Great article. I like how you tie the 3D printing aspect to Nike’s Double Triple strategy. That said, while I appreciate the first two pillars (Innovation and Speed), I do not agree that Nike’s current approach to 3D printing will solve the last pillar (Direct-to-consumer) for 2 reasons:
Firstly, the company heavily relies on famous athletes to drive the design of these 3D printed shoes. This is supported by Tom Clarke (President of Nike Innovation)’s quote: “At Nike we innovate for the world’s best athletes” . For the average customers, there is little evidence to support that Nike is developing infrastructures to let these average customers participate in designing their own shoes. By contrast, one of Nike’s biggest competitors, Adidas, is already considering putting treadmills in their retail stores to collect biometric data and help their customers instantly get a 3D printed running shoes .
Secondly, despite the fact that 95% customers want to try the product, the product’s high price tag ($700 compared to Adidas’s $300 3D printed shoes) can alienate a lot of them. If the pricing strategy is not executed well, Nike runs the risk of their 3D printing getting lumped in with their self-lacing Hyperadapt which drew ire from the public from the high price tag .
 Alec Banks, “Who Is Winning the 3D Printing Battle in Footwear and Why?” Highsnobiety, December 16, 2016
https://www.highsnobiety.com/2016/12/15/3d-printed-shoes-nike-adidas/, accessed November 15, 2018
 Adidas Group, “Adidas Breaks the Mould with 3D-printed Performance Footwear,” October 07, 2015
https://www.adidas-group.com/en/media/news-archive/press-releases/2015/adidas-breaks-mould-3d-printed-performance-footwear/, accessed November 15, 2018
 Daniel Pearson, “Nike’s Self-lacing Hyperadapt 1.0 Is Releasing Next Month & Will Cost $720,” November 14, 2016,
https://www.highsnobiety.com/2016/11/14/nike-hyperadapt-1-0-price-release-date/, accessed November 15, 2018
Great article. I agree with you that R&D investment is critical to AM companies. If you look at R&D spending of Proto Labs: it was $9.1 million in 2012, and $8.4 million in the first three quarters of 2013 alone . However, without scaling, there are two additional options Proto Labs can consider to reduce the financial pressure from R&D investment:
First, request the R&D Tax Credit: Enacted in 1981, the Federal R&D Tax Credit allows a credit of up to 13 percent of eligible spending for improved products and processes. Companies willing to take part in the imminent 3D printing revolution are eligible for these tax credits .
Second, concentrate on serving a few select larger companies only (e.g. industrial companies). This will reduce the costs associated with variabilities of orders, such as change-over and customization cost, and enable Proto Labs to earn a higher margin. One drawback of this option, however, is the risk of over-relying on certain clients due to lack of diversification.
 Gary Savell, Andressa Bonafe, and Charles Goulding, “The R&D Tax Credits and the U.S. 3D Printing Initiative,” R&D Tax Savers, 2013,
http://www.rdtaxsavers.com/articles/US-3D-Printing-Initiative, accessed November 18, 2018
Great article. Your essay clearly presents the benefits that additive printing brings to Luxottixa. While your concern about glass lens losing to contact lens is reasonable, the overall cost of purchase and maintenance still makes contact lens a more expensive investment [*]. If Luxottixa can quickly improve the speed and the scope of 3D printing in their production, Luxotixxa can benefit from a lower cost structure (e.g. either through less material waste or less working capital requirements). This savings would then allow Luottixa to charge their customers a lower price and help sustain the edge of glass lens over contact lens.
*TechNavio Report, ”Global Contact Lens Market 2018-2022,” BusinessWire, May 15, 2018,
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180515006264/en/Global-Contact-Lens-Market-2018-2022—Key, accessed November 18, 2018
Great article. I like your presentation of the different steps in Betabrand’s open innovation process. However, one major concern I have is the ownership of the design ideas. Currently, Betabrand collects designers’ ideas from its website and gives designers 10% of sales of the product for a year if the product ends up being displayed on the company’s website. In short, Betabrand buys the idea after it has been submitted and developed. The paradox here is that the value of an idea cannot be assessed until it is revealed, but ideas on their own cannot be patented (the Arrow paradox) [*]. This paradox can prevent talented designers from participating for fear of having their ideas copied unfairly. As a consequence, the quality of design submissions to Betabrand would suffer, because open innovation generally works best with a healthy number of contributors. To overcome this challenge, it is critical that Betabrand continue to build on its reputation for fair dealings with designers.
*Andrew King and Karim Lakhani, “Using Open Innovation to Identify the Best Ideas,” MIT Sloan Management Review, September 11, 2013,
https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/using-open-innovation-to-identify-the-best-ideas/, accessed November 18, 2018
Great article. I like how you choose tackle the conflict between internal and external parties in implementing open innovation. However, I do not think that having weekly and monthly meetings is a comprehensive solution to managing open innovation. To improve the situation at Loreal, you may want to consider the following ideas:
1. Formalize and standardize a process for idea submission, e.g. create a dedicated idea submission portal for both the 2 parties to access. This will bring 2 benefits: (1) improve transparency between the 2 parties in terms of when ideas are formed and where they come from; (2) discourage participants from submitting confidential information through uncontrolled communications vehicles, such as emails or public posts on the company’s website/blogs.[*]
2. Develop stage gates for each idea (from idea formulation to implementation). Loreal should have a dedicated committee comprising of both internal and external parties to review and approve of these ideas before they can proceed to the later stages. This will help the two parties stay on the same page, get real-time update, and foster early involvement from the internal employees.
*Peter von Dyck, “Overcoming the Challenges to Successful Open Innovation,” March 3, 2015,
http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2015/03/03/overcoming-the-challenges-to-successful-open-innovation/, accessed November 18, 2018
Great article. I agree that 3D printing presents major opportunities for Chanel and brings several benefits to customers. However, 3D printing also poses certain risks to Chanel.
My first concern is IP infringement. If Chanel offers design specifications that will be printed by customers at home as you suggested, Chanel will inevitably run the risk of unlawful reproduction of their products. Based on the specifications, counterfeit goods can be produced with precision and look exactly like the real thing . Without a proper mechanism to protect IP, Chanel will fail to fully monetize on this new technology and risk losing their revenues.
My second concern is how haute couture customers would react to this trend. While certain customers would appreciate the speed and convenience of this method, I disagree that the majority of customers will prefer 3D printed clothes to traditional handicraft and highly doubt if it would change the in-store experience as you mentioned. In fact, there is a certain level of exclusive luxury associated with waiting, as evidenced by the long waiting list of the Hermes Birkin Bag . Making customers wait can make them crave the product even more. To sustain this exclusivity and avoid the risk of making their products too accessible, Chanel may choose to limit the scope of 3D printing in its haute couture collections.
 Taylor Wessing, “Unauthorized 3D Printing – What Use Are Intellectual Property Rights,” February 3, 2017,
https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=9e6cd770-f522-49fa-8d57-fa634268358b, accessed November 18, 2018
 Lauren Sherman, “How the Legendary Birkin Bag Remains Dominant,” June 10, 2015,
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-10/how-the-legendary-birkin-bag-remains-dominant, access November 18, 2018