• Design trends from CES, as observed by Core77. We question the notion that what is put on display by large corporations endlessly-seeking quarter over quarter growth is really evidence of trends, but it's informative to see what those companies would like to be the trends of the moment. 

Roadmapping the Future:

  • Behind the plethora of obscure brands thrown at you by web or mobile ads is a mesh of niche e-commerce tools, digital surveillance, AliExpress goods, and gig-economy-precariats drop shipping those same goods. It's a flurry of nearly meaningless activity, a 21st century arbitrage that obfuscates consumer choice, and adds noise to an already cacophonous system of trade. These gameable systems have stifled some of the internet's earlier free-wheeling energy. Micro-enterprises (along with artists, writers, and musicians) could previously gain exposure primarily through the word of mouth that followed quality of goods or content, slowly building a loyal following capable of extending their message for free on large social platforms. That technique has mostly gone away, now creators and small businesses must pay for each additional unit of reach, increasing customer acquisition costs and leaving less money for improving the products themselves. WIRED's profile of the Outlier brand covers their pursuit of advanced fabric and construction methods, but also how the company's early tactics leveraging an engaged customer base and word of mouth will no longer get them the publicity they need. 

Feeding the Future: 




Virtually There: 




More next week.