Plastics + Coffee Cues + Neuromarketing + Creativity + Decision-making + Juul

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Virgin plastics: As the EU waves through the single-use plastics ban, broadly shuns fracking and pushes for decarbonization by 2050, plans for a wholesale contradiction involving INEOS and US ethane are underway in the city of Antwerp.

Roger Dooley: Does Starbucks make you smarter? One thing the coffee giant has been very smart about is preserving the powerful aroma of roasted coffee beans. Research shows that the mere smell of coffee can improve some cognitive functions. University of Toronto researchers recently published results which verified the concept that coffee cues prime the brain with an expectation of increased sharpness. Subjects from cultures where coffee drinking is common experienced higher levels of alertness and attention when primed with coffee cues than those from tea-oriented cultures.

One sign that neuromarketing has transcended its era of hype and hucksterism: Nielsen now has 16 neuro labs globally, including five in the US. One opened late last year in Cincinnati, Ohio, the heart of client country and home to Procter & Gamble, which is among the marketers that now have neuroscientists in-house.

"I think the industry is still a little bit of wild, wild west. It's still got plenty of snake oil in it," says Duane Varan, CEO of MediaScience.

Creativity peaks in your 20s and 50s: BBC reports, New research from Ohio State University found that our mid-20s is when our brains first become fertile ground for innovation. The study looked at previous winners of the Nobel Prize in economics. It found that those who did their most groundbreaking work in their 20s tended to be "conceptual" innovators. So basically they had a light bulb moment and acted upon it. But don't panic if you've gone past your mid-20s without a flicker of an idea - some of us won't hit our inspirational stride until our mid-50s.

The anatomy of a great decision: Making better decisions is one of the best skills we can develop. Good decisions save time, money, and stress. Here, Shane Parrish breaks down what makes a good decision and what we can do to improve our decision-making processes. http://bit.ly/2L8vMf7

Starbucks, Dunkin race against bans, taxes on disposable cups: Bloomberg reports, inspired by plastic bag bans, jurisdictions have set their sights on a much bigger target: the to-go coffee cup

"There are some big structural changes in manufacturing. The world will make relatively fewer things in the future as digitization replaces goods with services." -- Paul Donovan @ UBS

Bloomberg: Teens say they don't vape, they Juul, making e-cigarette use hard to track

For the first time, public health officials will ask about Juul by name in an annual youth tobacco survey.

Futurecraft.Loop + Beyoncé + Business Casual + Buying Cars + AI

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A new Adidas shoe uses just one material – and is fully recyclable: Usually, Adidas's trainers include more than 12 different materials. The Futurecraft.Loop uses one plastic and could usher in an era of shoe subscriptions. http://bit.ly/2VhLSXE

"It's estimated that 300 million pairs of running shoes are thrown away each year in the UK alone."

Beyday: HBO had been courting Beyoncé in an attempt to air Homecoming, a behind-the-scenes look at her Coachella performance. Then, Netflix made a counteroffer so large that HBO — which has spent decades cultivating a reputation as a distributor with staggering coffers — balked and had to pull out. We now have that number: Variety reports Netflix inked a $60 million deal with Beyoncé for three projects, meaning that Homecoming sold for $20 million. It’s good to be the queen.

The mystery of business casual: No one knows what shoes to wear to work. Silicon Valley has an answer. http://bit.ly/2KSCRAl

In defense of disorder: Humans love laws and seek predictability. But like our Universe, which thrives on entropy, we need disorder to flourish. http://bit.ly/2Vqpyvb

Driving is so 1980s: In a challenge for Detroit, teens put off getting their licenses and buying cars. About a quarter of 16-year-olds had a driver’s license in 2017, a sharp decline from nearly half in 1983. 

AI could boost our intelligence, but will we misuse it? Theoretical neuroscientist and entrepreneur Vivienne Ming believes it’s inevitable, but warns that our use of AI could have unintended consequences. http://bit.ly/2VjeO1m

A new race to the moon? US wants to lead the way: Half a century after the first lunar landing, a new race to the moon may be underway. The United States is out to win again. What are the Russians hoping for? And is there a role for the rest of the world? http://bit.ly/2VgAnQe

EVs + Yeti + Moon + Higher Education + Animal Meat + Robot Delivery

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The future's electric at the Shanghai Auto Show: Bloomberg reports, There’s electricity in the air at the China auto show in Shanghai this week, as the battery-car brigade rolls into town like never before. Established global makers and dozens of local startups are rushing to showcase electric-vehicle models in a push led by China, the world's largest car market. But there’s a dark side: While companies have plowed billions of dollars into development, projected EV sales may not be enough to keep the assembly lines moving, suggesting only a few companies will survive when the dust settles.

