2019-11-25 2 min read


The most clicked link in last week's issue (~17% of opens, and well deserved) was an eye-popping video of simulations of food being cooked.

Planning & Strategy.

  • Carbon, the 3D printing startup whose high profile Adidas partnership moved (as discussed last week) production to Asia, hired a professional CEO - Ellen Kullman, who formerly ran DuPont. Kullman's resume of **current** roles is wild: "She also sits on the boards of directors at United Technologies, Amgen, Goldman Sachs and Dell and is a former director of General Motors."
  • Y Combinator will not open its planned China branch.
  • The New York MTA (finally) hired a Chief Transformation Officer; doing so was a key point of AlixPartners' report on the MTA. I heard rumors that the MTA had wanted the CTO role to be contracted for 24 months, which presumably reflected an internal belief that transformation would be easy and could be finished within two years. With Andrew Cuomo as governor through at least 2022, this belief seems... optimistic.

Making & Manufacturing.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

  • Tim Wu on the decline of local hardware stores. I agree with Wu's end message here - that hardware stores are unrelated - but I differ with him on some of the details. For one, I think it's undeniably the case that hardware stores *are* having business model issues: Their costs (namely real estate) have gone up and their revenue has at best remained flat. It's also the case that customer experience varies wildly, and that the romantic portrait that Wu paints is hard to maintain in the face of employee turnover, etc.

Distribution & Logistics.

  • A cute little LED status map of the Boston transit system.
  • Overhead video footage of a stevedore unloading containers from a container ship. Note that modern terminals do a lot of this work remotely; see the second and third photos here (from my recap of NYIO's trip to the Port of New York and New Jersey).

Inspection, Testing & Analysis.

  • Re: Metric tape measures: Thanks to David for recommending the BMI Quicky; thanks to Doug and Michael for recommending the FastCap ProCarpenter, and a *big* thanks to Pete for sending a Komelon PG85 for us to try out in real life :)


  • A rather delightful video of an eager dad making a jungle gym for his toddler out of cardboard. I especially like the way he fastens the columns to the base at 3:28.

An off-grid, Raspberry Pi based computer housed in a Pelican case.

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