walk in a store and see a notification with products that you may like. Then, walk in another store and get more notifications. As a consumer, the only thing you would like to do is turn off notifications, making iBeacon technology useless for retailers.
Great post! I think you presented very interesting perspectives about FinTech and how JP Morgan is fighting back. The benefits of adopting new technologies for large banks are still quite positive and banks have strong incentives to acquire disruptive technologies to remain competitive. Some technologies such as Venmo still rely heavily on banks because, even for FinTech start-ups, it is not easy to get rid of bank intermediation. But this may change going forward so it is in themselves interests to keep investing/acquiring new technologies to remain viable.
Peter, thanks for posting about self-driving cars. As someone that lost family members in a car accident, I am excited about any technology that can decrease human involvement in car driving. Many others posted about the implications that self-driving cars may have on the economy and job market, but I think there is a big question mark over how regulators will react to self-driving cars. I think governments have proven themselves sluggish to address technological changes and the introduction of self-driving cars, as you mentioned in your post, is the first drastic change in the automobile industry that will impose huge challenges to policy makers.
After being involved in many natural disasters, it is encouraging to see BP involved in investing in alternative sources of energy. SubodhChawla question about whether O&G companies are just focused on O&G or could be considered Energy companies raises a great question that I think most these companies board of directors are trying to address. I don’t think there’s an easy solution to that question, but the O&G is shifting from its traditional definition and big players should be the one embracing these changes. It is unlikely that we will get rid of fossil fuel energy, but going forward I expect to see more companies such as BP changing their market mix and increasing revenues generated from renewables sources of energy.
It is amazing how many companies created plans to reduce the impact of global warming. Humans have been able to create solutions to the problems that they have created. A ski resort without snow is completely useless but we have companies such as Whistler Blackcomb that are thinking about global warming not as a long-term problem, but as a current issue that needs to be addressed immediately.
Economists like to think global warming as a negative externality that no ones now how to measure but that it exists. However, this posts does a great job at showing how global warming is measurable and how it truly affects businesses. Did Whistler Blackcomb generated this problem? probably the answer is no, but they have to make a plan to address this issues. If then we add up all the investments that companies have to do to only overcome climate change, we could easily understand that adopting sustainable practices is not optional going forward.
The O&G industry has proven to be a very effective way to generate growth in emerging markets. Many countries experienced the same dilemma as you and OliviaH pointed out. Global warming clashes with poverty in many developing countries. How could you decide what is more important between feeding people and long-term sustainability? Could someone say that we should focus on climate change when there are millions of people starving every day? I think we need involve every party (companies, government, individuals) and make sure that their interests are aligned. Ghana and any other developing market needs to generate a framework in which they can reduce poverty and set clear rules about what is socially and environmentally responsible.
Even though I agree with your comments about Exxon’s ability to influence government and invest heavily in renewables, I would like to understand whether Exxon supported the introduction of a carbon tax to encourage social responsable practices or to gain an advantage in the utilities industry, given that it is one of the largest players and has the ability to offset increases in taxes and still be profitable. Also, Amaleski comment is very interesting and makes similar question in a different way. If Exxon is concerned about the long-term, it should be investing in renewables now and stop distributing increasing dividends every year.
The suggestions you made are very interesting and I think could have a huge impact on the food industry. I think that GM’s policies have two major implications in the global economy:
1- As large corporation, any policy implemented by them could become market norm in a short period of time
2- Given its scale and global operations, GM decisions impacts directly on some of the poorest countries in the world
I think your provided some interesting facts on how unbalanced food security is between developed and developing countries. For developing markets, global warming is not a simple problem because they are the first impacted by climate change. Any sudden change in climate conditions could cause a huge disaster in these countries and their ability to overcome any challenge is very limited. GM, as any other large food manufacturer, has a huge responsibility on how they or any supplier implements sustainable practices.