Inspirations

  • Amazon orders 100K electric delivery trucks from Rivian as part of going carbon neutral by 2040

    Amazon will be stepping up its efforts to reduce its climate impact, CEO Jeff Bezos announced on Thursday. The company will be ordering 100,000 electric delivery trucks from Michigan’s Rivian as part of this commitment, Bezos said. The commerce giant will seek to meet its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040 – 10 years earlier than is outlined by the United Nations Paris Agreement. Bezos said at a National Press Club event in Washington where he made the announcement that the updated timeline is due to the increase in climate change, which has been more aggressive than even some of the more serious predictions had anticipated five years ago whine the Paris agreement was reached. Amazon’s overarching efforts to make the company carbon neutral are bundled under a plan the company is calling the “Climate Pledge,” which will be open to other companies as well. In addition to efforts like the Rivian order for emission-free delivery vehicles, Amazon will als...

  • Facebook expands its playable and AR ad formats

    Ahead of Advertising Week, Facebook is the announcing the expansion of three interactive ad formats. First, it says that poll ads (which you may already have seen in Instagram Stories) are moving to the main feed of the Facebook mobile app. Second, the augmented reality ads that Facebook has already been testing are moving into open beta this fall. Third, Facebook is making playable ads available to all advertisers, not just gaming companies. The company showed off each format at a press event yesterday in New York City. E!, for example, says it ran ads with interactive polls to promote one of its TV shows, leading to a 1.6x increase in brand awareness. Meanwhile, Vans created a playable ad where players could guide skateboarder Steve Van Doren down a mountain, resulting in a 4.4% lift in ad recall. And WeMakeUp ran an AR ad campaign allowing users to virtually try on new shades of makeup, leading to a 27.6% lift in purchases. Mark D’Arcy, Facebook’s chief creative officer and...

  • Nintendo Switch Lite review

    Let me preface this by saying: I realize that I’m not necessarily the target user for the original Nintendo Switch. First: I don’t own a TV, and haven’t since high school. Second: I travel all the time for this damn job. The combination of these things have made the device’s convertible form factor a bit of a nuisance. It’s big and heavy and the Joy-Cons semi-frequently slip off during game play. And while I’ve occasionally considered playing it in convertible mode, with the kickstand up, controllers detached as the console sits on, say, an airplane tray table, the capability ultimately isn’t worth the trade-offs. It seems odd that “built-in controllers” is listed as a feature on a gaming console, but, then, I suppose it kind of is. That’s all a lot of words to say that I was excited when the rumors around the Switch Lite first dropped. That enthusiasm carried over to a recent hands-on with the device. And now, here we are. Honestly, the Switch Lite is pretty much...

  • Airbnb says it will go public next year

    Airbnb has said that it will have its initial public offering in 2020. The company is one of the last of the big unicorn herd that grew up roughly a decade ago and includes Uber, Lyft, the We Company, and Postmates, to declare its public market intentions. Yesterday evening the company announced that it had hit over $1 billion in revenue for the second quarter 2019. It’s the second time in the company’s history that it pulled in more than $1 billion, according to the statement. Airbnb also said that through September 15, 2019 users who list their homes and rooms on the company’s marketplace have made more than $80 billion since the company’s launch. The supplemental income for underpaid teachers alone clocks in at $160 million alone and roughly 51% of people surveyed by the company said hosting has helped them afford their home. The company also said that Airbnb’s housing stock now includes 7 million listings in over 100,000 cities around the world. Airbnb...

  • Ginkgo Bioworks’ dev shop for genetic programming is now worth $4 billion

    Ginkgo Bioworks is now worth $4 billion after a $290 million capital infusion that will give the company the cash to dramatically expand its developer shop for genetic programming. The Boston-based company is one of a handful of U.S.-based early-stage companies that are on the forefront of developing the tools to modify genetic material for everyday applications. “Cells are programmable similar to computers because they run on digital code in the form of DNA.” said Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks, in a statement. “Ginkgo has the best compiler and debugger for writing genetic code and we use it program cells for customers in a range of industries. Today’s fundraise will allow us expand our technology and continue our drive to bring biology into every physical goods industry – materials, clothing, electronics, food, pharmaceuticals, and more. They are all biotech industries but just don’t know it yet.” Ginkgo makes money in two ways. The company sel...