While reading this I found myself thinking, “Of course Japan is printing jeans! Using a weird full-body suit to boot!”
Having a brick-and-mortar store for consumers to give direct feedback and actually test out material seems like a good idea. I don’t think returning clothing is a common policy in Japan, so having the ability to try on ZOZO clothes in a physical space is very helpful. I also like the prospect of leveraging this technology to help the aging population…it could have CSR benefits, while being lucrative for them as well.
One aspect of this I’d be interested in exploring would be beyond “normal” fashion. It doesn’t seem like ZOZO’s target demographic at all, but would more complicated designs like couture/high fashion or cosplay benefit from this? Right now those two areas of fashion design are highly labor-intensive and are essentially tailor-fit to individual users. Something like a ZOZOsuit that could actually capture a body’s specifications in one go could drastically reduce the amount of labor that goes into those products. Though that doesn’t at all seem to match the artisanal value proposition of couture, it could be an interesting application!
This was fascinating to me for two reasons:
1. I really struggle in keeping up with news and have tried a bunch of different things this year (ex. TheSkimm, NYTimes app, etc) but nothing has really “stuck.”
2. I’m interested in the future of content creation, news, and journalism in general, particularly since only 16% of US readers are willing to pay for news. (http://www.niemanlab.org/2018/11/so-some-people-will-pay-for-a-subscription-to-a-news-site-how-about-two-three/)
Rather than answering your questions I find myself pondering two of my own:
1. How well-written are the articles being produced by the reporter bot? Is it actually indistinguishable from a human writer, or is it clear that it’s being written by AI? In the English language today I don’t think I’ve seen a comparable product (or at least nothing beyond straight-up retweeting/paraphrasing from other news engines), but having robot “reporters” that can mimic the writing of real humans is very compelling. (And would make for a good sci-fi story…)
2. I like the idea of them potentially partnering with thought-leader content creators, but that would mean essentially poaching them from whatever publications they currently write for (unless they’re self-employed). If they end up writing for Toutiao, I wonder if that would compromise their integrity in any way?
Overall, I think it would be difficult to replicate this business outside of China given how different and complicated journalism is in every country. But I am curious to see what Toutiao does next!
Interesting read, and I like the questions you posed. Here’s my stab at them:
(1) I think realistically a larger company doesn’t have much flexibility to spend on customization – their R&D would probably be best served coming up with prestige products (like this magic wand!) that can appeal to a broad swathe of customers. Niche products, especially if they are customized to the individual, could be difficult to scale and distribute. Customization could be an interesting marketing tactic. I can imagine some kind of campaign around the holiday period, where they can order unique gifts or makeup kits that have some 3d printed element (or maybe do a traveling city tour, or have some kind of experiential pop-up studio – lots of options!)…but I don’t really see this being a core part of the business in the long run.
(2) I expect their development cycle to speed up, but since Chanel is a prestige brand, I don’t think it will be very fast either. I’d probably expect a 3-4 year cycle, which to me seems reasonable so that they build up an appetite in their customer base for something new.
This was a fascinating read, and well-organized! I thought the recommendations were clear and actionable, although they also indicated one of the key issues with machine learning algorithms: once we have all this data, how do we create actions that utilize what we’ve learned from it? It seems like some of these challenges can be resolved with something like a Marketing campaign – utilizing more popular social media channels, and also having a “product writer” simplify and standardize the messaging so that it is more accessible to the average internet user. A focused effort sustained over a few months in this regard might reap significant dividends. Because a lot of Rosie’s barriers to effectiveness are being hindered by the politicians it is criticizing, the project might continue to be stymied unless there is a lot of pressure on these politicians to enact change.
This article had me thinking about whether such an application might work in other countries, like the Philippines, where corruption is also the cause of much strife and debate in politics today. I’m impressed with how Brazil was able to leverage its talented community of developers to tackle critical social issues, but I do wonder about the risk those 10 dedicated volunteers are taking on with this project.
I had no idea Square was doing this! I still think of them primarily as the payment transaction tool…I should have been paying more attention. (It’s because every hipster cafe in San Francisco uses the square app! ) Their expansion into small business lending appears to be perfectly strategic for their business. I particularly like how responsive their algorithms are when it comes to real-time information about risk. I believe this could lead to meaningful market expansion for them as they move into foreign countries that need this kind of lending for small businesses, but have a high incidence of natural disasters.
I do see the flow of data and lack of regulation as a challenge, especially as data privacy becomes an increasing concern – I’m thinking of GDPR, and similar policies that may be enacted elsewhere in the world. As a big player in this space I think Square has a responsibility to help shape future policies, and should take a proactive stance, even when dealing with other companies.
This was a thought-provoking read and highlighted some of the challenges HR teams face today. It reminded me of taking pulse surveys at my previous company, and being shown the results – although as sashafierce mentioned, one of the key issues is that even when such sentiments are aggregrated, creating action items and actually implementing any changes seems to be a missing step for many organizations. I see the value of what Kanjoya is doing mostly from a time-saving perspective. I wonder if some of their analysis could include things like benchmarks and sample action plans from comparable companies.
In response to the challenge on organization-specific vernacular, I think this is a case where implementation could vary on a per-company basis. Ie: if I was in People Ops at Salesforce I might work with an account manager to ensure that “Ohana” was being appropriately captured by the system; if I was at Google, “Googly” might be an area of focus for me. The initial output might be something as rudimentary as a word cloud for my org, but over time I’d expected those special terms to become more embedded into the system and thus more meaningful. It probably wouldn’t make sense to introduce it into Kanjoya’s ecosystem as a whole, but I imagine there’s a way to keep the central database separate while having meaningful personalization for larger clients.