Friday Reading #106

It’s never nice to lose a client, but this week we parted ways with Spotify after 18 months of genuine partnership with lovely clients, creating work we’re very proud of. As the business consolidated their account into a single agency worldwide, we’re not (yet) in a position to manage that. What made the whole process much easier to swallow was the thoroughly classy way Spotify handled it, flying out to the UK to explain why in person. Andrew was so impressed he penned a piece on LinkedIn which seems to have resonated with a few people.


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Instagram has come a long way since it first appeared in
2010, as co-founder Mike Krieger discusses in this
interview with WIRED
. It’s interesting to see how a simple acorn of an idea
(allowing people to ‘unleash’ their camera rolls) has grown into a social media
giant, and genuinely changed the way in which people capture and share personal
photos. Krieger talks about some of the ways in which they overcame the
initially poor quality of phone cameras (introducing filters, to bridge the gap
between perception and reality) and outlines the system which has allowed the
team to enjoy so much success over the years – a balance between ‘putting out
fires’ and always looking ahead for the next opportunity to push the app
forward.

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On a related note, what does it take to be a multi-Billion start up in Silicon Valley these days? Seven lines of code? Two brothers from Ireland’s ingenious Stripe platform have revolutionised the payments industry. Taking a simple approach, they are now
running the back ends for Uber, Facebook, and now Amazon – making them overnight
billionaires. The two founders, Patrick and John Collison talk to Bloomberg
about their alternative approach to machismo and self-centered world in Silicon
Valley and the prospects of bringing commerce to every part of the world
through simple technology.

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It was only last week that password Guru, Bill Burr,
awkwardly admitted that his complex and rather annoying
rules for ‘safer’ passwords may have actually decreased system security, when this
morning, HBO’s Twitter account was at the end of yet another cyber security
scandal. Hacking group, OurMine hacked HBO’s Twitter account and released some
scandalous information about HBO’s hit show, Game of Thrones, causing a frenzy
among GoT lovers. HBO gained access to their account shortly after, but not
before the hackers sent HBO a rather cheeky tweet
using the Game of Thrones
handle stating: “OurMine are here. we are just testing your security. HBO team
please contact us to upgrade the security – ourmine.org -> Contact.

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One step closed on the path towards making humanity redundant, it’s now possible to create self-healing robots. It’s not quite the T-1000′s terrifying liquid metal yet though – researchers in Brussels have created a robotic hand made from rubbery polymers
with the ability to heal itself when cut or ripped, by simply applying a little heat. Experiments
showed that damage could be healed completely without leaving any weakness
.
Useful in the food industry and important when thinking about prosthesis it
could be the start of something interesting and extremely beneficial.

We’re all familiar with the push to short form video, and it’s a brilliantly effective way to advertise. Asking less of their attention tends to mean people are more likely to stick around. But IKEA are having a go in the opposite direction entirely – creating a 25 minute, leisurely paced film designed to relax a tightly wound student audience with a gentle tour around a bedroom. Beyond the relaxed tone, the film makes use of some interesting neuroscience; autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) uses specific tones and visuals to create a relaxing, tingling sensation in the viewer. Luckily for those of us still struggling with that attention span, they’ve also made some 1 minute clips which deliver the same effect. Give it a try, it’s rather nice.

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