Building off of Starwars’s point, it is surprising to see an industry such as banking so open to outside-in collaboration when privacy and security are crucial to the success of the company. I agree it is a step in the right direction for banks to pursue more open collaboration with startups to stay innovative and solve problems around process improvement, product offerings, etc. However, they need to be aware of cybersecurity issues and other malicious acts by outsiders in an increasingly connected world that becomes more dependent on the internet-based economy each day.
I completely agree with your suggestion that Unilever needs to lean in further to more open innovation with the rise of DTC companies. Proctor & Gamble has actually taken a large step in this direction with their Connect & Develop website. Especially at at time when big CPG companies like P&G and Unilever are facing shrinking margins in their traditional business lines, the need for innovation outside of their normal course of business is crucial.
In response to your first question, I believe the XPS experience can be a step towards redefining the in-store shopping experience as well. As mentioned here (https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevendennis/2018/03/19/physical-retail-is-not-dead-boring-retail-is-understanding-retails-great-bifurcation/), retail isn’t dead. Despite the rise of e-commerce, companies like TNF will need to figure out how to utilize the data they collect on their consumers and overall industry trends to create a superior buying experience. Customers still want the trialability of a technical jacket in-store. I think they should use ML to better understand their customers’ online and retail buying trends to push more consumers into their stores and more properly stock the items they are likely to buy.
To address your second question, Hinge should not be worried. In a dating landscape littered with apps promising you a match, successful matches is the key metric that will differentiate Hinge from its competitors. While increasing successful matches may decrease its user base in the short-term, it will boost customer acquisition in the long-term. Also with greater liquidity of users in the long-term, it will further improve Hinge’s match rate and thus drive a powerful, self-fulfilling cycle.
Love this topic and analysis!
Do you think Nike really is driving a competitive advantage with its capabilities in additive manufacturing? Relative to its competitors, it seems like they are on par with the industry trends. For example, Adidas just recently opened their 74,000 square foot complex in Atlanta and Under Armour built their Lighthouse facility in Baltimore to pursue additive manufacturing techniques and innovate to greatly reduce the lead time on new apparel (https://all3dp.com/3d-printed-shoes/). Overall, I think Nike still carries a competitive advantage in performance and brand, but they can lose their performance edge if they don’t keep up with the trends in 3D printing and alternative additive manufacturing processes. Thus, I agree they need to continue investing in this endeavor but only because that is how they will maintain their image for high quality and performance.
Love this topic and analysis! I fully agree that there is commercial viability for Speedfactories and that competitors like Nike and Under Armour will continue to do the same. Under Armour opened up their innovation center called Lighthouse in Baltimore (https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2016/06/28/under-armour-opens-lighthouse-innovation-center-in-baltimore/) to do a similar thing. They are experimenting with smaller, more reactive lines of apparel. While domestic manufacturing in the United States has been generally more expensive, I believe the long-term trend will yield lower costs in domestic distribution and reduced inventory. More importantly, they will be able to over better customization at a larger scale.