April 23, 2019

News ⚡ — Tuesday, April 23

1. 🕺🏾 Prince’s memoir will release this year, published by Random House

The 288-page book titled The Beautiful Ones includes never-before-seen materials as well as 50 pages handwritten by Prince. The book is available for pre-order now.

2. 🌎 The Washington Post Magazine highlights climate catastrophe 24 different ways

While only one cover will run, each of the 24 examples is inspired by previous stories in the Washington Post.

3. 🌱 Beyond Meats, the meat alternative company, says it may never be profitable

The announcement is ahead of its upcoming move to go public. The majority of losses are due to production costs. An (innovative) green future, unfortunately, isn’t exactly cheap.

4. 🌈 Miu Miu creates a cool customizable stool

The stool is reminiscent of a game of Chinese checkers.

5. 🥊 Podcast platform (and challenger) Luminary is launching without some key podcasts

They’re launching without some of Gimlet’s heavy-hitters such as Reply All (Gimlet of course is owned by Spotify). This is the first big battle in the podcast world between Spotify and whoever wants to step up.

6. ✈️ Daniel Arsham teases an upcoming Rimowa collaboration

Arshan’s fascination with time makes him an interesting partner for the timeless luxury luggage company. Check out our recent interview with the man himself.

7. 🍞 Kith Treats announces a partnership with Cinnamon Toast Crunch

In all fairness, Kith Treats is giving grown-up sneakerheads something else to be nostalgic about.

8. 👀 Eater dissects the food world’s push away from describing food as “crack”

It’s the intersection of food addiction, the war on drugs, and the power of voices in food.

9. 🚀 NIGO teases a Star Wars and UNIQLO collabo

Fresh off making a boatload of cash through his recent Sotheby’s auction, the A Bathing Ape founder presents a short video teaser.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

Update Log
v6 (current): Highlighted the titles as <h2> headers. Not sure we like it…
v5: Changed the order of the update entries (recent to oldest). A photo now accompanies the News ⚡ as prior there were issues with not having an image preview on social media.
v4: Went from 5 links to somewhere under 10.
v3: changed the URL slug from the emoji to flash.
v2: added a short one-liner to add a bit more context.
v1: numbered list, with emojis and a headline. Decided on five links for brevity and focus.

April 23, 2019

No Diploma is about finding your path with or without that piece of paper

No Diploma is a Canadian brand looking to contest and re-write the mainstream narrative around the expectations of the diploma, whether you have it or not. It’s a celebration of the outliers and those setting off on their own journey in accordance with a different set of rules they write. We spoke to Ben of No Diploma for his modern thoughts on what it means to choose your own path.

1. What is No Diploma? Why does it need to exist?

No Diploma serves as a community & education platform. From the dropouts, unemployed graduates, self-employed entrepreneurs, to those with several degrees but use none of them in their field, we are here to spark a conversation: Is a Diploma necessary in this day and age? How can we improve the teaching and learning experience? What are some alternative sources of education?

Our clothing line is a way to support this movement, we create clothes and school supplies that tell stories. Our inspiration hails from university apparel but repurposed for students who follow the new curriculum.

Our existence stems from the understanding that other forms of knowledge can be acquired outside of a school setting. Not everyone will find their purpose in life from school, yet No Diploma is not opposing the educational system, but rather taking a critical look while providing an alternative attitude to the mainstream conception that an individual is defined and limited to their diploma. The brand needs to exist because it gives people a sense of belonging, a community where people can learn from each other and provide resources to support ongoing education & personal growth.

2. What’s the intersection of community and education?

I feel like community is what allows education to become a stronger force. Connecting with like-minded individuals who share a close set of values only enriches the experience of education. This virtuous cycle is what No Diploma aims to create, an unspoken means of support with the responsibility to share knowledge and information to better oneself.

 

3. Do you think friendships introduced during your educational years are necessarily real friendships? Or friendships out of convenience?

