Daniela, you present an interesting thought for them to completely abandon areas where they may have already lost to Apple and Google. The largest of these being the wearables, where I believe if they haven’t lost yet, it is almost impossible for them to be the market leader. The issue at this point is about 40% of there revenue comes from this category and funds some of their other R & D efforts. I do agree that they should look to exit these spaces in the future but think in the short run they need there revenues to fund their development and partnerships in areas that are closer to their core competency.
Great Article! The use of this technology in emerging markets to bringing banking to the unbanked is great. I think that you and others have captured some of the challenges that they are and will face moving forward. One area that I was thinking about is how the actions in the MFS area are impacting other parts of Millicom’s business or other parts of the economy in these areas. As they use technology to provide these MFS to underbanked, these customers potentially have access to more parts of the economy and become more tied to banking systems. While I am not familiar with how Millicom is implementing their MFS service, how are they adapting this business model over time to adjust to changing technology and the other challenges that you discussed? Are they in cooperating more services on their platforms beyond banking to provide a complete suite of services or remaining primarily in the MFS area?
Andrew, great article and completely agree with the increase in smart technology when it comes to utility grids. While the use of technology like you mentioned allows utilities to have a better picture of the demand side and maybe drive pricing or the more effective use of different power sources, does this technology provide any application on to the rest of the grid at this time? Some of the major limiting factors, particularly in the electric grid are transformers and substations. Many of which are part of an again infrastructure that do not incorporate modern solid state electronics in their operation and still have to be switched on and off manually. Is Itron doing anything to develop truly smart and integrated substation or transformer technology to improve the maintenance and reliability of systems, to allow them to have greater control of the flow of power based on demand, or to better respond in the event of disasters? I think the last part is where we can benefit most from smart grids. Having the ability to have every point of the grid interconnected so you can automatically know which transformer is out or the like could greatly reduce repair times in disaster aftermaths. With all this and your last comment, have then done anything to promote the adoption of this technology from a capital investment side?
Brittney, very interesting post. As you mentioned the need for increased cyber security is only going to increase over time as the information becomes more valuable and the technology more complex. Several people have commented on what prevents HackerOne from simply being cut out of the chain. While I think this is an interesting question, what I wonder is this type of reward sustainable for companies. The reward values you presented seem pretty minimal, especially when compared to the cost of a contractor for the same work. Can companies continue to entice such low cost solutions to cyber security as the value of what they are protecting continues to rise? Are they offering big enough rewards to entice the top talent to work for them? Right now we have seem a lot of data breaches released publically, I think it is only a matter of time before the data these companies hold may be used to extract ransoms or similar payments for its return that could dwarf this reward. Has HackerOne started to look at the expansion of their service to in anyway to be more then a hub to link companies and white hats?
D, nice article about John Deere. First off, I was not aware that John Deere was saying they essentially leased their trackers for their lifetime for one fee because they maintained complete ownership of the software. Based off your article it seems that this technology and software is about 100% integrated into all their new products and the purchaser does not have many choices besides buying older, less efficient, equipment. But with this intense software and monitoring equipment it seems that John Deere is doing much more then just producing farm equipment. Has this shift and integration of the IoT changed their offerings to farmers? Has it made farmers more loyal to their products or the cost of switching so high that once they incorporate this technology into their field it is not possible for them to switch? I think the use of technology has been outstanding in farming, my question is where do they go from here and how do multiple platforms (John Deere and Case) function together in this environment.
Very interesting article! I found your analysis of the NY Time dilemma very intriguing and your recommendation interesting. There were three questions I had. First with many other social network sites for people to share opinions, what advantage does the NY Times have to have these readers now use their interface to share opinions and create this network? I question if this is part of their core business competency now and if not, can they build it fast enough and good enough to compete and effectively build the network to achieve the desired result. Secondly, you outlined a great problem facing the print media giants. As consumers change how we access and consume news, what part do companies like CNN and FOX play in this dynamic. Where a reader can go to any of these sites and read the news they want for free. This seems to be a new source of competition to the news print business that I do not think just increasing readership will fix. Third, did you find any information about how the company has changed its internal operations model to streamline efficiency, reduce the number of reporters, or how they actually receive news to print that would shed light on how they have remained profitable with this significant lose in revenue? Is there any future benefits that could be gained by reduction of operational costs, and is there still a need to send reporters to other parts of the world when their internal/external news is so accessible directly?
Great Article. I was interested to learn that California has pleased such significant demands on the reduction of emissions and percent of renewable energy sources on that timeline. In the article, you mentioned the closure of two nuclear plants constituting 20% of their current production and primarily replacing that with solar. With this replacement and the opportunities you outlined, is there any indication on the success of influencing their customers to place solar panels on their houses to offset their production requirements? One tactic they could try which was used in Hawaii, is that the energy provider paid to install the solar panels on the customer’s house. This program provided a 20 year lease of the equipment to the homeowner at no cost and allowed Hawaii’s electric company to reduce its capital expenditures by not having to buy land to place solar panels.
Great Article and a very interesting approach. I did not even consider food waste when thinking about climate change. This is a very interesting technology and you outlined a lot of the challenges around the maintenance, cost, and infrastructure challenges with using liquid nitrogen. With that context it was surprising to me that they are focusing on the distribution of cold-channels. Particularly because the cooling process requires a lot of energy and liquid nitrogen has significantly lower stored energy the diesel fuel. Did you find any insight into the amount of liquid nitrogen required to achieve the same cooling effect as 1 gal of fuel? Given the infrastructure challenges that exist this seems like a potentially limiting factor in scaling this technology.
Thanks for the post, I was intrigued by this move by Tesla. While I understand some underlying social desires, I had some significant concerns about the ability of Tesla to manage these two different businesses and models. I wonder what changes Tesla will make to Solar City besides just switching the batteries to ones that they have produced. You outlined three synergies that they will get from this vertical integration. However, none of these really seem to be in the best interest of Tesla. The consumer will benefit from better batteries in their house, the potential to have Tesla cars charged by solar generated electricity, and increased demand on their new factory to get economies of scale. I think Tesla could have achieved all these without the purchase of Solar City, so while I agree Tesla is a great innovator in shifting to renewable energy and power, I am struggling to see how they will effectively use Solar City to continue to develop renewable energy.
The issues surrounding climate change will certainly have an impact on all mining companies, particularly for BHP as you outlined. I was wondering what, if any, collaboration existed within the industry to collectively reduce their impacts on climate change and reduce their risk to other impacts of climate change. This may be an area where that would be viewed as a competitive advantage; however, I think it could also be an outstanding opportunity. Has BHP pursed anything along these lines to reduce its internal carbon emissions or reduce it risk overall? If not do you think that there is potential for this with BHP as they are the largest mining company in the world?
The one area that got my interested in your article was the mention of alternative fuels used by United and how they are reducing carbon emissions. There are two points here that make me question how scalable this is for United and what the capital expenditures required to achieve that scale are. In looking deeper are United, it appears they are only running the biofuel mix on one route – LA to San Francisco. This seems to be a very limited segment of their overall operations and I really question what their total savings will be. Additionally, it does not sound like this biofuel company can produce more if United wanted it, potentially putting them at pricing risk.
I was also very interested to learn about United equity state in biofuel producer Fulcrum Bioenergy. Have you considered the impact of this equity stake in their operations or what the long term opportunity of this equity stake is for United in terms of reliable biofuel supply? Is there any indication if United will have to provide additional capital to remain on schedule to begin receiving fuel from Fulcrum in 2018.