@web: Why Yeti is a strong lifestyle brand: 

- They chose a customer.
- They charge full price despite the half-price substitutes.
- You’ll find YETI stickers on laptops, trucks, boat windshields.
- It became a status symbol in just three years. 
- The products are excellent.

Carmakers eye the moon: The next frontier for carmakers could be the moon. China’s BAIC Group is developing joint technology with the country’s Lunar Exploration Project for lunar exploration. Toyota is also teaming up with Japan’s space agency to build a lunar rover, expecting to put it on the moon by 2029. 

The coming obsolescence of animal meat: Companies are racing to develop real chicken, fish, and beef that don’t require killing animals. Here’s what’s standing in their way. http://bit.ly/2KLdxw7
 
HBR: Does higher education still prepare people for jobs?http://bit.ly/2KMlW2t

'More and more students are spending more and more money on higher education, and their main goal is largely pragmatic: to boost their employability and be a valuable contributor to the economy. Even if the value attached to a university degree is beneficial to those who obtain it, companies can help change the narrative by putting less weight on “higher education” as a measure of intellectual competence and job potential, and instead, approach hiring with more open-mindedness."

French supermarket tests robot delivery: Reuters reports, Casino’s Franprix chain will test the delivery robots on the streets of Paris’s 13th arrondissement for a year. In the French capital, where Amazon has been running its Amazon Prime Now express delivery service since 2016, the speedy and convenient delivery of food has become a battleground among retailers.

Uber Eats + CDO + Robots + Asia VC + Crack Pie

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Uber Eats will deliver to your airport gate: Passengers at Toronto Pearson airport will be able to order food and have it delivered to them at the gate. Launching in Q3 of this year, the pilot program is a joint collaboration between Toronto Pearson, the airport restaurant operator HMSHost and Uber Eats. Customers can order from a selection of restaurants including Caplansky's Deli, Paramount Fine Foods, Smoke's Burritorie, Smashburger or Fionn MacCools.

Rise of the Chief Data Officer (CDO): A new C-suite role is getting traction, and by 2019 it's expected that 90% of large global organizations will have a Chief Data Officer (CDO) on their teams.

According to Pew Research, 91% of Americans “agree” or “strongly agree” that people have lost control over how personal information is collected and used.

By 2025, it’s estimated that 463 exabytes of data will be created each day globally – that’s the equivalent of 212,765,957 DVDs per day.


The robots that manage the managers: More companies are turning to AI-driven apps that aim to help newer bosses with reminders and tips on how to maintain a well-run office. https://on.wsj.com/2V1U2mF

Asia VC cash: Last year, $81 billion was invested in VC-backed startups in Asia across more than 5,000 deals. That's an increase of almost 12x in funding to Asia-based startups since 2013.

After complaints that it made light of drug epidemic, Milk Bar renames its famous Crack Pie: WP reports, Chef Christina Tosi wrote that the old name was “getting in the way of letting the gooey, buttery slice bring happiness — my only goal in creating the thing in the first place.”

Black Hole + Hypersonic + Bill Gates + UBI + Wellness

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Black hole picture captured for first time in space ‘breakthrough’: The image of a black hole captured by the Event Horizon Telescope. Photograph: EHT Collaboration.

A network of eight radio telescopes around the world helped to record the image.

Blackhole.jpg


Hypersonic missiles: Gliding missiles that fly faster than Mach 5 are coming. They combine the speed of intercontinental ballistic missiles with the accuracy of cruise missiles.

10 breakthrough technologies for 2019 curated by Bill Gates. http://bit.ly/2UNpXqY

Digital-native retailers are giving physical stores a radical makeover: Online brands are opening brick-and-mortar shops, using technology and data-driven customer insights to transform the in-store experience. http://bit.ly/2UQ3Dgq

The best brands work seamlessly offline and online.

Who comes to the rescue of stranded robots? Humans: Food-delivery robots are everywhere, but they often need some help from softhearted humans when their navigation goes awry. https://on.wsj.com/2ULGjk0

The basic questions about universal basic income: After years of hype, UBI could become a large-scale reality. But first, policymakers and businesses will have to address fundamental implementation issues.

Why successful men are meditating and trading beer for green juice: WSJ reports, wellness—the umbrella term for everything from meditation to yoga to moringa oil—is no longer just for women. Increasingly men (and businesses) are getting juiced about holistic health.

Wellness was a Brigadoon Sundance 2019 topic, just sayin'. 

