If you're into design, and especially typography, you're going to love this.
With a brief introduction from Sir Jony Ive, this talk dives deep into the design of the LoveFrom, Serif typeface.
I found it fascinating to learn how the team took inspiration from the original works of Baskerville, even finding the original hand-made steel plates that measure just a few millimetres, made hundreds of years ago.
“Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted.” — Albert Einstein
A friend shared a fantastic podcast episode with me today: Brian Chesky of Airbnb on Steven Bartlett’s show, “Diary of a CEO.”
Brian shares his journey building Airbnb and covers many of the low points and personal challenges of being a founder, grappling with balancing work and friendships, and a lot more. I highly recommend giving the episode a listen.
Something Brian also talked about creativity, instinct, and measuring success.
He highlighted that Airbnb is one of the few companies in the Fortune 500 with a designer and creative talent in the boardroom.
The world of business has come to praise measurement and financials more than creativity. Yet, the world is changing faster than ever, requiring ever more creative thinking to adapt and change.
I’ve always struggled with balancing instinct, creative ideas, and doing bold but immeasurable work against the “proper” way to do things: small, measurable experiments, data-driven decision-making, and focusing on ROI.
It reminded me of a quote I read a while ago from David Ogilvy:
“I notice increasing reluctance on the part of marketing executives to use judgment; they are coming to rely too much on research, and they use it as a drunkard uses a lamp post for support, rather than for illumination.”
Why put craft into anything if you can’t prove it makes a difference?
Why go the extra mile to make things “just right” if no one seems to care?
Brian’s suggestion is to not try to measure it.
As soon as someone passionate about their craft has to justify making their work as good as it can possibly be, they should probably move on.
Craft and creativity must be baked into your company’s culture. As a leader, you are the one that sets and reinforces that culture in every action you take.
The whole conversation inspired me. Speak up for what you believe in a little more.
As someone who geeks out on tech products all the time, I find the Threads launch fascinating, so I jotted a few notes and observations down about it.
Timing is everything
It’s no coincidence that Threads is launching in the same week that sentiment towards Twitter is at an all-time low.
Elon Musk decided to enforce aggressive rate limiting for all users, made Tweeetdeck redundant for many, and obliterated the value of public URLs by preventing tweet embeds for non-logged-in users.
It’s clear Threads could be better.
It could have more features.
It’s not quite ready when you compare the feature checklist.
But launching this week while Twitter is in the dumps (more than usual) may just give it the strong gust of goodwill that helps this spark of a product turn into a full-blown, roaring fire of a platform.
Ship early, iterate
Many “critical” features aren’t in at launch, but is the app and experience solid? Is it easy for new users to onboard? Is the experience reaching a threshold that the majority of users will enjoy and trust? Yes.
You want the ability to filter your feed, you want better search, you want to have more clarity on who’s following you. You want an API. You want the app if you’re in the EU!
But all of those are trade-offs between shipping now or shipping later.
Someone had to make that call. The easy option is always to wait. Waiting always feels safer.
Shipping this week looks like it was the right call. The rest can come later.
What I’ve enjoyed most so far as an observer of the Threads launch today has been seeing Meta operate like they have nothing to lose.
Launch today. Move fast. Share the numbers. Integrate with the open standards (eventually).
It seems unlike many of Meta’s most significant big launches: Instagram Stories was a bolt-on to not lose out to Snapchat, Reels is another tab to avoid losing out to TikTok, and Instagram itself was an acquisition.
Threads, though, is a joy to see: Zuck and the team building something that doesn’t just compete, but that could genuinely be better than Twitter. Making something people want. With a beautiful blank slate.
Maybe I am just relieved to not have another tab, view, or swipe in the Instagram app. Or perhaps it’s that my trust in Twitter has dwindled.
Whatever the reason, I’m rooting for Threads. If you’re on it, join me!
The silence is deafening — Apple is going to announce a VR headset imminently.
The very fact Apple hasn’t denied any rumours, and the increasing nods towards a big launch, are evidence enough. If they weren’t, then we’d know by now.
The feeling is very reminiscent of the run-up to the launch of both the original iPhone and Apple Watch — both products were widely expected to be unveiled, but the knowledge of exactly what they would entail was almost entirely unknown.
We’ve been here before
While I never wrote about that feeling before the iPhone launch, I wrote a piece just before the Apple Watch was announced: “Why would Apple make a Watch?” in which I tried to get into the mind of the decision makers at Apple and understand why they would enter the watch market and what the device might enable.
Looking back at that piece, I feel quite proud. While I was not the only person pondering such concepts, I proposed the Apple Watch (or iWatch as I believed it’d be called at the time!) would:
Enable you to pay on the Subway, and allow for contactless payments — before Apple Pay came along.
Have easily detachable / swappable straps.
Become a key health companion, continuously monitoring your activity and heart rate.
Enable you to sleep better and wake up at the optimum time.
It’d prioritise telling the time at all costs, despite its smart features.
I got many things wrong too — I thought the Watch would:
Have incredible, unbelievable battery technology.
Rethink the concept of a display: “I will eat my metaphorical hat if we see a full colour backlit Retina display on the device”.
Be the “magic wand” remote to your Apple TV.
As you can see from my sketches — the physical appearance of the Watch I believed Apple would make was more akin to a Fitbit activity band.
I love reflecting on that post because it’s what makes following a secretive company like Apple so fun — you can dream and imagine, and you get to find out eventually if you were right. You get to decide if you felt Apple lived up to, exceeded, or missed your expectations.
So with an entirely new device and category just around the corner, what do we hope to see from the Californian giant?
Let’s dig in…
What will it be called?
