- Matte finishes are becoming more popular for car paint jobs. Will we be leaving the shiny aluminum / gloss plastic age of consumer electronics soon too?
- Elegant shaving and beauty product startup Walker & Company raised a $24M investment round. According to investors, they've achieved remarkable sales results and customer retention, largely through word of mouth, in part because they are developing products for people of color that have largely been ignored by the big corporations in the consumer packaged goods space.
- Tiny design studio Lapka was acquired by Airbnb. They were best known for beautiful, somewhat strange looking sensors (including ones for measuring radiation levels). While it seems like an unlikely acquisition, we think it might be one of the few "tech co acquires design firm" deals to really work out well in the end. The fact that Airbnb was founded by design school grads makes their odds of understanding how to integrate Lapka at least a bit better than the average.
- Fairphone has been showing off it's latest product model. They make easy to upgrade/repair smartphones that with supply chain transparency and fair labor/sourcing practices. We think they're one of the most interesting and underrated consumer electronics companies around.
- Digital fabrication tools and imaging technologies help to preserve (albeit in another form) cultural works destroyed by war.
- What is gained, lost and bargained for in our personal digital archives as we put our experiences online day after day.
Solutions from Down the Supply Chain:
- A slaughterhouse that comes to the pasture, instead of the animal being transported.
- An unusual story of a business being purchased by a vendor who wasn't getting paid on time- they spotted an opportunity to use their experience to help a struggling business and keep a well-liked coffee shop alive in the community. Maybe not a typical B-school case study, but a good example of how a more human approach to business can yield positive outcomes for multiple parties.