fastcompany:

After Apple booted Google Maps from iOS last year, Daniel Graf led the development of a beautiful, refreshed mapping experience that shot to number one in the iTunes store and kicked Apple’s ass on its own turf. Here’s how Graf made it happen—in his own words:
“We have a very successful Android version of Google Maps, so the easiest thing to do was to say, this is super-successful, users love it, so why don’t we just port it over to iOS? But I wanted to challenge the team. While the Android version is a great product, you can also tell it’s been around for a while. You have to access everything via menus—it’s not really best-use-case driven anymore. I said, let’s take a step back—what if we could start from scratch and forget anything we’ve ever done? We have the foundation—the Google data, the mapping data, the local business data, the imagery, the navigation algorithms—it’s a dream to start with.”
More…

fastcompany:

After Apple booted Google Maps from iOS last year, Daniel Graf led the development of a beautiful, refreshed mapping experience that shot to number one in the iTunes store and kicked Apple’s ass on its own turf. Here’s how Graf made it happen—in his own words:

We have a very successful Android version of Google Maps, so the easiest thing to do was to say, this is super-successful, users love it, so why don’t we just port it over to iOS? But I wanted to challenge the team. While the Android version is a great product, you can also tell it’s been around for a while. You have to access everything via menus—it’s not really best-use-case driven anymore. I said, let’s take a step back—what if we could start from scratch and forget anything we’ve ever done? We have the foundation—the Google data, the mapping data, the local business data, the imagery, the navigation algorithms—it’s a dream to start with.”

More…

rollingstone:

Romanthony, the house producer and DJ who sang the hook on Daft Punk’s 2000 single “One More Time,” died on May 7th at the age of 45.

fastcompany:

The highlight of Google’s year is the I/O developers conference it hosts each May. On Wednesday, 6,000 people converged on San Francisco’s Moscone Center and more than one million tuned in to the YouTube livestream of the conference keynote to hear about the newest Google products and services. And during the three-and-a-half-hour opening keynote, Google delivered. And delivered.

The sheer number of new product features was staggering—engineering director Vic Gundotra unveiled 41 new features for Google Plus alone—but only a few made the cut for being truly innovative.

Here are the most important features and products that you’ll want to know about.

fastcompany:

How Google Unified Its Products With A Humble Index Card

“We’ve actually tapped into one of the oldest pieces of graphic and information design around—business cards, calling cards, greeting cards, playing cards.”
“The restraints of the card actually made it easier to do the rest of the [Google Now] design,” Duarte recounts. “It forced us to focus. It forced us to realize [things like], you can’t have a card that feeds two or three images at once, that just gets messy.”

Here’s the full story.

fastcompany:

How Google Unified Its Products With A Humble Index Card

“We’ve actually tapped into one of the oldest pieces of graphic and information design around—business cards, calling cards, greeting cards, playing cards.”

“The restraints of the card actually made it easier to do the rest of the [Google Now] design,” Duarte recounts. “It forced us to focus. It forced us to realize [things like], you can’t have a card that feeds two or three images at once, that just gets messy.”

Here’s the full story.

wired:

picturedept:

Everyday there are lives at home and on the other side of the world that go unnoticed; lives that may matter little to the personal hustle of trying to pay rent, get children to do their homework or figure out how late to leave the couch and still make it to work on time; but everyday photojournalists celebrate these lives.

From children playing while 1,034-plus bodies are pulled from the rubble of a clothing factory in Savar where shirts are sewn for wealthy westerners, to the tattered remains of an American flag on a still ravaged New Jersey coast line on the six month anniversary of Hurricane Sandy; these documentary images take us beyond a scrolling news flash on the bottom of a cable news show and ask us to look. To look and if we stop long enough to force us to stare for a moment; to question why.

Click though to The Daily Beast to see all the images for the week in pictures.


Things y’all should look at.

image

Had the pleasure of visiting Spotify in New York City over the long weekend. Young company with a very driven team focused on solving a big problem around piracy and content distribution.