Friendships during educational years are and sometimes aren’t real friendships. However, real friendships can be built everywhere. In a school setting, you might meet your best friends or meet people who will only use you for your help on school-related work, but that’s just like any real-world situation. Just have to find the real ones who you resonate with and build from there.

4. What is the most important thing you’ve learned in the last year?

To trust my own voice.

Building myself for that last 4-5 years through life experiences allowed me to grow in ways that I can finally start trusting myself. Once you can listen to your own voice, your life will become much more fulfilling, because you are doing it for yourself and not for anybody else. All the pressure is gone, because you don’t need to meet any more expectations, you’re not allowing others to dictate your path or make decisions for you.

5. What’s the thread that connects all the people you’ve chosen to feature in the lookbook?

The people who believe in the ethos of the brand, we’ve built a web-based classroom in the last year which allowed us to connect with an audience of people who shared some amazing stories and love for the brand. We wanted to give that love back to the community by having them be part of our project, so we decided to do an open casting call and invited a group of 20 Classmates to be featured in our lookbook who had a story to share about their experience in school whether they were positive or negative. Each of their stories serves to unveil the conversation people have regarding the educational system and even sometimes the conversations created by wearing No Diploma. We want to continue to create these projects and experiences in the hopes to empower and inspire more people.

April 22, 2019

News ⚡ — Monday, April 22

1. 🐰 IKEA is selling flat-pack chocolate bunnies this Easter.
The item dubbed the “VÅRKÄNSLA” is a play on the Swedish word “vårkänslor,” which means “spring fever.”

2. 🚀 Nike and Tom Sachs release this wild “exploding” NIKECraft Poncho.
The concept started in 2015 as a design challenge between Sachs and Nike’s Jarrett Reynolds.

3. 📖 Books and print are the future of luxury.
Luxury is going through a fundamental shift with changing definitions. Some argue it’s no longer about absolute costs but how “extraneous” (read: unnecessary) items are.

4. 🥦 Increased levels of CO2 will alter the nutritional content of our vegetables.
The populations most at risk are those in poorer countries where every nutrient matters.

5. 🙏 Kanye West and Yeezy release the “Sunday Service” capsule at Coachella. Yeezy cashes in on the popularity of his highly-publicized movement and performances.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

Update Log
v5 (current): Changed the order of the update entries (recent to oldest). A photo now accompanies the News ⚡ as prior there were issues with not having an image preview on social media.
v4: Went from 5 links to somewhere under 10.
v3: changed the URL slug from the emoji to flash.
v2: added a short one-liner to add a bit more context.
v1: numbered list, with emojis and a headline. Decided on five links for brevity and focus.

April 19, 2019

News ⚡ — Friday, April 19

1. 🤳 Instagram is considering releasing an update that won’t display the number of likes.
Quantifiable engagement has long been considered a reason for social media’s effects on culture and society.

2. ✋ Leica Global is trying to explain the world its controversial ad around Tiananmen Square’s “Tank Man” photograph.
It’s alleged that Leica’s Brazilian agency produced the piece without the approval of Leica Global, leading to a China-wide ban on any searches related to Leica. The original upload has now been removed from Youtube.

3. 😑 Samsung’s USD 2000 foldable phone failed in the hands of influential tech reviewers.
Many shared footage of fluttering screens after only two days of light use. Samsung suggests that a film covering the screen was removed by many reviewers, something miscommunicated by the tech company.

4. ♻️ Everlane is entering the footwear game.
The brand is aiming to ring a greater degree of sustainability to the world of footwear with USD 98 offering, the Trainer.

5. 💸 In China, you can pay to have your voice dubbed over somebody else’s vide of conspicuous consumption and experience.
For less than USD 1, you can have your voice meant to mimic a first-person point-of-view of you in a helicopter, holding a stack of bills, or next to a supercar.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

Update Log
v5 (current): Changed the order of the update entries (recent to oldest). A photo now accompanies the News ⚡ as prior there were issues with not having an image preview on social media.
v4: Went from 5 links to somewhere under 10.
v3: changed the URL slug from the emoji to flash.
v2: added a short one-liner to add a bit more context.
v1: numbered list, with emojis and a headline. Decided on five links for brevity and focus.

