It’s heartening to see how technology is being used to advance crime prevention, reduction and response rate. The ShotSpotter technology particularly reminded me of superhero movies like Superman/Spiderman in the ability to detect crime based on sound sensors. That it would one day become a reality, I had never thought. I am wondering how scalable this is. The investment in gadgets coupled with the intricate infrastructure layout needed to make this work would require time and a long term commitment from law enforcement agencies and the government. I am also curious too see if any pilot has been done to determine the practical application of this system to weed out any loopholes and drive efficient operations. The loss of privacy and potential cybercrime is worrisome and before rolling this out it would be prudent to institute protection into existing police hardware and software.
Great to see that NY Times is offering a wide range of digital products to stay relevant for consumers who demand immediacy. I do think that newspaper businesses will continue to find the rise of substitute social media news avenues a challenge. As unreliable as these sources of information maybe, time and again it has been seen that there is a large fraction of the population who is also very vocal that values sensational journalism over credible journalistic endeavors. While it is NY Times responsibility to stay true to its promise of authentic reliable news reporting, I wonder whether they can leverage digital as an opportunity to change consumers reliance on social media. One possibility could be to build a platform or an app that immediately confirms whether news is authentic or fake and can direct consumers to reliable NY times sources of information. Digital value added services and then monetizing them in my opinion are key for newspaper business to stay afloat.
What an unexpected diversification move! It’s amazing to see how FujiFilm has survived the digital onslaught by leveraging its internal research based assets to move into seemingly unrelated industries. In the case of FujiFilm, I believe digitization has meant an overhaul of its core customer promise and operating purpose. If I hadn’t read this post I would not have realized that FujiFilm has moved beyond “film” into cosmetics. I am inquisitive about how their organizational model and structure changed with diversification and whether photography would be their core focus going forward or not. It seems to me that given research and innovation are the anchor of their business model, they would eventually become a conglomerate of sorts for a wide range of products.
Erica the idea of whoosh fitting rooms is intriguing! I think it caters to an opportunity that has not been addressed so far but does cause distress for consumers and is also inefficient for retailers. My concern is that while this technology will deliver a customized experience it takes out the personalized interaction based decision making experience from the shopping experience. Historically customer loyalty has hinged on affinity with sales people. Would this mean that retailers need to redefine what customer service means? And can personalized service be taken out entirely from retailer service model? In my opinion, retailers would need to relook their models in a broader context, as you have also suggested, across the path to purchase to see where plugging in personalization yields higher returns vs. plugging out.
The Harvard bookstore seems to have found a creative mitigation of an industry wide issue in EBM. Whether it offsets the main problem of declining book sales remains to be seen. EBM seems to be a source of adding another revenue stream but I wonder whether the incremental impact has been substantial. Several questions that come to my mind are:
1. How many people have used EBM? Have consumers embraced this new technology or is there reluctance in usage? 2. Is there a difference in the new technology adoption pattern between the academic community vs. general public?
3. How many e-prints of public domain book collections have been done vs. own custom publications?
4. Has there been a net incremental positive impact on the Harvard Book store revenue?
One the positive side, EBM supports a creative and intellectual community by giving anyone the opportunity to independently publish their work for a nominal cost creating a stronger market for niche publications. It is an efficient way to manage supply chain cutting inventory holding and distribution costs. Having an espresso book machine also positively influences library collections by supporting a somewhat patron-driven acquisition model. By giving the users the ability to print and request what they want instead of having library staff predict, sometimes erroneously, avoids large unused physical collections taking up spaces within the library.
There are some limitations that may need to be evaluated such as the high price, requirements of warming up the machine for an hour before printing, restrictions with publishers to print new titles, and interface quality for the machine’s database of printable titles. These limitations may be insurmountable for smaller book stores who may still have to go out of business. If EBM evolves to become mainstream the net benefits would have be weighed with its limitations to see whether its worthwhile to make heavy investments.
I found the below EBM study particularly interesting to read specifically the demarcation between the Long tail theory and the Pareto principle both of which talk about influences on technology diffusion with reference to EBM.
