Keeps You Guessing
What an insightful and well-written essay! Thanks for exploring this often overlooked area of politics where open innovation is much desired and needed. I agree with Joe and Rebeca’s concerns around ability of older citizens and potential to be affected by fake news.
Couple ways in which governments can make it easy to participate in such processes:
1. Publicize this facility as a social good (as you suggested – marketing) and also creating more opportunities to participate (e.g., conduct workshops on how to use the platform, have computer kiosks in malls for people to enter their votes as they walk by etc.). This increases throughput of ideas.
2. Clarify the consequences of the vote (i.e., how will the crowdsourced opinion factor into the decision – will people have a significant say in the end outcome?)
As someone who taught how to program Mindstorms Robotics to kids until 3 years ago, I am a huge fan of this topic and agree with many of the comments above. In particular, I do think the Lego Customer is primarily the parent and AFOLs who would be passionate enough to join the Lego Ideas forum to comment/submit entries in contests. I think another angle on open innovation which Lego could leverage is involving professional industrial design, fashion design and interior design students. I am imagining holding mini contests at the big institutes in these disciplines to see if these students can come up with some unexpected use cases / ideas for Legos.
The bottomline is, open innovation helps you get ahead of the problem ‘the customer does not always know what they want’. So, instead of asking the customer directly, Lego should go to peripheral creative disciplines to pre-empt ratchet effects in toy design preferences/trends.
What a bittersweet application of 3D printing! Thanks for writing. Like Mike, Al and SHo’s comments above, my sense is positioning 3D printing as artisanal to luxury consumers especially in the US and Europe may be tough given the premium accorded to handcrafted chocolates. I am also in line with SHo’s comment that the attraction behind watching a machine print chocolate in front of you may be a short-lived fad, and online delivery may be a better idea.
One other idea is Hershey’s could use this brand to re-position itself in geographies where it does not have a strongly entrenched brand positioning. For example, in India Zara and H&M are seen as much more high end brands (accessible luxury that celebrities wear and endorse) than the fast fashion brands they are seen as in the US. Perhaps if they opened Hershey’s stores in South East Asia with these 3D printing machines it would add to the novelty factor there?
Thanks for picking such a unique topic! As a repeat customer of ProFlowers (competitor), I am intrigued to try out 1-800-Flowers now that I know about Gwyn. While I like getting advice about what kinds of flowers are appropriate for different occasions/types of recipients, I don’t like waiting for a customer service rep to get on the line. So Gwyn seems perfect!
What worries me however is the biased training data that may be fed into Gwyn. For example, in the US not many people send flowers for specific religious holidays like Diwali or Rosh Hashanah. If the system has not encountered these cultural corner cases, how will the interface react in such situations? My guess is I will get a response of ‘buy marigolds’ since it’s a decoration flower used in Diwali vs. one for gifting (similar to Watson confusing ‘Toronto’ to be a US city).
Thanks Daniel for such an insightful article. I was at one point considering writing about Winsun and I wanted to hear what you had to say about these 2 controversial topics around 3D printing houses:
1. Winsun Founder Ma Yihe said that “Donald Trump could build his wall much cheaper and in less than a year. We could definitely do it. Maybe at around 60 per cent of the projected cost and three to four times faster.” Although he meant this lightheartedly, how do you think Winsun management should evaluate the ethics behind projects that divide people vs. bridge gaps? Is there a place for ethics in the business of 3D printing?
2. Winsun has won huge multi-year contracts with the Saudi Arabia government, and has already built office complexes in Dubai. These are regions of the world that alternatively would have employed cheap labor at massive scale. How do you think governments should regulate the 3D printing construction industry to manage the loss of livelihoods for construction labor no longer required?
This article does such a great job of explaining predictive maintenance and how machine learning is at the heart of this new phenomenon taking over manufacturing. Kudos Z_A!
I would like to call out three barriers in addition to those covered above that I believe RDS will have to overcome before adopting predictive maintenance:
1. Data Scarcity: you have mentioned data quality but what was surprising to me was that many parts of the Oil and Gas industry are actually a lot less automated than I had thought (esp. in Asia). Digitizing the production end-to-end is the first step to take before predictive maintenance can be a reality.
2. Digital talent attraction: not only will current roles and skills become obsolete as you mention, these new high-in-demand skills will be hard to find and attracting talent to a rig vs. another manufacturing environment will be something companies like Shell will have to consider.
3. Integration of the stack: connecting the Azure interface, with a front end and across digital machines is tricky operationally (although huge advances have been made so far)