April 19, 2019

BYBORRE & GORE-TEX launch The Hybrid Edition™ collection

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BYBORRE and GORE-TEX can both be seen as pioneers in their respective fields. BYBORRE has continued to push the boundaries of knitwear each season while GORE-TEX remains a cornerstone in the world of technical, breathable fabrics.

Who is The Hybrid Edition™ for?

The line aims to solve the modern-day challenges of the city dweller. BYBORRE’s focus on comfort, protection, and aesthetics combine with the breathability of GORE-TEX for a collection ready for anything the elements may throw at you.

Key details this season

  • Breathability through unique constructions. BYBORRE reduced the number of closed seams for a series of flowing panels
  • GORE-TEX Hybrids using GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ introduces functional laminate finishes (from GORE-TEX) with BYBORRE’s boundary-bending knits.
  • Graphic 8-Bit is an architecturally-inspired knit featuring strong graphic lines, colors, and contrast.

The collection is available now on BYBORRE’s online store as well as through select retailers.

Also, check our partnered series with BYBORRE and GORE-TEX last year titled “The Meaning of Hybrid.”

April 19, 2019

adidas' FUTURECRAFT.LOOP is a big step in sustainable footwear

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adidas’ FUTURECRAFT.LOOP is a further commitment to innovation and environmental sustainability in the footwear space. The efforts build off of an initial project with Parley for the Oceans which used reclaimed and recycled plastic taken from the ocean.

 

What is the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP?

  • It’s a 100% recyclable performance running shoe
  • At the end of its life cycle, it can be sent back to adidas and fully recycled
  • The release is adidas’ largest global beta program with a full launch set for Spring/Summer 2021

Digging deep into the technology

Unlike traditional footwear, the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP uses a singular material without the use of glue. Each component is made with 100% reusable TPU. After the shoe is returned to adidas, it is washed and grounded into pellets. These pellets can be melted and reused into a new pair of shoes, thus closing the loop.

Plastic in our lives is a big problem

Plastic has a massive if not at times invisible problem. It’s contributed to the deaths of marine animals, found its way into our water supply, and to now infiltrating the air. On the flipside, we’ve seen an increase in initiatives that aim to tackle the problem. Technology combined with changes on a societal level with bag bans could effectively mitigate and control the problem of plastic in the developed world.

Why this is important to the overall sneaker and fashion landscape

adidas has many key distribution points in its arsenal to help push and promote the idea of circular products. As the second largest sportswear company with a strong hand in street culture and entertainment projects like Parleys and FUTURECRAFT.LOOP can latch onto these messaging opportunities. Interestingly enough, you could say that adidas has overlooked huge opportunities to apply this technology selectively into some of its lifestyle offerings such as the Yeezy Boost. In our eyes, adidas would continue to apply the recycled plastic/circular concept to hero releases that can justify higher price points.

April 18, 2019

Maslow's pyramid of needs never originated from Maslow's work

Maslow pyramid of needs management colnsultants
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Maslow’s (in)famous pyramid of needs is often a focal point for many cultures managers as they think about their workforce and their needs. The psychologist did indeed think through the hierarchy of needs, but he was not responsible for organizing it in those colorful triangles you may have seen before. In fact, a management consultant came up with the design. The twist? It was based on a deep misinterpretation of Maslow’s thoughts and work.

What is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs was a theory in psychology conceived in 1943 that featured a multi-step pyramid. It was part of his paper, “A Theory of Human Motivation.”  The pyramid was meant to showcase that for one to “level-up,” they would need to achieve certain goals in their current level to maintain motivation, and ultimately arrive at “self-actualization.”