Current numbers indicate 6 million paying subscribers out of a user base 24 million listeners. 83.5% of revenue is currently driven by paid subscriptions. 

Cost structure

Spotify pays out the majority (approaching 70%) of revenue (advertising and subscription fees) to rights holders: artists, labels, publishers, and performing rights societies (e.g. ASCAP, BMI, etc.). In just three years since launching, Spotify has paid out over 500M USD in royalties. Shift to digital delivery of music has also lowered the record companies’ costs.

Business Model

The business model is different. Streaming is not the same as purchasing, and therefore it makes sense for each stream to generate a fraction of what a download brings in. Over time, frequently streamed tracks can earn real money, sometimes even more than sales could generate. Consider LTV vs upfront revenue stream. But how can the artists be compensated in the mean time ?

Challenges

Advertising model supports free customers but Spotify pays per stream fee

  • Need to scale to massive user base for Advertising to be relevant to major brands.
  • Make listening prominent in every location.
  • Differentiate value for users at the premium level (partnerships is key).

Opportunities

  • Carrier/Partner tie-ins: telecoms companies to sell higher-value packages to their users reduce customer churn and associate their brands with music.  
  • Pricing: new models of subscription – daily, weekly and with different price points could help expand the market.
  • International: In India, music currently plays a key role in mobile operators’ customer acquisition that also own billing relationship. Consider bundled services for a daily subscription model.

rollingstone:

Random Access Memories is full of WTF moments: Julian Casablancas delivering maybe the most emotive vocals of his career through a vocoder-style haze; dance godfather Giorgio Moroder waxing nostalgic on an electro-jazz-funk epic; pop-schmaltz guru Paul Williams (“We’ve Only Just Begun”) playing a love-starved cyborg in a disco fantasia. Then there’s the full package – a 70-minute­-plus, over-the-top concept LP of prog-rocking, reverse-engineered dance music orbiting somewhere between Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Earth, Wind and Fire’s That’s the Way of the World.
Read our full four ✭ review of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories.

rollingstone:

Random Access Memories is full of WTF moments: Julian Casablancas delivering maybe the most emotive vocals of his career through a vocoder-style haze; dance godfather Giorgio Moroder waxing nostalgic on an electro-jazz-funk epic; pop-schmaltz guru Paul Williams (“We’ve Only Just Begun”) playing a love-starved cyborg in a disco fantasia. Then there’s the full package – a 70-minute­-plus, over-the-top concept LP of prog-rocking, reverse-engineered dance music orbiting somewhere between Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Earth, Wind and Fire’s That’s the Way of the World.

Read our full four ✭ review of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories.

vicemag:

Watch This Is What Winning Looks Like, our new documentary about chaos, corruption, sexual abuse, and the war in Afghanistan.

Then head to Reddit and ask Ben Anderson, the filmmaker behind the doc, a question.

rollingstone:

“Look at what hip-hop can do.” - Dr. Dre
It was announced yesterday that Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are donating $70 million to USC to create a new arts, technology and business program. We sat down with Dre, Iovine and the new school’s dean Erica Muhl to discuss why the school is necessary in today’s world, how involved in the new school the two music moguls plan to be and how both of them look to their home lives first for inspiration.

rollingstone:

Look at what hip-hop can do.” - Dr. Dre

It was announced yesterday that Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are donating $70 million to USC to create a new arts, technology and business program. We sat down with Dre, Iovine and the new school’s dean Erica Muhl to discuss why the school is necessary in today’s world, how involved in the new school the two music moguls plan to be and how both of them look to their home lives first for inspiration.

fastcompany:

The Takeaway from Warren Buffett’s Office Hours: ”Find the job you would have if you were independently rich. Associate with people you love doing what you love,” Buffett says. “How can it be any better?”
Here are 5 Lessons From Warren Buffett’s Office Hours

fastcompany:

The Takeaway from Warren Buffett’s Office Hours: ”Find the job you would have if you were independently rich. Associate with people you love doing what you love,” Buffett says. “How can it be any better?”

Here are 5 Lessons From Warren Buffett’s Office Hours