As you know, this weekly post is a collection of interesting stories, but today I was inspired to try something different. Rather than sharing individual stories, I’m going to make connections and instead share three themes with multiple stories, along with a collection of links to stories that caught my attention this week. In the spirit of experimentation – please let me know what you think about this new format and whether you prefer it (or not). I look forward to hearing what you think!
Insight #1 – Minimalism in DesignLast week the team at Adobe Creative Cloud shared 7 design trends to watch and one was all about “monoline illustration” used by brands like Samsung and Casper, as well as “minimalism” as the web design above illustrates. This week both LinkedIn and Flipboard launched significant redesigns aimed at simplifying and decluttering the experience for users. The underlying movement seems to finally be bringing back something that information architects and usability consultants have been pushing since the early days of the web. More focus on usability and function and less on flash and attention-grabbing. Now all the world needs is for Buzzfeed to follow this lead.
Insight #2 – Reinventing How Produce Is Bought And SoldWhole Foods opened its 468th location this week by putting a “Produce Butcher” to chop fruits and vegetables in the store for a mere $1 per pound. The Instagram photo of the idea has already gone viral. Another article I came across this week talked about a startup called Imperfect that has the inventive idea of home delivering produce that has been rejected by stores for being too big, small, curvy or funny looking. Other stores like Walmart and Intermarche in France have already been selling so-called ugly fruits and veggies for some time now. All this innovation in such a small niche category of overall grocery shopping struck me as the perfect example of creating change from the ground up. The most powerful impact could come if the example inspires more food producers to think about how they might make their products easier to use and less costly or wasteful to manufacture.
Insight #3 – What Happens When Technology Is Always Listening?
During the Super Bowl this past weekend, there were multiple reports of a Google ad accidentally triggering people’s Google Home devices when it said the wake word in an ad. It’s only a matter of time before some advertiser does that intentionally. All of which leads to the fascinating question of what becomes possible in a world where technology is always listening in the background? This week Deloitte released several technology predictions for 2017 around the rise of Machine Intelligence (a broader concept than AI) as the major trend to watch. As technology gets better at listening, it will also find its place in our daily conversations to suggest answers, offer tips or answer queries. It will also raise questions, like whether your Alexa transcript can be used against you in court. Questions this big cause cultural shifts just through their existence. This “always listening” topic will get bigger and bigger over the coming months.
Other Non-Obvious Stories Worth Reading This Week …
- Whirlpool Sells Machine That Turns Food Waste Into Fertilizer In Just 24 Hours
- YouTube Begins Rolling Out Live-Streaming Via App, Starting With Creators
- A day in the life of one of Etsy’s most prolific sellers — a 31-year-old who turned her side hustle into a full-time business
- ‘Fast & Furious Live’ Will Bring the Same Electrifying Stunts to a Live Arena Show
- Photo Gallery – Broken Glass Beach In Russia
Non-Obvious Product Of The Week: Travel JournalI admit I am a bit of a journal junkie – and I love notebooks. This one is well designed, beautifully thought out and is much more than a notebook. Though I’m still waiting for mine to arrive in the mail I’m already a fan of the design.
How Are These Stories Chosen?
Every week I review more than a hundred data sources to curate the best and most under-appreciated marketing stories of the week. The aim of this post is to spotlight these “non-obvious” stories, along with a quick take on why they matter for you. I hope you find this post interesting and useful … and am always open to your suggestions on how I might make it better!