A brief history of Maslow’s life

Maslow’s life is a bit of an Odyssey in itself. Born to immigrant parents, he grew up in a traditional Jewish household in Brooklyn, NY, and was often bullied. The hatred he encountered led him to psychology as he looked to better understand the source of these feelings. The psychologist had a prodigious mind which helped him attend numerous universities and develop his theories over time. His work primarily focused on human improvement using a new base as opposed to standard Freudian frameworks which were the norm at the time. Prior to his death, he argued that self-actualization (the highest strata of the pyramid) was (wrongly) biological, leaving out certain individuals and communities by design. Ultimately, his work stood the test of time largely because of management’s infatuation with the said framework.

Why it matters

We’ve discussed management techniques in the past, but Maslow’s work truly shaped today’s understanding of work. Charles McDermid, a psychologist at a Wisconsin-based consulting firm, originally created the pyramid based on his misunderstandings. However, this altered the work forever and sent ripple effects we still feel today. Indeed, the pyramid embodies post-war ideologies, especially around individualism, nationalism and capitalism. Purely through its shape, it falsely concludes that we must fulfil each step to move upwards. Likewise, not everyone can reach the apex in this context, creating a highly centralized power structure. This ultimately justifies pay gaps, certain treatment of individuals and mismanagement practices. However, we know from studies (and life itself) that things don’t work that way. People can be self-actualizing at any given point, without having to wait to be at the top of the pyramid. Maslow did little to critique this over time, instead living off-of the misinterpretation.

In the cultural context, Maslow’s hierarchy is also incorrect

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is presented from a “Western perspective.” In Asian and more collectivist societies, they share different motivations that are more community-focused. A redesigned Asian pyramid ultimately ties in with the idea of “face” as a sociological concept. Face entails behaviors and customs that are tied to morality, honor, and authority. To level up to is to increase the amount of “face” you possess.

Tying it back to work and a flat pyramid society

If anything, we are seeing reversing trends across workplaces. Whilst there are still many environments and cultures that are top-heavy, more places are changing, empowering employees at all levels to take more initiatives. As the pyramid flattens out, so too do the ideas associated with the antiquated framework. Younger employees inevitably challenge organizations to improve and offer more than just a paycheck, especially in an environment of constant fear of layoffs. Rather than box people into a simple framework, companies tackle problems holistically instead. This leads to greater job satisfaction, productivity, and dare we say it, self-actualisation.

April 18, 2019

Acer ConceptD is a new line of laptops, desktops, and monitors dedicated to creators

Acer launches a new line of creator-focused products ranging from laptops and desktop towers to monitors and VR headsets. However, the brand enters a crowded marketplace.

Can Windows-based brands steal market share from Apple?

On the phone front, Apple has continued to hit growth challenges as many brands have emerged touting more affordable pricing and advancements in camera technology.

High-level creative work still requires a laptop with ample amounts of screen space and power. The phone can only get creators so far. Acer ConceptD’s creator-focused line is well-suited for an increasingly important industry.

Marketing uncertainty and product differentiation

It’s still very early to understand and see the actual capabilities of the whole ConceptD line. There’s a lack of overall product differentiation. Rather than simplify the process with product customization, there are two models per each category over laptops, desktop towers, and monitors without a clear and definitive use case.

What will define ConceptD’s success?

There hasn’t been a clearcut “Windows-equivalent” for creators. It’s instead been an all-out battle amongst the Dell XPS series, Huawei’s new MateBook Pro X, Microsoft’s Surface, HP’s Spectre line and more. Acer’s ConceptD will have a challenge up against these established players, but most importantly, a clear value proposition would go a long way, something that’s currently unclear.

April 18, 2019

Coworking spaces have positively shaped our professional identities

The Harvard Business Review conducted research with WeWork to find how coworking spaces have positive impacts on the workers that use them.

Coworking spaces then and now

Over 14,000 coworking spaces have opened worldwide since the first one appeared in 2005. They provided an environment with the amenities that most dedicated hospitality spaces couldn’t or didn’t provide such as at least power sockets and fast internet.

