The Post-Retail Landscape

Interesting holiday retail facts from L2 on Youtube:

An unlikely winner? Malls – at least high-end ones, which are flourishing. The top-rated malls of 2015 all had upscale department stores, luxury brand stores and high-tech electronics stores.

An Apple Store increased mall revenue per square foot by 13%. Think about that. Apple is going to start charging malls to be tenants.

I’ve lived most of my life since 2000 in cities (Manhattan, Miami, Los Angeles, and now San Francisco) so I’m not aware of how dire the retail situation is in suburban areas—that is— until I went home to visit my family in New Jersey this past holiday.

It was hard for me to find something as simple as a pair of Chuck Taylors. Back in the day there a Foot Locker about 10 minutes from my parents’ house, but no more.


Business, Consumer


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How Much Does Apple Pay Jony Ive?

The salary of the man who has designed every Apple product from the iMac to the Apple Watch has never been disclosed to the SEC or the press. The last time he filed an SEC Form 4 — required whenever there’s a material change in an insider’s position — was July 2009.

According to Apple, Ive is exempt from SEC rules because he’s not what the commission calls a “Section 16” employee. Despite his title — chief design officer — the company does not classify him as a director or officer of the company.


Via Daring Fireball


Career, Product



This is why we can’t have nice things

The Verge: As gas prices fall, Americans are buying thirstier cars:

Americans really like their SUVs. The problem is that trucks and SUVs cost more money to fill the tank than small, more fuel-efficient cars. As gas prices rise, vehicle buyers have a powerful incentive to value fuel efficiency higher.

That’s partly why the fuel efficiency of the average new vehicle in America rose from a little more than 20 mpg in 2007 to more than 25 mpg by 2014. But then, nearly in line with a dramatic drop in gas prices, Americans began buying bigger, thirstier cars again.

George Carlin? Still right.



deliberately radical without regard for traditions

Timm Romine responding to Sean Geraghty’s criticisms that Apple has thrown out discoverability and usability in their products:

Sorry, Sean, and Don, and Bruce, but The Future won’t have buttons whose functions can be achieved without buttons, and it definitely won’t look like iOS 6. And you can argue it won’t look like iOS 7–9. But what’s certain, is the future of UI is minimalistic, sleek, simplistic — according to the sci-fi movies we revere.

Back in 2009 I wrote about the future of iconography. I speculated then—and Siri is now showing us now— that the interface of the future is no interface (I’m not suggesting I’m a genius, the writing was on the wall).

Just like learning any new language, learning the language of an interface takes varying degrees and practice before one is accustomed to it.

I’ve been maintaining this blog since 2006 so I’m used to the endless stream of doom-and-gloom pieces on Apple.

We, and Apple, are going to be ok.


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Behavioral Economics

The Economists Who Studied All-You-Can-Eat Buffets:

New research shows that paying that much for a buffet might actually make the food taste better. Three researchers did an all you can eat (AYCE) buffet field experiment to test whether the cost of an AYCE buffet affected how much diners enjoyed it. They conducted their research at an Italian AYCE buffet in New York, and over the course of two weeks 139 participants were either offered a flier for $8 buffet or a $4 buffet (both had the same food). Those who paid $8 rated the pizza 11 percent tastier than those who paid $4. Moreover, the latter group suffered from greater diminishing returns—each additional slice of pizza tasted worse than that of the $8 group.

Behavioral economics is so interesting. I was first drawn to it through Dan Ariely’s book, Predictably Irrational.

We like to believe we make decisions based on reason and logic, but so much of what we do is based on emotions and perceptions.