Great article Eric! Captures well how the automative industry faces and contributes to environmental challenges. While mitigation efforts such as the use of Eco-boost technology and alternative fuels are laudable, however, the issue of weak scrap/buy back program needs to resolved by Ford despite the absence incentives by government at this stage. I also recollect that PepsiCo has a program to convert its existing fleet trucks to electric/hybrid fuel technology and Ford can play a substantive role with other players and government to roll out “fuel conversion” program for existing vehicles. By taking the initiative, Ford would be paving way for greener technologies to stream in faster and also to then focus on innovating to make green cars affordable for the masses.
Interesting to see the impact of climate change on Nike. I agree with your point about Nike implementing standards for efficient energy use for both company owned and outsourced factories. The reputational risk of Nike factories being non-compliant is way too huge at a time when the climate change conversation holds meaning for consumers and several influential stakeholders globally. I found the below read comprehensive in streamlining the broader efforts by Nike including the move to eco-friendly raw materials, water-less dying technology and a manufacturing index evaluation system for contract factories.
Also, it’s good to see Nike partnership with MIT Sloan to introduce management innovation for a greener supply chain. Specifically initiatives like factory redesign, managerial training and improvement of product design processes would go a long way in cementing Nike’s commitment towards a greener supply chain. See link: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/sustainability/profile/nike.
I acknowledge that delivering sustainability and hospitality i.e “Green Cruising” as a bundled package is no mean feat. However, I agree with the thread of comments above that the Carnival Corporation can do a lot more especially in light of the mess that is created by this industry. See below article summarizing the adverse impacts
Green efforts by the cruise ship companies may require a shift at the very core to fundamentally redesigning and reengineer its operations to be more environmentally sustainable.
A few directional ideas for adoption could be –
i) adoption of advanced waste water treatment technology,
ii) installation of solar panels,
iii) flexible itineraries offering travel from ports closer to home to reduce fuel consumption from flying,
iv) cargo sharing as a means of generating revenues through rentals of transportation and storage space.
v) eco friendly material used in construction of cruise ships
This is in addition to the points mentioned above in your article. Below article was an interesting read.
Thanks for sharing a clear, focused piece on water conservation efforts by Levis. I am intrigued by their innovative Water<Less manufacturing process which seems to be scalable and the 96% less water use is impactful. I also appreciate Levis efforts in looking at the holistic end to end supply chain to drive these efforts. However, there are three areas where Levis needs to do more in my opinion i) First Levis is only sourcing 12% of the cotton from BCI which is negligible to create impact in terms of farmers livelihoods or water conservation. Given cotton production is a highly water intensive process, I would expect Levis to run with the BCI idea and scale it quickly ii) Levis needs to do more to change consumer behaviors by designing marketing campaigns that introduce the lifetime/non-laundering concept possibly leveraging it as a unique selling proposition and iii) Levis can extend environmental impact efforts beyond water conservation to energy efficiency to create a more holistic environmental lifecycle agenda. It can start from direct operations and then extend to the entire value chain possibly engaging consumers with the non laundering concept to drive efficient energy use.
Dan great effort in bringing to fore an important issue that has been on the back benches for long. It seems Florida has developed “Climate Resilience” to the impending flooding which is expected to wipe out $69 billion in Florida coastal property by 2030. I can understand the reluctance and affinity of the people of Florida to leave their homes and wanting to enjoy it while it lasts. In the same tune, I also see why the government hesitates towards “alarmist climate planning” as it may scare off banks, insurers and developers. Without an income tax the state of Florida relies on real estate taxes and tourism to survive. Yet it is inevitable that property and flood insurance will get too expensive and may even become unavailable. These economic downsides can easily be overturned if this is seen as an opportunity for Florida to step up and become a leader in acknowledging climate change and finding solutions – the likes of “Silicon Valley of Green”. I wonder in the face of government inaction, if the media and environmental groups can playing a substantive role in drawing attention to this issue but also if they are engaging the private sector to take the lead in investing “Silicon Valley of Green”. In the short run, possible solutions may include tax incentives and mortgage payment abatement periods to encourage property owner to upgrade their septic systems but from a preventive standpoint connecting property developers to climate scientists may help start the dialogue in circles where it counts.