While it may seem strange, the fashion industry is predicted to be one of the next industries disrupted by artificial intelligence. The application Pureple offers many fashion-related services, including suggesting outfits based off of pictures that users submit of the clothes in their closet. Like Tinder, users can swipe left or right on outfits based off of their preferences. One current shortcoming of this application is its current “tedious upkeep” with submitting pictures. Many other platforms like Pureple exist, from Kim Kardashian-West’s Screenshop to Amazon’s Echo Look. Amazon has “developed an algorithm that learns about a particular style of fashion from images, and can then generate new items in similar styles from scratch”, and plans to incorporate this into the Echo Look application. What other future innovations could make this type of application more useful to users? Do you think that this type of application would be successful enough to turn users away from human designers and personal shoppers?
Many companies have attempted to immerse themselves into the healthcare industry in the past, although few have been successful in reducing healthcare costs. Amazon recently announced its healthcare alliance with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, and it is argued that Amazon is the key component of this partnership, due to the company’s foundation of efficient operational procedures, strong customer focus, and technological integration. Chunka Mui’s Here’s How Amazon Could Disrupt Healthcare emphasizes several capabilities that Amazon has brought to the retail industry that will enable the company to disrupt the healthcare industry. Mui makes the interesting point \that if integrated into healthcare, Amazon’s comprehensive customer records, personalized user experience, price choice and transparency, and reliable reviews will lead the company to a future of vast amounts of patient health data to analyze, personalized health pages, cost options, and trustworthy ratings of healthcare providers. However, do you think that this is enough to make Amazon stand out as a player in healthcare? What roadblocks might arise for the future of this healthcare alliance?
Recently emerged from bankruptcy, shoe retailer Payless ShoeSource announced the realignment of its organizational structure a week ago with goals of becoming a more customer-focused company. The company has made the decision to reduce hierarchical levels between its corporate headquarters and retail stores. As a result, Payless is increasing the number of North American associates working closely to the store level, with company goals to develop a team of strong leaders to guide the store teams. This intended result of this effort is to have a flatter organizational structure will enable the company to reach its customers more directly. However, it remains to be seen whether this reorganization will lead Payless in the right direction. While reducing layers in an organization can lead some companies to certain benefits, including an increase in communication between all levels of associates, other companies may struggle to adapt to the new structure. It will certainly be interesting to see the outcome of this restructure, specifically if it keeps the company from going bankrupt again. Do you think Payless customers will feel the effects of this reorganization? What are reasons that this reorganization could cause Payless to fail?