The future is autonomous and electric.

The future is autonomous and electric. Cars are changing. Not all at once, but over the next 20-30 years. When most of the fleet is self-driving and powered by electricity, there will be huge direct impacts on oil consumption and human safety. Thinking beyond that, Benedict Evans dives into the second order of consequences. learn more

Evidence of the robot takeover.

Evidence of the robot takeover. Economists from MIT and Boston University examine the impact of industrial automation on the US labor market from 1990 to 2007. They conclude that each additional robot reduced employment in a given commuting area by 3-6 workers, and lowered overall wages by 0.25-0.5%. learn more

Too much retail.

Too much retail. “Last summer, Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren called the situation ‘ridiculous,’ noting that the U.S. has 7.3 square feet of retail space per capita, versus 1.7 square feet per capita in Japan and France.” learn more

Wal-Mart does the internet.

Wal-Mart does the internet. Now that Marc Lore of Quidsi (diapers.com + soap.com) and Jet.com fame is in charge of e-commerce at Wal-Mart, they’ve started a shopping spree with the acquisitions of ModCloth and Moosejaw. These are culturally pretty far from Wal-Mart’s core discount stores, but maybe (just maybe) with Lore in charge they can nurture the brands without smothering them. learn more

Love food trucks? Politicians don’t.

Love food trucks? Politicians don’t. “You get somebody sick in Chicago, it’s a $200 fine,” Geller says. “You park too close to a restaurant, it’s $1,000. Those restaurants’ profits are more important than public health? The city of Chicago has said, ‘We’re going to protect brick-and-mortars.’ Why is it that this particular thing needs to be protected? It’s farcical. It’s so outrageous.” learn more

Maps are lying to you. 

Maps are lying to you. I still remember when it sunk in that our typical world map is one big lie. When a tour guide in Colombia told us that the country is bigger than Texas and California combined, I didn’t believe him. Google quickly confirmed that I was wrong. learn more

 

How Will You Measure Your Life?

Okay so this one is a tiny bit self help-y, but really not so much. The author’s (Clayton Christensen of The Innovator’s Dilemma fame) premise is that his class at Harvard Business School had the best of intentions and the future looked bright, but as time went on more and more of them ended up living unhappy lives despite all sorts of professional success. So he applies lessons from his research into businesses to help understand why the best of intentions can lead to failure, and offers guidance about how to structure your activities to get what you want out of life. (View on Amazon)