Hi Yaping – I really enjoyed your article and take on this issue. I agree that open innovation has many benefits for Nestle, and potentially other CPG companies. I wonder how their competition is responding to the use of open innovation. Are they able to create some sort of sustainable advantage in using their platform? My biggest concern is that this approach can be applied by their competitors, resulting in over-investment and bidding up of these start ups. I also worry about their ability to synthesize and act on the data they receive. How can they turn crowd-sourced ideas into business strategies? This process will likely be their challenge in the medium term.
Mike – I really enjoyed this article on the UPS-Fast Radius partnership. It is certainly an interesting venture that will hopefully enable companies without the capital to afford 3D printers an opportunity to quickly develop and test design prototypes. As you mentioned in the article, I also worry about the scalability of moving from a prototype manufacturer to a full fledged production operation. I assume as the price of 3D printing drops this will become possible, but it also feels like a different model as they move into becoming a company people go to for outsourced production. It will be interesting to see how this partnership manages that transition if indeed it does occur. I am also interested who their competitors are in this space. I am aware of many local players who offer something along these lines, but it would be interesting to know if there are other national level competitors. Thanks!
I really enjoyed this article, thank you for sharing! One question I have on this topic is just around content control. It seems that General Assembly is currently outsourcing a majority of idea generation. I worry that without being able to set an agenda or lesson plan, courses will take the shape of whoever is willing to write about a topic in an engaging way rather than by necessity. You also identified this as an issue, and I wonder if you encountered any research around this topic that provides some insight into how they control content?
Hi Yury –
Get article! One thing I am curious about is data gathering. While UPS collects tons of data on orders, routes, locations and frequency, they don’t seem to have the infrastructure currently to utilize this vast amount of information efficiently. I think UPS must very quickly upgrade their technological capabilities, especially as Amazon may look to bring delivery in house. As you suggested in your article, partnering or acquiring existing companies may be a useful route, but I think this just further underscores the need to act quickly. Do you know of any attempts by UPS to acquire existing technologies rather than build them in house? Has the work with XPO Logistics occurred? Thanks!
Hi Amanda –
A very thought-provoking article! It is amazing to see AI and automation begin to replace people in softer skilled roles like customer service. One thing I commonly worry about when reading research like this is the future of work. How will machine automation effect our ability to find meaningful employment? Furthermore, if topics like customer service are being outsourced, will we soon lose all ability to speak with real people at a company? What are the risks of this? I believe that the current technology requires human supervision, but this may not be the case in the medium term. Alibaba may have to deal with these questions sooner than expected. Thanks!
I really enjoyed this article! Great insight into a competitive industry where any edge in process design could drive down prices and create a large competitive advantage. One consequence of this project which concerns me is the potential product cannibalization of UA’s existing footwear lines. While a universally applicable shoe for all sports will certain be appealing to customers, how would it change demand for their current product offering? Especially since athletes will not be purchasing shoes for every type of activity anymore. I suspect that competition will likely drive them to transition into this space regardless, so it may be a strategic necessity. However, I do wonder how they are planning for this transition. Thanks!