Ray Loa

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On December 1, 2017, Ray Loa commented on Arctic shipping: A new way to capitalize on climate change? :

Fantastic article with great analysis! I agree with the analysis that given rising temperature and melted ices, the arctic shipping will be more and more viable in the future. However, it poses great concern to me that the arctic shipping activities will push for the climate change even more aggressively, creating an viscous cycle effect. To be specific, in light of the fluid mechanics, the flowing water is less likely to be frozen, meaning the shipping routes will only be broaden when the traffic increases, less ice area on the sea will lead to less sunlight reflection and more heat absorption, driving the earth even warmer, thus creates a vicious cycle. Given above foreseeable result, governments shall actively restrict arctic shipping or charge high fee on the travel, using charged fee for environmental protection so to balance the environmental impacts.

On December 1, 2017, Ray Loa commented on Blue Bottle Coffee: Riding the “Third Wave” :

Thank you for the great article – It is indeed a intriguing question to think of whether (1) Blue Bottle can share the “best practice” of supporting sustainability and free-trade to Nestle, influencing the entire collection of coffee products (e.g. Nespresso, Nestle Gold Blend Coffee, etc.) (2) Nestle’s global coffee supply chain will eventually internalize Blue Bottle to adopt large-volume coffee beans. My thought is lining towards the former one, as coffee consumers become more sophisticated (educated by competitors like Starbucks) about the source of coffee beans, it will be unavoidable for Nestle to adopt at least the same standard especially for its high-end (Nespresso) and retail (Blue Bottle) products. However, the blended coffee like Gold Blend sold through mass channel such as super market, will likely to adopt to stricter sourcing standard later. I am looking forward to enjoying more sustainable and responsible coffee in the near time horizon, cheers!

Great read – but sad to see that the best Nemak can do is to divest its presence both in terms of applications (traditional car vs. EV) and geography (US vs. Others), I do feel the struggle as business leader when political environment changes…This brings me to the question that is it fair for business leader to pursue their “best-bet” on future business leaders through sponsoring, so to possess a favorable political environment to their business. Think of it deeper, isn’t it a “distorted democracy” when elected political leaders are actually driven by their sponsors rather than the public? And one level deeper, isn’t it why the recent favored political leaders emphasized on “no strings attached” to large businesses, such as US President Mr.Trump and our Taipei Major Dr. Ko. Whether Nemak shall do as next step is entirely based on the shoes we wear – the company or the public, and the tangled issues between politics and business require our collective wisdom to resolve.

On December 1, 2017, Ray Loa commented on DIGITALIZATION RADICALLY CHANGES THE MUSIC INDUSTRY :

Fantastic article from a savvy music X technology expert! My first thought on the SM’s effort is in line with your question – how do they recapture the top line? I.e. Is it possible to charge more with higher quality music? or the market will unavoidably be cut into two segments, with much larger portion of customers on the low-quality side? My take on this is that SM shall leverage “exclusiveness” to create high-end market, charging higher fee while providing significantly different experiences to customers. Firstly, current POP music doesn’t have significance difference in qualities both on the music software and hardware, that is also why when you buy cheap earphone, the vendor will say “it’s good for POP music”, and more sophisticated hardware is only sold for classical music. So the first step is to create POP music that the listening experiences differ significantly for high-end and low-end. Secondly, to educate the customers on quality difference, exclusive contract to launch album with high-end hardware and leverages social network to spread the good words is great strategy. Third, SM can also think of innovative way such as “freemium” model for high-quality music. For example, customer pays 0.99 to download high-quality music trial, after 2 weeks, the music will become low-quality unless paying 0.99 more. It’s exciting to see the music industry evolution real-time.

On December 1, 2017, Ray Loa commented on Protectionism Threatens to Cripple US Solar: Spotlight on Sunrun :

Thank you Sumit for the great article! I do stand with you for opposing the tariff which increased frictions and posed threats to the downstream players and the adoption of solar energy. Back in 2012-2013, when I worked in Berlin for a solar consulting firm, there was a “serial bankruptcies” including 20+ solar module manufacturers in Germany simply because they cannot compete in price with the Chinese solar module manufacturers – and I think the US government imposed the “double tariff” on Chinese solar modules after witnessing what happened in Germany. But if we look at what happened in Germany next – was that the industry was forced to transform to be more downstream focused – in project development and operation and maintenance. This is exactly where I see the future of solar industry should go – a centralized upstream and localized downstream market landscape – thus while this article is mainly concerning about Sunrun, I’d say the upstream players (such as First Solar) are facing even bigger threats, and all US players shall strategize on how to be better suited in the centralized upstream and localized downstream future.

On December 1, 2017, Ray Loa commented on BP: Blockchain Petroleum? :

Thank you Andrew! I do see block chain will be the future of transaction platform with its efficiency and cost competitiveness. Regarding your question on whether the first mover will gain advantage and/or have a sustainable competitiveness, I would say it’s again a competition of platform/ecosystem as we’ve seen for Apple vs Android or WiFi vs WiMax – which ever alliance establishes the industry norm will win. It will require not only to build a reliable platform function, but more importantly (as you pointed out), how to maximize ecosystem participants while insuring the legal compliance. Some examples would be to have 0 transaction fee for platform members, or to have higher flexibility (e.g. open-source community concept) to invite give controlling power to members as well. With ensuring alliance growth as the first priority, BP itself can benefit from shifting suitable transactions to the platform earlier. Excited to see the future to come!