As a business school student, I love this concept, but as an occasional brick-and-morter shopper, it terrifies me. I am certainly inclined to believe that consumers, especially those who have grown up around the Internet and big data, will grow more and more threatened as the breadth of their collected data is blatantly shown through programs like this. Hearing that companies like Burberry, Facebook, and Google have immense amounts of data about you is one thing; seeing customized suggestions for new clothes when you get to a store, actually loving them, and knowing they’re in stock just for you is frightening and a bit weird.
At the same time, my business sense tell me that this issue can be mitigated for the right price. You raise a valid point about Burberry potentially moving too slowly with this technology, as they seem to be focused mainly on the in-store experience which, as referenced before, is “a bit weird.” I think that if they expand their machine learning to include promotions based on geolocation, pushing offers to customers when they are near a store and seeing how much they need to discount items in order to bring consumers in, they can mitigate most of their problems!
Don’t look now, but it seems like Human Resources will be facing some competition in the near future. Depending on who you ask, that may be great news; many of us have had difficult on boarding experiences, for example, and even The Office frequently regarded HR as “the worst.” Certainly, Humu can improve upon some of HR’s weaknesses, and I believe employees will embrace the change.
For example, as you thoroughly explained, traditional organizations utilize surveys to measure employee satisfaction and “fit.” I do not see Humu as that much different; rather, I see it more as an incremental platform product. While it still measures many of the same inputs a survey would, it adds the prescriptive element of the “Nudge Engine.” I may be an optimist, but I think most employees truly are interested in improving themselves, their job situations, and the organization as a whole. As such, Humu may be just what is needed to change perceptions about “HR” and finally earn full employee engagement!
Any article related to food is fantastic! Unfortunately, I’m having trouble seeing the long-term value of 3D printing as it relates to accessibility, health, and nutrition. I certainly see benefits as it relates to customization and elaborate designs, but those benefits most likely provide new products to individuals who can already easily access the foods they want and are willing to spend a premium on their meals.
On the flip side, for those struggling to access proper nutrition, design is at best a secondary concern. GMOs are already prominent, and through genetic engineering food scientists have begun making more nutrient-packed foods. Standardized gluten-free options also currently exist. As such, while I may be lacking vision, I unfortunately don’t see 3D printing improving accessibility other than to those who already have the means for the nutrition they need.
You raised extremely valid questions about Gillette’s 3D printing and customization efforts. Personally, I do not think it is economically viable to proceed with this project. Anecdotally, I do not care about my razor’s looks or even performance past a certain point; I’ve used two blades, three blades, five blades, and will probably eventually use their ten blade razor, and my handle colors have ranged from pink to orange. The key driver, as you referenced, is price, which is driven by cost.
I would expect higher set-up costs with customization and 3D printing (at least until work with Formlabs concludes) and fewer economies of scale during production (because large quantities of the same product are no longer being made). As such, because I (and likely many other consumers based on your article) value price first and foremost, I would not proceed with this initiative.
Regarding your concern of dissent from Lego’s internal designers, I fully agree that it is ludicrous to only allow the R&D process to begin after 10,000 votes are received. There must be other options to keep everyone engaged while continuing to benefit from open innovation.
For example, designers can be given more freedom prior to the 10,000 vote threshold. Only one design per year is being selected for production; this should not take too much time in aggregate. Why not allow designers to browse the concepts at an earlier stage, find some which they like, and advocate for production while completing some of the groundwork? Self-managed teams could even be introduced for this fun, extracurricular process, in order to empower employees. Other options are surely available and would add value to the current structure.
Great summary! From your post, I completely agree with Amazon’s decision to abandon open innovation as a vital component of their Amazon Studios division, and your notes related to the efficiency gaps between Netflix, Hulu, and HBO when compared to Amazon highlight why this idea was likely doomed. Amazon is a highly diversified company and making ideal investments is a top priority.
I would also assert that keeping the program for marketing purposes does not make sense for Amazon; however, it may be a great tool for newer, smaller studios. Specifically, offering such a platform and creating a contest, offering a nominal award, publicized voting, and pilot production to the winner, similar to Amazon’s structure, could provide a larger incremental boost to a small company than it would to Amazon. There would also be less reputational risk for a smaller company if the movie flops, as expectations would be far lower than for Amazon. As such, a new show following the model of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” with a pilot filmed for under $200, would be a suitable, inexpensive lottery ticket.