WeWork Co-Working Reinvents Commercial Real Estate

Michael Tchong

WeWork LA Gas Tower

In a December 2000 Building Owners and Managers Assoc. (BOMA) talk, I predicted that future real estate promotion would include the line “Conveniently located near the super information highway.” No company has lived up to that vision better than WeWork. The startup traces its roots to a partially vacant building in Dumbo, Brooklyn, where in 2008 Adam Neumann and Miguel …

Auto Future: Self-Driving Cars

Michael Tchong

On Sunday evening, March 18, 2018, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was crossing the road in the middle of a Tempe, Ariz. block when she was struck by an Uber self-driving car, becoming the first pedestrian death caused by an autonomous vehicle. Media judgment was swift, with an USA Today headline trumpeting, “Uber self-driving car kills Arizona pedestrian, realizing worst fears of …

Airtable, A Spreadsheet On Steroids

Michael Tchong

Last August, we bestowed an “Ubercool Innovator” award on Airtable. We love Airtable because its simplicity and ease of use completely upstage both Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel, while also delivering a blow to Apple’s FileMaker, the former king of easy to use databases. Today, the company announced another major enhancement: “Blocks” — modules that allow users to add maps …

Blockchain: A Fintech Revolution

Michael Tchong

While all attention has been focused on the ups and downs of Bitcoin, it’s Bitcoin’s Blockchain innovation that has generated more excitement in financial and technology communities. “Fintech”, as financial technology is referred to in tech circles, has been on a tear lately. Global venture-capital-backed fintech companies brought in a record $16.6 billion in 2017. Blockchain is innovative because it …

Face ID and Animoji

Michael Tchong

Now that we know more about Apple’s new iPhone X, let’s delve into two truly outstanding iPhone X innovations, its Face ID face recognition system and animated emoji, dubbed “Animoji” The iPhone X discards an already innovative fingerprint ID system for a futuristic “TrueDepth” camera system that bathes your face in more than 30,000 invisible, infra-red dots. As the name …

Saks Fifth Avenue ConBody

Michael Tchong

The Amazon Factor will lead to as many as 8,600 store closings in 2017. Retailers have three options: Close up shop, innovate, or change and become a discount retailer, which, as Costco and Ross Stores are proving, could be a viable strategy. Saks Fifth Avenue has decided to fight by reinventing the very concept of retail. Leveraging a growing trend, …

ZIIP

Michael Tchong

As you may have read, microcurrent innovation is all the rage in health and beauty. If you’re wondering when the day will arrive that your skin regimen involves using an iPhone app, wonder no more that day is here. ZIIP ($495) uses electrical currents to stimulate a skin chemical called adenosine triphosphate, which biologists describe as the “energy currency of …

K-Beauty: DeepSkin Anti-Aging Mask

Michael Tchong

If you drive a Kia, own a Samsung TV, smartphone or perhaps a refrigerator too, you’re well on your way to living ”Gangnam Style.” The Korean invasion doesn’t stop there. You’re going to hear a lot more about “K-Beauty,” because South Korea is about to invade your health & beauty regimen, if DeepSkin ($220) from Insung Information Co. is any …

Boom

Michael Tchong

In 1971, U.S. Congress halted federal funding of a next-generation supersonic transport, dubbed the “SST.” It was one the dumbest acts ever perpetrated in the name of the American public, holding the aviation industry back for half a century. Forty-six years later, a glimmer of hope for faster air transportation has arrived thanks to Denver-based Boom Technology. After the successful …

Public

Michael Tchong

In 1982, Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell ignited the boutique hotel trend with the opening of Morgans on Madison Avenue, which boasted the design touches of French designer Andrée Putman. Schrager is once again disrupting the New York hotel scene opening Public ($150+) this week, which features rooms priced significantly below comparable Gotham hotels. Schrager collaborated with Philippe Starck on …