TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

How to start a startup (Sam Altman, Dustin Muskovitz)

Today's editorial is relevant for wantrepreneurs and early stage entrepreneurs everywhere. Sam Altman (CEO of OpenAI, former President of YCombinator) and Dustin Moskovitz (co-founder, Facebook & Asana) deliver the first lecture of the 'How to start a startup' series at Stanford University. One of the insights that stands out is the reason to start a company. Some of the oft-heard reasons like being one's own boss and aiming for a higher financial upside get challenged here. For example, you would have been financially better off as employee number 100 at Dropbox than as a founder of a successful startup sold for $100 million.

Watch the 45 minute lecture here


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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

The Mystery of the $2,000 Ikea Shopping Bag

Why does luxury brand Balenciaga sell a $2,000 purse modeled after a $1 blue Ikea shopping bag? What's behind the craze for seemingly distressed and worn-out Gucci sneakers? What is Sarah Jessica Parker doing rummaging through the dusty clothes in Rome's Via Sannio flea market? Why is Cracco, a Michelin star–winning Italian chef, using commercial potato chips in his dishes?

We tend to think of status symbols starting at the top tiers of society (among the glitterati and trend setters of high society) and then trickling down to the rest of society. But a new trend seems to contradict this pattern. Instead of adopting a new luxury product or embracing fresh high-end tastes, an increasing number of prestigious brands and celebrities are adopting lower-end fashions and items (e.g., duct-taped shoes, plastic shopping bags, street food). Intrigued by these puzzling examples (this one in particular: a high-end perfume made to look like a household cleaning bottle), we decided to adopt a signaling perspective (that is, to understand how consumers use products and brands to signal who they are) to try to make sense of this phenomenon.

Continued here


TradeBriefs: What's important, not just what's popular!

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

The Display of the Future Might Be in Your Contact Lens

Mojo Vision's prototypes can enhance your vision or show you your schedule—right from the surface of your eyes.

Mojo Vision is all about "invisible computing." The company, whose founders include industry veterans from the likes of Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, wants to reduce our reliance on screens. Instead of pulling out your phone to check why it buzzed in the middle of a conversation, look to the corner of your eye to activate an interface that will tell you in a split second.

"We want to create a technology that lets you be you, lets you look like you; doesn't change your appearance; it doesn't make you act weird walking down the street," said Mike Wiemer, cofounder and chief technology officer at Mojo Vision. "It's very discreet and frankly, substantially, most of the time it doesn't show you anything."

Making smart contact lenses is no simple task, though—even Alphabet's Verily subsidiary had to refocus its Smart Lens program after hitting a few snags.

Continued here


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