Great article. I think Lego has used open innovation effectively. However, from a customers perspective my inputs on innovation will typically be very marginal or in some cases not practical. Lego will have to manage the risk of listening to customers needs too easily. The company has to be rational in terms of what innovations are commercially viable. Also, Lego will need to invest in R&D to develop the next “big thing” in Lego given a customers recommendation is most likely limited to the products he or she has already seen. To really grow dramatically, Lego will have to introduce a product that the customer did not know they wanted in the first place.
Great article. You raise an important point on controlling the user experience and gaining the maximum profit vs. what is beneficial to society. I believe in Microsoft’s model of democratizing technology and therefore am a big believer of open innovation. Open innovation allows innumerable users and app developers to leverage what you have created and use it in several innovate ways. A technology built on open innovation is more deeply embedded with society and typically has a wider reach and larger impact.
You make a really good point on AirBnB trying to own the travel experience going forward. Machine learning and predictive analytics will be crucial for AirBnB to retain the customer and own the full travel lifecycle. However, I do think AirBnB will have to do more by way of partnerships with transportation companies such as airlines, bus services, online and offline travel agencies, etc.
You raise an important point in this essay. Similar to any technological innovation there will be a short term impact of job losses. In the medium term people will have to retrain themselves and learn about AI and machine learning to remain employable. However, I believe ML will be a net job creator in the long run as more job opportunities will open up as a result of ML. This is a specially difficult question for governments in developing countries where various industries are still labor intensive. In a country like India which relies on low innovation services jobs, AI and ML could replace a lot of jobs. For example, the Indian government is restricted the adoption of driverless vehicles because of the potential job loss to millions of people who work as drivers in India.
Interesting read. However, I do not think the company should invest further in 3D printing. I do not believe customization is the way to go for this industry because you will have innumerable SKUs. It will be very difficult to profitably scale this offering. I would invest in creating new flavors and more health focused variants of chocolates. In summary, I think we need standardization but can broaden the broaden range to differentiate against competitors.
I really enjoyed reading this article. I believe 3D printing for this industry is a sustainable production method for the following reasons:
1) Overall, this method of production is less capital intensive
2) Allows the company to be more nimble as consumer trends change. In a industry like this consumers have varied tastes and traditional manufacturing companies struggle to produce several SKUs with low volume. 3D printing addresses this solution quite well
3) Also, this type of manufacturing opens a new market for both full time and part time designers. They can now see their designs become products without having to set up their own manufacturing lines or commit to large order sizes from traditional manufacturers.
Despite the above benefits I do think 3D printing is replicable. The key for Gantri will be to create a large and embedded ecosystem of designers. Over time this community will create a brand for the company that will be sustainable. I do not think Gantri should compete on price. Also to further reduce risk, Gantri should create a larger product basket and encourage designers to think of design from a portfolio perspective.