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June 06 2017

What to Wear to Be Kind to the Planet?

Four common fabrics, each with their own ecological pros and cons: 

  • Synthetic fibers wind up in unexpected places.Polyester, nylon and others make up more than 60 percent of the global fiber market by some estimates. Most are made from oil, a nonrenewable resource. Synthetic fibers shed plastic filaments — possibly from daily wear and tear, but also in the wash. If shed in the laundry, the filaments can make it into sewer systems and eventually into waterways. 
  • Cotton is natural, but not all natural: Cotton makes up about a quarter of all fibers used in clothing, furniture and other textiles. Its share of the textile market is declining, but cotton production still uses just over 2% of the world’s arable land and accounts for about 3% of global water use.  Cotton also requires pesticides. According to the Department of Agriculture, 7% of all pesticides in the United States are used on cotton. Consumers can choose organic cotton grown without pesticides, but it uses more water and requires more land than conventional crops.
  • Rayon is made from plants — and also chemicals. In Indonesia and other areas, producers are cutting down old-growth forests to plant bamboo for rayon, said Frances Kozen, associate director of the Cornell Institute of Fashion and Fiber Innovation.
  • Wool might be less practical, but it’s probably more sustainable. Producing wool requires sheep. And sheep, like other ruminants including cattle, produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, in their burps. One study suggested that 50 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from the wool industry come from the sheep themselves.

So what can you do?

The best thing we can all do is buy less and wear more - but the “fast fashion” market isn’t helping, since it encourages rapid turnaround between seasons and more frequent clothing purchases. These clothes aren’t made to last, so they are more frequently thrown out.

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Mobiles and messaging worldwide 

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May 22 2017

ffffound — A few words for the nearly departed


Hello everyone,
thanks for coming.

It’s raining and the sun is going down. It’s getting cold out here so I won’t say much. I appreciate the opportunity to speak on this occasion.

ffffound opened my eyes to a whole new way of using and building the web. Its bookmarklet was a milestone. Like a tunnel system built overnight beneath a bustling city, we could suddenly move objects from one site to another. No longer just a place to transmit and gather secondhand artifacts, the web could now curate and dissect itself.

Within a few years of ffffound’s launch, the web was teeming with services who’d picked up on its promise: Tumblr, Stumbleupon and Pinterest to name a few big ones; Dropular, Imgfave, Imgspark, Svpply, Weheartit, The Fancy,, Gimmebar, lookk, Likeables, Nuji and Wanelo to name a few small ones.

ffffound taught me that if you can gather the right users in the right context, you can build a beautiful machine, churning out quality and quantity that defy automation. Deploying the right community with the right tools is like a judo move to the industry: minimum effort, maximum outcome.

ffffound showed me the value of being ugly and elegant at the same time. That stupid logo. Awful but perfect. Its useless sidebar navigation which I don’t think I used a single time. Not only did the uselessness not matter, it added to the site’s presence. Like a club door covered in shitty stickers, the grunginess of it only added to the experience.

ffffound taught me the romance of exclusion. It was impossible to get an invitation, which made it all that much better, both in content and in spirit. Either you were grateful to have it so you used it, or you couldn’t have it so you wanted it. I’ve been trying to reverse-engineer that level of coolness since.

ffffound taught me that a page is never a destination but another step down the rabbit hole. Its decision to populate each image page with not just related images, but the image history of every relevant user provided countless opportunities for further exploration and obsession. An ever widening funnel of options based on the organic decisions of each user’s experience. A lesson in UI and UX that I carry with me to every project.

ffffound helped launch my career. My experience launching startups would probably never have happened if ffffound hadn’t shown me how elegant and impactful a tech company could be. The minimalism of its technology stack stood in obvious contrast to the top-heavy and cumbersome companies I’d gotten used to. I’d been working for a good 5 years as a designer before a mental combination of jjjjound and fffffound catalyzed the concept behind Svpply, a site whose reputation and impact I benefit from to this day.

All this to say,
thank you thank you thank you Yugo & team.
Your work was incredibly meaningful to me and others. ffffound will go down in history as one of the all-time greats.

Now lets get out of this rain and build what’s next.

PS. In 2009 Eric and I built an export tool for fffffound. With some API fixes and a bit of effort, its back up and semi-working. It’s hosted at in its original form if you’d like to sync your (or anyone else’s..) ffffound archive to your dropbox.

I loved ffffound. It was a big part of my early, uni-days web experience. May ot rest in peace in the internet’s big scrapyard and inspire other cool services later in the future. 

But let’s fast forward almost 2000 years to 1961, when the first wearable computer appeared inside the shoes of MIT mathematics professors Edward O. Thorp and Claude Shannon. The two designed a timing device to fit inside their shoes to rather accurately predict where the ball would land in a roulette wheel, and then transmit the number through radio waves to the gambler at the table. Thorp reported a 44% increase in winning bets in his book Beat The Dealer. In fact, the strategy was so successful that Nevada passed a law banning such machines in 1985
BI - Wearables 

April 13 2017

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April 09 2017

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April 04 2017

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from What the heck is digital strategy? 

“It’s pretty well documented what the commercial internet has done to the business landscape. Four changes in particular come to mind:

  1. Enabled new business models, particularly connecting consumers to providers.
  2. Consumers have more power to research and review, which has changed the traditional purchase funnel.
  3. ‘Best in class’ experiences such as Uber are raising consumer expectations (but platforms like this are difficult to develop).
  4. Products are evolving into services, as consumers want greater control and transparency.”

April 03 2017

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John Hopkins - Diversity Wheel

“The center of the wheel represents internal dimensions that are usually most permanent or visible. The outside of the wheel represents dimensions that are acquired and change over the course of a lifetime. The combinations of all of these dimensions influence our values, beliefs, behaviors, experiences and expectations and make us all unique as individuals.”

March 28 2017

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Via QZ “Athletic Footwear Warfare: Surviving in an Oligopoly,” by Samsung Economic Research Institute

March 25 2017

March 21 2017

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Mario Castillo’s mural depicting the Maya goddess Mayahuel at the National Museum of Mexican Art. Photo: Sally Ryan for The New York Times

March 11 2017

Beware of feminism lite |

“Beware the danger of what I call Feminism Lite. It is the idea of conditional female equality. Please reject this entirely. It is a hollow, appeasing and bankrupt idea. Feminism Lite uses analogies like “He is the head and you are the neck.” Or, “He is driving but you are in the front seat.” More troubling is the idea, in Feminism Lite, that men are naturally superior but should be expected to “treat women well.” No. No. No. There must be more than male benevolence as the basis for a women’s well-being.”

March 09 2017

How commerce content sits uneasily alongside newsrooms - Digiday

“After The New York Times bought gadget-recommendation site The Wirecutter for around $30 million in October, Karron Skog, a senior editor at the Times, spent several months introducing Times editors to their Wirecutter counterparts, allowing them to become aware of their respective coverage plans on their own.

Over time, Times desks have begun to integrate Wirecutter features and content into editorial packages and use them in planning them, too. One recent result involved the Times integrating reviews from Wirecutter’s sister brand, The Sweethome, into a service package about the essentials of French cooking. In another, the Times tech section debuted a column called “Ask the Wirecutter,” where editors from both publications discuss what kinds of products to buy.

“We’re thinking about it in terms of collaboration, not integration,” said Skog, who added that more verticals will be adding Wirecutter content in the coming months.”

March 05 2017

Spring in Marylebone
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