What an impact e-commerce has had on shipping! I would definitely be interested in seeing how FedEx/USPS/UPS continue to develop their customer communications.
Another element of this changing business that I found very striking was how they have used technology to optimize routes to minimize fuel costs as well as environmental impact (http://annualreport.van.fedex.com/2016/docs/FedEx_2016_Annual_Report.pdf). I would be very interested in seeing how the relationship with shipping or receiving customers can further set up more efficient routes.
Sarah, this is indeed an interesting situation that AbbVie is in. Do you believe that digitization is pushing AV and other pharmaceuticals to broaden their mission statements (“improve lives”)? While I agree that reaching broader will certainly help cement AV’s ability to place themselves along key parts of the healthcare value chain, I am much more interested in how Abbvie is going to more effectively use digitization to amplify its core competency and question whether these current transparency initiatives will be enough to justify their premiums. Instead, I would assume that digitization would be more impactful by complementing the drugs themselves to ensure proper adherence and better outcomes with AbbVie drugs.
Sarah, excellent article on the state of the edtech industry.
I actually wonder more broadly whether edtech is articulating the right value proposition to a consumer-base of predominantly public institutions with ever-shrinking budgets and ever-soaring mandates to improve. While I believe many of us appreciate the convenience and additional functions available through digitizing our learning materials, many less prosperous school districts can likely only justify these purchases through their proven ability to improve student performance on exams. Calling for an industry to perpetuate an imperfect system is of course not the objective, but may be necessary to continue its growth.
I really enjoyed learning more about Otto. Given that one out of every fifteen workers in the US is a trucker (http://www.alltrucking.com/faq/truck-drivers-in-the-usa/) and the huge incentive for business to cut out the scale of costs that labor represents in logistics (40%+ cited in the post), I do wonder how the inevitable depletion of one of our last remaining well-paying blue collar jobs will impact our political discourse under the upcoming administration.
Very interesting article on the future of retail finance. While I agree with the above user that your average consumer may not have a very thoughtful understanding of their own risk, I believe that Betterment mostly accounts for that in generally conservative product mixes. What I think ends up being more important is whether roboinvesting’s simplicity adequately lower the barrier for more customers to shift from merely putting their money in savings to higher yielding products – one UK report believes that these FinTech startups could bring 2.5B consumers to these products (http://www.kuarix.com/single-post/2016/05/10/What-SMEs-can-learn-from-Fintech)
As Laura’s pointed out, additional work to quantify the value of solar to the grid still has to be done to establish a fair assessment on the tariff or subsidy to individual generators.
For one recent approach, MA’s net metering taskforce attempted a preliminary evaluation of the value of different sized DG-scaled projects, including a basket of avoided generation and transmission costs/value, lease payments and other factors.
Given the strength of the brand, which has been critical in fueling its continued growth and expansion around the world, I actually believe that taking a strong stance on sustainability and environmentalism will be important for its continued relevance as a symbol of lifestyle and progress.
As Stan has pointed out, this is why Coke has begun to adopt a greener face – as green as one can be as a peddler of plastic bottled drinks. With all of Coke’s strengths, I wonder if they will also be able to help consumers transition to more sustainable actions and habits to enjoying softdrinks.
I hope that the impact of climate change mitigation (e.g. sea walls) on the sport of surfing does not end up being existential. One of my major takeaways from Barbarian Days is how the faddish/fashionable nature of surfing has brought hordes of yuppies in quiksilver to even the most sacred and hidden locations. As mitigation efforts and worsening climate change continue to shift the nature of waves, I hope this means that the hardcore surfers continue to be able to chase the next great, unknown wave.
While a major challenge, climate change presents large OEMs such as GM a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of scale and superior resources to differentiate on technical capabilities as smaller and less capable niche players drop out due to a combination of rising regulatory barriers and the increasing price of fuel cut out the stragglers from the market.
With the seasonal/model diversification and uptake of technological developments, Vail is a great example of example of how the ski industry is coping with these inevitable changes. A more local example of a ski resort undertaking many of these same efforts while having had an easier uptake is Jiminy Peak, which has installed several wind turbines and hosts a large community solar field.