I don’t believe Apple will call this a “headset” at all. Apple has never referred to the iPhone as a “handset” even though it’s how carriers and many consumers referred to phones before the iPhone.
Normal people don’t buy “headsets”. Headsets are for gamers and geeks.
Apple makes products for people who want the best, and they, of course, charge prices aligned with that approach.
There are numerous rumours and trademark filings, and even supposed confirmations in various code
I woke up this morning to see the news that Richard Rogers had passed away aged 88. Richard Rogers has been one of the most influential architects of the last 100 years, and while I’ve always been aware of his work I didn’t realise quite how many of my favourite buildings were created by his practice.
Among others, Rogers is responsible for the Lloyds Building in London, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Millennium Dome, Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport, and The Leadenhall Building (aka “the Cheesegrater”).
Rogers’ work has influenced my fascination with modern architecture since I was in my earliest years. I still have the fondest memories of visiting the Millennium Dome as a boy in 2000 and being awed by the scale of the place. I still recall having the sense that “this is a significant moment in the world, and I’m living through it”, and the architecture I associate with that moment is almost entirely the work of Richard Rogers.
The Rogers-designed spaces I’ve been fortunate enough to visit have me feel inspired, motivated, and ambitious, but also have made me feel closer, more connected to the people around me.
His legacy will live on for many generations to come, and I hope will continue to inspire many more.
Thank you for architecting some of my favourite landmarks of London.
NetNewsWire focuses on the content, it puts you in control, and it’s refreshingly simple and honest.
As noted by the maker himself, Brent Simmons– NetNewsWire is a Mac-assed Mac app, the same applies to the iOS and iPad apps too. They’re the definition of well crafted native software for Apple’s platforms.
Until now, though, while I’ve had NetNewsWire installed on all my devices, I’ve only ever really used it on my iPhone. That’s because I didn’t have any of the third party services set up to sync my feeds and read-status across my iPhone, iPad and Mac.
NetNewsWire 6 introduces my most wanted feature: syncing with iCloud.
Now all my feeds are on each of my devices. When I read an article on my iPhone it’s marked as read on my iPad and my Mac. Everything’s in sync, everything’s up to date, and it all just works.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with news – especially if you’re feeling bombarded by stories and ads and articles for things you don’t care for or want to know about – NetNewsWire is the app you’ve been looking for.
Not only is it great, it’s also free. What’s not to like?!
Through the pandemic and working from home, Apple Fitness+ became a helpful motivator for getting me to try new workouts and experiment with yoga, meditation, heck even dance – all without leaving the house.
I don't feel overweight – I feel "just about right" – but as I shift into a new decade of my life, I'm increasingly concious of the fact that I won't be able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want, forever.
So I recently started using a great app, LoseIt! to help track the other half of my fitness – what I consume. While Apple Watch tracks my ability to lose calories and keep fit, LoseIt! tracks what I put in – helping me to balance that all important equation: "calories IN minus calories OUT = a negative number" if I want to lose weight.
I'm new to this calorie counting game – I never thought I'd be "one of those people" who asks how many calories are in a meal or in a cereal bar. I never thought I'd be someone who said no to a sweet treat. But increasingly – I am thinking twice about every snack I eat, and every portion of food I see on a plate.
Along with tracking the calories I'm consuming, I'm also trying to keep track of WHEN I eat food. I've been trying to obey a stricter schedule for when I wake, when I eat each meal, and when I get to sleep. According to some, WHEN you eat is just as important, if not more so than WHAT you eat.
I'm concious that when I eat, I am usually with people – friends, family, my partner, colleagues. I don't want to be sitting with a plate of delicious food poking at an app trying to add things to a calorie tracking app. Instead, I have found the least distracting, most effective solution is to simply snap a quick photo as subtley as I can of the meal I'm eating.
By snapping a photo I can grab an instant snapshot of the meal I had, along with the size, and the time I was about to eat it – which I can add to LoseIt! at a later date when I have more time to note down and clarify the details.
There are a few rumours circling that Apple may be bringing some form of food tracking functionality to iOS 15. This is something I am rather excited about – and if it's true, I can't wait to see how this works, and how accurate it will be. I'm sure Apple can find an innovative way to solve some of these complex problems.
I'm also excited to see what a company with the resources of Apple can do in a problem space that is
Sure, it has the trackpad that many have been clamouring for for many years, but it’s the hinge that blew me away.
I felt the previous keyboard covers for the iPad were some of the most confusing products Apple has ever made – the hinge and flaps were so complicated. They always reminded me of when you have a large map and you try to fold it back up to put it away and can never quite fold it exactly as it needs to be.
This new hinge – with the ability to adjust the screen on multiple axes – appears to give the user more options in viewing angle than any current laptop.
It begs the question – if it's great for the iPad, would a "floating cantilever" not be great for MacBooks too?
The details are not details. They make the design. – Charles Eames
I was lucky enough to get a new Apple Watch this week – the Series 4 Nike+.
The packaging is beautiful as with any Apple product. Compared to my Series “0” original Apple Watch, the packaging is different – being a sport model it's unboxing the Series 4 is slightly less theatrical, but it’s still delightful and the details astound me.
One point that stood out – there’s hardly any documentation, but the paperwork that is in the box is carefully crafted down to the last detail.
Look at the border radius and shape of the paper – look at the border shape of the watch, the screen of the watch, and even the wrapper that goes around the paper. Even look at the previous image and see the box cut-out that holds the paper in place.
They all match up. And that’s not by accident.
Imagine the time and effort it took to ensure that happened internally – from the graphic design of the leaflet, to the collaboration with the printing team to the facility where they cut the paper stock. To the quality control to ensure it always looks perfect and not wonky or misaligned.
All this effort for a detail that almost no one will pick up on. But almost everyone will feel it.