Hey there! Bunch of things this week! From Astronauts to Fusion tech to the Valley’s premium email client, to the most important thing, Steve Carell coming to Netflix with Space Force! Without wasting time, here’s some stuff to check out in Design and Tech in this week’s digest!
A historic countdown to privatising Space.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is going to take two of NASA’s veteran astronauts to orbit tonight, a first for a private firm after successful crewless demo launches earlier. Succeeding in this mission for SpaceX means carrying the astronauts to the ISS later this year. Here’s a mission that shall bear fruit of a decade’s worth of collaboration between NASA and SpaceX. Since the end of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011, all of NASA’s crews have been hitching rides off Russian carriers from Kazakhstan. All operated by government bodies with the country’s taxpayer funds operating with widely debatable progress. Why is this historic? This is the first step to privatising space transportation and thereby bringing market dynamics into it. This shall most likely lead to average cost reduction in space transportation. SpaceX is carrying NASA astronauts Bob Behnken (L) and Doug Hurley on this trip.
The launch shall happen around 2:30 am, Thursday morning.
Follow the launch here.
Additional reading: The Verge
The 30$ a month invitation only (luxury?) email client, Superhuman was a major talking point of most of 2019 VC banter on Twitter. Almost all of the Valley swore by its blazing fast email experience that apparently dramatically transformed email’s positioning from fatigue to delight via good user experience. Marc Andreesen called it “the fastest email experience ever made”. Here is a step by step break down of the onboarding experience of Superhuman. It’s actually pretty tight and impressive, all with multiple guided tours and a one on one video conf tutorial with the CEO Rahul Vohra as well. The blazing-fast experience rests massively on habit creating and sustainable product patterns like keyboard navigation, positive reaffirmations, singular task focus and nudges like prefilled responses. Superinformative read!
Side note: The creators of Basecamp: DHH and Jason Fried are also launching a much-awaited email alternative called Hey! this June 15! : hey
The virtual economy is the system of online jobs, assets, marketplaces, and traders that have emerged across a range of online platforms. Leveraging data and a stunning visual presentation, that ebbs and flows across stories, this report outlines the contours and dynamics that govern the virtual economy and examines the big questions that will shape its future.
Back in March, the US had predicted the Covid-19 death toll to reach a hundred thousand individuals. Last week the US hit that number. Simone Landon the assistant editor of the Graphics desk wanted to represent the news in a way that conveyed both the vastness and the variety of lives lost. The NYT graphics team had been prepping for this piece of grim and stark absoluteness. They printed the names of all the individuals lost by the US as of 24th of May 2020. A wall of type and only type.
Here’s a note on how Austrian billionaire Michael Tojner capitalized on the sale of Airpods thanks to his purchase of the firm Varta for $40m back in 2007. The company is now valued at over $2.8b and owns more than 50% of the market share of wireless headphone batteries. When Tojner purchased the firm, it had negative cashflows and he was the only buyer left for it.
Mark Zuckerberg carried around a notebook with him everywhere he went. Among his detailed and meticulous writings were plans for many an FB features and glimpses of a grand vision of world domination. Here’s Wired Mag’s Steven Levy’s account of his encounters with Zuckerberg, the early days of FB and what those notebooks had. Bursts of energy reflected among detailed sketches and screens with little mental sidenotes. The author got ahold of a 17-page chunk from what might be the most significant of his journals in terms of Facebook’s evolution, called the “Book of Change.” This was a notebook that had a promise of a $1000 written on the front to anyone who returns it if lost and a quote by Mahatma Gandhi right there as well.
Here’s a laundry list of 100+ Design Systems from some of the most well known brands of the world, from Google to Atlassian to Mongo to Ant, you’ll find them all here!
Offeo is actually fairly popular now, and is known to be a supercool marketing product add for teams looking to scale their marketing ops. Just upload an image and check out a huge array of animated creatives generated with it automatically! The product additionally allows thousands of templates and images to use in your marketing creatives.
Convert a video into a comic strip storyboard. This super cool app came out a while back but still seems pretty neat. I thought you might want to give it a swing. It’s pretty straight forward actually, select a video from your phone and the next thing you know, it turns it into a bunch of panels into a comic format!