Robots + CBD + Space + 4IR + Personal IPOs

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Walmart is rolling out the robots: WSJ reports, retailer to expand use of machines to scan shelves and scrub floors as it seeks to keep labor costs down.

Droids > Drones

In New York, confusion reigns in the emerging CBD edibles business: Reuters reports, the New York City crackdown highlights the inconsistencies that have emerged in federal, state and local rules governing CBD, bewildering the small but growing number of businesses selling edibles in New York and other states.

Blamed for climate change, oil companies invest in carbon removal: NYT reports, Chevron, Occidental Petroleum, and BHP have invested in a start-up developing technology to take carbon out of the atmosphere.

@SpaceAngels: The Q1 2019 Space Investment Quarterly is now live! In the first quarter alone, $1.7B of equity capital was invested into Space companies, nearly double the amount deployed in Q4 2018. Download the entire report here: http://bit.ly/Q12019SIQ 

Peter Layton: Prototype warfare in the fourth industrial age: A new industrial process is rapidly emerging.  This fourth industrial revolution (4IR) based on hyper-connectivity brings with it both continual – indeed relentless – innovation and the possibility of practical large-scale prototype warfare. The interweaving of the second and third industrial revolutions is creating the fourth. This new deep integration allows a continuous and cyclical flow of information and actions between the physical and digital worlds. http://bit.ly/2UHTFxt

College grads sell stakes in themselves to Wall Street: Bloomberg reports, instead of taking out loans, students can agree to hand over part of their future earnings in return for investment.

It's the age of the Personal IPO.

Consumer Spending + EVs + Mickey Mouse + Burgers

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US shopping centre vacancies rise to eight-year high: FT reports, increase comes on signs of faltering consumer spending and pressure from ecommerce.

58.4 percent market share for EVs in Norway: In March, fully electric cars made up nearly 60 percent of the new-car market in Norway, a world record. A recent increase in the electric sales coincided with deliveries of Tesla’s Model 3 and Audi’s e-tron. The country aims to end sales of all fossil-fuel vehicles by 2025.

David Perell: What did Gutenberg’s printing press actually change?

Book prices fell. The raw price of books fell by 2.4 percent a year for over a hundred years after Gutenberg.

In places where there was an increase in competition among printers, prices fell swiftly and dramatically. Competition works. When an additional printing firm entered a given city market, book prices there fell by 25%.

Extreme loneliness or the perfect balance? How to work from home and stay healthy: More and more people are working where they live, attracted by the promise of flexibility, efficiency, and no commute. But does this come at a cost to their wellbeing? http://bit.ly/2K3BH4J

How Disney grew its $3 billion Mickey Mouse business–by selling to adults: Apple, Gucci, Kate Spade, Uniqlo, L’Oréal, and Maybelline are just a few of the companies that sell Mickey-branded products for grown-ups. Here’s how Disney made adults fall in love with a cartoon character. http://bit.ly/2K9n3c2

Inside the race to build the burger of the future: Trump says Democrats and environmental wackos are waging a war on beef. But corporations, not politicians or activists, are leading the post-meat revolution. https://politi.co/2K3tgGx

The heart of a swimmer vs. the heart of a runner: Regular exercise changes the look and workings of the human heart. And researchers are discovering that different sports affect the heart differently. https://nyti.ms/2Uwmw7W

Telemedicine + Urgent Care + Brain Map + Robot Humor + Automation

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Telemedicine + urgent care use on the rise: STAT reports, a new white paper released today from the nonprofit FAIR Health looked at medical pricing and other health care trends from 2012 to 2017 and found that people in the US used more telehealth services and urgent care centers in 2017 than during the previous year. Here’s a closer look at the report’s findings:

Telehealth: Use of telemedicine services grew nationally by 53 percent between 2016 and 2017, with 55 percent growth in urban areas and 29 percent growth in rural areas. Oklahoma had the most telehealth usage, New Jersey the least.

Urgent care centers: The use of urgent care centers in urban areas increased by 15 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, while staying the same in rural areas. The average price per 30-minute visit was most expensive for urgent care centers, at $213, compared to $207 in a doctor’s office and $129 in a retail clinic.

Goals and rewards redraw the brain’s map of the world: Two new studies show that the brain’s navigation system changes how it represents physical space to reflect personal experience. http://bit.ly/2JW6EYq

A robot walks into a bar, doesn’t get the joke: struggling to teach humor to AI https://lat.ms/2JYRilK

Japan's big banks to slash hiring of new graduates in 2020 due to automation: Japan Times, major lender MUFG Bank plans to hire only 530 new graduates next April, down about 45 percent from this year, according to informed sources. Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. also plan to slash their hiring of new graduates.