In terms of your second question, no I don’t think that Lego is over-reliant on external knowledge. The product has a very specific consumer which that needs to be involved in the innovation process. Having adults, that don’t use legos, have complete control over designing the product is ultimately detrimental to the end consumer. In order to create the best products, the company has to leverage external resources.
I’m all for autonomous vehicles, but I don’t think we’ll be living when the world is “fully autonomous” for many of the safety reasons you’ve touched upon in your note. For the foreseeable future, humans don’t seem comfortable ceding 100% control of their cars and ultimately their lives to software programs because there just isn’t enough data to support the success of these programs. Autonomous driving will take time because the auto manufactures need to amass a huge amount of data in order to create programs that can deal with any sort of driving situation. I commend Tesla for helping to lead the charge, but I just don’t see anything coming to fruition any time soon.
3D printing makes sense for higher volume, low end eye wear products, but I would be cautious about trying to use this process for high end, luxury products. As mentioned, in its current format there are several limitations for 3D printing including processing requirements, materials availability, and economies of scale. While these problems get corrected, I see low end products as a better “test market”. One question that I might have is which products generate higher margins? This might be important to understand because it might inform which manufacturing process this company decided to use.
I don’t think it makes sense to change the entire R&D process to open innovation and see a world where both processes can / must coexists with each other. NASA’s has a reputation for being cutting edge, but has relied on a standard R&D process to get it there. As the organization ages and the world becomes more technologically advanced, I think it makes sense to test out other strategies, such as open innovation, in order to maintain a competitive edge.
To answer some of your questions, I don’t think the idea of 3D printed shoes is a fad. In fact, this makes sense as the next area of growth for a shoe company. Although using celebrities to promote a shoe brand is a popular idea now, one can assume that over time this strategy will become less effective. In a world where consumers can walk into a store, have their foot scanned, create a custom design, and walk out with a custom pair of shoes excitement around companies like Adidas will grow. This will be expensive at first, but like any technological innovation as adoption increases prices will move in the opposite direction.
Nice post! I love spotify, so was happy to see that people picked this topic. To answer your first question, I think that the major streaming services (Apple Music and Tidal) will eventually catch up with Spotify’s algorithm for personalized playlists, etc since there aren’t large technological barriers to entry. However, long term Spotify will have the advantage because the company is starting to work closer with up and coming artists to distribute their music. Armed with powerful insights about fans, Spotify has an opportunity to leverage this information to almost become an internet based record label. The next wave of music will definitely be an interesting one!