D&T Issue 25

Jony Ive meets AirBnb, John Maeda’s CX report’20, Quibi’s expensive burnout and The Network

Hello hello!
This week is special, it is the 25th issue of D&T! This is why I have decided to spare you the introduction to this week’s D&T.

Here you go with your weekly dossier:

Singularly legendary human being John Maeda is back with the 2020 CX report. He does this each year. This is a much watch if this weekly newsletter is interesting to you. The abridged version is here.

Airbnb, already quite renowned for their design chops is ushering in a new and exciting era in design; Jony Ive (in his new avatar as LoveForm) is bringing his design experience to the Airbnb design table for a multi-year contract. According to Dezeen mag, Jony has been bought in with the primary task of “designing the new generation of Airbnb product”. Exciting times.

Quibi (a mobile-only short-form video app) shuts down just 6 months post raising a colossal $1.75 billion. This all being due to simply a sheer lack of subscribers to the platform. Initially named “NewTV” back in 2018, the legendary founding members Jeffrey Katzenberg (Disney + Dreamworks) and Meg Whitman (HP) aimed to create “snackable” content for smartphones, after raising a 1 billion dollar round from the likes of Alibaba, Warner and Disney. cut to 2020, they change their identity to “Quibi” but things, unfortunately, took a turn for the worst into the heavily trying half-year window of the Covid-19 lockdown. An investor was quoted saying, “A Quibi investor says the startup should have tried to ‘fight more’ but that he’ll be happy if he can get 50% of his investment.

Michael Steinberger of the NY Times dives into the world of Palantir, a company who in may ways coined the term ‘data-driven decision making’ in all its contemporary glory. Palantir is a firm that has grown to great heights since its conception in 2003, coming to a point where they now are a core dependency even for the American intelligence and military. This article (and audio story ) goes into details about what kind of information Palantir works with, how they are at the forefront of decision making globally (including the current Covid situation in multiple countries) and how there could be a nefarious side to this entire operation.

Ok, unnecessary clickbaity headline there. But it’s true. Blake Scholl has worked his ass off in standard and unconventional ways to build Boom. Twenty years after the retirement of the Concorde, Boom Technology is developing a passenger plane it’s promising will fly at much faster speeds in a more comfortable setting than today’s carriers. Here’s a brief story on how it came to be.

Data shows that India’s venture capital scene has grown sharply in recent years. 2019 was the country’s biggest ever in terms of venture dollars invested, with Bain counting $10 billion during the year. Although the first two quarters of 2020 saw a slump majorly due to Covid, the third quarter brought the country’s venture capital scene back to form. Falling bandwidth and smartphone costs along with improved Internet reliability and success of Indian startups like Flipkart are seen as the reason by experts.

Typography is the art of arranging letters and text in a way that makes the copy legible, clear, and visually appealing to the reader. Often times, not enough effort is put into fine-tuning this aspect of UI. The article delves into minor tweaks to typography that can elevate the designs and user experience.

Exploring the five A’s of misinformation: Algorithm, Availability, Ability, Amplification & Ambiguity. How these are affecting the US elections, more importantly, what are the psychological principles being exploited to harness user’s attention and control the thought process.

Mcbroken is a service built by @rashiq (twitter) that exploits McDonald’s internal API to create a map that shows up-to-date information on which US locations have a broken ice-cream machine.

Phantom Secure, started by Vince Ramos customized BlackBerry phones to make ordinary wiretaps impossible. It removed the GPS, mic and cam from Blackberrys and added PGP encryption to it to create its devices. Phantom had complete remote access to the data on the phones and the servers were inaccessible by third parties. Naturally, the crime world soon caught wind of this service and took it up, full swing.

On the perch of the 3km long glacier named Hochjochferner sits an almost alien-looking device called the “armillery sphere” – a model of the universe dating back to antiquity, in which interlocking brass rings are arranged into a globe to represent the movement of different celestial bodies around the Earth. The latest artwork by artist Olafur Eliasson invites visitors to see manmade climate change from wider “planetary and glacial perspectives”.

See you a week later, have a good one!

Canvs Club