January 22, 2019

When Netflix launched its video streaming platform in the late 2000s, all of the titles featured on the service came from other movie studios and production companies. If you boot up your account these days, though, most of the TV shows and films listed on the homepage are owned and produced by Netflix itself. Over the last few years the streaming giant has invested heavily to create its own content. By one estimate, Netflix spends more than $8 billion annually Continue reading

Continue reading...

January 17, 2019

Nearly four years ago, we published a blog post centered on companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat who claimed to be creating the future of food. Both of these startups developed plant-based alternatives to meat that looked and tasted similar to the real thing, an idea which seemed straight out of science fiction at the time. Fast forward to 2019, though, and now consumers can purchase Beyond Meat’s burger patties at any Whole Foods location that manages to keep Continue reading

Continue reading...

January 10, 2019

For thousands of years, people have been baking bread by largely following the same procedure: dough is kneaded into a loaf and then placed in a hot oven until it’s done. And while this may sound simple enough, baking a perfect loaf of bread actually requires a great deal of skill and years of experience. That is unless you have a BreadBot, a new machine that automates nearly every aspect of the baking process.

Recently unveiled at the annual Consumer Continue reading

Continue reading...

January 8, 2019

Apple started the new year on the wrong foot following a surprise announcement that last quarter’s iPhone sales will likely fall short of projections. While the company had originally planned to bring in between $89 billion and $93 billion, CEO Tim Cook said last week that overall revenue would likely tally at just $85 billion. “Lower than anticipated iPhone revenue, primarily in Greater China, accounts for all of our revenue shortfall,” Cook wrote in a letter to investors. As a Continue reading

Continue reading...

December 19, 2018

With December 25th less than a week away, twinkling Christmas trees are currently illuminating homes across the country. And while these festive firs will only stand for a couple of weeks, their journey from farms to family rooms takes more than a decade. This video about the production process on Christmas tree farms looks at why they must follow strict logistical schedules or else face disastrous consequences in the long term.

Questions:

  1. Why are logistics so important for Christmas tree Continue reading
Continue reading...

December 11, 2018

For most of the 20th century, the AM radio band served as the country’s main source for mass media. And while broadcasters eventually moved on to higher quality options like FM and satellite radio, the AM dial remains packed with all sorts of talk, sports, and music programs. And just like in the early days, anybody can tune in as long as they own a radio. That is unless you want to listen while riding in your Tesla or Chevrolet Continue reading

Continue reading...

December 7, 2018

The video game industry has grown into a global juggernaut. Last year, consumers around the world spent more than $100 billion on games, more than double the amount spent on movies. As this in-depth video shows, however, some video game companies have started to earn all that money by operating like casinos. From examining the business model of “loot boxes” to the ways that video games track customer data, this long but fascinating video provides an excellent assessment of an Continue reading

Continue reading...

December 4, 2018

A couple of years ago, a pair of video game developers received a deeply worrying email from the British Red Cross. “It has been brought to our attention that in your game ‘Prison Architect’ a red cross emblem is displayed on vehicles,” read the email. “Those responsible may be unaware that use of the red cross emblem is restricted under the Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War Victims.” Little did the two developers know, but their placement of a Continue reading

Continue reading...

November 30, 2018

Way back in 1856, a California dry-goods merchant named Levi Strauss marveled at a new type of garment created by one of his customers. Working as a tailor in Nevada, the customer had developed a pair of rivet-fastened pants that were far more durable than anything else available at the time. The two soon filed a patent on the product and founded Levi Strauss and Company, the world’s first producer of denim jeans. And while the company continues to thrive Continue reading

Continue reading...

November 16, 2018

In 2001, a company called Segway introduced a two-wheeled “personal transporter” that it claimed would revolutionize how people traveled in big cities. 17 years later, though, and the Segway is mainly a vehicle for security guards and tourists. Along with chronicling the ways that the company failed to live up to expectations, this video also looks at how Segway could still leave a big impact on the transportation industry.

Questions:

  1. Why did Segway fail to connect with consumers in the Continue reading
Continue reading...