55. Not one mention of London's Ark
But this is still good, 13 stunning buildings that look like boats
56. Citymapper made a bus but the bus isn’t the important bit, obvs
Citymapper started a bus route age ago. And that's probably a silly idea, but read this blog post about how they did it and marvel at what a small tech company can do. They built a fully functioning end to end transport system. Albeit small and with very carefully controlled conditions. But they built a prototype and tested their riskiest assumptions on real users.
"We built the entire technology stack for a bus, starting in our own office. We built a driver app, a smart display, tracking software, scheduling systems, control systems, even strange flashing headsigns.
We have been able to run our buses smoothly. We made software updates, even during live operations. We provided accurate realtime data in our app, as well as supporting open data.
All at a fraction of the cost of what traditional bus systems do.”
The agility needed to do this is the huge advantage Citymapper has. Forget the bus, it’s not about the bus. It’s about the agility.
If you are a legacy organisation this is the problem, over time you’ve lost agility. And now all you have left is, what? Connections, relationships? Customer loyalty? Brand? I think we’re starting to find out those things don’t count for much.
I might start a new section just on Threads. Here’s three good ones from the last few weeks.
Why FMCG companies are struggling to find an alternative to the competitor acquisition model. Or really why FMCG companies need to find an alternative to the Marketing Led business model. Thread👇
Maps. Loads of lovely maps. Thread 👇
58. A negative New Yorker article on Heatherwick’s new project The Vessel, in Hudson Yards. The article features artwork by Christoph Niemann who I love but it’s a 10MB page, that took 59 seconds to load which I didn’t love.
There’s a lot more negative press for Heatherwick these days. For my money there is still more in the positive column than the negative column.
59. Street signs counting the amount of cyclists going past
Would love to see more of this. Harmless (?) data used in simple ways with low risk (so what if everyone ignores it) but potentially high reward (better public health). Better than putting ads on every screen.
60. Brand = margin, therefore Bezos is going after brands. As I’ve mentioned before we are starting to discover the true value of “brand”.
61. And here’s the perfect example, the Dyson car.
Dyson should be good at this. Already good at batteries, good at engineering, good at innovation, good at supply chain. But who wants a car from a hoover company? Would you buy a Hoover car? Would you buy a hoover from Vauxhall? Does anyone care anymore?
I discovered recently that the Pet Shop Boys have published their own magazine, Literally, since 1989 and last year announced it would become an annual publication. Literally becomes Annually. So good.