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On November 20, 2016, ladylearned commented on Evaluating New Drugs with Wearable Technology :

I do not own a fitbit but I imagine the data from these wearables are typically used to help improve the health and lives of individuals. I always perceived wearables as trendy overly hyped products (not targeted to the medical field). This post, however identifies very important and potentially impactful uses of the data from these wearables (great job!). I am curious: since the data is being used for clinical trial and drug approval purposes, has anyone considered transitioning these consumer wearables to regulated medical devices? What does regulatory compliance look like for wearable technology?

Spotify is my go to app and as a huge music fan, I have no problem paying for the service. The issue Spotify is facing in my opinion is one of scale. Since publishing royalty costs are a proportion of revenue, they end up paying more royalties as they make more money or grow their subscriber base (even when they are winning, they are losing!) and this is all in addition to the outrageous deals with the music labels to acquire content. Since content costs keep rising, I think Spotify should actually diversify their sources of content so as to not be overly reliant on these music labels. They can explore cheaper content such as podcasts which will help reduce their content costs and set them on the path to being profitable.

On November 20, 2016, ladylearned commented on How is Kroger Fending off the Attack of Grocery Delivery Companies? :

You’re right, Adam! there is definitely an opportunity in grocery delivery. However, I would argue (and agree with the comments above) that this might not be the best move for Kroger. In addition to where Kroger supermarkets are generally situated, I would also bear in mind that their core customer base might be reluctant to pay extra to have their groceries delivered to their homes. I think Kroger should focus more on the in store experience. I love the Smart shelving idea and the Clicklist. These and other time saving initiatives will undoubtedly minimize time spent by the customer in the stores and make Kroger more efficient in their operations.

Thanks for the post, David! I am impressed with the roll out of M-Pesa and its success in Kenya. I honestly think the US mobile payment/ transfer industry can learn a thing or two from this. To Kevin’s point, I agree that Vodafone cannot just take this playbook and implement in other emerging markets – rather they should assess the different nuances on a country by country basis – i.e. infrastructure, existing competition – to determine how best to enter the market.
Vodafone actually rolled out M-Pesa in Ghana (called Vodafone cash) and it has been fairly successful. I am interested in the relationships between the different mobile network providers in these countries. You mentioned that Safaricom benefits from scale and network effect in Kenya and I imagine M-Pesa only works for customers who are subscribed to Vodafone. In Ghana however, Vodafone is the second largest mobile network provided (MTN is the largest with double the subscriber base and also has Mobile money). Do you know if Vodafone is planning to interconnect M-Pesa with other mobile money services from competitors, especially in countries like Ghana where it hasn’t monopolized the market?

On November 20, 2016, ladylearned commented on Robotic surgery: revolution or gimmick? :

Thanks for the post Ahmad! I think figuring out how to add value in other ways this robotic technology is indeed critical for Intuitive Surgical. Seems to me that larger hospitals will appreciate this technology better than smaller hospitals due to the sheer volume of these surgical procedures they perform, potential time savings as well as the perception of being best in class (from a marketing perspective). I am curious as to the cost component of this. Do these robotic surgical procedures cost more for patients? If so, how does Medicare or other insurers go about reimbursing the hospitals for robotic procedures versus normal ones? Does the hospital end up taking the hit for any excess costs or does that trickle down to patients? I imagine this could influence various hospitals’ willingness to adopt this technology.

On November 7, 2016, ladylearned commented on A Melting World: Ben & Jerry’s in the Age of Climate Change :

Great post – thanks Andrea! The effect of climate change in the cultivation of cocoa in Ghana and Ivory Coast is one that interests me a great deal. It’s great to know that Ben & Jerrys has established standards for their supplier farms. Does this apply to Ghana and Ivory Coast? I am curious as to what the exact standards are and how they are ensuring that these are implemented and measured? How closely do they work with these farmers? I imagine it would be a lot more difficult to ensure that certain best practices are being used to mitigate these emerging countries’ exposure to climate change.

On November 7, 2016, ladylearned commented on What, No More Wine? :

Great read Colleen! and no I cannot do without my wine. I have never paid much attention to how climate change affects all aspects of my life so this is definitely an eye opener. Water availability obviously plays a huge part in the operations for DRNK. I am curious though if there are outside players/ partnerships that can play a role in helping DRNK limit it’s exposure to climate change? Do they rely on others for water storage facilities? If they do, how do they manage these relationships to make sure that their “suppliers” are using best practices to minimize and effects of climate change on the water supply?

On November 7, 2016, ladylearned commented on The Mouse Versus Mother Nature :

I am quite impressed by what Disney has and continues to do to reduce it’s carbon footprint. Most companies seem to struggle with this tradeoff between profitability and sustainability and Disney is no exception as you brilliantly point out in your monorail expansion versus parking revenue example.
The idea about using their characters to educate children about energy sustainability is great. I want to take that a step further and focus on merchandise. I know as a kid, I would always guilt my parents into buying me merchandise from the gift shop. I think there is an opportunity to improve here – by using sustainable material for their shirts, stuffed animals and other toys. I am curious as to how big of an effect this will have on operations? (assuming it’s not already being done)

On November 7, 2016, ladylearned commented on H&M: Environmental Steward or Greenwashing Marketer? :

I love H&M and shop there all the time so I definitely appreciate your outline and lay out of the big picture regarding sustainability (great read!). I must say I never had the opportunity to participate in the Garment Collecting Program so I agree with some comments above that H&M would greatly benefit from continuously and aggressively educating their customers on their sustainability initiatives.
In addition, I do see parallels between H&M and IKEA in terms of the tradeoff or tension between increased sustainability and expansion. I am curious about how they manage the relationships across the supply chain. With IKEA’s constant evaluation of suppliers in mind, I wonder if H&M operates the same way when it comes to the supplier factories and focus on water management? How often do they evaluate their suppliers and on what metrics?

Thanks Alonso! This is actually quite fascinating! It’s great to see that CEMEX is actually doing something to reduce it’s contribution to climate change but kind of disappointing that their targets are not regularly updated to facilitate even more reductions in emissions. The ideas on alternative material such as cemfree and the self healing concrete are so cool – to think that repairs to cement structures can happen without any human intervention blows my mind!
Having done further research, I learned that CEMEX was selected by the US Department of Energy in 2009 to develop carbon capture and sequestration technology to aid in the reduction of CO2 emissions. I haven’t seen much publicity around this, especially since it is such a big deal. What do you think the tradeoffs are between this program and the ideas listed in your post? Why invest in cemfree or self healing concrete if these things could potentially cannibalize their primary cement business?