ICYMI – Week of July 28, 2017

  • Rising e-commerce sales and advancements in robots is seeing a shift in the logistics and distribution market around the Greater Toronto Area, according to the Globe and Mail. One things I’ve always wondered about is the dwindling amount of employment lands for warehousing and logistics in the region and the increasing demand driven by e-commerce. With robotics, it seems that warehouses are going vertical.
  • Airbnb is rolling out a new feature called “experiences”. Tom Friedman wrote a bit about it in the NYTimes. In sum, it’s a way for Airbnb’s hosts to provide additional curated experiences for visitors. Some good examples are provided in the article, but the gist of it is, not being content to simply take on the hotel industry on the basis of providing accommodations alone, Airbnb wants to be a kind of “hands-off” concierge wherein hosts provide fun and interesting travel experiences to visitors.
  • There’s been a lot of debate about Elon Musk’s new Hyperloop proposal. Geoff Manaugh of bldgblog wrote a great critique of the Hyperloop and similar moonshot ideas for the New Yorker, but I feel as if everyone’s missed the point on this. Musk has no investment in Hyperloop. He pitched the idea 8 years ago and it’s been taken on by 3rd parties ever since. He has, however, put money down on a tunneling company. Musk is using the Hyperloop to sell his tunnel. The tunnel is the main thing here, not the Hyperloop. It’s Musk’s way of sparking the public’s imagination to take care of an age old problem (how can we build more tunnels and improve our transportation infrastructure?).
  • Following up on all the news of different countries or cities phasing out petrol cars in the future, Bloomberg reports that the auto-manufacturing industry will take care of it long before the policies actually come into force. The claim is based on the rapidly declining costs of electric batteries as well as the number of car companies increasing investments in electric vehicles.

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