Apple + U2 = Not Cool ?

Apple introduced the iPhone 6, killed the iPod classic, put a free U2 album in 500 million iTunes accounts, and nearly sent two intergalactic brands up-in-smoke all in one day…

oliva nub cigar on canvas
“Cigar” by Oliva, Photo/nick

Once upon a time, waking up to find a complimentary U2 album on your front porch would have been very cool. But last week when 500 million people woke up to find a U2 album in their iTunes, many thought it very UN-cool. What’s it doing there? How did it get there? Who put it there? What’s the catch? It’s easy to believe old guards like Tim Cook and Bono would make this mistake…but their ad-agencies? Seriously? Free, social, and privacy are the ingredients of a new primordial business soup requiring thoughtful savvy creatives like never before. Dropping a free album on 500 million people, most of whom never heard of an aging rock group that hasn’t released an album in over 5 years was simply lame and may have done more harm than good to both brands.

For years, Apple and U2 fought against internet streaming and free music downloads (the raison d’être of the iPod), so even older customers became suspicious when the U2 album showed-up. From their beginnings Apple and U2 built their brands on high-quality, high-priced delight. Getting free anything from these guys is so out of character it’s like waking up to find a Tiffany diamond under your pillow. “Free” is terra incognita for the old guard…and if the fiasco of last week is any indication, ditto social and privacy.

The Watch


Works with Android and iPhone. Does all sorts of cool stuff. And it really works.

We invested on their Kickstarter campaign where they set a record for funding. The watch we received is the first release and has worked flawlessly for over a year now. Being compatible with Android and iPhone is the big draw for us but so is the modest retro design—you’ll never mistake it for a Jony Ive museum piece. But it looks cool. Costs $150. And sweet interesting people are developing apps for it.

Buy Me

You can buy me for $.70/wk.


It was only a matter of time. A few years ago in Is BD, TMI? we wrote that eventually you’d be able to sell your private data and turn the tables on social-media companies. Datacoup is making good on that prediction. The whole point of private data is—it’s yours! You create it every time you buy something, browse the Web, post a photo, or “Like” something on a social network. Social media firms use data you create for their own financial benefit…royalty-free. That relationship is fundamentally flawed, unsustainable, and soooo over.

It was only a matter of time.

The Illustrated Chair

In Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man, a time-traveling vagrant appears and is intricately tattooed from head to toe. But his tattoos are not ordinary—they project the future. Vizera™ projects the future on furniture…in any pattern or color you wish to see. With this new technology from VizeraLabs, the showroom concept is transformed…they could actually be displays in coffee shops.

The pace of technology is turning everything into an information technology—even the boring, shabby world of retail. Vizera is like Bradbury’s tattoo artist. It shows the pattern before you have it stitched.

See Me, Feel Me

Miles Barr
photo/MIT Technology Review

Miles Barr, MIT student, inventor of ClearView Power,TM a transparent coating technology enabling any surface to convert ambient light into electricity…can be integrated into any mobile or computing device as an auxiliary power generator, or any window to offset grid consumption. Imagine electric power plants, ubiquitous and invisible.

It’s only the beginning.