The concept caught on to the point that other types of businesses, ones that especially need to pay rent and deal with slow periods during the day, began converting to coworking spaces in some aspect. Today, these spaces support the needs of larger organizations, and not necessarily those launching coworking spaces as a retail estate play by providing a more economical location for their remote teams to meet, work and network.

Harvard’s research

Over the past several years, Harvard studied how amenities, branding, aesthetics, and unique cultures created from diverse people and companies working together under one roof impacted individual workers. They found workers benefit coworking spaces more than traditional offices, experiencing greater levels of flexibility and thriving (defined as vitality and learning at work), better networking, and a stronger sense of community.

Their latest study attempts to understand how highly curated coworking cultures impact the professional identities of members and their organizations and to what extent members of these more exclusive coworking spaces identified with the culture of their space and whether this changed how they identified with their company or employer. Here are some quick facts about that study:

  • Conducted with WeWork between 2017-2018 with 1,000 of their new individual members based in the United States
  • 71% worked full-time for companies either located in a WeWork office or used WeWork for remote teams and individuals
  • 29% were business owners, contractors, sole proprietors and part-time workers
  • The surveyed asked members to show their level of agreement with statements like “I have a lot in common with others at WeWork,” and “I have a lot in common with others in my organization.”

The findings

Overall, the study found that members still strongly identify with their work organizations and that the WeWork brand identity doesn’t dilute the identity of the organizations housed in their space. Instead, it suggested that workers are positively impacted when their work environment aligns with their company’s values and brand.

Further, coworking spaces gave some members a sense of community and legitimacy they might not have gotten from working at home or from a coffee shop. What’s more is those with company-subsidized memberships felt that their employers took their needs seriously and valued them as much as non-remote workers.

Devil’s advocate: could coworking spaces become the CrossFit boxes of productivity?

Like the open office layout heralded for breaking down the barriers cubicles built in the Yuppie era, we wonder if coworking spaces could eventually resemble little slices of the heaven we’d associate with massive millennial-friendly corporate HQs like the Googleplex: replete with amenities, an inspirational work culture, interior design from the future but also a potential honey trap in terms of work-life balance.

Like the CrossFit gyms that became popular for their supportive, if addictive fitness cultures, there could be similar consequences to coworking spaces that like gyms, are also membership-based spaces where cultures can begin. Where CrossFit “boxes” whipped tons of people in amazing shape, they also broke a lot of them due to overtraining and improper to downright unsafe exercise practices. Similarly, we know the obvious implications of an office that looks and feels much better than our favorite coffee shop or home.

April 17, 2019

News ⚡ — Wednesday, April 17

1. 😂 Concepts and legacy footwear brand Mephisto partner on an Apple- inspired sneaker.
The shoe takes cues from an 80s Apple icon.

2. 💵 LeBron James and his business partner Maverick Carter are opening up the conversation around money through their media company.
The podcast called “Kneading Dough” by their media company Uninterrupted hopes people of all walks of life can understand the ups and downs of wealth and money.

3. 📈 Early reports of the iPhone 11 show some strong performance figures.
The phone is rumored to rival some of the ultrabook laptops on the market today.

4. 💺 Philippe Starck created a chair for sale through AI and “generative design.”
Generative design is the concept of defining parameters such as dimenions and weight before passing it on to an algorithim to fill in the rest.

5. 💸 French fashion houses LVMH and Kering are trying to one-up each other.
In doing so, they’ve also brought to light some interesting French laws around tax breaks on cultural donations.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

Update Log
v5 (current): Changed the order of the update entries (recent to oldest). A photo now accompanies the News ⚡ as prior there were issues with not having an image preview on social media.
v4: Went from 5 links to somewhere under 10.
v3: changed the URL slug from the emoji to flash.
v2: added a short one-liner to add a bit more context.
v1: numbered list, with emojis and a headline. Decided on five links for brevity and focus.

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