I think this has a huge potential going forward. Unfortunately my aunt is in the 10% of total knee replacement patients who has not gained full mobility of her joint 12 months post-surgery (this might also serve to answer the above comment as to why it is still necessary to invest in improving the technique). I think that if she had been able to use this technology and have a customized knee replacement she could have had a better outcome. My biggest hope is that as the technology matures the price of the service will go down making this a plausible solution for all patients.
I personally find your medium term solution – that you would focus on reducing costs related to delivery executives – a little challenging. While I’m sure executive pay is relatively high, if you assume that the company will grow going forward, will this change really move the needle? Since executive pay is a fixed cost (I assume you’re not adding many more executives as you scale), you should in theory get more operating leverage, in that you have more units to spread across this fixed cost. As a result, I would personally think in the medium term it may be more worthwhile to tackle other variable costs that could affect the unit economics of this service.
One question I have after reading this is what the real value add of these projects has been to banking customers. Being able to ask my Amazon about my credit card balance when I can just log into the Capital One app directly, doesn’t seem to be as big an advancement as they are making it out to be. I struggle with the trade-offs presented here between providing trendy app integration versus protecting a consumer’s data and privacy. I hope they are further discussing the value add these services provide and the risks they present as well.
I am skeptical about your last comment on providing health and nutrition to all. My one concern with this type of development is whether this will actually encourage a more significant health crisis than we already have in the US. As you mentioned, the focus so far has been on processed foods. Creating unique shapes and structures only serves to increase the novelty of these foods and if anything probably will promote further consumption of processed foods. I want to understand more of how the food industry thinks this will actually benefit the end consumer, as it doesn’t seem as applicable with less complex, health foods like fruits and vegetables.
One question that this raises for me is if there are any fairness implications in the way the algorithm is developed. For instance, what if the computer decides that a student should be at a certain level and never challenges them outside of their comfort zone. There have certainly been times that my test scores would not have suggested I would have done well in a challenging subject that I ultimately did just fine in. I wonder whether certain students will be held back in less rigorous courses if this is the case.
While open innovation did not work for this type of content creation, I believe that this type of strategy could potentially be more successful with content creation in other types of industries. While movies require high upfront investments and cannot be modified once published, other types of industries use more iterative processes and are much less costly to create prototypes or a minimally viable product. Take for example the software industry, which uses open innovation regularly. Open innovation works in this context because there are no high barriers such as cost and technology to prove that the product works and is worth investing in further. In the future if movie companies can find ways to potentially lower these barriers and get to a more iterative product creation maybe open innovation can once again be used here.