Thinking Out Loud
This is a very cool article about the capabilities that Adidas is building. I think bespoke and customized shoes have great market potential given how quickly the initial prototypes sold out. Personally I really like the design of the new shoes and I believe that additive manufacturing is a great enabler for Adidas to quickly roll out new designs and prototypes. The thing I worry about is how Adidas will keep its competitive advantage. Other companies, especially Nike are also working on the 3D printed shoes and it will be difficult for Adidas to stand out unless it launches first.
It is interesting to see how a large, established company like Rolls Royce grapple with the technology of additive manufacturing (AM). I think this article shows that it is hard for large companies to change, especially given that Rolls Royce’s cash cow is their legacy product line. You raise a good point that Rolls should use AM more in their core business, but I do realize that changing technologies require a ton of cost and complexity. I think Rolls Royce needs to send its engineers out to conferences and universities to interact with new technologies and ideas as a way to get out of the Rolls bubble. Changing a culture can be quite difficult but can be done with the right incentives.
This is an extremely thought provoking article! Fake news is a big threat to society today as it very quickly and effectively sows discord among people over the internet. The work that Factmata is doing will be critical to rebuild the public’s trust with the content that they are consuming. The danger in the work that Factmata is doing however, is that their algorithm needs to be careful that it is free of any kind of bias. I agree with your suggestion that the algorithm itself needs to be validated by either a public body or established organization to ensure that it doesn’t limit free speech. The line between fake news and opinion can sometimes be blurred and how we determine that line is a critical question society needs to answer.
I had never heard of Natura before reading this piece. Natura seems to be using crowd sourcing well to drive sales growth, as evidenced by the 463% growth that they saw in the prior decade. It seems like open innovation allowed Natura to continuously innovate while also driving speed to market. I think crowd sourcing can be very powerful in the beauty industry given how fad/trend driven the industry is. Open innovation can enable Natura be quicker to market because typically big CPG companies have to spend a lot of time doing consumer research before launching a product. This process allows the ideas to come to them from the consumers.
The downside of crowd sourcing is that any of Natura’s competitors can also use it. Natura needs to use its brand and its platform to engage its consumer base. Long term, I think Natura could even use its platform to sell its current products online or Beta test new products.
Open innovation does not work for an industry where content needs to be distinct and even polarizing to some extent. Script development if crowd sourced would be more homogenous and less provocative given that good ideas need to have a very unique point of view. While Amazon tried this innovative strategy, I think they were right to scrap the program. Too many resources would be wasted trying to determine the quality of the various scripts being submitted and I don’t think there is a way to automate this process. I believe open source innovation can be useful in places where high volume of input provides more value.
I think that digital educational platforms in India are an interesting concept. However, I believe that that given the price sensitivity of the Indian consumer and the prevalence of the traditional teaching model (students being taught by a teacher in a classroom), that having only a digital platform will be difficult to monetize. While Toppr’s platform is innovative and it is using machine learning to continuously improve its product, I think it will have a difficult time convincing people to pay for its product. I believe that for Toppr to maximize its value, it needs to partner with physical coaching centers with trained professionals. The combination of a teacher and the platform will, in my opinion, drive more students to trust its product. Once a critical mass of students is built, Toppr can further scale its digital platform.